A while back, I was brainstorming different ways to intake balls and gears with the same system. My team needed the ability to pick up both but only had space for one subsystem in the front of our robot.
The simplest solution would have been to have a classic floor gear intake which flips down to intake, then flips up and back down to outtake. Then, I could have simply had the shaft about which it flipped have rollers to intake balls. However, due to the positioning of our climber right above the intake, there wasn’t ample space for this kind of a system.
When intaking gears, it functions similarly to 1678’s intake from this year. The red roller drags the gear in, and the black 0.375" hex shaft (coated in a surgical tubing sleeve) pulls the gear up and into the intake. Then, it flips up, aligns with the peg, and flips back down to outtake.
Then, in order to intake balls, the red rollers in front actually flip up to ±4" from the ground, offering optimal compression to intake fuel. The back set of rollers spins inward, pushing the balls up into our hopper.
Prototyping showed that both the “gear mode” geometry and the “ball mode” geometry worked out on their own, but my team didn’t have time/resources to actually finish this project. It would be really fun to see this thing made, though, so if anyone wants the CAD let me know!