Intake help VEX IQ

We need help with our intake. We tried different ways but ball intake is still not good. Sometimes it takes 2-5 seconds to get the ball into launcher. See the video below:

Also, if you have any suggestions for our catapult design, please let me know.

Thank you in advance

Move your combine closer to the catapult/wall/middle of the robot? It also looks like your balls are not secure in their placement in the catapult; could try making the “cups” smaller. Also what I did to keep the balls from rolling off the front when the catapult is down is put the front bar of the “cup” farther up than the back bar. It actually worked, too.


There are a couple of things you can do. 1) the distance between the wall and the catapult is too big. The gap here creates a natural resting spot for the balls and may prevent the balls from getting into the catapult “seats”. You can either move the intake and wall closer to the catapult, or move the catapult closer to the wall. The first option may be easier to do, 2) You should put some sort of divider between the “seats” where the two balls would go. This is so the balls will consistently go where they are supposed to go. You do not want balls to go into the middle, which is what can happen with the way it’s designed. A simple corner connector attached to the center beam of the catapult an protruding can act as that natural separator. 3) Make sure you give enough space between the balls when they are seated on the catapult. If they are bunched together your catapult will not shoot accurately because the balls can alter each other’s trajectory. There are probably other things you can do, but these should help you out.,


There are definitely many possible solutions to this problem. I always tell my kids to identify the problem very specifically. Once they identify the problem specifically, they can start coming up with solutions. If the problem is identified too general, then solutions will be more difficult to come up with possible solutions.

So for this specific example. Identifying the problem too general will be the balls take too long to get loaded in the catapult. Without defining or identifying why it takes too long, it will be difficult to come up with possible solutions.

Identifying the problem more specifically would be the balls load into the catapult not fast enough because the balls are not moving quick enough up over the wall or the wall is too high or the exit point of the balls from the intake is too low.

Once the specifics of the problem have been identified, the solution should become obvious too them and they can start testing different solutions. Getting the balls to move out of intake with higher velocity. Using different size rollers and heights to change exit points. Trying different wall heights. Or a combination of many things.

Once they have a few solutions, then they need to test which is most consistent and yields the highest efficiency.

I hope that helps



One more thing I’d like to add here because it might not be very obvious at first is that you can change the number of rubber bands on the roller and the spacing between them. This, on one end, gives the balls lots of places to grip onto and intake quickly, and on the other end, gives the balls a little bounce at the top, enough to push it into the catapult.

I would highly encourage you though to go through the engineering process and figure out the problem, possible solutions, and ultimately the one that works best for you.


Thank you, it worked!

Thank you. It Worked!

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