5689B Skyrise Reveal

This is our robot for the first tournament of the year, several modifications will take place after the tournament to make it more efficient. The lift is a 4 stage cascading lift (4 motors), the chassis is also 4 motors, the intake is 1. I can stack skyrise pieces and score up to 2 cubes at a time. Please respond with ideas of improvements that we could make in the future!
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Interesting robot and lift, How high does it go/score? Your intake looks remarkably similar to the one we took the BATC in Utah. Are you going to be at the Hailey Competition on Halloween?

Great robot. Must be extremely sturdy. I have seen too many elevators with chains broken half way through a match, including our A team. I prefer two stripes of chain.

Could you possibly have used 12 c channels rather than 15 c channels? That will reduce quite a bit of weight.

Yeah we are going to the Hailey tournament and right now it can score one cube on the second to highest post

Nice. That’s what, a 4 tall skyrise? I’ve seen a couple linear lifts and they’ve been ok, but slow. I’m curious to see how yours compares. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Nice looking lift. We tried an elevator lift and didn’t have much luck, seems like you figured it out fairly well. Over all though, I feel elevator lifts are less efficient and less sturdy than other lifts available (scissor, reverse double four bar). However, we simply may have been building it wrong!

I would definitely try to do as stated above…use smaller metal (2 vs 5 c-channel) to reduce weight if possible.

What makes you think this? What examples provide reasoning for this?


Only personal experience, like I said, we tried building one and didn’t have good luck. Also, as mentioned, we may not have been approaching our build in the best way. We are still learning a lot about how to build linear lifts properly.

Here are some things we found as we tried to build an elevator lift:

1.) Not as stable as other lift types. These seemed to be due to the fact that you are so dependent on the linear slides, which seem to disappoint in tolerance quality.

2.) Lift was prone to possible severe leaning when raised (more than other types of lifts and with bracing)

3.) Requires very careful alignment of all parts so that chain is not stressed and broken.

4.) Our lift got heavy quickly with the steel slides.

5.) It takes at least 4 stages to reach 5 feet, possibly 5 stages.

I’m not trying to say an elevator can’t be good. This is our personal experience. I’m sure others know how to build one better than us. On a side note, we did build a scissor lift that easily reaches 5 feet and is working quite well for us.

Okay, coming from your personal experience this makes more sense. I think a lot of teams would do well to pay attention to these 5 points you made. Not that any of them aren’t correctable, but these are definitely common issues that can arise and that you need to pay attention to when designing/building an elevator. Some notes:

  1. I will disagree with what you said in #1, mainly for the reason that you said, as the reason for it being unstable is quite often because of tolerance issues, usually in the bearing area. THis can quickly become an issue with the newer VEX slide rail system. There are ways to remedy the issue, you just have to get a little creative; or you can switch to the older steel slides which…

  2. leads you to the issue you stated at #4.

  3. This issue is also usually caused by tolerance issues, commonly in the bearing area.

  4. This is definitely true, however I would argue most systems are this way (in VEX and in the professional world). Quite often the systems that work best are the ones that were tweaked for hours and hours to have the proper alignment of all parts involved.

  5. The number of stages you end up needing don’t necessarily need to be an issue. I’d gladly take a 6 or 7 stage elevator that is stable on each stage than use a 4-stage elevator that leans or has a lot of friction loss, even if that means sacrificing some weight.

You can always get innovative with reaching those last few inches a different way then having to add an additional stage to your elevator…


I agree with basically everything you said…just wanted to point out that the old slides are no longer available for purchase, so for newer teams or teams that don’t have many of them (like us), it is not a viable option. However, if you have then, I would imagine they would be a better choice than the current slide + truck option.

Also, creativity as you mentioned is always good. I seem to remember a video years ago from Green Egg Robotics (i think) in which they made their own sliding system using nylon spacers as rollers and guides so their robot could expand horizontally. (back in the round up days maybe?)

That robot looks well built and sturdy. The elevator looks nice too. How heavy is your robot as it appears to be mostly aluminum. Good luck for your competition!

That was their wallbot Fred V form Gateway.

Also its never a good idea to judge an entire system type of lift in your case on a few attempts which could have got better like the elevator lift in your case, and several cases my team would know about… persistence can sometimes be a good thing.

This is actually not a cascading lift. This type of elevator is called a continuous elevator lift because of the continuous loop of chain. A cascading lift has separate loops of chain for each stage of the lift. But great job and good luck!