The death of China style intakes

What happened to China style intakes? Nowadays they feel like a thing of the past as teams have moved towards the original goofy style

At this moment I see a massive mix of both types of intakes within the teams I know. Through testing and observation, I found the following:

China Intakes:


  • They are reliable and do not break as easily
  • Intakes cubes from any rotation with no problem
  • China (As what people say)
  • Gears, no chain and little slop


  • Tends to be a bit slow at intaking compared to most standards
  • Compression is quite hard to make work on the intake

American Intake:


  • Tends to be very fast
  • More compact
  • Basic/Generic structure
  • Easy to build


  • If not built with a fail-safe, if one of the treads snap then the entire cube mechanism is no longer operable
  • Moving chain, more slop, higher chance of breaking
  • Tends to struggle at intaking cubes that are not parallel to the front of the robot, usually

I can see why more competitive teams are moving towards American intake, because first of all compactness is a major benefit to the mix, and they can easily build a fail-safe for the American intake via their experience. This would result with the competitive teams only stuck with the problem of orientation, which can be solved by either practice or slight modification to the intake to handle any orientation.


Another big difference is deploying at the beginning of the match. American intakes can be fixed to the two bar, directly or with hinge, and fit into 18. Due to the staggered nature of China rollers, it’s much harder to directly mount them, and so flip down or side flip mechanisms are required. That adds to the overall complexity of the bot. I think deposit is also slightly easier with Americans.


what do you mean when you talk about a failsafe?
how would you fit it in the normal intake design?

Mini rollers underneath the bigger rollers that can function if the chain snaps

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oh like roller wheels or something
your compression would get totally messed up tho

I think 7k has them but I’m not sure if they’re a very good failsafe.


What 7k does works but I have seen teams ziptie their chain together and even string it together. From what iv’e heard even if the chain breaks it’s usually not noticed because the string/zipties hold it together.

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string probably works better than zipties because it’s less clunky/lighter, takes up less space, and has less friction.

String is actually a legit Idea… We don’t have any issues with ours anymore tho cause we use chain on top and bottom that are tight and then the track is loose.

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how would you go about this? sounds like i need to do this

I’ve never done this but you could tie the string through each link.

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