Intake Designs

Hey, my team is trying to decide what to use for our intakes. We were thinking about using paddles or tank treads. Do you know of any other options that would work better? Thanks!:upside_down_face:


Personally, i’m using flaps (paddles) and they work pretty well.

Another option would be to use a pair of sprockets with rubber bands strung across it as a “roller” and use a few of those to intake the balls vertically. You may also want to cover them with mesh to keep them from breaking. These are better because they do not have the vulnerability that treads do where one link breaking can break the whole intake (there are probably reasons than that that the more experienced builders on the forum can tell you about)
See this video for an example:

For the horizontal intakes, treads are probably still the best.

Thanks for the replies!

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Flaps are bad this year

why do you say that? my intakes will suck up any ball they touch, and will allow balls to fall onto them from above with no problems. perhaps you have better intakes, but I wouldn’t say flaps are bad.

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Compliant wheels >

if compliant wheels are really better than flaps, why were flaps the meta in pretty much all seasons requiring side rollers?

cuz no one had good compliant wheels those years lol

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What are compliant wheels?

They look something like this

They sound like an interesting option.

Ethan why are you confusing people? Compliance wheels are not legal for VRC, although they are a quite popular choice for VEXU teams. After compliance wheels, flaps are pretty much the most superior horizontal intake system, especialy with hard plastic objects as this year’s balls and last year’s cubes.

This VEXU robot uses compliance wheels on the horizontal intakes so you can see what they are.

It’s legal if you make your own compliance wheels out of vex parts. People just have to get creative : )

I find it unlikely that the only reason flaps have been used for years is because nobody has tried good compliance wheels yet. also I fail to see what kind of major difference they would make, even if they were better.


It could be argued that flaps are a primitive form of compliance wheels. They have similarities but how they apply the force to the ball is discontinuous, and their deformability is pretty much just the ability of the flaps to bend. If you don’t think there are any big differences between the two I highly recommend making some and trying them out, or you may end up falling behind in cycle time xenon :wink:


My mind jumped to drilling holes into the tall flaps and screwing them together, please tell me your compliance wheels won’t be that jank.

Those would be pretty bad compliance wheels, seeing that they wouldn’t be compliant

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well my bottleneck is the speed at which the balls can fall into the goal, so I don’t think any speed improvements to my side rollers will make much of a difference, but if you can come up with op intakes by all means use them.

Just curious If you think your speed is maxed whatre you working on improving?