Fuel Truck Bot?

Let’s say that the Alliance has:
Bot 1 is a great shooter, and Bot 2 is a dumper and not as great a shooter.

Seems to me there is a strategy to design the bots so that Bot 2 can dump into Bot 1 to let it shoot as continuously as possible.

Maybe Bots 2 and 3 shuttle Gears and Fuel, while Bot 1 sits there and shoots.

If Bots 2 and 3 can dump at the height of the Loader (24"), then that should be all that is needed.

2 bots shooting at the same time tend to interfere with each other’s shot.
Defending bot would be an issue.

While that seems like a great idea, and it would be great if you pull it off, i think that defense would severely limit the potential gains. An opposing robot could play defense on the dumper and effectively double the impact by limiting the scoring of bother the dumper and shooter. But it is still valuable for a shooter to be able to potentially accept balls from a dumper, though.

I think this type of robot would be very strong all the way up to Einstein. Especially if the Fuel Truck Bot has a crazy high storage capacity and ground pickup. Just collecting from all the side ball hoppers as soon as the match starts would be huge. I could definitely see a good shooter bot, a fuel truck bot, and a gear specialist being a really strong combination.

I don’t see it in this game … If there was just balls perhaps , with Fuel AND Gears AND climb are you really going to allocate TWO bots to the Boiler or Fuel/gear combo ??..I don’t think so. Lets look at the thought process from an alliance selection perspective. There might be a path to success with fuel truck+ gear.

I think most elimination games will be 1 strong auto boiler bot . 1 fast gear bot, 1** defense bot** (if you are able to get top bots and have last picks for 3rd selection pick 23 /24)


2 good gear , 1 decent auto HE boiler (for most alliance captains that miss on the top bots opposite what they do well)
-or- 3 gear Really good, good, fair (Since HE Boiler bot quality I expect to be fairly rare in most competitions and snatched up)

2 boiler “shooter + fuel” and 1 gear and/or no defense does not make sense to me… here’s why I think that…

Gear rotor x 4= Rp or 100pts no way elimination alliances on ONE bot to get that 100 pts that’s the minimum expectation for eliminations…so any "Fuel Truck or gear/fuel combo " only will likely not be selected as boiler is 20 (80 less value) . Only real alliance values is a single 40-shot with hopper HE Boiler bot try to knock out the boiler in auto solo with 15 secs you don’t time to coordinate a fuel reload let alone autonomously. IMO.

You as an alliance have 150 seconds to accomplish 12+ 40 + 3 difficult tasks in eliminations. Those being 12Gear/4rotor spinup, 40HE goals in auto or roughly same amount of loads/scoring difficulty during tele, 3 climbs as an alliance.

That’s roughly 55 tasks during the game of roughly equivalent time needs 3 bots brings that down to 18 things per bot now divide that into 150/18 = 8.3secs per either cross-field and back gear delivery . 1/40th of a 40 Kpa (1 HE auto or 3HE or 9 LE and acquiring Fuel to get 120./360 ) or climb alliances will not be successful in eliminations wasting on Fuel deliveries way too much to do and getting that 100 is critical if you want to move on. The VISION is terrible …cameras only do so much.

That being said for a rookie team it might be cool and enough to impress for RAS award or something along those lines. It may have some decent success. They might get selected IF they can also play decent defense and that’s what they will be doing most likely in eliminations not fuel delivery. So a fuel-truck + great Defense “cheesecake or not” might get you there. I’ve seen it many times IF you don’t do one thing top tier in scoring solo, you probably won’t be selecting and if you get selected It’ll be because you can play defense, so young teams with less experience should consider that… keep defense as and option ( show it off in qualifications so scouts see it be cheescakable have bolt on ability within your max perimeter, stay at least 10 lbs under 120 so you can add parts) even though that may not be your main focus if you want to get selected. Pretty sure the top two captains will be searching for great defense in eliminations. They will be looking or at least their scouts will, so show defense off occasionally on both qual days.

We had this concept as well. We are planning to be a climbing gear bot, but if all goes well we will be looking to add fuel truck capability so we’ll have something useful to do between delivering 12 gears (probably not solo) and climbing. If you do this as a primary function, I suggest being able to dump in the low goal as a backup so you can score points if you’re on an alliance without a shooter that can load at the hoppers or loading stations.

One of our main tactics during stronghold was resupply for veteran teams. Instead of placing the boulder directly into their robot, we herded all the balls to our side of the playing field. Essentially a ball starvation tactic which worked quite well.

This year I’d see at least one high level team wanting someone to consistently dump large sums of balls next to them so they could stream balls into the boiler.

Food for thought.

Ah, the legendary “A-bomb” strategy from '06!

Yes, this strategy can potentially work. Yes, it may require some coordination.

But honestly, the best way to do it is to be able to dump your hopper of Fuel out your intake straight into your partner’s floor intake. See also: 195 feeds 968 on Einstein in '06. (I think that’s the right recipient.)

On the other hand, there’s a lot more going on than just shooting this year…

A “fuel truck” bot should be a good low goal scorer, too. The height of the low goal is very similar to the height of the hopper and fuel stations, so high goal robots should already be designed to accept fuel from a low goal scorer.

If the fuel truck can gather balls from the floor, then that may be of further use.

Definitely a reasonable strategy for a team looking to keep their build simple and focus on doing one thing well.

I’d much rather ally with a Fuel Truck bot that works reliably than a “we can do everything, sometimes, when we’re lucky, sort of if only we’d had a bit more time to figure out our code and practice driving” bot.


A smartly- and well-driven fuel truck with a reliable (not fast) climber that can deliver its autonomous gear (but no others) could do very well at virtually all regionals/districts. It will top out though, likely at some DCMPs and HalfChamps (before 3rd pick). Being able to run 3 gears in teleop would make it almost infinitely viable, though (maybe not IRI)–which essentially just means that the best task for teams aiming at late-in-serpentine drafts to ignore is high goaling. Do not expect the market for top-tier high goalers to be in any way easily penetrable.

I remember how excited Shawn was about employing that strategy and when I saw it in action I could see why. It was very effective.

When designing robots with the specific intention of interacting with other robots, you want to design your robot to mimic characteristics that random other teams are already designing for. Since you have no good way of establishing a “standard” method of interaction across all of FRC, try to find ways to interact that other teams are already designing for.

Applying that to this case, a bot aiming to reload other robots should design to accommodate their pre-existing loading methods. Make it so you pass them balls in a fashion that their ground loader, hopper loader, or chute loader accept.

When Ed quotes something you listen!