Lunacy - Talon X

Talon X 

Talon X is team 230's 11th robot, created for the 2009 Game Challenge, Lunacy.

The most unique feature of Talon X is its spinning bumper frame. While most robots are hindered by the trailer, the movable bumpers allow Talon X to spin a full circle without being affected by the trailer hitch. In a game where maneuverability is key, this feature allows Talon X to avoid the pileups that occur on the field.

Front View

Talon X's drive is also aided through the use of several sensors. A gyro is used to hold the robot's angle and allow it to drive straight along the wall in autonomous, picking up an empty cell from the very beginning. In addition, current sensors control the robot's acceleration so that it can get up to speed as fast as possible without having the wheels slip.


The Whopper

The robot uses a top-loaded mechanism to score Moon Rocks.  The robot can hold over 10 moon rocks, while a spinning "Whopper" sends the game pieces out of the robot, and into opponent's trailers. Coupled with the camera for aiming, Talon X can quickly score multiple moon rocks, given only a small window of opportunity.

Below the "Whopper" is the aptly-named "Whopper Jr." This mechanism focuses on obtaining and delivering Empty Cells. Conveniently heighted to the outpost hole, Talon X uses multiple ultrasonic sensors to detect the presence of the hole and line the robot up. The Whopper Jr. then spins backwards to grab the empty cell from the payload specialist and keep it in.


Robot Advantages

·         Maneuverability

o   Unique Rotating Bumper Frame assembly

§  Provides features of 4 wheel steering without additional mechanization.

§  Allows the robot to maneuver in tight areas and when being pinned.

§  Minimizes the impact of the trailer drag.

o   Traction control

§  Current Sensor measures the current drawn by each of the motors.   These values are then fed back into the drive equations to maximize the acceleration that can be achieved.

·         Ball handling

o   Power Dumper (“Whopper”)

§  Variable speed provides ability to hit targets at varying distances.

§  Camera used for enhanced targeting, provides feedback for position and distance.

o   Empty Cell Handling:

§  Separate carry area with “Whopper Junior” mechanism for “grabbing” empty cell from payload specialist at the outpost (reverse) and delivering it to the fueling station (forward).

§  Ultrasonic sensing of outpost hole used both during autonomous and in relation to the seek buttons

o   Seek Buttons – slowly drive straight (either forward or backward) used by driver to aid in lining up with the outpost hole – also engages the whopper junior for empty cell intake.

·         Autonomous Modes

o    Gyro and Ultrasonic sensors used to obtain an empty cell – The gyro (which measures the angular change the robot is experiencing) is used for feedback into the drive control routine to maintain a constant heading while driving toward the outpost. It corrects for variations in traction on the carpet and regolith surfaces.  Adjustments are then made to that angle to allow the robot to pull up alongside the outpost and sense the hole in the shield using the pair of ultrasonic sensors.  When both sensors “see” the hole we are lined up and the whopper junior is activated as an intake mechanism and also as an indicator to the payload specialist that the empty cell should be entered onto the field.

o   Bumper assembly is utilized to allow the robot to be pointed in the desired direction of travel. This can be utilized to provide extensive flexibility in the autonomous operation of the robot.