Flex Wheels seem to be a popular topic so far this season…
VEX would like to address a few things regarding Flex Wheels, VersaHex Adapters, VersaHubs, and alternatives, so that teams can plan ahead.
When will Flex Wheels, VersaHex Adapters and VersaHubs be back in stock?
The short answer is soon. VEX expects that by late November all backorders will be shipped, and Flex Wheels, VersaHex Adapters, and VersaHubs will be fully back in stock.
I have Flex Wheels, but I need VersaHex Adapters or VersaHubs. What options do I have?
VEX has released a Knowledge Base article about Flex Wheels. This article has everything you need to know about Flex Wheels, such as selecting the right wheel, buying the right adapters, and alternatives you can use if adapters are out of stock.
Here’s some examples of alternative hubs and adapters featured in the article:
I’m competing before Flex Wheels will be back in stock. How do I build my robot?
While Flex Wheels can be an effective solution for intaking and launching discs in VRC Spin Up, it’s not the only solution. The key to intaking discs for VRC Spin Up is to have some compliance in your intake. This allows the intake to adjust as the disc is lifted off the floor in into your robot. This is why the front intake roller on Disco floats.
VEX Engineering has compiled some examples of intakes that do not use Flex Wheels. Some of these were developed by the VEX community. Some of these are examples created by VEX engineering. The one thing they all have in common is that they create a compliant intake.
*******Rubber Band Intake
This uses what is often referred to as a “New Zealand Intake”, which is a predecessor to the Flex Wheel intakes seen in VRC Spin Up today.
This uses (2x) 24T High Strength Sprocket (276-3879) with (12x) rubber bands wrapped around the teeth of the sprocket. The middle of the roller is hollow, which allows the rubber bands to flex, similar to what you would see with Flex Wheels.
This was tested on a standard Disco build, with the front roller and chain replaced.
Further Reading: An Introduction to Disco: the 2022-2023 VRC Hero Bot
*******Omni-Directional Wheel Intake
This uses (2x) 2.75" Omni-Directional Wheels to replace the front roller on Disco.
Note: The rubber rollers can collect dirt. To keep the performance of this kind of intake consistent, VEX Engineering recommends cleaning the rollers regularly with water or WD40.
*******Intake Roller (276-1499)
This uses (4x) modified Intake Rollers to intake a disc. You can use these unmodified, but VEX Engineering found that they actually work a little better if you trim off all but two of the flaps.
This was tested on a standard Disco build, with just the front roller replaced.
Unfortunately the standard height of Disco’s intake doesn’t work well with this style of intake. This does require you to adjust the angle of Disco’s intake. The angle used in the video below is approximately 25 degrees.
Hopefully this helps alleviate some of the confusion and frustration surrounding Flex Wheels and their accessories so far this season.