The Challenge: To build a device that rests at one end of a table and retrieves at least 2 of 3 metal disks resting on the centerline of the table, in competition with a similar device at the opposite end of the table.
Technical Approach: In order to retrieve the disks, I designed and built a device that extended a vertical arm past the disks on their left hand side, and launched a horizontal beam from the end of the vertical arm to encompass two of the three disks. By pulling on a return trigger, the entire “L” shaped assembly retrieved the ensnared disks and returned them to my side of the table.
Selected Design Features: To reduce the amount of time between the triggering of each sequential motion required to encompass and return the disks, I used a system of release pins interconnected by thread. When one movement completed, such as the extension of the vertical arm, a second release pin was automatically pulled from the horizontal beam. When this occurred, the horizontal beam would shoot out and ensnare the disks. A third pin had to be pulled manually to return the assembly to its starting position.