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What is the best option to use for the shooting system of a soccer robot?

I have already implemented a solenoid-based system for shooting and it works perfectly. However, I'd like some other methods to check if they are better than mine.

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This can depend very much on your requirements - how far away do you need to shoot? How accurately do you need to shoot? Does power draw matter in the shot?

However, some of the following may be of use:

  • Pneumatic system: If you want unrivalled shot power, this is probably the way to go - you can blast the ball pretty much as hard as you like. It also has minimal electrical current draw because it'd be mainly powered by a compressed tank filled beforehand. However, in a lot of situations this wouldn't be allowed, and it can be bulky and expensive.

  • Spring based system: You could have a motor which winds a spring up to the desired tension, then releases it. This can be powerful given a powerful enough spring and motor, and relatively cheap to implement. Downsides though are time taken to wind the spring up (so successive rapid shots are difficult) and this could draw quite a lot of power.

  • Multiple spring based system: As above, but bypasses much of the speed issue by using multiple springs and firing each one when necessary. More expensive and complicated to implement though.

  • Sheer speed: If you build a very quick robot, and design a "ram" on the front of it, sometimes simply ramming into the ball can be enough to shoot it into the goal. Very simple to implement, and can be effective with a good driver, but makes it much harder to use. A version of this involves putting a flipper on one side of the robot and then spinning the robot around quickly to shoot the ball. Accuracy also suffers with this approach however.

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