The first project from the Simple Object Manipulation group showed two ways to move and score Totes with ease. Totes are only one portion of the game, though. Karthik ranked manipulating Recycling Containers as his top priority, second only to actually driving around the field. It was time for the Simple Manipulators group to tackle this high-value game piece.
After some manual testing (pushing the Container from various heights by hand), we determined that they can actually be pushed fairly smoothly without tipping over – as long as you keep all pressure approximately 5″ from the ground (or lower).
This discovery made the design and prototype very straightforward. By attaching a few pieces of VEX EDR metal to a pre-built drive base (sound familiar?), we were able to push, guide, and score both Totes and Containers with ease.