Which is the best elevator motors

I wanna find out which is the best elevator motor give a suggestion please if passable put a link to it

Answer: Yes.

You don’t have any details relating to things like height, estimated weight, and desired speed top to bottom. Without those, I could tell you that a NIDEC was a perfect motor. (Hint: it isn’t)


Safest bets: CIM, MiniCIM, NEO(?)
Probably great: Falcon 500
Light weight, but more factors to be aware of: 775Pro / RedLine

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How quickly should the car move between floors? How many passengers?


The answer really depends. You should familiarize yourself with the JVN Calculator as a starting point, and spend some time in the linear mechanism tab. That will help you make a choice of motor(s) for your elevator and hopefully a gearbox as well to accompany it. It may be missing certain brushless motor options, as I believe this version is from 2017.


The key things you’ll need to know to figure it out are:

  1. The weight of your load (includes carriage and game piece).
  2. How high it needs to go, and how fast you need it to get there.
  3. Whether and how long you need the elevator to be able to “hold position” when it is raised.
  4. How much current you are willing to budget to raising and holding.
  • The first two will give you a minimum required power. You’ll need to identify a motor which can provide that power within the current budget (fourth).
  • The first and third and fourth will likely rule out additional motors, or require a brake to keep the motor(s) from burning up.
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OP, first off, welcome both to Chief Delphi and FIRST in general - I see you’re registered as your first year on a rookie team - super awesome of you to reach out to this community early in the process!

To illustrate what others have said with an example - elevators may need to lift a 4 pound gamepiece or 400 pounds of robot. That spread is hard to provide a single recommendation on.

For reasons like this, the problem as stated is unfortunately under specified. Any additional details you can provide on what your situation looks like, or where the answer CD provides will ultimately be used?

If I could provide a more general recommendation: Steal from the best, invent the rest. I have shamelessly pulled software from 254, massaged it into something useful for our particular team, and achieved great success using it. That’s the point of the openness of the community - we win by helping each other, not hiding information or maintaining secrets.

Given the fact you’re early in the learning process, I’d avoid trying to do a detailed custom design this year. Use a Commercial, Off the shelf solution, or find a design by another team that matches your use case, and duplicate it as closely as possible.


We used two DiCIMate gear boxes (4x Redline 775s) for our elevator this past year (2019)

Just to show the variety of possibilities, we used a BAG motor on our elevator. We figured out how much weight needed to be lifted (including game piece and the entire mechanism), how fast we wanted it to move, and then assumed the motor load would be around 20% of available power. The BAG motor met the requirements, and was relatively easy to connect to the mechanism.

We used 2- 775s the past couple years, has worked great. We used CIMs in 2016 for an arm (still a lifting motion), motors worked fine. We used a seat motor for a small arm in 2017, motor itself was fine (gearbox wasn’t). Honestly, your ratio matters more almost than the motor, and how that motor interfaces with how your trying to drive it. Not the best strategy, but for the past couple years, we just threw 775s on everything and sent it, never gave us issues. Overkill? For sure, but who doesn’t love over powering everything?

We used 2 775s for our continuous elevator in 2019. Didn’t burn them out until the offseason.

We used 3 CIMs for our cascade elevator in 2018. We needed the power for a buddy lift hang off of the first stage. The original lift idea was two wings, so the elevator was originally designed to be able to lift the weight of 3 robots (~500 lbs) 12 inches in 3 seconds. When we removed the wings and replaced it with a single buddy lift off the back, we calculated that we could switch to miniCIMs, but we never took the time to do it. We had a 2 speed gearbox so that we could run the elevator fast for lifting cubes and slower for the hang.

In 2016, we used PG motors for our hang lift.

There are many options for elevator motors. The key, as other have pointed out, is to figure out what the load is and then gear your motors to provide sufficient strength margin. I would stay away from 775s unless you have a good handle on programming current limits and encoders to know where you are (and stop the motors when you hit the travel limits) as these motors will burn out in a few seconds if you stall them at high voltage against an endstop. They are also not great for holding (stalled) high loads, so you need to make sure they can hold the load at relatively low power. CIMs or MiniCIMs will be much more robust while you are learning these valuable skills.

