[FTC]: Folding Tube Conveyor

We’re prototyping a tube conveyor (CAD pics below). What’s not shown is the “conveyor belt”. 3/8" soft rubber tubing is looped in and out of the tube on pulleys. Pics of prototype build to follow.

We’ve named the conveyor “Giraffe Neck”. Giraffe Neck CAD model animation video link:


Are you guys using servos for the folding mechanism?

Also, does the design limit you to dropping balls only from 120cm, when it’s fully extended?

No on servos; current prototype (sorry no pics) has 1/16" wire cable through eyelets and winched from base tube:

http://simhardware.org/img/GiraffeNeck winch_cr 14dec14.JPG

We’ve tested the wire through eyelets on prototype by pulling with a pully mounted at base; it works well.

Yes, always drops from 120cm exit. But, we’re thinking that a “basketball hoop” below exit will allow stabilizing ball and it will drop straight for any goal height. Here’s the whiteboard sketch from our brainstorming session:

http://simhardware.org/img/MeetingNotes Giraffe_ball drop_cr 12dec14.JPG

Have you seen these guys/gals guided shooter design:


The cable is a clever solution.

That launcher robot seems pretty neat, but I’d be concerned that a inspector/judge would call them out of RG11, or RG03 (either a or b).

<RG11> Game elements launched by Robots should not have a velocity greater than that required to reach a maximum
of five (5) feet (1.5 meters) above the playing field surface, nor travel a horizontal distance greater than ten (10) feet (3
meters) from the point that the game element ends contact with the Robot.

While in the video, the ball does seem to get stopped by some shielding, I’d be concerned that some balls that get flung out of the design would break RG11.

Also not too sure how powerful the launcher is, but if somehow got a ball jammed in there, and it cracked, or they accidentally run into another robot with the shooter, and the spinning thing does some damage the other robot (most likely situation I can think of is the shooter getting tangled in the wires of some other robot), they’d probably get in a fair bit of trouble.

The shooter is really cool and all, they’re just going to need to be careful when using it, and getting by inspection.

Maybe if they could prove containment within robot, and not exceed velocity, the interpretation could be that launch is exit of robot.

Like these guys:


Sorry I haven’t posted pics or videos of Tube Conveyor; I forgot to do this before holiday break.

My son and I have been working on a grabber prototype:

http://simhardware.org/img/Grabber CAD_cr 22dec14.jpg

Video of rough prototype here:


We finally made a video of the Giraffe Neck (Folding Tube):



Is the motor alone powerful enough to move the tube, or did you have to gear it up?

This is a gear-motor: http://matrixrobotics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/MATRIX_Motor_Spec_v2.pdf

Mechanical advantage (torque) vs. speed can be adjusted by drum diameter. The prototype is a bit fast, so drum will have a smaller diameter spool.