Spin Up Limitations

I’m gonna be honest, this new game intimidates me to no end. That being said, is it possible to make a robot that will stand a fighting chance without polycarb sheets? From what I can tell, flex wheels and polycarbonate are must-haves this season. What can be done without them?

In most applications (mostly intakes) flex wheels can be replaced with omni or traction wheels. However flex wheels come in different sizes so your robot will need to be designed differently. For polycarb the only good alternative would be metal plates. So, there are alternatives but your robot will need to be designed differently to account for the lack of polycarb and/or flex wheels.


Obviously not what you asked but when I was in highschool I was intimidated by getting polycarb, when I did get it I was worried about wasting it. It wasn’t as easy to get then but I should have just gotten some instead of worrying.

These days it’s a couple bucks a sheet from robosource


You can consider puncher or catapult. Both designs don’t really need flex wheels or polycarb.

PS… like what Tabor mentioned, nothing scary about polycarb.


People went many seasons without flex wheels before they were vrc legal. There are many other options.


Look at designs from some of the older throwing games, such as nothing but net. Many of them have flywheels without either polycarbonate or flex wheels that you can take inspiration from.

Just use rubber bands wrapped around a 4inch traction wheel.

1 Like

Use metal plates instead. They work fine.

If you participated in last year’s game Tipping Point, and have the field parts, I believe the big polycarbonate sheets used on the platform are within the legal thickness. You can also pick up some angle scissors from a hardware store that’ll cut polycarb albeit with some added elbow grease. Polycarb is pretty accessible, scissors and a drill is all you need.

As for flexwheels, for an intake I’ve seen teams using two sprockets with rubber bands between them. There are lots of threads about alternatives to flexwheels. For your flywheel you could use a 4" traction wheel with rubber bands wrapped around it, or try something like a catapult.


Yes, in fact, the majority of my robots design went from struggling to maintain under the polycarbonate limit to using very little (although will probably jump back up again). Polycarbonate is useful because its lightweight, flexible, and customizable. Although for a lot of functions while polycarbonate might be nice to have, metal plates will do thr job. As for flex wheels, they are nice to have but not necessary I havent really compared them in action but omni wheels have good grip for the intake, as for the flywheel I saw a team get pretty good range with a traction wheel that had rubber bands on it.

1 Like