Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.



Entry ID #: 7771
Created: Sun, Jan 12, 2020 11:31 AM

Introduction: A major challenge that I have come across in my years doing Vex Robotics is designing the intake. Whether is was picking up stars, cones, balls, caps, or cubes, a reliable intake is vital to any team's success. The intake is complex and can be difficult to design and fine-tune, and yet it is fundamental to a successful bot. Because this is such a hard part to create, especially for younger teams that may not understand the mechanics of it, I decided to create a roller that teams can use to help game objects, parts, or even robots move more easily. The roller, which is attached to a motor with an axle, is able to spin freely, so it can be placed on any part of your robot to do any task you need it to do. Using a roller will save teams time and energy, which they can then apply to learn and understand new concepts, strategies, and skills, as well as use that time to further design and improve their robots. I know that my team would certainly benefit from a roller!   Rollers: Make building the intake a lot easier Can be used as a wheel on a drivetrain to help make movement more precise Simplify building process overall  Set-up and Use: Setting up a roller is very simple. You start off by attaching the roller box to your robot using screws. Once the box is attached, you put an axle through the axle hole on the side of the roller box. The axle should pass through the axle hole in the roller, which you line up as you continue to push the axle through the roller box. Finally, attach a motor to the axle and then you are ready to roll.  There are multiple ways that you can incorporate a roller into a robot. One way that teams can use it is to place the roller upside down on the bottom of their drivetrain. This allows the roller to be used as a wheel, which can improve the accuracy and precision of the drivetrain. Another way that teams can use the roller is to put it on their intakes. This creates a simple way for teams to take in game objects, as well as moving them from the intake to the scoring mechanism. The uses are endless. Design Process for the Roller: To create the part, I used Autodesk Fusion 360 (version 2.0.7046).  I chose Fusion 360 because it is what engineers actually use to for designing and modeling products or structures, and I want to become an engineer someday and have the capability to work with both the software and the hardware. Using online tutorials, I taught myself how to use AutoCad this past summer, and I thought that competing for this challenge would be a great way to practice. To make the roller box in CAD, I started off by creating a sketch of one face of the box. I made a two point rectangle in the dimensions of 2.35’’ long and 1.1’’ wide. I chose those dimensions to make sure the box was large enough to fit the roller as well as a wall around the roller area to fit the screw holes.  After I finished the sketch, I extruded it ¾’’ in order to give it depth. It became a rectangular prism that was the correct size to fit the roller mechanism. Next, I created a second sketch for a box that would fit the actual roller inside the first box that was 1.75’’ long and .5’’ wide. I extruded it ¾’’ again. Once that was finished, I created a hole in each of the four corners of the first box, the larger one, for the screws. I also added one hole on the side of the larger box to fit the axle. Then I printed the box using a Creality Ender 3 3D Printer. Finally, to make the roller itself, I created another sketch in a circular shape of 1.571’’ long and ½’’ in diameter. Once I extruded to the length I needed, I made a hole in its center that was the same size as an axle, so I could put the axle through it. I used a 3D printer to print it. Now the part is complete! Conclusion: One thing that I learned from completing this project is how to create new parts in AutoCAD. Before I started working on this challenge, I only knew how to create something using premade parts, inserting them into a design and attaching them to other pre-made parts. Now that I have finished the roller, I now know how to make my own, custom parts from scratch.  I do plan on using 3D design software like Fusion 360 in the near future. So far I have used CAD to model the drivetrain for my team’s robot, and I intend to continue using it to model our intake and tilter. This helps our team make sure that all our parts will fit together before we build so that our design plan will work.  We want to make sure there aren’t any alignment issues that might cause mechanical problems later. I also use CAD to create fun solutions for some of my personal items, like designing a new phone case or something to make my earbuds stay untangled, etc.  Lastly, I believe that knowing how to use CAD will help me in my career. It is a skill that might help me get into college and that I can use in the engineering and technology fields, once I get a job.    


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