Our outreach bot is re-purposed from the FIRST Velocity Vortex game in 2016-2017. We use this robot exclusively for testing and outreach, dedicating its use to community work. The machine has been and continues to be modified, in order to make it a better presentation tool.
With a single fly-wheel, mecanum drive train, and the capability to fling balls, this robot is perfect for demonstration while allowing kids and parents alike, with no experience whatsoever, to be able to operate it.
The key attention-grabber of our robot would be the ability to fire off plastic balls in rapid recession. This is made possible by our single fly-wheel assembly, powered by one motor and a gear tree with an eighteen to one gear ratio.
Collecting balls is an important aspect of demonstrating, as it helps to display how self dependant robots can be. We collect such elements with custom wheels with rubber bands, taking in elements and carrying them to the shooter.
Another aspect of the robot that makes it good for gaining interest in engineering are the wheels. Currently, the robot has mecanum wheels which are special wheels that allow for movement in all directions without having to turn. This type of movement is made possible by the rollers attached to the wheels which, when turned in on each other, create force to move the robot outwards.
We like to show off this robot whenever we can, not only because it's fun for everyone and great for gaining interest in STEM, but to also to make people aware of some of the great companies that sponsor STEM activities for students of all ages.