Re: Here's the problem with the minibot
I agree with all the things you said that you think is bad. I do not find anything good about it though. However I like your solution.
Our team is a little bit more thrifty. We only spent $1335 on the minibot. That is a ridiculous amount of money spent. Quite a bit was "wasted" early on when we thought we need the Tetrix Motor Controller, additional Lego Mindstorm touch sensors, big wheels and Tetrix motor mounts etc. Then more money was wasted to find the "legal" switch.
Many teams spent more money on the minibot than other teams spent on their whole robot. That is just wrong for FIRST to design an end game like that which in most cases determine the winner of the match. Less resourceful teams and less established teams have a big disadvantage. Rookie teams already have to overcome a lot of obstacles, both financially and technical know-how. This is just not fair. And it is not a good way to welcome new teams or try to retain them when it is so hard for them to compete with some success.