2616E Intake Design

For the early few competitions, my team and I used an intake that we designed early season, which we’ve called a “flipper.” Due to the fact that we want to manipulate cubes and multiple stars at a time, we have now switched to something different. Since we haven’t really seen anything like our intake, we’ve decided to “reveal” the concept of our intake for people to use. It can only manipulate stars and one at a time, but it’s quick and can take a star from any orientation and put it into a very specific orientation, which could be useful for creative launchers like a flywheel.

The intake is made up of two long standoffs on a c-channel that is attached to some chain. The prongs go under two out of the three prongs that will always be off the ground on a resting star, and “flips” the star over into whatever you want. In our case, we used a catapult, but really you could use anything. Here’s a video of an older version of the intake, but it shows how the intake works.

Demonstration of our early intake

I don’t want to give out exactly how the intake is made, or the current and best working version, because this “reveal” is more to demonstrate the concept of this type of intake, not exactly how to build ours. The version in the video shown can only intake in that specific direction, 1/2 of possible outcomes of a star on the ground, because the other orientation will get jammed, but I will say there is a way to make it intake all possible star orientations (hint: make the standoffs move so they don’t jam). Also, you should use much longer standoffs than the ones in the video, and devise a way to make the intake only able to go as low as for the standoffs to be parallel to the ground for easier grabbing of stars.

Feel free to ask any questions, or for help if you’re trying to get a similar design working!

This is a fantastic intake! Very creative, thoughtful, and sure to be tough to beat at competitions!
Nice Job!
My only other comment would be that if you were to fling the star from the position you left it at after picking it up and placing it on your robot, it might go in the opposite direction you want it to. Or, worse, it might just go straight up.

How well does it work when just driving into a clump of stars, and picking up alot in a short period.

I mean it looks cool in theory, but it looks like its stuck at 1 star at a time

@9065_parker agreed. If you can try to do multiple stars at once, you will definitely have an advantage in a competition. Hope you can accomplish your goal. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

@9065_parker Yeah, its one star at a time, which is one of the reasons were switching. With guides, it can typically grab a star when you drive into a clump without issue. The only real upside of this intake it that it puts it in the same spot and orientation every time, which could be useful for certain designs.

@AcidEpicice Not sure what you mean about it going backwards, but if you mean it might not launch correctly, it has worked fine at a competition. The video is old, so you might be talking about something weve fixed since the video

Great job guys glad to see you showing the design to help the community. I have been watching this robot in action for a few events in Jersey so far and they have had success with the machine as a whole. Cannot wait to see the new design.

Keep up the great work Cherry “E”
Button Josh

We have something very similar to get stars oriented in a very particular way. We had our first competition and it proved slow. We are now prototyping an intake that can intake multiple stars at a time and still orient them in a “particular” way.

Our team did not have much trouble with clumped stars. You just have to knock them loose.

@Gear Geeks What would you say made yours slow? When the other parts of our robot worked with the later design (which was pretty rare with our catapult), the intake was pretty fast. It definetly couldnt keep up with refined claws, but it was still competitive

Good question StaticShadow. Part of it was driving - we probably needed more practice. Plus, our tines were longer than yours and that made it more difficult to line up to a star - which took time. At a point, we would become overwhelmed by dumpers/claws.

One advantage that we saw of doing a launching robot was that the dumpers/claws would have to go to the back to pick up stars then drive forward to dump them. We actually had the reverse effect - we had to drive forward to pick up stars then drive to the back to launch them - and we had to do it one at a time and this proved slow. That’s why we want to be able to pick up multiple stars - go to fence, pick up three or four stars, retreat and scatter them in the far zone. Doing this, we think we can change the game.

Laucher robots are naturally at a disadvantage to reverse dumpers, due to the dumpers natural higher number of star scoring capacity, and that theyre natrually oriented to counter you, because they pickup with their backside. They counter you hardcore, but a claw bot is at a disadvantage. Just because of how they work.and claws natrually counter reverse dumpers. Rock paper scissors

Dude sickest robot NA 11/10 IGN

Possibly, Parker - but dumpers also have to intake stars. They are at an advantage when stars are clumped - but not when they are dispersed. The cycle time for any robot design includes collecting the stars, positioning the robot, then launching/dumping. If a launcher can increase the collection time of a dumper by dispersing the stars, then the dumpers will not be at such an advantage. I would not say that it is a foregone conclusion that dumpers have an advantage over launchers.

I look at it like the trade for getting from one city to another. I could drive or I could fly. Most of the time, I’d chose to fly. However, if a city is so close that I’d spend more time in the airport than that advantage I get from flying, then I’d drive. Dumper/claw versus launcher is like the drive/fly trade off. We just don’t know if the city is a two hour or eight hour drive away!

true, however that time spent breaking the groups up is to your disadvantage, and only shooting one at a time is extremely inefficient. and dumpers can start dumping as soon as they have them in the rake/intake
plus, you can intake more than one, even if you spend slightly more time driving. besides, the time to intake with the forked intake is negligible. and the claw intake can gather stars into a group, if motorized, but with pneumatic, it can intake almost instantly, and shooters require mote maintenance because of the stopper and vibration of stopping, meaning bolts can come loose. overall, they’re different methods, however the time you spend in the terminal at the airport is generally deisgned for mass transit, not individual people.

I’m not saying you are right or wrong. This story is still being written. However, I have a different spin on your points:

“that time spent breaking the groups up is to your disadvantage” - Just one quick spin scatters the stars.
“dumpers can start dumping as soon as they have them in the rake/intake” - dumpers need to drive to the fence to dump. Shooters can shoot in place.
“you can intake more than one (with a dumper)” - We are developing a design that can intake multiple stars
“the time to intake with the forked intake is negligible” - Only if stars are clumped. If they are not, you need to drive around and pick them up - and hope they all stay in your intake.
“shooters require more maintenance because of the stopper and vibration of stopping, meaning bolts can come loose” - This is a function of the build quality and is not a given with a shooting design.

In reality, the dumper does better with groups of stars, and the launcher does better with single stars, it all comes down to cycle time and driver control. And if you can cycle three times per my one group of stars, go ahead and be great as you are. Howevrt i find a dumper much easier to be doable, so in the end its modtly driver control and timing.

Hey @Gear Geeks and @9065_parker, I don’t want to be “that guy” but could you move this awesome discussion about catapults v.s. dumpers to one of the many threads already dedicated to that debate? I really appreciate what both of you have to say, but I think it will be more helpful in a different thread.

Back on topic, this is a really interesting design. I like how it can get a specific orientation for the stars, however I don’t like how it can’t grab cubes or more than one star. The only advantage I can see from this is that it can be used with a flywheel, and the only advantage of a flywheel is that it looks cool. So, by proxy, the only advantage I see from this design is good looks. Nice job on a creative intake, though.