Hatches on the floor? Was it worth the ability to pick them up off the floor?


We do both so am feeling ok about week 4. Thanks!


Hab 2 climbing aid was definitely in the team’s design and strategy planning. Hope it works!


After watching week one events and game announcing at the NE District Waterbury event… I believe that as this game progresses, effective HatchBots will be the ones that make a difference on winning alliances.

Once defense becomes SOP, the loading station traffic jams won’t be an issue as there will only be two Robots scoring, while the third will be addressing the interloper.

That being said, efficient Hatch placement is critical to short cycle times. I saw so many poorly placed hatches fall to the floor on the Cargo ships due to the pegs. The drivers do not have a good view of the location other than the two front bays. Seeing how poorly the camera view worked in the Sandstorm, I don’t think that this will change except for teams that have incredibly precise line followers.

Likewise for the far side of the rockets. However, the rocket hatches were more forgiving even if they were misaligned.

In playoffs, HAB 3 climbs of 15 points are less valuable than two rocket levels.
HAB 3 climbs take about 20 seconds for many Robots.
With the 20-second don’t mess with the rocket rule, an effective HatchBot is worth more than HAB 3 from a points perspective.
1 Complete Rocket = 2/3 Citrus Circuit. Not sure which one I would bet on.

So, to answer the question of this post. Hatches available on the floor, particularly for designs that can pick them up without extending outside of their perimeter may be a difference maker.

Looking forward to watching this game evolve. Particularly for District Championships and half-champs.

Game theory for Destination Deep Space is wonderful.


Was at Mount Olive this past weekend, our team could intake hatches from the ground but I’m pretty sure we did not use it at all. In fact I don’t think i sae any team taking in hatches from the ground, teams went straight to the human player station for hatches.


The vast majority of hatches on the floor that I saw were in front of the loading stations, which doesn’t help if your partner is trying to pick up a hatch from the loading station and preventing you from picking one up from the floor. I wish I had a camera that was just focused on the closest loading station. A lot can be learned from just that one camera. I think that the best hatch panel bot I saw lifted the panel upwards about an inch before backing away from the station. There were many mechanisms that were outplayed by the brushes.

The second area with the most ground hatches is between the front of the cargo ship and the HAB. A lot of bots lost their hatch panels in sandstorm jumping off lvl 1 and lvl 2 and there were quite a few that weren’t placed correctly on the cargo ship. Several times I saw a bot try to push a panel on the ship, deflecting the panel by a couple inches and still not getting it to stick. Similar to removing panels from the loading station, I think the most successful bots at placing hatch panels on the cargo ship tried to move the panel vertically by a little bit to guarantee that more hooks found loops.

I even saw a couple times a bot trying to cut the corner of the cargo ship actually remove their own scored hatch panel which also let the cargo roll out of the ship.

The rocket had the fewest floor hatch panels, probably because it’s more forgiving of a misalignment.

Most teams played with 6 null panels so it was rare to even need to place a hatch panel on the side of the cargo ship.


I feel as though the floor pickup is good for those teams who have a bad pickup mechanism. As our mechanism would not “drop” the hatch, there was no need for it.


Given the meta at our event, we primarily played hatches this weekend. I noticed that if we placed the hatches, the hatches stuck (except for exactly two). There were exactly 3 hatches on the ground that would have been useful to pick up, but 2 of them (in Finals 2 & 3) were defended enough that it would have been risky to use a ground intake for them.

All in all, hatch ground pickup wasn’t worth the effort. It turns out we ran out of weight for one anyways.

A cargo ground intake is a ‘must-have’.


IMO, I believed the reasoning that many teams used to justify a floor intake was flawed. Many teams looked back to Steamworks where there was a major benefit to floor intakes, but never asked how the game pieces ended up on the floor, or how this year’s designs would prevent them from falling to begin with.
So our team followed this string of logic: Steamworks often relied on game pieces either passively being taken off of your bot or being placed into your bot. This introduces human and random error that often led to the gears on the floor. This year’s designs are all aggressive intake and outtake, so they are only going to end up on the floor if you have some bad luck with placing or something of that matter. We also took into account the value of the time needed to gather another game piece from the loading station, and being that Steamwork’s was all the way across the field and this year its on our own alliance wall, the time saved is great.
I think these exact reasons are why most teams didn’t build or aren’t using floor intakes this year!


We also tried driving over a HP laying on the floor, no problem…unlike those darn gears!


although my teams robot could not pick up hatches off the floor. Seeing the potential of floor intakes from Deep Space and Steam works, I am now going to say to my team, “if a game piece is affected by gravity, plan to pick it up from the ground.”


We had a floor pickup week 1. Never used it in any matches because we felt it easier to just go grab another one from the station. We removed it from the robot to make a more effective cargo pickup.


We used ours a few times in week 2. I think as long as teams are dropping during the sandstorm there will be a need. I think a hand off could become more important as the season goes on. Where one team will drop hatches by the rocket and a fast lift team will pick them up and place them on the rocket.