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Unread 02-22-2010, 10:05 PM
dmoody92 dmoody92 is offline
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No Lifter = No Playoffs

So we "finished" our robots and have prepared for it's voyage tommorow. Today we began discussing an important decision taht we need to make before practice day. Currently we have no lifter on the robot, but we have made one. We know it can hold the required weight but we havent tested the program, the duarabiliy, we'll be over by 7 pounds...really it's not well built for us. We were at peace with this but seeing all the low scoring scrimmages has us worried. We are wondering if not having a lifter is an almost automatic pass during selection. We have mechanum wheels, we are quite fast, have a relable and accurate kicker. We are wonderinf if it will be worth the time during practice day to really dedicate most of our time to putting on the lifter. Any thoughts?
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Unread 02-22-2010, 10:09 PM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

It's too early to tell how important hanging or being suspended will really be.

If your team thinks that it is important to hang then you should try and shave some weight and put a hanging system on...
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Unread 02-22-2010, 10:19 PM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

I do not think there will be enough teams that can lift to fill out the 24 elminination teams. You certainly will not go on my 'no pick list' just because you cannot lift (if you did, my team's alliance may only have 1 or 2 robots!)

That being said, with scores being low and not many teams lifting, having a sucessful lifter would certianly get your team noticed and drastically increase you odds of getting selected. I would be shocked if a team that has lifted atleast once does not get picked at an average regional.

So, not having a sucessful lifter will not doom you, but it would help a ton in making it to the elimination matches.
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Unread 02-22-2010, 10:38 PM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

Its too early to tell...the Rally is not really a great guage, as there were many Rochester teams that didn't make it out, and many of the teams were still working on bugs... unfortunately we were forced to host it 2 days before ship instead of the day before, and a day can make a lot of difference! I think you will see much higher scores at the regionals. Maybe not really high in week 1, but I guess we will see!

That said, personally I believe a lifter will definitely help you get selected, though it wont be 100% necessary. What I would suggest is talk over a plan to implement it...where can you save 7lbs and how long will it take you? If you can come up with a reasonable plan, implement it! If its too hard/time consuming and will prevent you from getting good at scoring, its probably not worth it. It will be better to get good at scoring than to have a lifter in my opinion.
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Unread 02-22-2010, 11:40 PM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

we considered putting a kicker on our robot last minute, but then we remembered our experience from past years. these games are purposefully designed to make it almost impossible to do all of the tasks well, so this year we focused heavily on our kicking mechanism and left out the lifter. from what i've seen, the robots that get picked for finals are the robots that do their specific job very well. alliances are chosen so that each robot makes up for the shortcomings of the other two, rather a group of robots trying to be good at everything.

Lets not forget theres more than one way to be useful during the endgame. on 706, we gave ourselves a 4 sim drive and 8 high traction wheels specifically for preventing robots from getting to the towers. in some cases, this will more than make up for the lack of a lifting mechanism

bottom line: i wouldnt suggest putting on the lifting mechanism unless you are willing to make that the focus of your robot. find the role your robot fits best and work it to death
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Unread 02-23-2010, 12:12 AM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

Our team decided to axe the lift idea also.

Many of the videos I have seen indicate that several teams will need more than 20 seconds to drive over to the tower, attach themselves, and lift above the platform (not to mention we must consider the robots getting in eachother's way...)

Yes it is a 2 point opportunity cost, and yes, teams will think we are weaker since we don't have a lift. But that's okay, let them think that...
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Unread 02-23-2010, 12:25 AM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

Any good scouting team would choose a robot based on it's performance (i.e. ball handling, shooting, etc). Picking a robot only because it lifted once in a match would not automatically make me pick them. I would have to look at their overall capability and whether they can make up for the hanging with accurate or high percentage shooting.

Our team initially designed a lifter then decided to scrap it for a robot that could go under the tunnel and use a new feature we added. It all depends on how your team will decide to play the game and what role your robot will play in qualifications and eliminations. We believe we made the right choice and will focus on creating strategies that suit our capabilities. So I wouldn't say that "No Lifter = No Playoffs".
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Unread 02-23-2010, 01:05 AM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

A robot that does 60% of the tasks 100% of the time is better than a robot that does 100% of the tasks 60% of the time.
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Unread 02-23-2010, 01:29 AM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

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Originally Posted by artdutra04 View Post
A robot that does 60% of the tasks 100% of the time is better than a robot that does 100% of the tasks 60% of the time.
For lack of better words.... "What he said"
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Unread 03-08-2010, 02:17 PM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

