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Activating the Shield Generator at the end of Stage two and three require manipulation of the alliance's Control Panel after the required number of Power Cells have been scored. Successfully completing this Activation advances the alliance to the succeeding Stage and earns the alliance 10 Match Points at the end of Stage 2 or 20 Match Points at the end of Stage 3. Power Cells scored after meeting the requirements for the current Stage but before successful Activation earn the alliance Match Points, but do not satisfy any scoring requirements towards the succeeding Stage. Successfully Activating Stage 3 Energizes the Shield Generator. In Qualification matches, an Energized Shield Generator earns the alliance one (1) Ranking Point.

Activating the Shield Generator at the end of Stage 2 is accomplished by rotating the alliance's Control Panel three full rotations and no more than five full rotations.

Activating the Shield Generator at the end of Stage 3 requires rotating the alliance Control Panel so that the Control Panel's color sensor detects a specific color. This color is communicated via the FMS after Stage 3's Power Cell scoring requirements have been satisfied.

The Game Manual indicates that the Control Panel may not function properly if rotated faster than 1 revolution/s. This is not a formal game rule.

Team testing indicates that the color sensor needs to be within an inch of the surface to work reliably.

Spinner Requirements:

  • Easy/fast for Drive Team to use
  • Must operate automatically utilizing color sensor
  • Must retract below 28" when not in use
  • Color sensor must be within 1" of measured surface when in use
  • Pneumatics preferred for retraction/deployment with retracted state as default
  • Tangential spinner wheel velocity not to exceed that of 1 revolution/s for Control Panel
  • May use one (1) low-power motor


Viewed as "nice-to-have" because:

  1. It was assumed that most alliances would have more than one robot with this capability, and only one is needed;
  2. the team's acute focus on Power Cell scoring should translate to relatively high Power Cell scoring potential and it would be more efficient for a robot with lower Power Cell scoring potential to perform this task;
  3. on the other hand, as a Trench Runner, we expect to be in proximity of the Control Panel on a regular basis; and
  4. it was perceived that this would not be a difficult or expensive (in mind-time, weight, motors, etc.) capability to include.

General Description

A 1.25" OD x 0.5" ID x 2.5" long 40A durometer (medium soft) polyurethane roller (McMaster-Carr 87235K12) is used to spin the Control Panel. This is mounted directly on the ½" Hex output shaft of a VexPro Versaplanetary gearbox. The output shaft is extended using ½" 7075 Al shaft connected via a ¼"-20 threaded rod. The Versaplanetary gearbox has 1-stage 9:1 reduction and is driven by a Bag Motor. A Spark motor controller drives the motor. This wheel/motor assembly is mounted on a riveted Al bracket which provides for pneumatic deployment and a mounting point for a color sensor. This bracket also holds a bearing which captures the terminus of the extended output shaft.

Deployment is affected by a single ¾" bore x 2½ stroke double-acting pneumatic cylinder supplied by a single-acting solenoid. The cylinder's default position is extended, in which state the Spinner is retracted.

This assembly is mounted on the Indexer near the robot's centerline and at an elevation allowing the wheel to fully engage the Control Panel with the Color Sensor less than 1" from the Control Panel's top surface when deployed; and with the assembly fully below 27" when retracted.

Solidworks CAD files.