LabRat Robotics Page

1. Insights for Robotics Teams -

Managing a robotics competition team can be a very daunting task. The effort requires a significant investment in time and money and technical knowlege is very important. This module provides a number of insights that can help the aspiring robotics team get off on the right foot. The insights come from first hand experience with a FIRST Robotics Team.

2. Belts, Chains, Sprockets and Gears -

When designing a robot it is generally necessary to transmit the power generated by an electric motor to wheels or a mechanism of some sort. In many cases the rotational speed and the torque need to be altered as well in order to get things to work right. A simple way to accocmplish this is by using belts, chains, sprockets and gears. This module provides insights into mechanical techniques for transmitting mechanical power as well as how to calculate gear (and sprocket) ratios:

3. Generating Torque -

A torque is created when a force is applied at some distance from a point of rotation. High torque is needed to lift heavy things, while high speed applications generally mean lower torques are involved. You car shifts gears to change the torque and speed being applied to the drive train. This module provides insights into what torque is, how it's generated, and how it can be altered to meet the needs of the mechanical design:

4. Lifting Things -

Robotic competitions usually involve lifing things. This can be quite challenging. This module provides some basic insights on ways to lift things and how to calculate associatd loads and torques:

5. Drive System Concepts -

Not all robots are "mobile", but the ones used in robot competitions usually are. This means that they have to have some sort of drive mechanism which allows them to move forwards, backwards, and turn. There are many differnet types of wheels and ways to connect motors to the wheels. This module provides some basic insigths that may be useful to teams just getting into robotics competions:

6. Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV's)

Robots don't just operate on land, they can also operate in the air and they can be used under water. This module introduces the concept of underwater robots and shows some examples to serve as inspiration to budding robot builders:

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