Work a lot with your human player, G40s are killer. Make sure they can put the ball in play under heavy defense at the inbound zone. The human player should be able to throw the ball into the robot at a distance. I’ve seen defense played where a robot parks themselves in front of the human player, make sure you can get around that. If this is not possible, the HP should know when to just throw the ball on the field.
The inbounding role relies on the HP more than anything. Make sure they have a lot of practice and understand their role.
Train your driver extensively, watch loads of film, learn driving tactics and effective defenses. Be sure you driver team can communicate, train the coach to be very useful, have the coach tell the time, have the coach tell the driver whether they need to play defense or inbound. Train scouts, review your scouting system, optimize it. Make sure your drive team knows the rules very very well, they should be able to quote them on the spot, not necessarily the rule exactly,but the general what could you do. Put the drivers in theoretical situations, watch a match then pause it, have them walk through what they would do. Learn how to escape defense, if somebody t-bones you, learn what to do to get around it.
High goal scoring doesn’t matter one bit for an inbounder. The truss specialist is the backup scorer, and even then a 1 point goal is likely sufficient and faster. I would make that a lower priority than even a blocker.
Quick HP loading, solid intake, not dropping the ball, quick release, robust heavy defense drive
There is a high probability that the human player misses the robot at least once in the match. That makes a solid intake an important quality. If the robot never misses the ball from the human player then an intake isn’t necessary. However, I wouldn’t want to take that chance.
In the few times that that did happen to us, we simply herded the ball using our herding device over to the next team. It was very quick. No intake needed. (We were also under defensive pressure as well.)
Intake is dramatically more important than high goal. High goal without intake shouldn’t even be in the discussion of possibilities.
Any ball that ever makes it on the floor in any way needs to be returned to alliance control as fast as possible. There will be situations where a defender may disrupt a pass or dislodge a ball and the inbounder is the robot free to retrieve the ball. I would not consider picking an inbounder without an intake if one with an intake was still available.
He’s absolutely right. A solid, quick intake makes kiss-passing easier and lets you bypass a partner in a T-bone. If it was between a robot with a stronger drivetrain and a robot with a better intake, I might pick the better intake.
Basically, if you’re trying to build or become the ‘best inbounder possible’ you’re essentially saying that you’re going to be the alliances third (or fourth) robot. In this year, but also previous, the 3rd robot, or inbounder usually plays the ‘tactical role’ more so that either of the first two machines. The tactical role is the one where your robot will do anything and/or everything required to complete the overall strategic objectives, regardless of they’re the objectives decided 10 minutes before the match, or ten seconds into it.
Just playing with scenarios here, but hypothetically, a third robot could, in theory, be the team responsible for cleaning up after autonomous - especially if you’re paired with two big names that are going to draw an onslaught of defense the second tele-op starts. In this case, you absolutely want an intake, especially when you’re moving the ball more than a few feet.
There are also scenarios where you may inbound to the trussing robot, who fires to the scoring robot, and the scoring robot is being defended and kept away from the ball. In this instance, it could also make sense for you to go retrieve the ball and either get it into the scoring robot, or get it into a goal, but either way, you’d want to be able to get it into your robot and where ever it needs to go.
Also, something specific to inbounders, but the ability to do ‘pass through’ inbounding is really, really handy. ‘Pass through’ inbounding is when a ball is dropped into your robot, and it essentially rolls through and into your partner without really needing to do much other than maybe reversing your intake. Do this a couple of times per match and you’ll see that the time adds up to big savings.
I agree about the strong drive for the inbounder. It is the one thing I wish we would have done diffrently on our robot this year. We can human load super guick by tossing it in robot and in the few chances it comes out our pickup is really fast and effective. But with Mecanum drive we can get pushed by teams with good drives and good drivers who can stay on us. If you are taking 30 seconds to get free and make a pass or truss shot that is wasted time.
Robots with 2 intakes can add some diff strategies for the loader. Such as load/kiss pass in one quick motion. Or sandwhich the duel intake bot between the other two bots and make a pass through the bot in the middle zone of the field to set up 3 assists very quickly.
Some things an inbounder should have in terms of defense:
-Tall to block shots (Not necessarily goalie height though - think more like full court shooter blockers from last year)
-Low center of gravity so you don’t get tipped
-Practice defending THIS IS KEY
the relationship between the midfielder and in-bounder can vary wildly. In most cases mid fielders will want the ball from the in-bounder exceptionally quickly at high levels of play. There are many teams who will feel stressed out if the in-bounder takes more then a second or two in possession of the ball.
Take a look at the teams selected by both 1114 and 254 as their ideal in-bounders at their most recent events. They were low in the ranking system and didnt add much to the ball advancement other then super fast possessions. these qualities will be more in demand in the coming weeks. If you can align your robot with these playing styles you could do quite well.
I would focus on you drivetrain and driver practice to be honest. From what I’ve seen in California regionals the third robot/ inbounder is most effective when they receive the ball and then immediately pass it to the trussing bot, without any driving involved. Then they go back to playing defense until the next cycle starts. You can’t really beat the effectiveness of that kind of immediate hand-off for quickly getting the first assist on the ball.
So with that in mind, making sure your robot can receive a ball from the back and immediately pass it out the front is pretty desirable. Not sure what kind of drivetrain you have, but I would highly consider upgrading to original versa-wheels. Their grip is unmatched, even if they do wear down fairly quickly. If you have a practice robot drive it until the wheels fall off, then drive some more. If not, consider building just a drive base and weighting to accurate robot weight. Provided that’s in your resources of course. Make sure your driver is aware of all penalties and able to play effective defense without incurring them. On that same note be careful of anything that sticks out of your frame perimeter. Given today’s update rough defense just got a lot harder to play. Make sure your human player won’t ever get a g40. Practice practice practice.
But that’s all just my two cents. Good luck and have fun at worlds.