Design



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The critical design factor for this competition is repeatability. If a certain distance can be hit repeatedly, then that distance can be hit during competition. To achieve this, it is necessary to control how much energy is delivered to the lure and at what point the lure is released. We decided to use a mechanical potential energy source and vary how much energy was stored in it. Since all the targets are in line with the machine, we decided that it would be best to do either an underhand or overhand cast with the fishing pole as close to the mounting pipe as possible. We selected the underhand method to allow for a higher arc without hitting the ceiling, however in testing overhand performance was almost identical. We also tested various release points and found only slight variations. Our initial design used a counterweight to swing the fishing pole on a shaft. A motor was used to turn the shaft, raising the weight on a pulley and rotating the fishing pole back. An electromagnetic clutch was then released to cast. The weight would drop, spinning the shaft and swinging the fishing pole. This basic design was used throughout the competition. Ultimately, the fishing pole impacted a spring mechanism, which depressed the cast button on the pole. This released the lure just before stopping the swing. This mechanism changed significantly both for the regional and the final competition.