by Egan Kline As the building season deadline is arriving, the Gearheads are finally finishing up their robot to compete in the 2018 FIRST robotics competition: FIRST POWERUP.
Tank drive in the Gearheads custom chassis frame
Grabs, holds, and ejects PowerCubes
In this years robotics competition, teams are tasked with building a robot that is able to grab powercubes (empty milk crates) and place them in a portal (shute), or on a switch, either on of the two on the ground level or one that is much higher off the ground in the center of the field. Cubes placed in the portal can activate 3 different power ups by using 3 powercubes, which can give them double points for a short time or control over all the switches for a few seconds. Within the last moments of the match, robots must also climb a bar located in the center of the area. Alternatively, the levitate powerup can allow 1 robot on an alliance to imitate climbing the bar.
The Gearheads have taken on being able to do all of these tasks. They have created a robot with a cascade lift able to reach up to 93 inches (~7.75 feet). They chose this type of lift because it was fast and sturdy, being able to place cubes on the low and high switches in little time. Additionally, the arm mechanism attached to the lift is also connected to 2 ball-bearing blocks, which additionally lowers the time needed to place the cubes, as the arms don’t have to rise to the very top of the lift to push the blocks out.