This past week the team brainstormed and prototyped. Ideas included everything from a wedge to force the portcullis up, to treads fitted over wheels in case the treads broke.
Two types of launchers were prototyped, as well as two intakes or accumulators. The first launcher was a pneumatic catapult based on our 2014 robot. This was prototyped by strapping a dust pan onto the launcher of the 2014 robot to adjust for the smaller ball. The robot was then propped up to provide a better angle for testing. The other launcher was two spinning wheels, situated to either side of where the ball would be, which would catch hold of the ball and propel it out of the robot. The wheels being positioned on the sides had the added advantage of being short enough to fit under the low bar.
Two versions of an intake were prototyped as well. The first accumulator to be prototyped and tested was an auger. The auger was supposed to work similar to how the blades of a snow blower would work (pulling the ball in toward the middle), however, it did not work properly when tested. The other intake to be tested was the 2014 accumulator, a spinning rod with rubber pieces on it, combined with the auger as a second roller. This intake did manage to collect the ball and get it over the bumper.