Aim Well

A few questions for whom they may apply:

How big is your ball catcher? (A rough measurement is appreciated)

How big do you think is big enough for the average human player?

Do you think a catcher will give you a big advantage?

A big advantage, no. But a good advantage yes. We are currently planning to open our robot up to 59 x ~50. I think it depends on how good your human player is to say how big the opening should be. We are making as big as possible in case we are the best robot on our alliance and other teams want to throw balls into our robot as well. After this funnel there is an area where the balls are collected that measures about 20 x 27ish. We don’t have any final plans yet because of weight concerns. But we hope to be able to add this on.

I can’t testify to what size is ‘big enough’, but we have found that the best way to actually determine who our human player will be is to have a small competition, which (in theory) should produce the human player with the best skills, which means you would need a smaller opening for the funnel. If you don’t want to do that, see if any of your team members have ever played on a sports team (basketball, anyone?) and see if they want to voulenteer. Just make sure you don’t put your best driver as human player! :wink:

we have (as of now) have no special catcher, but i see no point in having one. No one can throw a ball 30 feet with any accuracy so the robot won’t be able to be loaded b the players, however, if you throw them nearby the robot can pick them up, so i see no point in having a catcher

It’s more of a question of how much weight you have left to make the catcher, or at least thats ours. There’s a design for one, but its the last thing to go on the robot if we have enough free weight at the end…which never really happens…

That’s a very good point. It seems to me an extraneous thing that won’t help, and will detract from your ability to do other things. It goes against keeping it simple.

I wouldn’t completely agree with that statement. If you have a decent human player - such as someone who is/was on a basketball or baseball team - then yes, I can see them being able to accurately throw poof balls into a 2 or 3 foot wide opening from 30 feet away. Or think of it this way: in 2004 the human players had to throw the heavy 13" playground balls into 30" wide goals about 20 feet away. We had an awesome human player that year, who was able to make about 95% of all the shots she made.

So yes, I would say it is possible to have an accurate human player loaded robot from 30 feet away. :slight_smile:

I say, why deprive yourself of the capability? It may not be THAT key, but it could be helpful, especially is some of the 'bots that can dump into other 'bots that were discussed early on are made. (I can almost guarantee someone will have that ability)

In terms of functions, you don’t want to ask yourselves “what do we want” but “what do we need.” You don’t have the time, room or weight to do everything that is slightly helpful, and I think this one is probably not worth it.


If you can pick up balls from the floor, it may be just extra weight. If you can’t pick up the floor balls, and plan to reload via your human player, any advantage you can give yourselves is a good idea.

Imagine you are against other bots who excel at picking them up from the floor. If picking them up is not your strength (or if the opposition is stronger), a catcher may be the most effective way to get balls to your bot.

It just seems to me that this doesn’t seem like a competitive main way to get the balls in your robot. 1.) You can’t assume that your team mate will be able to hand them off to you and 2.) How accurate really, is your human going to be? There’s a big wall in front of them… and 3.) It will slow down / complicate your robot.
Just doesn’t seem like a great strategy.

I think it’s mostly an issue of weight. A field loader weighs about the same as a big ball catcher. If you use both a big ball catcher and a field loader, then that’s a certain amount of weight you take away from improving the shooter and the stability of the drive train. Realistically, will you ever have to collect balls using both human players and field loaders? It seems to me that you should use whichever type of loading you can build more effectively, because I doubt that either type of robot will find a shortage of ammo with eighty balls split between the goals and the field.

we have an open hopper, but it was not designed to make HP loading as easy as possible, it’s probably going to be fairly difficult to load unless it’s pretty close up. but we have what should be a fairly effective collector, so we’re not too worried

Imagine a scenario where you have 6 effective scoring machines (low or high). This will be the case in the playoffs. In this case there could be (theoretically) almost nothing on the floor.

In this case hopper loading from close range becomes the dominant mode of ball transfer.

In 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2004 balls were already out on the floor, fired onto the floor from half court, or dumped on the floor intentionally. In a really good match in 2006, I am not so sure there is going to be that much to harvest.

Just my 2 cents.

Good luck to everyone this season!!

Look for a human player that plays soccer. When you throw a ball back into play during soccer you throw overhead which mimics throwing over the wall. Our guy is dead accurate.

hm… so is anybody else doing both (picking up from ground and catching balls)?

Our hopper is open as well. We don’t plan on mainly throwing into the hopper with our HP, but if for some reason our ball-picker-upper malfunctions, a plan B is always nice. It’s the little things that aid the drivers/HPs that make a good robot great. Especially with a physical game like this year’s, having a flexible design is critical in case one of the mechanisms doesn’t work properly.

Hear, hear!

It may warrant a big advantage depending on how good your human player is. If your player is better than your ball loader, it’s huge.