Three teams in my club (mine included) are currently working to perfect our forward intake catapults which we've dubbed our rampapults. So far, none have had much success. The two teams that started working on them a few weeks ago have struggled a bit but I hear they've had some success in making them work over the break. I just got my pneumatics in the mail today so my team hasn't built ours yet but we have it designed and ready to build, so we'll see how it all goes once it's built and running.
Three teams in my club (mine included) are currently working to perfect our forward intake catapults which we've dubbed our rampapults. So far, none have had much success. The two teams that started working on them a few weeks ago have struggled a bit but I hear they've had some success in making them work over the break. I just got my pneumatics in the mail today so my team hasn't built ours yet but we have it designed and ready to build, so we'll see how it all goes once it's built and running.
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For our catapult design, we actually took inspiration from Aaron and 7090 in order to create the same degree of rotation as the forward catapults, but backwards. It was also designed to only catapult large balls, as many times it was more useful to keep the buckyball and only fling the large ball. Our season has ended until March, but we ended up not having enough space to have the actual deflection we wanted (60 degrees), and went with something more like 80 degrees, which was not optimal. To add to that, the trajectory was not tuned, so the ball would go much, much higher than we intended. As a result, we just decided to throw pistons at the problem (we had 5 single action pistons, equivalent to 4 double actions), to solve it quickly before our last competition. It worked well, but obviously not as well as we wanted it to.
Kids can put on their engineering hats and build the Vex Robotics Catapult, which launches plastic balls up to 10 feet. It comes with more than 100 easy-connect snap pieces and two balls. Once the catapult is assembled, turn the knob to bring the bucket of the catapult however far back you want. Use the launching lever to lock the bucket into place once the bucket has reached your desired angle. You can also change the angle at which the ball will fly by adjusting the T-shaped piece in the middle. Once set up, load a ball into the catapult and press down on the lever to launch. You can also drive the catapult around on its real-rolling wheels.
The positives to a front catapult is that you only need half of everything because the degrees of motion is basically half of what a backwards catapult is. I've only seen backwards catapults with 4 pistons and only front catapults with 2 pistons. Does that mean if someone gets a backwards catapult with 2 pistons a front catapult would only need one? :eek: Probably impossible if you're following the rules on pressure. The front catapult can also actually act as an assist to get big balls out quicker so you don't have to wait for intake to spit it out or if you can't get the ball out of your intake at all. I've found this to be helpful.
HEXBUG® believes in using the fun of robotic toys to teach kids important STEM principles through hands on learning.The VEX® Robotics Catapult™ feature two alternate builds for more robotic fun! All Catapult's™ construction pieces are compatible with educational VEX® IQ pieces to create your own custom VEX® robot and explore unlimited possibilities.
My 8 year old built it in less than 20 min without my help. I didn’t even know he opened it. I was doing laundry and next thing I knew we had a catapult at the kitchen table. Didn’t ask for help or anything, no extra pieces. Too simple but worth the price I guess. It was one of the cheapest options I could find. With our local team going to worlds competition again he wanted to see what VEX was all about.
This construction kit challenges you to build a fully functional VEX Robotic Catapult! Explore the technology behind some of the most influential inventions of our culture's Age of Innovation! Inspired by ancient Greek and Roman designs, this modern Catapult has a ratcheting winch that can control the distance projectiles are thrown. Crank the winch to its maximum tension, and you can hurl balls over 3 m (10 feet)! Teaches important STEM principles through hands on learning. Features two alternate builds for more robotic fun! Two balls included. Batteries not required. 8+ years.
For our catapult design, we actually took inspiration from Aaron and 7090 in order to create the same degree of rotation as the forward catapults, but backwards. It was also designed to only catapult large balls, as many times it was more useful to keep the buckyball and only fling the large ball. Our season has ended until March, but we ended up not having enough space to have the actual deflection we wanted (60 degrees), and went with something more like 80 degrees, which was not optimal. To add to that, the trajectory was not tuned, so the ball would go much, much higher than we intended. As a result, we just decided to throw pistons at the problem (we had 5 single action pistons, equivalent to 4 double actions), to solve it quickly before our last competition. It worked well, but obviously not as well as we wanted it to.
The positives to a front catapult is that you only need half of everything because the degrees of motion is basically half of what a backwards catapult is. I've only seen backwards catapults with 4 pistons and only front catapults with 2 pistons. Does that mean if someone gets a backwards catapult with 2 pistons a front catapult would only need one? :eek: Probably impossible if you're following the rules on pressure. The front catapult can also actually act as an assist to get big balls out quicker so you don't have to wait for intake to spit it out or if you can't get the ball out of your intake at all. I've found this to be helpful.
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The catapult will capture the attention of many kids and when they see how it launches balls, they’ll cling to it. However, on the exact same note, it might be a little hard to set up in order to get the ball to launch. Children will need some patience in order to get it to work, but it is well worth it since as soon as it works, the youngsters are going to be impressed with how it carries out.

In addition if someone has a 4/4/2 (four motor drive, four lift, two intake) setup then having 4 tanks on your robot for a backwards catapult is a lot of weight. The tanks aren't light so keeping your robot as lightweight as possible with only four motors on drive is essential. But then again team 1103 in Round Up had a rock solid robot that weighed nearly 20 lbs. (I believe he said this in a video somewhere, don't quote me on it) and had only 4 high speed motors on his drive. Very impressive!
Every year, brand-new and better toys come out– we never ever truly understand what to anticipate. This year showed no various as significant toy business gathered during the toy fair in New York in order to demonstrate their soon-to-release toys. While there were many incredible toys that truly caught our attention, the one we are going to talk about today is the Hexbug Vex catapult.
What I did notice, however, was that the ball had way too much power directed in the wrong direction - so I do believe that with correct geometry, a backward launcher could also be done with just 1 piston like John's. I know it's not clear what I mean by having a forward launcher geometry flinging backwards instead, but it's late, so I'll let Aaron or Ruiqi explain for me if anybody has questions.
HEXBUG® believes in using the fun of robotic toys to teach kids important STEM principles through hands on learning.The VEX® Robotics Catapult™ feature two alternate builds for more robotic fun! All Catapult's™ construction pieces are compatible with educational VEX® IQ pieces to create your own custom VEX® robot and explore unlimited possibilities.
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