12 second cycles are more possible than you think

I see a lot of talk that a 12 second cycle will be unrealistic, especially week one. That is simply not true. Without defense, the only problem is aligning hatches. Cargo is easy to align. Alignment will be covered by most team with a camera anyways. The distance is small enough that 12 second cycles will be very possible for teams that go for them. High level teams will probably be able to shorten this even more.

With driver practice, I think 12 second cycles are possible. However, in terms of hatches, I think that it depends entirely on the team’s manipulator design. A manipulator that does not require that a driver line up with the rocket/cargo ship exactly to place a hatch but rather can account for small inaccuracies will most likely allow for these 12 second cycles.

Again, however, it all comes down to how much practice the driver has.

Here are some 12 second cycles. With full automation and more practice they’ll become more consistent and be more resilient to defense. But honestly I don’t think 12 second Hatch Panel cycles are possible against defense.

The Metrobots are starting to hit sub 12 second cycles quite easily with cargo, but our average cycle time for a match is a little over 12 seconds right now. Getting consistent line up times on hatches when you have to score in so many different places is quite challenging.

Practice practice practice!

Another practice match where I think we averaged close to or below 12 seconds.

I believe you greatly overestimate the power of a general team. Not everyone has the same resources, let alone a robot that has been tested for more than 3 days. While I would love to see all teams put up those kind of numbers, I don’t think it’s a realistic goal for week 1 or 2.
Consider the following. If its realistic for the average team to be hitting 12 cycles, then teams that truly stand out from the crowd will be doing much more. But hitting more that 12 is an insane number. 12 will be seen, but not by everyone.
It’s all about having experience and drive practice, and very few will have realistic practice. Once they get that, their cycles will greatly increase. We in Indiana see it every year. The third district and states are amazingly competitive, because every robot has played a competition before. In 2017, Indiana only had 1 four rotor run in their second district. In the third district and states, they scored 43 and 65 four rotor runs respectively. I expected some very strong teams, but the average robot will not be doing 12 cycles.


The average robot wom’t have 12 second cycles, but those that built to do it will be getting it more than I think people think they will. Don’t get me wrong, 12 second cycle time is a lofty goal for most teams, but even low bots should be able to achieve it.

In practice, undefended on an open field, we have been averaging 13-14 second cycles running hatches. and 11 second cycles running cargo. I’d expect us to be in the 15-18 second average cycle time at our week one event.

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Without defense

yeah, good luck with that. there should be defense every match. even if it is to just sit in front of the rocket for 20 seconds to ensure they dont get the cargo. 12 second cycles are definitly possible and some teams will get it down to 10 seconds… without defense.

I miss our flip-over intake from last year so much when I watch your robot run hatches. Can’t wait for MVR next week!

We were getting sub 10 seconds with cargo. Go watch the reveal video if you don’t believe me. However I expect that won’t happen under defense. That’s why we built a shifting drive system to push defense robots out of the way.

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Do you mean an average of 12 seconds over a match, or the ability to sometimes achieve individual cycles that are each 12 seconds or less? One of those things is much harder to do than the other.

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It’s pretty great. The biggest advantage is in sandstorm. I can’t imagine we’d have a 2 hatch sandstorm without a flipping intake/score mechanism.

Not to say it isn’t possible, just much much more difficult.

During one of our practices we had some sub 10 second cycles with cargo and around 10-11 second cycles with hatch panels on the rocket

In order to do a Rocket you need to be doing this every single time. In order to be able to do a Rocket with any amount of interference from either your alliance or the opposing alliance you need to be significantly faster than 12 second cycles in isolation on your practice field.

Rocket RP’s are going to be incredibly rare in early weeks.


It would be a smart strategy for every alliance to send someone to play defense in every match. However I would expect it to be less often at early events, especially in early quals. Very few teams build their robot for the main purpose of playing defense and everyone will want the chance to show off what they can offensively.

Perhaps they are, especially for teams with more practice. That being said, never underestimate the struggles of week 1. There are many elements of the game (bad velcro, stuff not necessarily to specs, competition pressure) that make many people overestimate robot performance early on.


I believe that the fast cargo cycles might happen, and there will totally be some 12 second cycles. There will probably be some 10 second cycles too, and maybe some faster. But in order to get an average of 12 seconds, half of your cycles need to be faster than 12 seconds, and probably some of them notably faster, and that’s where the unlikelihood is.

On our practice field mostly undefended we were placing around 8 game pieces, a mixture of hatches and cargo. We were placing 1 hatch and picking one up in auto. Then placing 3 hatch panels and 6 balls in teleop running on average 12-13 second cycles as well as getting a level 3 climb in with on average 5-7 seconds remaining on the game clock. Running an all ball game filling up the cargo ship we multiple times hit sub 12 second cycles (11.4). With defense played this should be much harder to accomplish in general and week 1 qualification matches I doubt you will see teams running 12 second cycles. Maybe in playoffs you may see some times close to this posted but who knows for sure.

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I expect cargo cycles to generally get down to 12 sec or less earlier than HP cycles, simply because a power cube manipulator can be tweaked into a cargo manipulator rather trivially. About week 5 and later, I expect HP cycles to be slightly quicker than CARGO cycles, because the manipulations will be at one of three very well defined altitudes, all of which are well marked with approach and target tape.

254 managed a five-cube auto in fifteen seconds last year. The game pieces are not as advantageously placed this year, so I don’t expect three-second cycles, but there will definitely be a number of single-digit-second cycles in auto/sandstorm, and teams who can work through interference may well achieve single-digit-second cycles in auto against modest/moderate defense.

Where did poofs do a 5 cube auto?