Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.

Pneumatic Rotary Actuator


Entry ID #: 4898
Created: Tue, Jan 9, 2018 6:21 PM

Pneumatic Rotary Actuator 3946E        We designed a pneumatic rotary actuator to convert linear pneumatic motion into a full 360 degrees of rotation. This creates a better opportunity to obtain more power from the piston as it actuates, improving the functionality of the piston. A greater ability to rotate in a complete circle optimizes our abilities to power our robot in combination with the 10 other motors. This year, we found ourselves preferring the power of 12 motors over pneumatic power, as it allows us to have the full 360 degrees of rotation. However, this part removes this problem, as it utilizes the motion of the double acting pneumatic solenoid piston to rotate a 12 tooth pinion. As a result, this rotor actuator could be used wherever we need pneumatic power in our design, whether it’s helping manipulate the game objects or lifting.         We used Autodesk Inventor 2017 to create the case and piston arm. These parts, combined with a pneumatic actuator and pinion, creates a full 360 degrees of rotation. While attached to the pinion, the design capitalizes on the actuation of the pneumatic arm. As the arm actuates and deactuates, the teeth on the design rotate the pinion back and forth. As a result, the shaft carrying the rotating pinion spins with it. This allows for the pinion to turn other gears, and power a mechanism.        From this project, we developed and learned both creativity and helpful problem solving skills. We successfully listed and identified a problem we saw in the game, and addressed how we could best optimize how we power the design. Additionally, we learned how to envision a solution and bring our ideas to fruition through CAD software. This challenge taught us the steps to find a problem, plan our design, and clearly visualize a solution.        Not only was Inventor easy and helpful to design with, but it granted us an opportunity to visualize and bring to life a part that we’d like to see in the future. We will continue to use CAD software on our robotics team in the future because it allows us to create a 3D detailed model of our robot before we begin building. This is extremely important for quality control and so we can run stress tests to make sure our robot will work without experiencing major failure before field tests. Learning 3D software is extremely important for all of our career paths especially engineering. CAD is one of the most crucial parts of the design process for engineering but more than that it stimulates critical thinking. Being able to manipulate parts and products in a 3D software environment promotes critical thinking skills essential for every career path.