I am currently involved in a robot design competition for an engineering class at my university. We have to build a robot that will fit inside a 14"x12"x12" and that is 15lb or less that will move given 3 motors (all of them are geared - 2x 1/27 1x 1/19) and 20 no 32 rubber bands. We are on a 8'x4' table with 3 6lb (9" diameter) bowling balls in the middle on a 2" tall wall. We have to keep the bowling balls off our side while getting more on their side than ours (so get 2/3 on their side).
We have decided to go with a robot that will use 1 motor to drive forward, with 2 motors on a wall that is attached to the front of our robot. We are gonna have 2 flaps on the wall that swing out from the sides when we start moving so that we can cover most of the playing field and our opponent cannot move a ball past us. We also are going to have a lattice (e.g. BEFORE xxxxxx AFTER ______) that will collapse as we drive off and this will ratchet down against the back 2" tall wall so we cant be pushed back by the other robot.
Now to our problem. We are having trouble figuring out how we are going to lift a potential of all 3 balls (this is assuming the other team just launches a wall out to the middle where the balls are that will knock the balls on our side and block us from moving them back over. We are thinking about have a wall on the front with a small wedge at the bottom so we can just drive forward and pin the balls against the wall and use the wedge to move the balls back up over the wall. We know that we need to life them and we figure if we lift them, we can use the opponents wall(if they have one taht is) to support the balls along with our wedge and wall. WE are thinking about using worm gears or rack and pinions but we jsut dont know how to lift the wall with all the weight.
Also, we cannot use any preloaded energy other than the batteries(14.4v) motors and 20 rubber bands
1. are we going about this problem all wrong and should use a different design
2. Should we use a worm gear or rack and pinion( we are wanting to lift the ball potentially 6" - 12"... but at the least 2" to clear the wall)
3. I have seen stuff about SMA's and I am wondering if I can use one to pull the sidewalls out to complete the wall. (where can I order wire the stiffens , and doesnt shorten with current)
If I am not making any sense I am very sorry. ITs my first post on here.