Dalton is RobotEx's latest robot. It is capable of collecting and transporting the materials necessary for creating alternative fuels out of hydrocarbons. The name came from scientist John Dalton, credited with the discovery of the atom.
The shape of the chasis was based on two main factors. The first was to safely and easily transport the benzene tankers. Therefore, a large groove was cut into the base, with enough space to encase the tanker. This provided the robot with a means to move the benzene without drastically lowering maneuverablity. Another concern for the chasis was agility and weight. It was shaped to cut as much unneeded material from the robot as possible.
The wheels were based upon an effective method that was developed over the passed two years. The diameter was 10 inches to maximize the distance per revolution, without compromising maneuverablity and agility. To offset the position of the wheels, a skid was added to the back. The design was based upon the skids of R-3A Phoenix from the previous year.
The cage beneath the groove in the chasis is designed to collect all materials either dropped by the claw or scattered across the field.
From the start, it was decided that a telescoping arm was a necessity. So, a method of telescoping was devised using the parts supplied by Igus, as well as a few specially manufactured pieced. One such part is the spool. Last year, the spool became an integral part of the robot's design. It multiplies the output of the motors, making the robot capable of lifting much more than before. This type of spool was used to connect the arm to the tower - also based off of R-3A Phoenix - and allow it to rise, reaching a higher height than possible in the past two years.
The basket is a common accessory for the robots of RobotEx. However, in previous years, the purpose was to carry all materials that needed to be moved. This year, the basket's sole purpose is to catch the catalyst orbs. Through some excellent calculations and engineering by several team members, it works almost perfectly.
The most difficult aspect of the high octane challenge was collecting the carbon dioxide. Therefore, much planning went into the design of the claw. After going through several possiblities, the team decided on the final design. The claw is made up of two curved pieces with driving pins. Another part on a slider moves back and forth, controlled by servos, pushing and pulling these pins. This, in turn, opens and closes the claw.