How fast could an arm move?

I ended up being volunteered to coach a middle school RoboCross event. After quite a bit of research, I decided that VEX would be the most versatile and economic system to work with. So I bought 2 starters and 2 or more of every single kit they offer, save for the aluminum. Our challenge is to get 4 batteries, pingpong balls, legos and 1 tennis ball into a container in 3 minutes. Container will only hold it all if the big ball is last. So maybe its just another dump-truck type event. We can only use 9.6 volts and elastic and cannot transfer energy to Pneumatic, hydraulic, etc. The kids have had a myriad of ideas, but one keeps coming back up over and over.
All that being said, just how fast could a VEX arm move? And wouldn’t it just be awesome to make the thing autonomous, instead of just being another remote vehicle? I have attached small pic of the field.
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Sorry to hear about your Forced Promotion

First off, use the 7.2 Volt batteries on the Robot itself, the 9.2 Volt batteries are for the Transmitters…

The arm moves as fast as you Gear It, within limits. The Vex Robotics Motor is rated at 100 RPM (Free Speed), connecting to something will slow it down, but you can combined motors for more Torque, thus allowing you more speed.

Remember you will spend more time picking up One item at a time and delivering it to the container, then to pick up multiple items and delivering them as a group.

A Scoop and Arm I think would be simple and direct… Try this Video, Vex Robot Competition (Ontario Science Centre).

I agree that Fully Autonomous would be really “cool”, but look at your Items, and what Sensors are available to the Vex. Can you create a “system” that can locate your Items, and deliver them to the Container??

Ultra-Sonic sensors might be able to locate the Container, but the Legos are real small. The Light Sensors might be able to be Filtered for each of your Items, then you would need to be able to switch Filters to look for different Items, maybe have them in a Wheel on a Servo, and spin to change the Filter.

Thank you so much for your reply and well thought comments. Very kind.
As a material handling engineer the stuff isn’t that far off the norm for me. And i hope you didn’t mean the “bra” scoop. :slight_smile:

I like the idea of a wheel to rotate sensors, as we have zero control over color. I am near thinking an undercarriage scoop for some, an arm for others. A device to do it all will be difficult. Actually, a dozer type scoop would work well for everything except that one battery up against the quarter round. I could probably only get the distance sensor to work around the sides, at best.

Oh another important fact is it has to fit inside a 30x30x30cm cube. We can transform after they say go, and we dont have to return to size.

Again, thanks very much for your input.

maybe you could use some feeder wheels at the front of the robot to propel the items up a scoop/ramp. Just a thought ;). (It would probably take longer than 3 minutes to do it with an arm.)