Transmission powered launcher

In our brainstorming session my team and I had an idea for a transmission powered launcher. There would be some kind of intake on the front (still undecided) and a conveyor belt system that can store three or four balls. At the top would be two high speed spinning wheels to launch the balls.

We do realize this is an idea many teams are thinking about.

But what if we put a transmission to power those launching wheels. The purpose would be to dramatically change the speed of the wheels depending on the distance the robot is from the net. For example: if the robot was right up close to the net then it would switch into low gear as to lightly lob the ball in. But if the robot is far away then it is high gear to make the full court shot.

We have never build a compact transmission before. We would really appreciate any assistance or other ideas you more experienced players have. :confused:


I was a member of an FRC team in 2012. The general solution to changing the speed of the ball is changing the speed of the motors, without a transmission. You would simply give them less power and they would spit the ball out at a smaller speed.

a vex transmission would probably be excessively heavy and have excessive weight when just lowering the speed of the motor would give a similar, if not better outcome.
just my 2 cents.

Thanks for the advice, we were thinking of that too. We just didn’t know which would be more effective. We will try lowering the speed but if we try the transmission and it works well then i will let you all know!

Would you need to slow down the launcher before shifting gears? If so, how long would the shifting and re-adjustment of speed take you?

Please. Sounds difficult to me, but if you can get it working, it might get you a few excellence awards if not win a few championships.
good luck!

yes you would need to slow down the motors to switch gears. It would take long though. And if you know you are going to go right up to the net and need to switch gears then you could switch while driving over

Perhaps use a transmission from your drive or intake to power the shooter with more motors instead?

I have emphasized this idea multiple times on forum in quite a few threads. So very excited to see someone bringing this up.

High school: 8 motor base 0 motor launcher to 4 motor base 4 motor launcher.

VEXU: 10 motor base 0 motor launcher to 4 motor base 6 motor launcher/elevator pull

I do think this will be the exciting new technical core that everyone will explore this year, like scissor lift in Skyrise.

Make it happen, VEX community.

That is a very interesting idea… If one could get it to work they would definitely do very well this year. We will work on making it happen.
For what would you use the other 2 motors?

Probably the intake.