Improving Flex

The original Flex from the VEX IQ website. It is suggested as the best robot chassis to use for the 2018-2019 Vex IQ Next level Challenge.

We built this robot from the instructions on the website, but found it lacking a some areas: 1: The hook design didn’t allow for the robot to lift itself more than 4 inches off the field. 2. After we changed the hook, the robot didn’t have enough torque to lift itself. Therefore we redesigned the gearbox. 3: It was VERY difficult to dislodge the yellow hubs, because the robot couldn’t reach high enough. 4: The lifting tower wasn’t strong enough structurally, it kept breaking even when just picking up the robot to carry it around. 5. Some parts were expendable and sometimes in the way.

Our improved design (We are busy redesigning and improving it all the time)

1. The Hook

We made the hook shorter and moved it towards the front of the arm. That way we thought the robot would be able to lift itself higher off the field (Scoring double points of course). But, it didn’t happen that way… The robot didn’t have enough torque to lift itself because it lost the mechanical advantage it had when the hook was closer to the fulcrum.

2. The Gearbox

Enter the new, improved torque monster gearbox. We redesigned the gearbox for double the torque. This brought some other problems however: The motor had to be repositioned. The gears slipped under heavy loads, and likewise the tower buckled. We had to strengthen many parts and add supports for the gears.

A frontal view of the gearbox

3. Reach higher

With increased strength and added structural integrity, we still couldn’t easily knock the yellow hubs off their perches. This was a simple solution though.

New Idea

After trying out this upgraded Flex, we were still not happy with it’s abilities. We needed to be able to pick one hub up and push at least two others (preferably three). Flex only allows us to push one hub, we needed a design change.

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