Top of the hill robot
This was my first try at competing in the National Robotics Challenge. There are a number of challenges involved, but I chose the Top of the Hill challenge. The goal is to pick up ping pong balls as fast as possible on a gravel field. Your robot can be remote controlled.
-Extremely lightweight. The main structure is honeycomb structured cardboard, which is stiff yet light. Electronics are RC airplane parts, wheels are foam, and other pieces are thin PVC sheets.
-Wheel design allows the robot to “float” over the gravel, yet the paddles still sink in enough for grip. For on-road use notches in the paddles allow a rubber band to be stretched over them for use on smooth surfaces
-Claw was originally a vacuum fan, which was much more effective, but took too much current. It was switched out for the large flexible claw at the last minute
-Arm design keeps claw/vacuum at a 90 degree angle, no mater the height
Servo Mods: Modification was needed to give servos 360 degree rotation, eliminate servo creep, and make both right and left sides spin the same direction
Wheels: Back wheel made from scrap, front wheels RC airplane wheels with added pvc paddles to help it traverse gravel. Much experimentation was done to come up with the effective paddle design
I made it to the fourth round, placing 3rd. Surprisingly this robot proved more reliable then some of the opponents- which were made from $1000+ VEX kits. This was also nominated for the Innovation award, which covers all robots from all contests, 650 bots in total. After an interview with Honda engineers I placed 1st!