Launchers (or flippers) are capable of flinging the opponent high into the air. The opponent not only can be flipped over, but it can also suffer great damage when hitting the ground. Therefore, launchers are good against opponents with weak chassis, or batteries and electronics without protection against impacts. Launchers need pneumatic components with large diameters actuated by high pressure air or CO2.
3 Bar Linkage
A very popular launcher design uses a so-called three-bar mechanism. The “three bars” are the pneumatic cylinder, the main structure of the launcher arm, and the part of the robot chassis that
connects the arm and cylinder pivots.The launcher arm tip should feature a wedge-like scoop, to get under the opponent to flip(or launch) them. Image is of 'Toro' which is a 3 bar flipper that utilizes two pneumatic cylinders.
Parts of a Pneumatic System
A low pressure pneumatic system needs these things to work:
-A supply tank
-A pneumatic ram (or a modified Hydraulic ram for High Pressure usage)
-A solenoid valve to open and close the ports to supply ram with air or CO2
-Pneumatic tubing to Connect everything together
Here you see the items for a working flipper.
A tank to store and supply gas to the ram is needed. If you use a compressor by itself without a buffer, you wont have enough power to reasonably flip something. Tanks come in many sizes and made of different materials. Some people have used paintball tanks, fire extinguishers and even coke bottles.