Can you still build the vex claw bot without bearing flats

I am trying to make a vex claw bot in class but we don’t have enough bearing flats for everyone is there any alternative.

If we are talking about the V5 clawbot…

For the back wheels, if it’s free spinning, you could do a screw joint instead of using axles. Additionally there can be a screw joint for the 84 tooth gears.


You can but it won’t be happy. Bearing flats are pretty cheap…


No good alternative. You can leave out a bearing on the motor-side of a shaft. Otherwise, use the available bearings for the drive train until you can buy more.

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You could get pretty cagey with pillow blocks, but if this is a paint-by-numbers type of build, that’ll be more trouble than it’s worth.

If you have a drill and plastic inserts: You can make a low-profile bearing flat by drilling a hole on the metal about 1/2 a millimeter smaller diameter of the width of the plastic insert and pressure fit the plastic insert.

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You can try using pillow block bearings, but there isn’t a good replacement for bearing flats

As an alternative to the screw joints or pillow bearings for the free-spinning wheels you can, also, zip-tie 0.5" white spacers to the c-channels.

This challenging situation could be turned into a great multi-week class exercise: you can build one “proper” clawbot together with students to let them examine how it works. Then show them several ways to replace bearing blocks with alternative parts. Finally, divide them into groups and let each groups build a robot with minimal number of bearing blocks.

At the end of the class have each clawbot complete a task of picking a wood block and driving for several feet to place it on top of 10" box.

Those teams who could move two blocks in 1 min will count as successfully completed the task and the winner will be judged by the lowest count of bearing blocks used on the robot.