We have been working on creating a system to allow us to quickly and easily design mechanisms that let us solve the problems given to us in the FIRST Robotics Competition. This past season our prototypes worked well but they took a long time to modify and adjust and that led to our design process taking more time than we would want.
We listed some goals for the system.
- Rapid iteration
- Easy to remove and add parts
- Easy to reuse parts in the next prototype if needed
- Try to avoid using expensive parts such as bearings, etc.
- Use a cheap base material that is locally available
- Easy adjustment
- Clamp systems for small adjustments of spacing and belt and chain tensioning
- As few unique parts as possible in the generic system
- Easy to make custom parts for each unique application if needed.
- Able to quickly make rotating parts such as intakes, ball paths, etc.
- Powered by a hand drill or by a Versaplanetary (or 57 Sport if you like)
- Able to quickly attach to pneumatic cylinders for making wrists, small arms, catapults, etc.
- Able to make a rough linear slide system for prototyping stackers / elevators (2015)
Basic System Explanation
The full system is described in the google doc explanation here.
Examples of the System