The VEX V5 Ball Launcher includes a Vision Sensor mounted above the robot, angled downward. This robot can be programmed to turn until the Vision Sensor detects a colored ball, and then drive toward it. When the Vision Sensor detects that the robot is close enough to the ball, the robot can pull it in using its intake, and then shoot it out at a target or goal.
This build is not possible without the Vision Sensor, but the Vision Sensor was not created for this build. It was already a technological device that was incorporated into this robot's design in an innovative way.
Competition Connection - Turning Point
Designing a launcher for a robot is especially useful in a competition setting. The 2018 - 2019 VEX Robotics Competition game Turning Point required players to toggle flags. There were nine flags total: three bottom flags that could be toggled by the robot, and the six high flags that could only be toggled by hitting them with competition ball game pieces.
Therefore, competition teams needed to design a ball launcher that would launch the ball high and hard enough to toggle the flags. If the ball was shot at a flag too hard or not hard enough, the flag might not toggle properly. The launcher would also need the capacity to launch different ball game pieces through the match. There were six flags total that needed to be toggled. If the robot only had the capacity to launch two balls or to launch unlimited balls but only at a rate of one ball at a time, the robot may not have enough time in the match to toggle all six. Some game winning designs included robots that could launch more than one ball at a time in an efficient manner.
Designing and building a launcher attachment for this game was necessary so that the robot could pick up the yellow ball game pieces and shoot them at the flags to toggle between the red and blue team colors to obtain points.