Why are there so many
1 conveyor vertical intakes where the ball is compressed between the conveyor and a metal plate
as opposed to
2 chain intakes where the ball goes in between the chains

For us, it seemed like the top roller was more effective at grabbing balls, and also reached out farther.

They are much more popular because it’s easier to implement with fewer motors. Most robots are limited to two motor intakes, which means that pulling off the double chain would be harder and less efficient to do. Also it seems like it’s easier to handle 4 balls at a time with the top roller than with the side conveyors.

How so?

At least in my mind, it’s easier to make a 4 ball capacity top roller than a side roller, but both are doable.