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# STONY POINT HS -- ROUND ROCK ISD

## Ballistic Design VEX

Project 4.2.3 VEX and RobotC

David Helbling
5-19-2014

Design Brief
Brainstorming Ideas
Decision Matrix
Pictures
RobotC Code
Discussion Questions
Reflections
Recommendation Page

DESIGN BRIEF
Client Company:
Hobby Spectacle, Inc.
Target Consumer:
Society
Problem Statement:
A hobby company wants to improve the design of one of
their launchers. It must launch a projectile with the provided
materials, and be adjusted to be precise at varying distances.
that projectile launches can be precise at varying distances.
The winning design will receive cash for a patent that can be
mass-produced as a kit and sold to the public. Members from
the company will be present during the launching phase of
the process.

Design Statement:
Improve the design, and construct a device that will launch a
projectile varying distances with accuracy and precision.

Constraints:
1. Must be constructed using the materials outlined by the
instructor.
2. Must be adjustable to different angles including: 10, 20, 30,
40, 45, 50, 60, 70, 80 degrees.
3. Must have the same initial velocity at any adjusted angle.
4. Must launch a projectile at least 15 ft.

BRAINSTORMING IDEAS

DECISION MATRIX

Criteria Weight Reliability Range Accuracy Simplicity
Ideas Totals

1

3

5

5

4

3

20

2

5

3

2

4

5

19

3

4

4

2

3

5

18

4

2

3

2

3

4

14

PICTURES

ROBOTC CODE
{
while(true){
if(vexRT(Btn5D) == 1){
//if the bottom-left trigger is pressed
startMotor(elevationMotor, 127);
//aim the arm down
}else{
if(vexRT(Btn5U) == 1){
//if the upper-left trigger is pressed
startMotor(elevationMotor, -127);
//aim the arm up
}else{
stopMotor(elevationMotor);
//if neither of the buttons are pressed, stop the motor
}
}
if(vexRT(Btn6U)==1){
//if the upper-right trigger is pressed
startMotor(gunMotor, 127);
//launch the ball
}else{
if(vexRT(Btn6D)==1){
//if the lower-right trigger is pressed
startMotor(gunMotor, -30);
//swing backwards to lock the ball in place
}else{
stopMotor(gunMotor);
//if neither of the buttons are pressed, stop the motor
}
}
motor[lFrontMotor] = vexRT[Ch3];
//assign the front left motor to the left joystick
motor[lRearMotor] = vexRT[Ch3];
//assign the back left motor to the left joystick
motor[rFrontMotor] = vexRT[Ch2]*-1;
//assign the front right motor to the right joystick
motor[rRearMotor] = vexRT[Ch2]*-1;
//assign the back right motor to the right joystick
}
}

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. What was the most challenging aspect of this design problem?
Overall, we encountered a surprising lack of difficulty as we were constructing our device, and the program
took almost no time at all to synthesize. The most challenging aspect of this problem came after we had
tested our original design. Our primary concept hardly functioned any better than the unmodified version,
if at all, and we had to disassemble most of the device and improvise a solution. Remaking the gear-train,
and altering the entire anatomy of the shooting arm consumed lots of valuable time, but resulted in a
remarkable improvement in both range, accuracy, reliability, and weight.
2. What are some creative changes that you would make to the design solution if you could start over?
Firstly, I would not attempt to make a launcher utilizing two rotating wheels as the primary launching
force, as they need to be much more precisely spaced than is possible with the VEX parts. Instead, I would
have simply made the rotating ball-hitter much longer to amplify the force, and added a more substantial
weight at the end, much like a golf-club. For an extra Wow factor, maybe some headlights would have
been in order, as it is a simple matter of mounting them, connecting them to the cortex, and adding a few
lines of code.

REFLECTIONS
Overall, our team succeeded at radically altering the design to not only shoot further, but also made the
entire device mobile, and created an easy, user-friendly control system. Our team might add a ratchet
mechanism to keep the stress of the arm off the motor, or a longer and more substantial golf-club to
hit the ball with. Our design solution is similar to other teams in regards to the firing mechanism, but
only one other team mobilized their design, and not nearly to the degree that ours is. The resulting
device does not launch the ball the minimum 15 feet, and to do so would require further modifications
that exceed the ultimate deadline. I learned that sometimes, the wild, different ideas, while very valid in
concept, do not translate well to a medium you are not intimately familiar with.

RECOMMENDATION PAGE
I would recommend the teacher provide instructions that do not result in a faulty device.
I would recommend the students to not stray too far from the original design, but still feel free to add
creative touches to it.