Conveyor Belt Question

We’re planning to use a polycord conveyor belt to lift the ball to our shooter, but we overlooked how we’d actually rotate the axle on which our end PVC pipes are attached to. How do you do this?

Thanks for any help.

I recommend using a transmission of some sort. The planetary gearbox that AM gave us in the KOP would work great. Also, Banebots have a wide selection of transmissions that you can use. The p60s with maybe a 64:1 reduction would be perfect for the lift.

To attach the output shaft to the PVC roller, I would make a hub. If you have access to a lathe this will be fairly simple job. Create a circular hub to the ID of the PVC and drill a hole the same size as the diameter of the output shaft of the transmission/ motor. If you are using a transmission i would highly suggest you key the hub by either using a milling machine or a broach set.

To attach the hub to the PVC you can use set screws to grasp the hub. Hope this helps.

Well, you can probably look at your robot, or any robot if your robot is still in pieces, and find something that is round like a pvc pipe that is turning. So you could start by doing it the same way.

Wheels in a drivetrain rotate either because they have a sprocket with a chain wrapped around it, or they have a hub with a motor shaft stuck through it. So figure out how to attach either a hub or a sprocket to one end of the pvc, and probably a shaft or axle that comes out the other side to give you two mounting points. Your first attempt won’t look pretty but you’ll get better each time you attempt it.


Our team used a hole saw to cut circular plugs out of UHMW HDPE plastic. There is a size of hole saw whose plugs fit very nicely into a 1.5" PVC pipe. From there, you can bore out the plastic plug to an appropriate diameter and attach a shaft to it (cut a keyway, put screws through it, etc).

We rotate our PVC rollers with AM hubs and sprockets. We make sure that we buy flat end caps for the PVC so the hub will mount easily. We usually run a shaft through the entire roller to help keep everything in line and eliminate side load. We use plates with bearings to support the whole system and then run 25 chain from the motor/transmission sprocket to the shaft sprocket of the roller. Sometimes we use hex shaft and other times we use keyed shaft. It all depends on how much force the roller needs to handle. This has always worked for us and has never failed in the 4+ seasons we have needed a roller.