Ball Intake Mechanisem

Hey all,

We were thinking about using a ball collection mechanism like the ones on robowranglers’s Vader (2014 aerial assist) as well as Spectrum’s robot from 2014.
We were also think about the Raptors’s mechanism from 2014 (the one with the timing belts).
We tried searching for CAD models but we couldn’t find any.
We would greatly appreciate any assistance in designing both mechanisms.

In addition, does anybody know how can we find some relavent resources / CADs?

Thanks for all the helpers!

Team GreenBlitz 4590, Israel.


Which part of the intake mechanism do you need help with specifically?

The gearing? How to create the roller? How to transmit power? Compression of the ball?

If I recall correctly, all the CAD from VEX’s Build Blitz is up on their website.

This has pretty much what you’re looking for.

All questions are relevant. This is the first time I design a ball intake mechanism.

In addition, what are the critical dimensions I should build a prototype to find properly?


To be honest, this style of mechanism is never going to be as effective as a traditional roller pickup. They’re also not particularly easy to build when compared to a simple through-the-frame roller intake (several of the Ri3D teams did these, reference their material for ideas).

I don’t want to sound overly negative, but I would strongly recommend against a pickup like this.

You are best to spend some time prototyping different mechanism to learn what the advantages and disadvantages of each of the general configurations. At that point, CAD can be used to work out the exact dimensions and to make drawings to communicate what you want built.

You may find some suggestions for critical dimensions by reading some of the threads on this forum. CAD, by itself, will not tell you what critical dimensions (such as ball compression) will be best for your application.

Check out the overall meta of the 2014 year, you will notice Ri3D pioneered a lot of different roller intakes and while you might not have the files available you should have more then enough to piece together a good intake.

I’ve been wondering how much compression works well on these balls. I haven’t had a chance to prototype. Should the bottom of intake rollers be 8 inches off the ground? 9 inches? 9.5 inches?

Build blitz designs are great resources, but the properties of this ball are significantly different.

We found 3" of compression to be ideal.

I’m from the Raptors, and honestly, a piece of advice is that while belts are cool, we learned the hard way that you shouldn’t necessarily do them unless you’re ready for a lot of challenges that accompany them. Belts can be very tricky, and while they do look really cool, on our robot, they weren’t the most accurate.
Also, I’d recommend that if you do use them, put a backstop on one end!! This will help prevent the ball from coming out the other side unintended.
Belts can also be a huge power draw…so depending on how the rest of your robot is run/priority of scoring, that might be something to consider.
Best of luck in 2016!!! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the Good advice!

Thanks a lot!
Do you have any more advice / resources? Maybe even the CAD itself?
Do you have anything else about accuracy?