Front intake vs Back intake

Do you think it is more effective to have your intake on the front of the robot or the back of the robot?

These are the pros and cons I came up with so far.

Front intake (intake on the same side as the direction of the shooter) :

  • easier for the driver to use
  • can grab balls up against the pipe without turning after a shot
  • seems to be easier to incorporate a pneumatic stack capture
  • can immediately back into far corner and shoot without rotating

Back intake (intake on the side opposite to the direction of the shooter) :

  • do not have to deal with accidentally in-taking balls well driving
  • can go straight to the field after firing next to the pipe without turning
  • grabbing balls in auto may be easier?
  • can be simpler to build

I have probably missed a lot so feel free to add some pros and cons of your own. After seeing multiple teams including 2r using a back intake for a pure field bot, I had the notion that it was superior as a field clearing system. Then I watched team 1104 teams who are currently number one in driver skills and have the top score in the world. They are able to consistently clear the field with upwards of 45 ish seconds to spare. I noticed that they had their intake facing the same direction as their shooter (front). I understand that a rear intake is probably better for close range shooters and a front intake better for longer range shooters, but if you wanted to create a robot that was the most versatile, which side would use choose to put you intake on.

On a side note, I realize there are robots with both front and back intakes but in this case, we will assume that the extra space is not available.

Oddly, it is better to have a back intake for us. We had a front intake when we shot full court and that was the right call. However, right now we are rebuilding with 2 motor short range flywheel, so we will normally shoot from point blank for fast shots to line up, but we also have the power to shoot over robots blocking the bar, so that won’t be a problem.

Bottom line is that we will have balls on one side of us and the goal on the other for most of the match, so it makes sense to shoot and intake in opposite directions.

It might be more appropriate to say front or rear facing launcher instead of intake.

It is much more comfortable to drive with the intake facing the front, so the side of the robot with the intake will always be the front.

And in the context of front or rear comparisons, the direction the launcher shoots relative to the intake would be front or back, for example 1104 would have a front facing launcher.

I can’t really give any feedback on this topic since I’ve only ever build rear facing intakes, but I’d like to offer up 2 alternatives.
The turret:
This allows for either intake position, so they can intake strait onto balls, or easily load them into the robot from the back. At 1:17:47


Omnidirectional intake:
This design allows robots to intake balls from 2–4 sides, so that they can get balls simply and effectively.
At 1:29

My team uses a rear intake (intake and launcher on opposite sides). It was easier to design, and it made loading the driver loads way easier for us. Our robot was originally a tile shooter before a field robot, so this was very important. We later realized that we go through driver loads quickly enough that we need to be good at both. We kept the intake, which works well for having a preset shooting position near the goal, where we shoot from. Actually, the only changes we made were in programing, really. For example, to solve the problem of a rear intake being more difficult to drive with, we actually can switch the orientation of the robot (the shooter can be the front to aim, then become the back to drive ). It’s incredible what programming can fix/improve.

Wow, for some reason I automatically programmed the shooting direction to be forward but i should really try it on the back. Oh and now that i think of it, i probably should’ve worded the direction part differently.

Why not both? Best of both worlds right there.

You are? That full court flywheel crushed at competitions.

It wasn’t nearly as good as we would like. Additionally, we scored from the field exclusively in eliminations in 2 out of the 3 tournaments we won. We think we can be much more efficient this way.

But thank you for the compliment. We strive to do the best we can.

Ok, I was thinking of using intake on both sides but in my case, one will only be almost exactly one ball wide while the other will be the full 18 inches. I kinda want to know which side should have the bigger intake.

I would use the front side of your robot then.

1727G has (unless they changed the intake with their rebuild) a double-sided intake. If you imagine sort of like a volcano made out of tread, that’s what it’s like.

I swapped from a rear-facing to front-facing intake simply because my intake picks up an entire pyramid (no pneumatics). Its easier to drive, auton is easier, and it gives us a lot more room for our intake and launcher. Only down side is having to turn around after making up-close shots.

How does your pyramid intake work? Does it use an other motor?

The pyramid intake design is a secret for now, but it just uses one motor. Took inspiration from team 26 (IronWave), and modified it to use a motor instead of pneumatics (12 motor rule is awesome).

No kidding, not sure it would work with most robots though. I built this.
(Note I already posted this in a different thread, but I though this one would be more appropriate.)

Having an intake on both sides of your robot is really nice, especially for autonomous. Less movement = more points.

It should be. Do you have a double ended intake? I haven’t driven with mine yet as the robot is still in 4 pieces. The only real problem I see with a double intake is ball jamming, but I’m going to program my intake to prevent that. Anti-jamming mechanisms would also work.

The double sided intake looks cool.

What kind of anti-jamming programming are you doing?

I’m programming for the use of a bumper switch on each intake side, if it detects that there is a ball on both ends at equal positions, then it will slow one side for a bit of time. Thus causing the balls to reach the centre at different times.