The intake on the front of the robot uses two sets of polycord belts to pull the ball from anywhere in front of the robot into the shooter. The belts themselves are strung on pulleys which are powered by two RS550 motors. The intake is also used to manipulate the Cheval de Frise and the Portcullis. It is actuated by a BAG motor on a 100:1 Versaplanetary using PID for precise movement.
The PID in code receives information from and optical encoder which is attached to the frame of the robot but spins with the intake as it moves. Getting the encoder to accurately log rotation was difficult. Different attachment methods were attempted until mechanically and in software the intake was moving accurately to a desired position.
During practice with the intake we found that the polycord belts consistently moved out of their pulleys and became ineffective in intaking boulders. We attempted to solve this problem by designing and 3D printing guides for the belts that would attach to the polycarbonate upper guard. These guides, however being made of plastic melted under the heat of friction from the belts rubbing against them. This caused the belts to be “welded” to the guides and stall the motors. They were not kept on the final robot for this reason. A new solution called for black traction material to be added to the tubes the pulleys were mounted to so even if the pulleys came out the ball could still be pushed up into the shooter mechanism.