Help on basket release problem

this is a rookie engineer question. My kids built a basket to catch all the pucks in slapshot. The basket tilts great but its open on the top. how do they create a small enough exit that only one puck is released at a time? Or a way to keep the pucks from jamming up at the shooter? I have no idea what to tell them to fix this issue.

Slowly funnel the basket inwards so the discs have no choice but to be in a single file column. I would also look at what China has been doing as they seem to have gotten their shooters to be pretty jam free.

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use pins along the bottom to form a triangular funnel shape, and make the exit not too wide.

Well, you could cover the top of the basket completely, save for one slit, as wide as one puck, but that would add a lot more weight onto their seesaw mechanism, I recommend doing this with the plastic sheet Vex iq part.

It appears that this is quite a nice robot for a rookie team. I would encourage them to identify the problem, brainstorm solutions and test each one. Whoever built this robot should be able to work through the issues they are having and find a suitable solution.


don’t be fooled… they copied the drive train from a youtube video and I did help them with answering questions like measuring height of the dispensers and doing lessons on gearing. But making the pucks slide one at a time into the shooter from their basket design? I’m at a loss on what to tell them. They have tried 3 different basket designs and none of them work.

Design A

Design B
Design C is in the first uploaded pic.

What worked well? What didn’t work at all? What is the main thing that is going wrong? What can they try to address what might be going wrong? Try that. Did that work? If not, why not?

And document all of the things they have tried in their notebook so they can remember what they tried and if it was successful or not.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep working the problem.


instead of working on the basket, maybe work on the flywheel or shooter that they have to make it shoot more discs consistently

Or they could try a simpler design… A new team would be more likeley to succeed building a Ben Lipper copy than a seesaw copy.

Please make sure they aren’t learning to holecount. Remind them that setting realistic goals is an important part of managing your time between comps. If they can’t get it done in time to practice with it, they should rethink their timeline goals and shoot for a more basic concept that’s realistic to build for first comp. As for the basket, I’d recommend looking at actual applications of hopper systems. They’ve been done wonderfully outside of vex. Research that, find 3+ ideas, and engineering process your problems away!