First Week Regionals *Merged*

Ok, Its 3:30 on Thursday. I know its still early, but I am eager. I’ve got some questions for all you hotshots who are attending a first week regional.

Auto/Human Loader - Which is more popular? Have their been any penalties or problems involved with either?

Stack High vs. Stack Fast - Which of these seems to be the predominate game plan? Whats the highest stack you have seen? Was there any particular scenarios where a team that could stack high did better or worse in a match? …Why?

Strong/Fast Bots - Has there been any pushing in matches? Has having a tough robot stuck out as something vital to the game? On the contrary, how fast is too fast? From the few practice matches I watched from VCU, it seems teams aren’t jetting across the field very quickly… am I wrong?

Autonomous Mode - Have you seen any robot successfully stack a vision tetra in auto mode? If so, on which goal and how long did it take? What are some other big autonomous strategies that don’t involve the vision system?

6 Robots on the field - Do you like it? Too Crowded, too hard to see?

Lets get some answers goin’ here, I’m sure all of us sitting at home this weekend cant wait to find out any little secret they can about Triple Play.

Feel free to answer any of my questions, or add anything you think is important as the weekend goes on. Anyone else: feel free to post any question, and hopefully we will get answers to these.

Go teams!

What happened vs what you planned
How is your planned strategy, such as employing your human player or not, different from what really ended up happening in matches due to added variable of competition?

Robot Damage
What are major issues to watch out for in terms of robot damage? Is ramming an issue? Have arms messed up wiring? What sort of action is the most damaging to your robot? How was significant speed affected this?

There were a lot of predictions going around about scores. What do you see as realistic trends?

To add onto the 6 robot idea…
How fast is the setup/take down of every match**-- I know its practice day and all, but we should be able to get a feel of how everything is going.

EDIT: Beginning of Merged Thread

I am curious as to how robots performed during the practice matches today. Were any teams able to cap the vision tetras? How was the autonomous period? Was there a lot, or very little capping? How well were robots holding up? Did you see anything truly amazing?

My overall comments based upon the Manchester pits:

  1. Overall, bot design is very similar this year (i.e. most bots are near-indentical in design).

  2. Not much (yet) in useful autonomous mode, mostly knocking hanging tetras down and (if started with a tetra) capping a tetra. (Our team is no exception, we’re still debugging).

  3. Very few teams are using the camera. I only saw one team that could do something useful with it. Dead-reckoning autonomous seems more prevalent, and some teams are doing quite well.

  4. Some very good cappers out there, but few that can cap center goal once more than 1 or 2 tetras are up there (our bot can do it, but it’s on the very top end of our range). Many tetra-handling arms are wobbly, and a lot of arms are dropping tetras. A lot of teams seem to be having trouble with fine control of the bot arm (our bot has a left-right pivoting hip on our arm to allow finer control, surprised we haven’t seen more of that sort of thing).

  5. Weight and dimensions aren’t a huge issue this year, most teams are well underweight and within the box.

  6. Pits seem more relaxed, and teams better prepared (but maybe that’s just because our own pit area is more relaxed)

From our own team, we’re happy with how the bot is driving, but have lots of little niggling details that we need tinker with (like the limit switch that didn’t work…)

Should be some fun matches tomorrow, especially because a lot of teams will be fairly well-matched (at least technologically, driver skill is a huge issue).

Rich the coach, who enjoys being close enough to Manchester that I can sleep at home…

I was at Nasa/VCU. I saw a couple teams get to the vision tetras, though i don’t think i saw any cap during auton. The teams that performed best had simple arms that went up and down quickly. We had an arm with a single pivot and an apex gripper that performed very well and very quickly. But it’s all about speed and reliability, not about fancy tall arms.

Didn’t see any robots cap during autonomous at Granite State. Only three or four really capable teams, from what I saw.

Our team had a lot of troubles holding onto the tetras. Did anyone else find them inordinately slippery?

Pits were wacky–lots of people scrambling to get their stuff done, even more than usual.

Also, matches are very boring to watch, unlike last year.


I want to know:

Has anyone gotten (or even though about getting) the 10 pts for all three in the end zone?

Does anyone “contain” tetras as opposed to stacking them?

How many rows are usually made?

I was surprised, among many things, at how often tetras did not seat on goals, and remained unscored.

I noticed a good deal of tipping over, which I guess we all saw coming, but still is a little worrisome. I hope full matches will be different. Seeing a bot on it’s side is just a shame.

Getting all the teams back in the end zone may not be as difficult as I had once thought. A lot of teams seem to be undersized. This may become an important factor in alliance selections.

It seemed to me that many teams were picking tetras up easily enough, but having more difficulty holding onto them.

Auto mode seems like another year of 15 seconds of boredom. Maybe that will change, but I doubt its going to get a whole lot better. Knocking the hanging tets off is to easy, and capping a vision tet seems like it’s way to hard. The most effective move I’ve seen involved stacking a starting tetra onto one of the side goals hard enough to drop the hanging tetra. 4 points.

-Andy A

we should start a chatroom… because this Q&A response thing is slow~ and ther eis alot of excitement out there~

so I’ll make one


FIRST Regionals” on AIM

come if you can – hit yourself if you can’t

There’s also the Tigerbolt IRC chatroom on IRC - there’s an IRC link in my sig and a Java applet here.

I was a field resetter at Peachtree, and had a good view of the competition Friday and Sat.

Auto/Human Loader
Human loading was more popular, but auto loading was used. Picking tetras off the ground was used a lot too.

Stack High vs. Stack Fast
Stacking high could work if you where left alone, but it was easy to disrupt stacking bu pushing or using the arm to knock the tetras off the opposing robots arm, so fast was an advantage. What was a greater advantage was being able to hold onto a tetra while turning, getting bumped and so on without dropping it.

