Hooded Shooter vs Parallel Shooter

I was wondering, what are the differences between “Parallel Shooters” and “Hooded Shooters”, what are the pros and cons of each one and why each type should be used in Infinite Recharge.

“Parallel Shooter”

“Hooded Shooters”

Thanks in advance for taking the time!

In our testing, we found a few key differences between them:
Parallel shooter features:

  • Uses 4 motors
  • Less consistent
  • less common design
  • ball would curve in the air either left or right depending on feeding error
  • potential for deadly accuracy (971 in 2016)
  • ”lazer” trajectory

Hooded shooter features:

  • uses 2 motors
  • more consistent
  • tried and true by our team and many others
  • compatible with a turret design
  • allows for trajectory adjustment with an adjusting hood
  • no left or right curve
  • arc trajectory

We ended up going with the hooded design for its better consistency and ability for an adjustable hood and turret.

Hopefully this helps!


All other things equal, not specific to this game at all:

  • On paper, for the same wheel tip speed, a two axle shooter will shoot twice as far as a hooded shooter - because a hooded shooter “rolls” a ball out instead of “tossing” it.

  • The backspin created by a typical hooded shooter tends to flatten / stabilize the trajectory of balls, at least in past years.

  • A hooded shooter can have a longer duration of contact with a ball, as it can hold the ball against the flywheels for a greater angular distance than a two axle shooter.

Of course, the real answer is to prototype both and see which factors matter this year.


We’ve prototyped both, and found that the ‘parallel’ shooter with the wheels in a horizontal orientation gets more distance, but has a minimal-spin knuckleball throw; that ultimately was less consistent than the hooded shooter.

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Parallel Shooter:

These sorts of shooters generally are more complicated to build and tune, however with the right set up they theoretically have a ton of flexibility in terms of shot trajectory. An extra spinning wheel introduces more dynamic variables into the process than a fixed hood would, and I have yet to see a situation where the extra variability in shots has really been a significant advantage over fixed hoods.

Hooded Shooter:

Simpler and arguably easier to tune at its most simple form, that being a fixed hood and shooting from one position on the field. But with a bit more work it can be tuned to shoot from a pretty broad range even without an adjusting hood. To a certain extent, different predetermined RPM settings will allow you to shoot from a longer distance or closer up.

Primary variables to consider for both of these shooters:

Exit Angle: What angle does the ball exit the hood at?
Wheel Wrap: How far around the wheel does the ball travel before exiting?
Hood Material: Self explanatory
Wheel Material: Self explanatory

I would say the most important variables out of these four to focus on when fine tuning is the material of the hood, the RPM of the flywheel, and the exit angle of the ball.

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I think another thing to note is a difference between the wheels being vertical (picture by OP) or if the wheels are horizontal (971 2016).

If the wheels are vertical, you can control backspin and exactly how much you want. If you want you can go for topspin as well.

With something like 971, you’ll get a shot with minimal backspin so the shot has more potential to drop but in theory you can hit curve shots but that’s just extra complexity.

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Also, with the extra speed of a parallel shooter, if you do it like 971 it’ll hit the goal before it has time to drop.

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we have a parallel top/down shooter we prototyped and we were doing almost full court laser shots. however, it does take a lot of space compared in the final robot cad, and it is somewhat more complicated to feed.

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What’s your wheel/motor/reduction setup?

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