VEX Lift & Claw Design Guide

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General Design Considerations

  • The course itself - Are the paths that the robot has to travel on wide or narrow? Is it mostly smooth or is it rough?
  • Tasks the robot must complete - Does the robot have to grab something, if so what are the heights that it needs to be able to reach? Does the robot have to hold something, if so what is the size of that object? aka reading up on the SLDP
  • Available parts - Do I have access to the parts that I would need to make the robot? Is there a limit on how many sensors or motors I’m allowed to use?
  • Starting configuration / size limit - Is there a restriction on how large the robot can be?
  • Complexity - Sometimes the most simple idea is the greatest plan of action.

General Tips

  • Start Early; it’s better to finish early rather than late, especially if things don’t end up working as originally planned
  • Teamwork makes the dream work
  • Create a draft (or a few) of the robot; doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as you understand what you drew and how it’ll look when built, you are good
    • Using Fusion 360 for this step will let you easily visualize it better and give you a headstart in the required CAD drawings of the robot (not necessary but you can also generate simulations of the robot to see how it would perform)
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you get stuck, don't be afraid to talk to a TA.

VEX Material

VEX Curriculum Lessons

VEX Robot Builds

Moby Build

Figure 1: Moby Build

Crunch Build

Figure 2: Crunch Build

Lift Build

Figure 3: Lift Build

Flip Build

Figure4: Flip Build

Super Flip Build

Figure 5: Super Flip Build

Clawbot Build

Figure 6: Clawbot Build

Stack Build

Figure 7: Stack Build

Speed Build (Robot Frame)

Figure 8: Speed Build

Bar Lifts

General Introduction to VEX Bar Lifts


2-Bar Lift

Chained Two Bar Lift

Figure 9: Chained Two Bar Lift

4-Bar Lift

Four Bar Lift (Technical)

Four Bar Lift (Building Guide - Part 1)

Four Bar Lift (Building Guide - Part 2)


Figure 10: Four Bar Arm Lift

6-Bar Lift

Six Bar Lift (Technical)

Figure 11: Six Bar Lift

Linear Motion/Elevator Lifts

Linear Motion (Build Guide)


Figure 12: Elevators

Cascade Lift

Figure 13: Cascade Lift

Scissor Lift

Scissor Lift (Highly Technical)

Scissor Lift (Demonstration)

Figure 14: Scissor Lift

Robot Arm

Refer to clawbot design instructions here

Claw/Intake Designs

Pneumatic Claw

Figure 15: Pneumatic Claw

Tower Takeover Claw

Figure 16: Tower Takeover Claw
Figure 16: Tower Takeover Claw Iteration

Starstruck Claw

Figure 17: Starstruck Claw

Roller Intake

Figure 18: Roller Intake Example


​​Techno. (2016, May 6). Different lifts. VEX Forum. Retrieved January 15, 2022, from

mollago. (2016, May 27). Simple 6 bar lift render. YouTube. Retrieved January 15, 2022, from