How to prevent the run over balls and jams on roller intake?

I noticed that some of the teams run over the balls while trying to intake them with roller intake but a few teams like 118, 1678, 3847 etc. don’t have this problem. How do these teams prevent the running over the balls ? What are some key-points that we should be careful about while making a roller intake to not have problems like this ?


This is by no means an exhaustive list, just some basic tips:

  • Intake faster. The quicker the ball is off the ground and into your robot, the less likely you are to get stuck on top of it.
  • Drive slower. While kind of a last resort fix, if you can’t increase the speed of the intake then driving slower when attempting to intake balls will help.
  • Make sure that your intake will always contact the ball - when you’re accelerating, you might tip up, causing the intake to pass over the ball and the ball to get stuck under the robot.

We definitely don’t have this solved perfectly. Inaddition to the suggestions above. Lower bumpers help. Some teams have used a kick up bar that sits below their bumpers while their intake is deployed.

As usual interating and driver practice are big factors. Test different heights and speeds for your intake roller. If your driver can slow down as you approach balls and make sure they are hitting the intake cleanly, it helps.


It depends on a lot of factors, not the least of which is what type of intake you have. We’ve had relatively little problem with this, but we also have a very high-rpm, full width roller intake for a box intake (similar to the Everybot mechanism.) It pulls the PCs in quickly enough that they don’t get pulled under much, even at relatively high robot speeds. We also used dacron sail fabric on our bumpers, which is very slick compared the usual fabrics (i.e., Andymark bumper fabric) and helps the balls that do manage to come into contact with the bumpers roll instead of sticking and being pulled under. That’s a solution that will help to some degree for any mechanism.