Good luck!

Our 2018 elevator used a single 775pro (but we should have used two) and our 2019 elevator used a single NEO (but we should have used two). Both elevators were pretty heavy and high friction, but the motors we used were able to fling them around quick enough to compete.

You have to be specific so that the community members will be able to provide you a good list of elevator motors.

Geared AC motors are a very common type of elevator motor. They are commonly used for elevators that move at speeds of up to 153 feet per minute. The gears are necessary in order to both reduce the motor speed and increase the torque when the elevators stops and start.

We used two NEOs on our elevator for 2019, they provided more than enough power to both lift the game pieces at a decent speed (~1s to top of the rocket) while also being used to help lift the front of the robot for the L3 hab climb.

Again, like everyone else has been saying, the type of motor you select is highly dependent on your use case. What is your elevator being used for? How fast do you want your elevator to be? What is the weight your motors will be lifting? And so on and so forth. As you can see in this thread teams here have had success with a diverse range of motor power - from one BAG to sets of 4 775pros - all for the same gamepiece challenge.

A great resource that I will always never recommend enough for help figuring out your elevator parameters is the JVN calculator. Select the “Linear Mechanism” tab and take a look for yourself. There’s the freedom to select different combinations of motors, different gearings, the lift distance, the weight of what’s being lifted, the pulley diameter… And you can customize these variables as you see fit to fulfill the goal of your elevator for your team: lift X amount of weight in Y amount of time to gain Z amount of points!

And as always while the calculator itself is convenient for the purposes of quick and convenient designing, it’s always nice to revisit your physics class and gain an understanding how all these parameters interact with each other conceptually, as well as having a general understanding of COTS gearboxes that will make implementing your elevator an easier process.

I wish our team did what if problems like these.

Given an elevator with stage 2 weight w2 and stage 3 weight w3 and a game piece weight w4 that has to lift the second stage d inches

  1. Find a VP gearbox ratio that works with two a) 775 motors, b)CIM motors, c)mCIM motors d)NEO motors e)Falcon motors that will lift the elevator in under 1 second.
  2. Find a two speed gearbox with 2 or 3 CIM, 2 NEO that will lift the elevator/game piece in under one second AND also lift the robot up in under 4 seconds.

Bonus points if you can also list what sensors or electrical components that also need to be added to the design and if there are any programming constraints that need to be considered.

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Initially our team used 2 775 pro motors on Cimile gearboxes and a 12.75:1 toughbox on a double cascading lift made from 1.5mm and 3mm 2"x1" tube with a heavy arm on it (extended from 4ft to 9ft overall) and had no issues.

First thing we did after official competitions was change to 2 NEO motors and was even better. Then we reduced the weight of the arm and intake and switched to minicims as we needed the two NEOs as a drive NEO burned out, we then had issues with the motors overheating and not providing enough power, assumedly because of the incorrect gear ratio for the power band of the motors. Setup can be seen in this image;

MiniCims were fine for the job, just make sure to use the correct ratio. As already mentioned it is more important to get that right then to have the perfect motors. The size of the pulley/sprocket also has an effect as this changes the speed that the mass will move per revolution.

Next year we plan to upgrade to our new custom 3 NEO gearboxes at 12.75:1 for even more power with a lighter elevator by CNCing lightening holes (if it comes to that).

I’ll also recommend you take a look at the mechanism calculator in my design spreadsheet. It does the same stuff as JVN’s linear tab, plus a whole bunch of other stuff that’s helpful for picking which motors and gear ratios to use in a mechanism.

As others have said above, in theory it doesn’t really matter which type of motor you pick if you use enough of them geared to the right ratio.

…and more bonus points if you remember that the spool diameter is a very important part of this calculation :slight_smile:

Do those then?

and that keeping the spool diameter constant is a way to make your software team not hate you :smiley: