Wheel Vs. Claw Intakes?

Based off of what you guys have either seen and/or personally experienced yourselves what are your thoughts on intaking subsystems that grasp game pieces via motorized compared to more claw like intakes that clamp on the game piece. Im curious to hear peoples reasoning for either (or both) sides.

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I’m in favor of wheeled intakes 90+% of the time. Touch it own it is key, and the different in precision needed for intaking with a roller vs a claw can’t be overstated in my opinion.


porque no los dos?

roller claw


Have you guys every experienced any weight issues going with wheels, or both as @troy_dietz suggested? Im 100% behind the touch it own it sentiment but I’ve seen some intakes get pretty heavy with all the wheels and motors

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It’s true that a plain claw can get stupid light, but once you’re into the “touch it, own it” mentality with a roller system, adding a pneumatic claw actuation to that doesn’t add much weight. Sometimes that “grip” action can be passive (spring loaded) or a torque reaction from the intake motor as well.


I haven’t experienced too many issues with weight on intakes. Usually we use a 775 on ours with some belts and it’s pretty solid. I could see falcons or neos getting a bit heavy, but that’s usually not needed. Depends on your intake though. We also use mostly lexan or wood, so it’s not that bad. Metal would obviously be heavier.

But what if its a really BIG claw?


We’re a proud member of #TeamBigClaw.


Hows it working out for you guys? My team really wanted to go for wheels and rollers but it didnt mesh that well with our rotating wrist idea given the weight

Courtesy of 1678: Always use a rolly intake. Watch any Einstein match from any year any year since 2012. Every robot on the field will have rolly grabbers.


It’s working out pretty well. We use IR sensors to close the claw automatically and it’s a really wide opening so there’s a good margin for error. We also use a limelight to track game pieces on the floor.

The less driver precision needed the better. It’s also much easier to pull off a wheeled intake well than it is to pull off a claw intake well.


Gawd damn that acquisition zone is as big as an ftc robot
In all seriousness you’re pretty much right as after doing my own research and looking at top scoring teams from TBA they all seem to have rolly intakes of some type. Even 1690 with their claw that defies physics requires an intake powered by wheels.

If you guys are comfortable would you mind sending a picture of it?

That was the point :slight_smile:


I’m in favor of wheel intakes 99% of the time, like others here. However, I have seen many good claws this year, if they are loading station only, NOT floor pickup. Why? At the loading station you have a known location and orientation and can even get lineup assist from the human player by them moving the cone as you come in. But one other requirement that makes the difference between a good and bad loading station claw, you need a known distance to the LS as well. If you claw is positioned correctly when your bumpers touch the
wall for instance, then intake can be as fast and reliable as a well build wheeled intake. If you need to stop a ways back and crawl into the right distance or risk smashing into the cone and tipping it before you can close the claw though, it’s not gonna be good. Needs to be a simple hit-close-go, no precision movements required, but you need to lock in exactly where to come in side to side, consistently every time.

So I would say if you can reliably put a claw in exactly the same place every time with a hard stop on the distance at a known location and orientation for the game piece, claws can be good. Ground pickup, or anything else left to be variable, claws bad, wheels good.

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Sent a couple videos via PM.

something like that, but the only tick is the fact that it needs to be really wide to be viable. heres ours.


Mediocre roller intakes appear to be more effective than all but the very best claws. The best I have seen have rollers or belts AND some sort of open/close action.


This. Touch it own it was a big priority for us this year, and just like you said the roller system with pneumatics being used as a “passive spring” is the best method of intaking i’ve seen so far.

7157 reveal video soon?


Yeah this seems to be among the most popular/viable methods of intaking gamepieces this year, but does this mean that claws cant compete?

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