Hero bot intake problem

Our team’s build follows the similar Hero bot design by VEX, especially the intake part is identical. This intake however is not reliable, and the team usually needs to push the discs to the wall or static object before it can roll into the intake.

Did any team build their robot/intake same as Hero and any idea to improve disc intake?

We are brainstorming of a couple of ideas:

  • The aluminum intake has much friction. Replace with composite sheet may help.
  • The intake angle relative to the floor is pretty steep. So lower the intake angle might help

Appreciate you sharing your thoughts.


I have some kids that built the hero bot in class. This post really helped them improve the intake, but you might not find it by the title.


You may want to consider making the intake the first contacts the disk floating, meaning that it is on a joint but tensioned down with rubber bands to come back to a “neutral position”. This allows for better intake due to the curved shape of the discs

From my experience- as my intake is heavily based upon a Disco intake- there are two or three things that can be done.

Firstly, extend the intake to slightly reach under the disc with a curve.
The thing to be careful about here is that the intake flaps must be able to contact and “hook” the disc in before the disc contacts the extended intake plate, else the intake plate will simply push the disc away.

Secondly, try using the most obnoxiously large flaps on your intake chain as possible.

Should look like this when you lift the pivoting section of the intake up. And while we’re at the pivot, it’s important to tune the intake pivot to have just enough tension to grab on the disc without being too difficult to intake a disc with.

For the more experienced VF users, please correct me if I said something wrong.

This is very interesting would you mind showing a quick video of your intake in action?

There are a lot of floating intake examples on YouTube. You can search for VEX reveals if you just want to see them working, or if you want more of an in depth explanation, you can search for VEX intake explanations. @Benn made an explanation on his channel, 606X Intake that should show what you how it works

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I must disclaim, I post this with the sole purpose and intent of demonstrating my intake.

With that, I now remember something I forgot earlier. You should use a blue cartridge motor if possible, or adjust the gearing to increase the intake speed. Although this reduces torque, it should increase the overall speed of the intake.

Oh, and you see how the intake was flipping up and down? That is how a floating intake works, although it should be tensioned via rubber bands towards its’ resting position.

Again, for the more experienced VF users, if I said something wrong, please correct me lol.