Research Progress

Today, we discussed some of the results of our research and started to talk about general design.  Some of the things we have learned through our research are as follows:

  • To shoot multiple T-Shirts, the best solution seems to be having multiple barrels rather than trying to build a mechanism to reload a single barrel.
  • High speed solenoid valves are expensive and it will be difficult to find one that will fit our requirements while staying in our price range.
  • Every robot we’ve seen that launches T-Shirts from multiple barrels has one valve on each barrel.  We’d like to try to avoid this to cut down on cost.
  • Many T-Shirt shooting robots we’ve seen in the past have used PVC piping and/or PVC sprinkler valves.  PVC is not rated for pressurized gas and is extremely dangerous when used for gas storage.
  • SCUBA tanks seem to be a relatively easy method of air storage.  They can safely hold extremely high pressure air and can be filled inexpensively at many SCUBA stores.
Some design ideas that we discussed.
  • If we can re-use some of the drivetrain parts from past robots, we can save money and reduce the cost of the project.
  • The two choices for barrel design seem to be either a rotating revolver or a linear magazine.
  • If the robot has large wheels, it may be easier to traverse large obstacles.
After this discussion, we spent some time around the lab gathering parts that could be reused on this robot.  We were able to gather two full gearboxes from 2009 as well as the necessary shafts, hubs and sprockets needed to complete the drivetrain.