Blitz Alliance 3366 Vacuum Intake reveal

Team 3366 is proud to present our new intake system for VEX Turning Point, which we called the “vacuum intake” (but you can call it whatever you want). It is an intake that can suck in both caps and balls, but with a wider reach and faster load time than typical claw intakes, plus our lift doesn’t need to expand out of 18 when we load the balls. It can intake from both the front side and back side of the bot by swinging the intake around.

We wanted the speed and handling of rollers plus having an active intake for caps (you can see us wrestling a cap out of an opponent’s intake in the clip). We decided to give up the ability to score high caps with a big lift system in favor of a lighter bot and lightning fast defense, plus our strategy makes it very hard for opponents to get to the caps, especially bots with dr4bs as their cap system.

Obviously, it still has a lot to improve on, for example, the tray itself can store two balls, but we can only shoot one at a time. Any feedback or suggestions for improvement are welcome!

——Foshan Dadalele team 3366

Very nice. There are many things that could be better, but there is a lot of potential with that idea

Easily my favorite robot yet. Amazing job.

I have also been messing with a cap descorer. Do you have any plans to ensure the cap falls the same way each time?

Great job on that intake though. Seems really effective.

Unfortunately we don’t have a reliable way of making sure it falls on the same side or the opposite side, it is really just down to luck, in the video the two descored caps landed on different sides. One thing we did do is making the arm bent towards the top as we found that it works better than just having a straight arm. We started out with a sideways longer arm to get the high pole as well (like the one in the 8059 reveal), but it was way too hard to operate reliably in a match unfortunately.

Nice design, one of my favorites this season, glad to see people being innovative with their robots. The intake idea is actually really cool, I wonder how it can be better implemented.

On a side note, if I’m not mistaken, from 1:10-1:16, the robot in the red corner must be a 13800 team. Thanks for leaking IFT, hole counting starting now.

This made laugh so much lmao. On a more serious note, absolutely outstanding robot you have there! I really love the “vacuum” intake and how it easily takes care of caps and balls. I had one question in mind, what is the purpose of placing caps on the parking tiles? Is it for ease of access or to block parking as a whole?

@Dromeda I’m not op but it seems like stashing them there is a great way to keep the caps out of the hands of typical cap intakes which are designed only to pick up off the ground. It’s effectively hoarding, but without violating any rules :slight_smile: It’s a very clever strategy.

You are right :wink: we do that so other bots would have a hard time getting the caps. Especially dr4bs because if they lift up their lift to grab the caps on the platforms, the back of the lift will go out of 18 and therefore become illegal.

For the DR4B point, that just seems like bad design/spacing choices

I was thinking the same. A DR4B can be quite compact and still reach fairly high. There is no reason its tower needs to reach close to 18" above the bottom of the robot for it to reach the high poles.

Regardless, you can look at your opponents’ robots to see if they can handle it, and if they’ve made poor choices like this, then by all means take advantage of those poor choices. Nice tactic.

ahh… very clever, that’s a really good idea…

Except almost all the dr4b’s that we saw at compeitions to this point has been like that, to make the back shorter means your supporting towers will have to be shorter than 18, which a lot of teams will see no point in doing. Even IFT, yes they did appear in the video

They also had a dr4b that will go out of size if they try to pick off the platforms, and I don’t think two time world finalists make a lot of “bad design choices”.
But the real deal is that when we drop them the caps slide a bit further onto the platform. A 6bar can extend their lift forward and upwards to grab it, but a dr4b’s intake usually isn’t long enough to pick it up when the cap is in the middle of th platform. Therefore the strategy is a very good counter against those robots (but only if we can score the caps really fast, which we might not be able to do against really good teams)

Actually… I will just drive up the platform and push the cap down.

That was our counter to the strategy too, it’s faster than trying to pick it up from the platforms, but still requires at least 10 seconds to clear off all 3 platforms. Even then, the caps are usually leaning against the platforms at an angle, so it’s pretty hard for the passive intakes to get initially. It still is very annoying to play against and wastes a lot of your opponent’s time.

With the possibility that a DR4B or some other lifts could extend out of 18 in order to get the caps on the platform, wouldn’t this violate G11 for the team that put the caps on the platform as they can’t force their opponents into a penalty.

No, because you should design your robot accordingly to be legal while trying to counter this strategy

You’re misinterpreting that rule. That means things like you can’t get a robot disqualified by bumping it every time it tries to get a cap off a pole, causing it to knock the caps out of the field repeatedly. If they do this on their own, that’s one thing. But you can’t get them DQ’d by causing it yourself. That’s not what you’re talking about here. If they design a DR4B that can be used illegally and choose to use it illegally because of some strategy, that’s on them. If you use your robot to grab their lift and pull on it until their robot is too large, that would be an example of this rule about not forcing your opponent into a penalty.

The oponents are not FORCED into anything, they have other choices that are legal like giving up the caps on the platforms or driving up and pushing them off like @meng said. If they choose to expand illegally then it’s on them.