Hey y’all, does anyone know the definition of top rollers, side rollers, and scoops?

I think you may get some better responses if you add some more information to your question. Is there a certain context, thread, or video that you saw these terms?

I’m going to take a guess at it.
Rollers are wheels, rod, or some other rotating part that move an object that is in contact with it. A top roller would be a roller that moves an object by touching it’s top. Here are a few pictures:

Side rollers move objects by grabbing their sides. Here are some more examples:

Here are a couple of examples of combining top and side rollers:

I’m not quite sure what you mean by scoop, and I can’t think of anything I’ve seen in FRC for scoops. Maybe some team tried it in 1992? (If someone else knows of a scoop mechanism in FRC, please share!) But a scoop would intake objects by getting underneath of the object and lifting it off the ground. Such as a front end loader:

EDIT: I think the closest thing I could find to a scoop is this robot in the 2017 Game Animation


Some 2017 gear intakes had a top roller with a thin sheet underneath, combining a scoop with a roller, like 5803. A couple teams in 2019 had passive scoop ground hatch intakes, like 1410 and 144 (couldn’t find a good example of this). Also, 1986 in 2013 used a passive scoop intake, and I’m sure others did too.
Another type of intake I’d include is the claw intake, which uses mechanical linkages to grab onto a game object - many 2019 hatch intakes were like this (like 1540 and my team), and a few 2018 robots had success grabbing cubes like this (like 1741).

Thank y’all, this is my first year in robotics, and I was having a tough time finding these definitions.

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I learned “Rolly grabbers” from a 1678 workshop. I believe it’s something called design.

I think you’re referring to the “Strategic Design” workshop here (at about 23 minutes in):

There are definitely some other great insights in this presentation regarding the rest of OP’s post so I’d recommend checking out the whole thing (or the full slides here)


Team Spectrum has a great photo gallery of robot mechanism sorted by year if you want to see how teams approached intakes for various types of game pieces.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of a top roller?

The power cell for the 2020 game is very sticky. So, many teams wanted to lift it up off the floor immediately so that it would not get rolled under the bumper/robot. Top roller intakes do this very well and many teams were very successful using this type of intake to minimize rolling over the power cells.

The disadvantage of a top roller is that the power cells can and do come into the robot (over the bumper) anywhere along the width of the bumper. So you need to have a wide area in which the balls will be collected and then a mechanism to index the balls once they are inside the robot.

It entirely depends on your application – as wgorgen mentioned, a top roller is really good at lifting balls up and off the ground, with a wider intake area than say, a pair of side rollers, while in 2018 (where you could only pick up one game piece and you were likely just holding it in your intake) a pair of side rollers worked fine, since they were better at orienting the power cubes correctly, and maximizing intake width wasn’t as useful as precise placement

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