The Ping Pong Ball Handoff is the subject of our next LafLRC

We've had loads of fun recently with speed.  The Indy 5.00 and
Drag Racing challenges were a blast.  Now it's time to develop our FINE MOTOR skills.

The objective of the Ping Pong Ball Handoff is simple -- Receive a ping pong ball from the robot to your left and pass it to the robot on your right.  Sounds easy?  Well it can be, however, because you have complete control over what happens between your in-box and the next in-box, it needn't be simple.  How you get the ping pong ball from your in-box to the next robot's in-box is the creative component of this challenge.  A simple ping pong ball transport mechanism is perfectly acceptable.  For those who tend more toward the Rube Goldberg style of getting things done (eventually), this challenge could be a real blast.

Challenge Rules

1)  Every robot must have an In-Box as shown in Figure 1.  The
critical parameters for the In-Box are the height and dimension of the rim (shown in red).  The beams used to construct the rim must be at a height equivalent to five beams and one plate above the table on which the robot sits.  The opening in the rim must be 8 studs square.  In the example this opening is defined by two 10x1 and two 8x1 beams.  Subject to a few limitations described later, the design of the In-Box BELOW the rim is up to you.  For example, an opening in the side is a great way to get the ping pong ball out of the In-Box.

2) The In-Box must be located at the far left edge of the robot assembly as shown in Figure 2.

Note:  The robot DOES NOT need not be built upon a baseplate.  The baseplates used in Figures 2-4 are for reference only.  Also, because the thickness of a baseplate is less than one plate, if you choose to use a baseplate, consider it to be dimensionless in thickness.  You will not need to reduce the height of your In-Box if it sits on a baseplate.

3) The robot may not extend beyond the area designated by the blue baseplate shown in Figure 2 which is eight studs from the back edge of the In-Box.

4) The length of the transfer area (the total robot length from right edge to left edge) is up to the designer, however, it MUST be a multiple of 32 studs.

5) The front edge of the transfer area may extend forward any distance.

6) Each robot must automatically receive an incoming ping pong ball and transport it to the next robot's In-Box.  The transport mechanism must automatically reset so that it is ready for the next ping pong ball.

7) The transport mechanism may be located ANYWHERE on the area designated by the blue and green baseplates as long as it does not obstruct the In-Box opening.

8) A robot may take no more than 30 seconds to hand off a ping pong ball.

Figure 3 shows a "typical" arrangement consisting of three
ping pong ball hand off robots.  Figure 4 shows a similar arrangement but demonstrates permissible dimensional variations.



Note 1 - The left-to-right length must be a multiple of 32 studs.
Note 2 - The In-Boxes are always aligned from robot to robot.
Note 3 - The forward edge of the robot is permitted to vary with no dimensional constraints.

As is usually the case with new challenges, these rules are subject to modification.

We will first run this challenge during the July 18 club meeting.