Strong/Fast Bots
Being strong was important. Not only to push other bots around but to keep from being pushed while capping.

Autonomous Mode
No teams were able to stack a vision tetra in autonomous mode. Only a few even had the camera on their bot.

6 Robots on the field
The field was big enough for six bots. Plenty of manuvering room.

What happened vs what you planned
Our strategy is to cap fast and then to play defence. We could cap fast and then prevent slower teams from capping by removing there tetras from the arm of the opposing bot wirh our arm or just pushing them until it fell off. Our alliances scored from 3-40+ points depending on how much of a shove match it came down too.

Robot Damage
At first (early Friday) damage was light. As you might expect it got more severe toward the end of qualifying and definitely in the elimination rounds.

Really low scores 0-10 were rare for winning teams. Most scores where in the 20-30 points range. 40+ was not the norm but not rare. 50+ was rare. Number 1 seeds quality points averaged 12. Penalties where responsible for the low quality point averages.

How fast is the setup/take down of every match
At Peachtree we finished ahead of schedule on Friday. The event was well run and were really smoooth. We had a great crew of volunteers and IFI had very little in the way of problems. It was a great event. :smiley:

ok from sacramento :
1 mainly human loading. About half the bots with arms could not pick up a tetra from the floor, a few more could do autoload, but most went from human loading.
2 It was really stack everybody stacking their home row then fighting to stack middle. The stacks never got higher than about 4-5 max.
3 There was a lot of pushers. There was some good dedicated pushers (610 and 1671)., but most of the time, an alliance just ended up sending its worst stacking bot to cause interference on the other side. Its a suprisingly effective tactic.
4 A couple (say 8) could take down the hanging tetra, and i think it was 3 (973, 1097, and 254) that capped in autonomous. There was no camera usage.
5 Six robots on the field is fun, but the center can get clogged up.

I’ve keep reading contradictory reports like this. Does it mean that they blindly pretended that the vision tetra was in a particular spot and just got lucky?

I saw some of the VCU webcast. Autonomous mode was, to put it mildly, boring. In the matches I watched, I never saw any robots come close to picking up a vision tetra.

well sorry. 1 round 1388 did use a camera, but it involved them going through a center goal and getting a tetra on the other side of the field. Not really effective since they didnt have any time to do anything with it. I didnt see anything esle

More likely, they capped the tetra they started out with.

A couple of teams could do this at the Fingerlakes regional. 1126 [edit] and 1559 (awesome for a rookie)[/edit] capped a side goal, making the hanging tetra fall, giving them a total of 4 points and goal ownership. Team 217 could cap the home-center goal (the middle one in their endzone).
Team 494 (who we were allied with), in my opinion, had the second-coolest autonomous in the regional. They started out with a tetra, used it to knock off the hanging tetra, and then put the arm in position to be ready to cap the home-center goal. The huge advantage of this was that the 191-494-639 alliance had the home row in about the first 5 seconds of the match (191 knocked off the other hanging tetra).

The coolest autonomous was of course 237’s, which came oh so close to capping a vision tetra.

Those teams at Sacramento who capped in auto mode did so with the starting tetra on their bot.

Other observations from Sacramento…
Auto/Human Loader: It seemed to be a mixed bag of both, however if you auto load and the opposing alliance interferes with you, they get the 30 pt penalty - which is brought a lot of teams down to zero points. Unfortunately, if you play a clean game and your opponents get penalties and end up with zero point then you get the win, but take away zero QP. Kinda bites - but winning is the most important.

Stack High vs. Stack Fast: Stack Fast seemed to be what it takes in the end to win it all. 766, 1072, 245 (if I remember right) won mostly because they could all stack reliably and quickly. Whereas the Finalists 254, 1097, 114 struggled to keep up because 114 just played defense, while 254 and 1097 stacked.

**Strong/Fast Bots: ** Toss up here, when trying to stack you may get pushed around so you had to be able to maintain a position, likewise you had to get those tetras quickly from the loading stations, so being fast helped. I didn’t notice a huge advantage to having two speeds though.

6 Robots on the field: It seemed OK - very busy and hard to follow all 6 teams.

**Scores: ** First half of Friday, had a lot of low scores due to all the penalties. By the end of Friday and into Saturday, average scores went up into maybe the high teens to low twenties, but some good stacking alliances were getting scores into the 40’s and 50’s. High was I think 78?

Robot Damage: Some teams had some complex mechanical systems from the get go - but all in all, most teams stayed operational at least in driving. Arms were the biggest thing getting damaged. Some bots flipped over like we did, when a bot with a now popular wedge design tried to push us over when stacking on the center goal. They got DQ’d. I think this scenario happed a total of 3 times in the two days. Beach Bots, 330, had a retractable wedge shape which was the smartest approach to using a wedge.

**End Zone: ** Very few bothered to get back to the end zone due to the lack of space and more importantly the communication / coorperation between three drivers.

during qualifaction rounds im not sure… but during elims you get 4 minutes from when the field CLEARS to get your bot on the field… so each team got about 10-12 minutes between each match to fix thier bot in elims which was great or at least until finals you get that time

yes, we went for fast stackin and it worked. 766’s ai took down a hanging tetra with 245 set themselves up at the loading station, and we started with a tetra. We had our home row always in about 25 seconds. Then we countered 114’s possible pushing by capping on their row and forcing their bots back on defense while we got center. It never really was about stacking high, we never had those magical 10 tetra stacks like they did at finger lakes and vcu, only 5 at highest. We simply wanted control, because thats where the juicy row points are

Don’t forget 1159’s great autonomous mode.