Intake Solutions

So…My team has hit a kinda large block.

We’re having troubles with intake mechanisms. So far, my designs are primarily based on that the balls get swept into a large storage area and from there, the balls are scored. The scoring isn’t as big an issue as the intake as proved to be.

Our partner bot has two separate systems to handle the two different balls, but IMHO, the efficiency is not “great”.

I was wondering if any teams were up to sharing as to how they were planning to/already have tackled the intake problem.

So far my primary methods have been to take a wheel or a tread sprocket and then wrap zip ties around it, and then we have a ramp under the wheels. So the balls ride up the lamp. But the issue we’ve faced is that either A) the zip ties are too flexible or B) other options prove to be too rigid.

Any ideas?

So far, what I’ve seen work is threads on either side of the ball. But the issue I foresee with that is that the two sided tread system will not be able to handle both types of balls.

And I have roughly 1 month left. :D.

Any ideas would be helpful.

Think not like a VEX competitor from the past whos seem zip ties, belts, etc. That’ll lead to a lot of the same design. Instead, think like an engineer. They always find inspiration from the strangest places just by asking a simple question: What already works? Instead of reinventing the wheel or reworking designs that worked for other tasks and may work now, just think of what works for your task in the real world. Then you can ask another question: How do I integrate what works into my application? Thats where research turns into creativity and engineering. I’ve come to that method after many failed designs (and many ruined zip ties :p), and it never fails.

Happy Engineering!

You’d be surprised how much I’ve looked into different fields and how those looks have influenced my designs.

But the issue is how to implement it. We have used zip ties with little success and now I want to take another route, but it involves cutting up some…not generically cut material…something our mentor is sure not to like.

And judging but ur tone, it seems you’ve found a way. :stuck_out_tongue:

Implementing I think is the fun part of building robots. You have so many parts alike, but one different design and function can make something spectacular.

Now, I’ve tried zip ties and I’ve found that they’re only good when 1.Plentiful, 2.Fast, and 3.Not lifting anything too heavy. Now, when I was testing designs I had several of them on multiple belts going wicked fast, but they were dropping the balls left and right and couldn’t handle more than one or two very close sizes (going from 4" to 9.5" isn’t too close…). So the way to go now is asking not just what works, but since this year size flexibility is a must you should ask what will work for all sizes.

All i can say is get creative. I don’t want to give designs, thats no fun for any of us. Hopefully I can help guide to a process that works.

P.S. I’ve always been told “Measure Twice, Cut Once.” Same thing applies - cut when you direly need that part, and make sure 1.You have more, and 2.You can reuse it if needed.

If your really think about it, you’re not going from 4" to 9.5", you’re going from 4" to 5.5". :D.

I definitely have ideas that I will work on in my next meeting. :D.

Well, that’s true from a small to medium. But remember, if you want to have large ball functionality, then thats what throws things off a little bit.

Regardless, good luck!

but you can just place the large ball into your bin or on your robot
so the robot can just drive to the wall and tilt the large ball to the other side
one question:
when you have your intake rollers suck up balls into your bin, is the “hole” where balls enter the bin at the top or on the bottom?
if it is at the bottom wouldnt the balls just pile at the bottom and jam the intake rollers if they try to intake anymore balls?
just my thoughts
cheers and happy building

A good part of engineering is determining what the “real” problem is. It would seem you have been trying to find a perfect balance between flexibility and rigidity, without success.

Lets look at what “flexibility” and “rigidity” really mean, in this case:

You say that other options are “too rigid.” We have been able to get sufficient grip on the balls using many, many other sources, so I’m assuming that “too rigid” refers to the devices ability to effectively grip multiple sizes of balls. Beyond this, rigidity is certainly desirable, as the roller will not give way under the weight of the balls, and will generally act more predictably.

Now, lets look at what “flexibility” is, in terms of accepting balls of multiple sizes. A flexible roller can squish, like a paint roller. This allows a range of sizes to pass through the opening between roller and ramp, rather than just one, fixed size, that would come with a solid roller.

So now the question is, while keeping the roller itself rigid, how could one adjust the spacing between roller and ramp??

i think he meant that his rollers are in a fixed unsuspended position
and they are adding “grip” to the part of the roller that rolls in the balls
and they cant find a material that can brush the balls in easily AND not get jamed when the football goes in at an undesireable angle

you shoud try to get suspension on you roller so the small balls would roll in easily but when the footballs come, the rollers would bounce up and the football would squeeze past

Hi Sunny,

There was a VEX demo at the Denver National TSA conference this past weekend.

IFI had the new mini Clean Sweep game set up (Called “Swept Away”).

It is done on an 8x8 field (Another new product) that just snaps together.

Some students from VRC148 (Robowranglers) built some bots for the demo.

See attached pictures and video here.

Note - These were just random shots - never occurred to me someone might want to see them - otherwise I would have done a better job of “Documenting.”

(hmmm… can only do 5 pictures at a time … see next post for more …)

More TSA pictures …

Thank You very much for the pictures.

Hmmmm. That would make a very nice paddleboat.

I never thought of using the tank tread upgrades for paddleboat wheels but as I look at that shot they look perfectly suited for it. It’s interesting in that they could either be done as a wheel (above) or even as a long tread with the paddles in the water and the motors well above the waterline.

Just a few days ago, I found this on youtube:

Yes, both of the balls do go “in”, but what happens when they get there? The problem I’m facing is that the balls in fact need to climb up a ramp, and even in the system in the video, the ties were bending a lot due to the large ball, and it wasn’t even going up the ramp!!!, But it’s alright, we have a temporary solution…that might work. :D.

at rfolea’s video:
the storage capacity seems to be a bit small dont you think?
ours should be MUCH bigger
at the wizard’s video:
they dont seem to be the right vex zip ties
and like sunny said, they dont seem to be too practical…

MasterBakatare is our partial development log. You can find all of our gathering/lifting/basket solutions here
Note that we have found a way to build an expanding gatherer…

hahaha, yes. I saw your website when you posted it on Chief Delphi. Your solutions are extremely innovative, and just based off what I see, I see no reason as to why they would not work.

And if your expanding gatherer is the same as it is seem on the website, then that design is extremely clever. Can it also pick up the small balls? The opening seems a little large to be able to accommodate that size, but I’m sure you can move it up and down depending on how you want it…

Yes, the design accommodates the small green balls. It can also take in orange balls at pretty much any angle (except when the orange ball is perpendicular to the gatherer.) On top of that, it can take in the white balls with the help of a wall. Unfortunately, the design is a little bit on the heavy side, and this means that there’s a lot of friction/stress on those sliders. They tend not to slide too well. So we ended up not using it. If, however, you feel inclined to try it out, by all means do so, and let us know how it goes.

Hahahaha…nah, I’m not going to do this design, I definitely thought about it for a while, but I decided against it. :smiley: