elevator lift?

can a elevator lift only be built with a lock chain or can we also use the rack and pinion with railing sliders for the motors to lift each stages separately? My thoughts was that if this is possible to build, it could allow the lift to move faster and still have enough torque. Am I wrong about this as well?

One of our teams (98807C) built an elevator lift that way using slides and rack and pinion pieces, so it is possible, but it doesn’t give the same advantages as you’d think it would. It acts like a 2 motor lift lifting another 2 motor lift, which is really inefficient (you’re wasting motors, because the same job can easily be done by a 2 motor dr4b). In addition, the slides offered by vex only come in steel, which only means you’re lifting more weight. I’d recommend going for a 2 motor dr4b, as it lifts faster and is overall lighter.

in my experience, a smallish 2 motor dr4b will give you an easier time building, and will lift much faster, and with much less effort than an elevator lift, especially one with rack and pinions.

Ja. It’s also much easier to add rubber bands to a dr4b.

so much easier. rubber banding an elevator lift is a real pain.

Elevators are terrible in Vex, the pain and time that you have to put into them to make a decent one will waste most of your season, just for a better design to be more efficient. As long as there are no ball bearing sliders or some form of efficient linear slider, elevators will not be the best lifting option.

There was a team that made a smooth elevator lift by sliding directly across C Chnl, and they either laser cut the delrin spacers or waterjetted their own.

I think they made a video about it, but you’ll have to dig through the forums to find it

I wouldn’t call Dreadnaught (99371A)'s lift smooth lul. The metal on metal was pretty bad.

I thing this is what you are talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yta_Nk7crSI

While this lift is amazing if you talk to the guys that made it, they have openly said that they should have made a dr4b instead. It took them months to get that working on tons of maintenance to get it even functional. Elevators are just not practical with vex parts.

I’m honestly very surprised that they had such a bad experience with this design. We based our elevator off of theirs and it works like a beauty. The only problem I’ve seen so far is the grease drying up and adding a bit of friction. Even that isn’t that big of a deal because tearing apart the whole lift to do any maintenance is a matter of about 5-10 minutes at the most.

I completely disagree.

Team 1103 disproved your theory by building what many people call the best VEX robot of all time, and during a period in which the technology available was far behind what we have now.

This one man team (Joshua Wade) proved that even with the simplest resources you can build the most effective things.

Keep in mind, he built this during a time in which 393s were limited (the entire elevator is powered by 269s).

He won both skills challenges that year and nearly won the world championship.

On top of that, he revolutionized the code and the custom building techniques you can implement into VEX. In fact, he demonstrated these skills so well that Intelitec (easyC developer) bought his robot for thousands.

If you are going to tell us that elevators are not practical with VEX parts, imagine what we can do now with all the new parts, pieces, and power we have available to us by going off of what 1103 built back in the day.

The people who tend to be active on the forum who were active back then which come to mind are @jpearman and @tabor473, so they may be able to provide more accurate information than I could.

His robot is displayed at worlds every year, so if you ever have any free time this masterpiece is definitely worth a watch.

But for now…

Name a World Champion since then that was an Elevator. Name one that was a finalist. Name one that was a semi-finalist. Just because one team had success with a design doesn’t mean that we should still count the design. Elevators are objectively worse than other lifts in VEX. A well tuned DR4B will lift faster than an elevator any day. This is coming from someone who spent all early season last year with a couple of friends trying to make really good elevators for VEX (Even had some FRC people help a bit). It took waaaaayyy too long just to design one that worked about the same level as DR4B’s. The immense amount of time that goes into just getting them functional does not balance out with the rewards for doing so. At most you save space whereas you could have spent that month and a half cadding, prototyping, and building a 6-bar or DR4B to do the exact same thing and fit within your specifications. The only (imo) good elevator/cascade since 1103 is Dreadnaught and they have stated before that it was not worth it and they should have made a DR4B.

Its that the Vex EDR parts are better for non linear lifts. The linear sliders are trash, and we’re limited on what we can use

Actually, just because one team had success with a design is a perfect reason to count it. It shows how a different approach could lead to something game breaking, while also showing that something you thought wasn’t practical actually is.

Just because a robot was a world champion doesn’t mean they are the best robot during that season.

VEX is a game of luck. Your overall performance could be determined by things that are not in your control.

Your match schedule and worlds division could pretty much make or break your outcome, and maybe even the condition of your electronics.

A great example off the top of my head was 62 in skyrise. They had the ability to do all 7 sections just in auton, however the problem was that the skyrise bases were slightly misaligned on each field, which made their auton practically never reliable. However, they did prove their abilities by tuning the robot for the skills challenge, and ended up winning that year because of it.

