Motors, springs and pneumatics are just of few examples of the many ways to generate mechanical energy on an FRC robot. However, in most instances where you generate the mechanical energy is not where you want to use it, so lets discus some of the ways to transfer and change mechanical energy from what is produced at the source to what / where it is needed on the robot.
In most instances the mechanical energy produced is rotational in nature, this means it will have an RPM and a torque associated with it. Here are some videos that will teach what these two terms are.
Now that you understand RPM and torque we can get down to transforming and transferring rotational mechanical energy. Sprockets, Gears and Hubs can all be attached directly to the source of the energy in a variety of ways. Once attached they are each used in conjunction with a specific transfer medium.
- Sprockets transfer energy to chain
- Pulleys transfer energy to belts
- Gears transfer energy to other gears
- Gear boxes, which are collections of gears are most commonly found single speed and multi speed can be made in variety of ways. Here are some examples are FRC gear boxes;
Mechanical Energy Loss
Since these are all mechanical transfer mediums there are losses due to friction that vary between 5% and 40% based on the system you have selected, the tolerances of the detail parts and the assembly tolerances. Here is great video that walks you through these transfer mechanisms in a little more detail;