Mid-air Scoop Suspension

Hello! My robot has a heavy scoop at the end of a long arm, as such I am using 4 motors in a 3:5 gear ratio to power it. To efficiently pick up the game objects, the scoop has to go under each piece, lift it some distance off the ground, then move to the fence. The issue I am having is with keeping enough resistance in the arm to have it stay still in mid-air. Currently, I have programmed constant motor power into the motors when I am not pushing any buttons, but this seems to strain the motors (I hate to hear them cry!). Is there any way to add resistance to the shafts somehow? Or alternative methods, I’m open to suggestions.

You could try to add some rubber bands. The rubber bands would not only help you keep the objects in the air but also would let you lift them faster. Also 3:5 seems very weak considering the weight of the objects. I would try a gear ratio of 5:1 or even 7:1.

You could add multiple rubber bands, or you could use a potentiometer to use the motors keep the arm up. Instead of constantly running the motors, they only run when the arm begins to fall.