NEW 2023 Playing with Fusion's Telescoping Powered Arm

Introducing Playing with Fusions Telescoping Powered Arm

Reach new heights with our telescoping arm, optimized specifically for the 2023 FRC season! This arm takes the guesswork out of creating a precision telescopic manipulator by integrating inner and outer tubes, slider blocks, and an innovative gear tooth drive scheme.

Telescoping designs like this have been battle tested in previous seasons by FRC Team 1756, Argos, starting in 2018 with the camera “selfie stick”, in 2019 for their climber and arm actuation, as well as the climber in 2020-21 seasons.

Critical Features:

  • 35" of total extension travel
  • Rack and pinion design
  • No precision machining required to mount to your robot
  • Powered extension and retraction
  • Threaded inserts installed in tube structure for motor mounts
  • Mounting plates to accommodate multiple COTS motor and gearbox options
  • 36" long, 2"x2" external aluminum tube
  • 46" long, 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" internal aluminum tube, drilled for gear
  • Nylon slider blocks

In the box:

  • Inner tube, drilled and stored inside outer tube
  • Outer tube, with slider blocks pre-assembled
  • Motor and shaft mounting plates
  • #35, 15-tooth sprocket
  • 1/2" HEX shaft
  • 2x 1/2" bore bearings
  • Screws for mounting plates to outer tube
  • Motor and #25 sprocket not included

Video of Power Arm


I would like to see a second motor mount plate available to run a long belt all the back of the large tube, something that one could use a McMaster [track roller bearing](McMaster-Carr Page: McMaster-Carr) in one of a few holes to tension the long belt.

Working on RI3D Redux an application like this where the arm is powered in doth directions that is just cut to length and mount solution was a Cots that was missing. The design was optimized to have fast installations and keep simplicity to allow for the supply demand of the 2023 season. we will work on alternative motor mount solutions in the future.
her is an example of one of many possible mount style.


Double arm example on RI3D Redux Cad Link
Here I Retrofitted RI3D Redux with two Power arms. I am using a Power Arm to control rotation by pinning it to a second Power Arm that control extension. you can see how the ability to retract into its can be utilized to get tremendous reach and clearance inside of its self with simplistic mounting style.
I have added a test intake for reference.


Love that drive scheme. Looks like a great product. Do you have a max load and speed for this?

Currently this year Argos 1756 is using a 2 stage max planetary geared 12-1
Max load would be dependent on the application and gearing. Argos used a similar slider block arm in 2018-2019 and a sprocket telescoping tube climber was utilized in 2020 to climb and ran in to no issue. There should be no problem to lift an end effector and a game piece based from our internal testing. If you are currently using a pink arm with a torsion spring assist style this arm should give you give you the extra power and reach you need.


I’m more interested in what fails first: the chain or the holes? Can you quantify those loads at all?


From our experience the largest failure points have been the joint holding the arm and or wrist. which is something to worry about for any arm application. The rack and pinion and slider blocks held up great. there was also a trade off gearing the motor for strength and efficiency you will typically run into before mechanical failure from our testing over the years. Ill try to do some load testing later on when inventory is built up.

In 2020 the robot weighed around 150lbs with bumper and battery making and climbed easily in 2-3 seconds. the back drive of the unpowered state was still an issue and we implemented a pnematic break. We ran 2 one inch rack and pinion sticks making it a radial load of 75 lbs on each rack and sprocket set

In 2019 the only failure we ran in to using an arm with this rack and pinion style was that it was a single sided arm that took a major side load hit in heavy defense and broke the bearing holding the arm. The rack pinion and slider block did not have any issues.

Looks quite effective! We were looking to buy one. Do you know how fast it would ship by?

The arms are in stock ready to ship. They should ship same or next day depending when the order is placed.

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