Breakaway - Talon XI

New for the 2010 Competition season, the Gaelhawk’s latest robot is uniquely adapted to the challenges it must face for this year’s game. A low center of gravity and wide wheel base make the robot very stable and balanced, able to navigate easily across the steep and varied terrain that makes up this year’s playing field. Other unique features include the robot’s mechanum wheels, which enable the robot to slide sideways as well as drive forwards and backwards, useful for getting out of tight situations as well as for herding the game balls.

Talon 11 promises to be an incredibly versatile machine, able to perform a variety of functions as the need dictates, and perform them all exceedingly well. Scoring is accomplished by the robot’s incredibly powerful kicking mechanism, which uses a combination of pneumatics and elastics to accurately score balls into goals from one end of the field to the other. In tests the kicker was able to kick balls across the shop (a 30 ft. distance), over the hump, and into the goal repeatedly. As a finishing touch, the robot also features a grappling arm which is able to hoist the robot’s entire 120 pound body into the air on the bar at the end of a match.


As a whole, Talon 11 is looking to be an elegant, well rounded, and potentially game-winning design, and will be able to handle anything we throw at it (literally). Production is currently on schedule and Talon 11 should be fully ready for the 2010 Competition Season by ship day.


Robot Advantages


  • Maneuverability

o   Mecanum Drive Wheels:

§  Robot can move forward, backward, turn, and slide sideways, reducing the time needed to line up and score; also allows moving sideways on top of the bump.

§  Directional control is maintained through the use of the gyro that keeps robot on the correct heading.

§  3-Axis Joystick allows the driver to control all axes of movement very easily with one hand.

o   TWO Gyros:

§  Heading Gyro: used for feedback into the drive control routine to maintain a constant heading while driving.

§  Pitch Gyro: used for feedback into the “bump mode” control routine to climb onto the bump and balance there.

§  Automatically corrects for an unbalanced robot and slight differences in the output of the four drive motors. 

§  This self correcting feature also allows the robot to push back against intervening robots without operator interaction.


  • Ball handling
    • Kicker: 3 Power Levels provides ability to score at varying distances; currently charged level is displayed on the dashboard
    • “Laser” Firing: Optical Sensor is used to automatically kick when it sees a ball.
    • Ball Magnet: Pneumatic Suction provides ability to grab a ball and maneuver around obstacles.
    • To conserve Air Pressure, visual cues on both the robot and the dashboard tell the operator when there is enough air to charge the kicker.  Charging buttons are also disabled when system is below the required pressure.
    • Camera displayed on Dashboard provides enhanced targeting ability.


  • Elevator
    • Simple but powerful elevator assembly can attach and lift from floor or from on top of the bump.
    • Bump Mode: programmed on a button which uses the pitch gyro to automatically climb onto the bump and balance the robot there; mecanum wheels allow sliding along the top of the bump to move up right next to the tower.


  • Autonomous Modes:
    • 3 Different Modes for the different starting positions.
    • Accurately shoots 3 balls from 3rd zone, routinely SCORES 2 balls.
    • Gyro is used to stabilize travel in aimed direction.