Understanding CTE Workcell Conveyors

The CTE Workcell Conveyors are designed to emulate the function and characteristics of real-world conveyors within the manufacturing industry. These conveyors can be used to transport Disks to different sections of the VEX CTE Workcell.

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The CTE Workcell Kit includes two types of conveyors: The Linear Conveyor and the Serpentine Conveyor. Read more about each conveyor and their respective components below.

For instructions on how to build the Linear and Serpentine Conveyors, see the CTE Build Instructions.

Linear Conveyor

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The Linear Conveyor is designed to transport materials in a straight line, or linearly, using the conveyor belt. Within manufacturing operations, linear conveyors often serve as an intermediary between more complex sections of a larger conveyor.


Within the VEX CTE Workcell, the Linear Conveyor serves as the entry and exit point for Disks, passing them onto and off of the larger Serpentine Conveyor. The Disk Loader can attach to the Linear Conveyor to load Disks onto the Workcell.

Linear Conveyor Components

The Linear Conveyor contains the following components:

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Linear Conveyor

The Linear Conveyor consists of a conveyor belt inside the conveyor support structure. Gears are located inside the support structure. When connected to the motor, these gears turn, setting the conveyor belt in motion.

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Each Linear Conveyor system requires one Linear Conveyor to be connected to a 5.5w Motor. The motor rotates the gears in the conveyor, causing the belt to move.

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Disk Loader

The Disk Loader holds the Disks waiting to be released onto the conveyor. The Disk Loader can be used either with the Linear Conveyors or with the Feeder Base and Disk Feeder, to dispense Disks using pneumatic controls. 

To read more about how pneumatics can be used to automate the transport and sorting of Disks, review the article, Understanding CTE Workcell Pneumatics

The Serpentine Conveyor

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The Serpentine Conveyor, also called a snake or spiral conveyor, consists of interconnected belts and platforms arranged in a series of twists and turns, resembling a snake-like shape. These conveyors are designed to maximize the use of available space.

Serpentine Conveyor Components

The Serpentine Conveyor contains the following components:

Chain and Platforms

The Chain and Platforms make up the moving components of the Serpentine Conveyor.


Serpentine Conveyor - Chain

The Chain consists of connected Links. The Chain in the CTE Workcell Kit begins with contains 80 Links. The length of the Chain can be modified to meet the needs of your build. See this article for information on making a custom Serpentine Conveyor.

The Chain connects the surface of the conveyor (the Platforms) to the Track, including a Sprocket, in order to control the movement of the conveyor.


Serpentine Conveyor - Platform

The Serpentine Conveyor - Platform is the surface of the conveyor that interacts with objects. These pieces snap onto the surface of the Chain.

Track Pieces

Track pieces are sections of the Serpentine Conveyor base used to connect devices to the conveyor and the conveyor to the CTE Tiles.


Serpentine Conveyor - Straight Track

The Serpentine Conveyor - Straight Track is a section of the conveyor that maintains a straight path.


Serpentine Conveyor - Turn Track

The Serpentine Conveyor - Turn Track creates a 90 degree turn for the conveyor.


Serpentine Conveyor - Drive Track

The Serpentine Conveyor - Drive Track is the piece with mounting locations for a 5.5w motor and Sprocket. These connected to and power the rotation of the Chain, which in turn moves the Platforms.


Serpentine Conveyor - Diverter Track

The Serpentine Conveyor - Diverter Track includes a mounting location for the Pneumatic Diverter Tower to redirect or sort items to different paths or destinations within the larger conveyor. The other side of this track includes an opening for Disks to move off of the conveyor onto another system.

For more information, help, and tips, check out the many resources at VEX Professional Development Plus

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