Are the three day builds affecting designs?

I agree with this. I think the over the bumper pickup would have been a pretty common design even without the 3 day build bots, and I wasn’t surprised to see some of the 3 day bots go that route. The choo choo is really the only thing I’m seeing more of than I would have expected to see without the 3 day builds.

I know at least one team that certainly came up with an El Toro design before Ri3D posted it, and they still call it that simply because it ensures everyone will know what they’re talking about. It seems to be happening a lot: in addition to offering rookie guidance and prototyping insight, the 72hours-ers have offered up a communal vocabulary. At least for that, I thank them.* “It’s like a [JVN catapult]” saves a whole lot of hand waving.

*Personally, I thank them for other things as well, but that debate will continue to attack dead horses.

One of the hardest things for mid-tier teams to do at a regional or championship, is to distinguish themselves from the pack for alliance consideration. By following a Ri3Ds robot, the team is forced to blend in with all of the other similar robots. They disadvantage themselves.

But Ri3Ds doesn’t necessarily detract from the ability to engineer. Take a look at 148 this year. While in concept it is similar to “BoomDone”'s robot, the process of reengineering and iterating the design is a System Engineer’s dream come true. There is no doubt that they can (and will) distinguish themselves.

Why reinvent the wheel when you can build a better one?

I agree that you would have seen a lot of convergence due to the game challenge, but there are definitely a few design features that are more common than they would have been without Ri3D/Build Blitz.

  1. El Toro style intakes

  2. Motor driven arm-apults

  3. Optimizing for the “Aren Hill Sweet Spot”

Read my signature.

Little known fact, I invented parabolas. :rolleyes:

Suggestion #3: Invent as a last resort. Almost all of the innovations you can think of didn’t start with a clean piece of paper. Find a way to use existing things and make them better.

-Dean Kamen

Read this quote several times before making another argument against the 72 hour builds.

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This. “Roller intake over the bumpers into catapult” is a design that would be commonplace anyway. The only possible effect I see (aside from El Toro) is that Simbot SS forks/clones would have probably been somewhat more commonplace.

Anyway, this thread works as a good followup to this thread

And choo choo linkages! :slight_smile:

To 7th graders everywhere: #blamearen

From Indianna University:
Copycats pave the way to problem-solving success

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I can’t speak for other teams’ seasons, but even though our robot looks very similar to a build blitz robot, we actually did all of our proof-of-concept and prototyping independently. We did look at the Ri3D and build blitz for proof of concept, but we put all of our ideas to the test and wound up going with the ones we found were most effective and efficient to build. We did turn to build blitz for inspiration on our launching mechanism, but that may be the only thing we outright designed based off of the 3 day projects.

From what I saw at week-0 events this past weekend, there is still plenty of variety in robot design!

A lot of teams seem to have the horizontal intake system, like RI3D 1.0

I think they are too. Our team started with a vacuum pickup mechanism. We got soo far that it was installed on the practice robot before we realized it didn’t work in any way shape of form. We quickly decided to switch to el toros after seeing how well they worked even in comparison to the jvn top roller concept.

As for rookie teams it is huge. At the 2013 champs we were paired with several Ri3D bots which allowed us to quickly develop a game plan knowing there exact capabilities.
This year with 5 Ri3D bots i see 2 roads:
*The rookie *: improve slightly but mostly copy these championship worthy robots.
*The veteran *: use Ri3d as a prototyping done for you. This was our approach as the pickup we had on just did not work and we were way too late in realizing this to prototype a new intake.

Ri3D also helps with concept development. To quickly see that a pneumatic puncher does not work allowed us to totally throw out that concept on day 1. The same is true with spatula pickup and slingshots.

Scouting: our pit scouting sheet will simply have a list of the mechanisms on each Ri3d robot (and a blank to write down mechanisms not used on a Ri3d) making scouting much simpler.

Variety is dead, long live variety!

But seriously, there were more moving, functional robots at our week zero than I remember in any previous year. I partially credit Ri3D/BB for that.

Affecting? Sure. Negatively so? I’m not sure.

I admit the first thing I do when games are announced is think back to what teams have done in the past to manipulate similar objects. I know the other mentors do the same thing. But let’s be honest, a lot of teams don’t have that kind of experience. The quick builds allow teams to gain access to SOME level of historical knowledge in the form of all the experienced mentors building robots.

I think it’s a “good” thing from an inspirational view point. Teams have something to guide them.

However, I don’t think it’s a good thing from an audience standpoint. When 80% of the robots look similar it takes away from the spectacle and people start to think we had to build to that spec. Idk, I’m still a little torn on this one tbh.

Several thoughts.

  1. 3 day robots inspire both new and veteran teams to get ideas. At the very least, a starting point in which to create their own robot and features.
  2. Its a good thing. How many teams actually spend an adequate amount of time during the last week to test, make revisions, practice, program, and make the bot pretty? There’s a good amount of teams that still cram during the last week to finish. If anything, the 3 day robots help lessen the no. of teams stuck in that position.
  3. I think the most important reason for doing this is more than just providing ideas to teams. It highlights companies, the leaders in FIRST, and great designers of past to showcase their skills and create a relationship with their audience.
    People always talk about mentoring and doing outreach. What better way to do this than the 3 day robot idea?

The videos definitely helped many teams come up with ideas.

We here at Martin Van Buren high school have two teams, one is the girls (4789) and the others is the boys(3053). Our girls team is on there second year and still a bit of a rookie team although we aid them with help and support.

The girls team will be using a mere image of three day robot but it’s not to be ashamed of.

I do agree that most teams would have came up with the same pick-up mechanism.

But the three day robot helped the boys team too. We decided to try and come up with a completely different idea and we are doing great too.

I think that the Ri3D projects are a good thing. There is the obvious reason that it helps inspire/provide a starting point for younger or rookie teams.

There is the less-obvious reason that it gives me an idea of what sort of robots we might be playing with and against during the season. That sparks different design avenues for cooperative and defensive features or objectives that I probably wouldn’t have come up with had I been working on an island.

It also lets me know what designs are likely to become common and thus I can figure out which concepts my team comes up with are likely to be innovative and/or different enough to catch people’s attention.