Is a claw using motors rather than pneumatics feasible?

My team is planning on using a claw in this year on our robot as an intake. Most claws I’ve seen online have used pneumatics. However, my team does not pneumatics. We were planning on using two motors instead. Is this method feasible, or will the motors burn out?

Watch out for the power level and you should be fine

Rosario’s advice is good. If you operate the motors at a power level of about 10-20, you should be able to keep them holding something for a very long time without overheating and “tripping out”. However, a power level of 10-20 might not provide much torque, so you might consider configuring your claw to use elastics in one way or another so the motors are used only periodically and never run in a stalled (full powered but non-moving) condition. In other words, you could use elastics to keep the claw closed (gripping objects) and the motors would be used only to open the claw briefly to grab an item.

To add to what others have said above, definitely gear the two sides of the claw together, and definitely include a potentiometer on the claw. The potentiometer will help ensure you don’t keep holding the claw closed and stall the motors that way, and gearing together helps prevent one side from getting jammed somewhere. Motor claw is definitely feasible and has some advantages over pneumatic claw; in my opinion, the most significant advantage a pneumatic claw has is that it allows you to still use pistons for something else.

Yes, a claw using only motors can work very well if made correctly. My team ran it at 50 for closing and 30 for opening, but we decided to switch to pneumatics because the motors kept burning out. You can also make the values for closing higher if you are holding a cube or more stars. We did have some elastics to help the claw close but not enough that the claw goes in if the motors aren’t running.

Honestly, you might not even need 2 motors for a claw if you design it around the idea of passively supporting the objects instead of squeezing them to hold them.

Not if you want a wide intake range, which is one of the main advantages of a claw.

Even then, you could do it with 1 motor. Not saying 2 motors is bad; I’m saying that its possible with 1 motor, with maybe just as much efficiency as with 2 motors. Your 1 motor claw would need to be designed differently, but I don’t see why its not feasible.

You could even do it with no motors, relying on some sort of super complicated transmission that takes power from the drive train without pneumatics or extra motors. But no one’s willing to do that. :wink: