As we know, the scoring zone spans 10 inches across, with a scored cube occupying 5.5 inches of that space. That being said, there are a number of intake approaches to fitting a cube within the zone all with their own drawbacks. I’m curious which method the community favors.
The first method is internal stacking, meaning the cube is contained within the robot. This requires a side of the drivetrain to be 4.5 inches and realistically must be even smaller in order to be viable. Tray stackers may not have a problem with this, but even the most compact dr4b’s will have width issues assuming they stick with unshaven c-channel.
(The following is dr4b specific)
The next method is a fold out mechanism, which can provide more clearance, but still requires the drive train sides to be less than 4.5. However this puts more stress on the lift (decreased leverage) and throws the weight distribution of the robot. Reliable locks/fold out mechanisms are also a little harder to design.
Another method is turning the intake 45 degrees. This alleviates drive train side constraints to a degree, but you are still left with the same issues previously mentioned (leverage and locking). Internal 45 degree intakes will cause the drivetrain to hit the wall before completely scoring the cube and are therefore not viable.
The last method that seems viable to me is a shortened drive base which provides more clearance for the intake, and no folding mechanisms are necessary. There are also no drive train width constraints. However, this sacrifices lift height/lift linearity and makes the robot more susceptible to tipping.
Which method do you guys think will be the most reliable for easily fitting stacks into zones?