Indeed.
Several matches were 0-0 or low ties at Traverse City, MI, and that was only because of the balls. On other matches that had hangers, they made all the difference between a tie or loss and a win. On at least one occasion, the hangers were the only ones that scored anything.
If my team's lifter was functioning properly during the first few matches, we would have been in the highter standings all the time. But on the second day, we managed to jump from 38th of 38 to 18th.
Just got to get it right the FIRST time!
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Unread 03-08-2010, 02:20 PM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

Just to put this into perspective, the winning alliance (#1 alliance)had no one on the alliance that could lift.And throughout the eliminations, I believe i only saw 4 different teams attempt to hang.
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Unread 03-08-2010, 02:43 PM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

My best suggestion:

Bring it with you as part of the withholding allowance, and have everything you need in order to mount it and cut back the robot's weight. Play a few practice rounds, and watch the rest. Watch carefully to see what kind of effect the arms seem to be having at your event.

This way, if it seems to be a pointless thing to add, you were ready, and if you think it will help, you can throw it on.

(Also, after the competition it would be a cool thing to show potential sponsors once you've perfected it.)
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Unread 03-08-2010, 02:55 PM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

Don't try to hang unless you can do it consistently and quickly. I've seen teams waste too much time lining themselves up, when they could've been play defense.

At P'tree Regional, only 2-3 robots could hang, and none of them were in the finals.
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Unread 03-08-2010, 03:24 PM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

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Originally Posted by dmoody92 View Post
... We are wondering if not having a lifter is an almost automatic pass during selection. ...
Short answer is that not having a lifter shouldn't be an automatic pass during alliance selection.

As a case in point, the Granite State Regional was won this year by an alliance with three excellent ball-handling robots (1073, 1519, 1058), of which none could hang. In order to win the tournament, they defeated an alliance with two hanging robots in the semifinals (outscoring the opposition despite their two successful hangers) and the #1 seeded alliance in the finals (who had an awesome hanging robot that successfully hung in every match.) In short, if a robot can score more points through ball-handling (despite defense encountered in elims) than they can via hanging, the ball-handling robot will be a better pick. However, just because a "better pick" is out there doesn't ensure that alliance captains will make the right pick!

The answer to "who gets picked" really depends upon what alliance captains decide is important for their alliance. Our team has learned that a successful alliance captain needs to be careful to pick the best from the teams that are remaining to be picked, and not have a "pre-defined strategy" of what the three teams on the alliance should have for roles. In the past, we have fallen into this trap as alliance captains, and ended up getting defeated in the quarterfinals as a result of not remaining flexible to different alliance compositions that weren't our preferred composition.

For example, let's consider a sample scenario for this year's game: say the #4 alliance captain decides that the winning alliance needs to have a defensive robot that can hang, a mid-scorer, and a near-scorer. That should be an excellent strategy! The #4 alliance captain's team is the tournament's best near-scorer, so they use their first pick to get one of the only elite mid-scorers at the tournament. Then, after the picks of the other alliances, the few excellent hanging robots are all gone -- the only hanging robots left aren't particularly reliable. However, there's also another excellent mid-scorer available that was low-seeded and wasn't noticed by the mediocre scouting of the #5-#8 alliance captains. If the #4 alliance captain sticks with their philosophy of the "ideal alliance" and insists on picking one of the sub-par hanging robots, they aren't likely to win the tournament. On the other hand, if they remain flexible, pick that excellent mid-scoring robot, and then determine roles on their alliance best suited to the pair of excellent mid-scoring robots and their own near-scorer, they are likely to win.

In short, Art Dutra's comment above is spot-on. What makes robots into excellent picking candidates is being the best at something -- the best hangers will almost surely be picked for alliances, as will the best ball-scorers and the best ball-movers. Build one of those and you've got a good shot at being on the winning alliance at a regional! The "jack of all trades" robot tends to suffer from being the "master of none."
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Unread 03-08-2010, 03:25 PM
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Re: No Lifter = No Playoffs

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Originally Posted by kws4000 View Post
Indeed.
Several matches were 0-0 or low ties at Traverse City, MI, and that was only because of the balls. On other matches that had hangers, they made all the difference between a tie or loss and a win. On at least one occasion, the hangers were the only ones that scored anything.
If my team's lifter was functioning properly during the first few matches, we would have been in the highter standings all the time. But on the second day, we managed to jump from 38th of 38 to 18th.
Just got to get it right the FIRST time!
I found that the 0-0 matches were because of high defense and obviously hanging in these situations would turn the match around for the given alliance. However, at the same time could it not be said that if a team had successfully made shots during autonomous the match would tip in their favor? After watching the matches in San Diego, I have to say that having an autonomous mode that at least gets the balls in the alliances near zone (or scores) gives them a significant advantage in a match.
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