How were they supposed to know about this inconsistency?

Another great example is the overuse of anti-static spray on certain fields.

Also, if you had so many experienced people attempting to build something that had been proven to work in the past by just one guy who’s robot has been shown in various videos and CAD models, then maybe you were just approaching the design incorrectly, or maybe there will never be another 1103.

1103 is a legend not just simply because of the lift system. It is a very well engineered robot.
There are so much to learn from the robot and from Joshua himself.

It has one of the best drive systems using sprockets and chain and maybe one of the first few to use a pneumatic claw.

And do take a look at his coding as well. It is very well written. His programming skills run was still one of the most impressive around.

Overall, it is definitely one of the best engineered vex robots around.

And joshua himself is humble, eager to learn and has an amazing drive towards excellence.

1103 lost to another legendary team - 44.
44 had a better strategy towards the game.

But to put everything into context, during that era of early seasons, there wasnt any need to lift things high up. 1103 elevator lift was never designed to go high or extremely fast. It was designed to carry its own weight.

It is not really a theory its somewhat a fact at this point. Josh, the member from 1103 had to spend countless hours getting this lift tuned, i’ve heard that he put ridiculous amounts of grease on it for it to function as well as it did, which is probably why that his work has not been replicated since. I agree that it is one of the best robots ever made but it was also made in a different “generation” of Vex.

Its not me discounting elevators themselves either, as we can see in FRC and the real world elevators are the superior lift, but with the limitations with vex parts, lifts such as double reverse 4 bars, 4 bars, and 6 bars are much more efficient. This is very clearly seen in the competitive scene of Vex every year.

In my opinion the Pilons ITZ robot is the greatest robot built to this date. I doubt we will see another team win skills and the competition for a long time. If you look at the build quality, use of sensors, and probably the best code ever written on a vex robot they are ahead of everyone.

Keep in mind that the 1103 robot used 6 motors on the lift and dreadnaught used 4 motors. Many of the competitive rd4b lifts in ITZ were significantly faster while only using 2 motors.

Elevators themselves are great but making them in vex parts is very impractical, we have seen a few amazing elevators in vex but at the end of the day they are not the better lift.

I would think that in 7+ years if a design was truly feasible and game-breaking it would be done already. We’re at the point where nearly everything has been done before and it’s just a matter of learning and profiting from the mistakes of those in the past. Discounting the statistical evidence against elevators by saying that Worlds is all luck doesn’t make for a good argument if we’re talking 7+ years of data. Also, about your final point, we looked at getting elevators working in such a way that there was a benefit besides more space to them. 9/10 times this never happened because in VEX elevators plain and simply are not the best lift choice. We don’t have the parts necessary to make them FRC quality. If elevators are so high and mighty, then why has there been practically no development with them since Currahee? Because they take time to make for little benefit. People decided to evolve the ideas of lifts like DR4B’s, 6-bars, etc. This reminds me of what one of my friends said when we were working on elevators last season: “This is gonna take forever because literally nobody has made any progress with elevators in forever. We are going up against years of research” It’s just not practical in vex.

The 99731 elevator was a pretty incredible feat of engineering.

Interestingly, this lift with 4 motors was markedly slower than 8825S’s 2 motor DR4B. The strengths of the 99371 robot were good driving, a good 4 bar, a good intake, a good mobile goal intake, a good auton… Basically they did everything right except having a fast lift. And it paid off- they were state champs and lost their R16 match by a single cone. But they weren’t world champion caliber because of their slower lift.

I’d be surprised if an elevator was viable for this game either. Maybe if you want to devote 3 v5 motors to it you could match 4 bar or chain bar speeds with 393s, but it’s probably not your best shot.

Good luck!

I agree that dr4b’s are easier to build, and in most cases better than an elevator. However I believe elevators have their own place. The biggest advantage I see to elevators is that they can be really compact. The Dreadnought elevator wasn’t that compact, but with a couple design changes, it would be much more compact than a dr4b. Fitting a flywheel and a dr4b in a robot to score on balls and caps would be really hard (its certainly possible, but I think the possible configurations are just not optimal), but a flywheel and elevator would definitely be do-able.

Also, a good elevator will not be taking a lot of motors. I’m planning 1 v5 motor for mine, and while I haven’t finished the build yet, I am expecting it to be just as fast, if not faster than a 1 v5 motor dr4b.

That’s a really good point, the space could be a big thing in this game.

I’d be super interested to see how your elevator turns out! If it ends up being fast, I’d love to see some match vids! If not, you’re not the first :stuck_out_tongue: