I have seen some teams building ground intakes for the hatch panels. I think this is very do-able, but my question is why bother, unless the intake can also pick up from the loading station? The panels don’t fall out of the station like they did in 2017, so the only situation I could see this being useful is if a team drops a hatch panel while placing. Is this worth it for your team? Or are you just picking them up from the loading station?
I pulled up a random match from 2017, PNCMP match 71.
Red drops 3 gears. Thats either 3 wastes of a hatch panel and valuable time lost without a floor pickup, and I dont see placing hatch panels to be much easier than placing gears. To quote myself day 1:
Here are a couple recent threads on the subject. The first link has a lot of great discussion. Also the Ri3D and MCC threads have a lot of prototyping and discussion on the topic in them.
FTFY. I predict that there will be a significant number of drops.
On a semi-related note, I always encourage my team to be able to pick up from the floor regardless of the game/gamepiece. Like, ALWAYS. Either the gamepiece starts there (power cubes, cargo) or somebody’s going to cause the gamepiece to end up there (you name it, from the last 20+ years). It speeds you up tremendously, not having to go back to the load point and pick up another piece. I can think of one really good robot that couldn’t do floor loading of SOMETHING in the last I don’t know how many years, back in 2011. ONE. (Ok, so 71 in '02 couldn’t floor-load soccer balls, but they also ignored those game pieces entirely. And 148 in '08 couldn’t handle the trackballs other than by bumping–but that wasn’t their focus at all, just a convenient feature.)