Wednesday, 2 October 2013
I am one of the FIRST robotics coaches at my school and it’s fall training time. We use the off-season to train new students on a particular robotics system: design/build, electronics, pneumatics, or code.
A student leader and I lead the pneumatics training module. We’ve developed a month-long training course that includes ample hands-on time with real parts. We pulled out a bathroom scale to get a rough idea of the force exerted by a piston. I later brought out a LabQuest and force sensor to be more exact. We used pressure=force/area to compare the expected force to the measured force and found it to be quite close.
Later, we looked around the room and the kids suggested tasks for the piston system we assembled. We closed the door (without slamming, please!) and closed drawers successfully.
Last year, our robot used pneumatics in the disc firing system and in our hanging mechanism. Who knows what air powered needs we’ll have this year, but our team is looking forward to the challenge.