I was just wondering how many teams are going to expand out to the 5 sq ft max for a hopper to human load. A couple of mentors from our team feel it is essential to have a hopper instead of picking up balls off the floor. Any suggestions?

Hoppers are definitially a good wasy to store, and possibly load balls this year.
However, have you thought of how many balls you’d acutally be able to hold having that big a hopper?
My team has found that there is more than enough room in the original robot footprint to hold a fair amount of balls.
If you built a hopper just within the original footprint (max) size, you could hold over 186 balls. Remember that there are only 80 in each match, and your robot only needs to be able to hold 10 for autonomous.
So, unless youre planning on hoarding all 80 balls, you probably don’t need to extend much, if at all.

edit: a few more thoughts…
You aren’t limited to not getting floor balls w/ a hopper. There are easy ways to accept both HP balls and floor balls in the same storage space.
Also, back to the idea of expanding. Note that in order to expand, your robot will need an extra mechanism to expand once the match begins. It doesn’t nessicarily have to be powered, but it will mean a large (possibly) mechanism, more weight, etc.
My team has built our “small” hopper. It’s not very big…I think its around 18"x24"x20", and I think it’ll hold 15-20 balls. That should be plenty for us. Consider these kind of things when designing your own.

thats what we claimed, how many balls do you need to carry around during a 40 sec match? not 80.

Well… If you can hold a fair amount of balls then it makes it really hard for the other alliance to score. If the other alliance can’t score they can’t win… :cool:

Load from the floor. If your HP has nothing in the corral, not being able to load from the floor is not a good thing. It shouldn’t be too hard to interface that with a hopper (famous last words :rolleyes: ).

Well, don’t forget the tournament ranking/scoring. Even if you win, you’re walking away w/ your opponents unpenalized score.
Yes, I think holding alot of balls may be advantagous, but my question is, what are you doing with the balls? Shooting them into the center goal?
If so, you also want to take into account your scoring speed. If you can only score 10 balls in 40 sec, there’s not a big point to holding 20 balls in the last 40 seconds unless youre really desperate to keep your opponent from scoring. Just my opinion…

but truely how many balls do you need to hold at a time. i doubt you can hold 80 balls and still have a relaible shooter while remaining in the size contraints.

I believe the primary advantage of being able to expand your hopper is that it makes it much easier for your Human Player to toss balls in from far away.

i think the most effective mode will be to pick up from the floor yet have the ability to hold about 10 balls. any other beliefs?

It does make it easier yet how effective will human loading be?

Thats exactly what other people said last year, human loading is going to be very big this year. It may not look overly important but it will be the most effective way to load… you just wait :yikes:.

it depends on how far away your robot is…

when on defense you have two robots near the human player, so they are more easily loaded then the BackBot which is behind the mid-field line…

the bigger the target the easier it will be for the HP to toss a ball into the robot.

If your robot is easy to load all three HP in your alliance can be loading it up as a team ! :slight_smile:


ok i understand it would be easier. now would you change you entire design after is 1/2 built just becuase these mentors now want a hopper?

Last year our team (as well as many others) rarely used human loading (our human players put a total of 1 tetra on the robot in over 14 matches).

In my opinion simply throwing the balls near your robot should be good enough. A bigger hopper will mean you can throw balls in easier, but throwing them near your robot on the ground and quickly picking them up is just as effective, plus it gives you the bonus of being able to get balls when your human players miss shots (and you can steal opponent’s balls).

If you do go for human player loading, it would be wise to expand the hopper though (you don’t necessarily have to expand the whole thing even, just the top so the balls will roll in).

NO. No. Nonononono. Build guidelines: 1) Always decide what you want your robot to do before you design it. 2) Always design before you build. 3) NEVER EVER change your design in a big way after you start building it.
In this case, if you want a hopper, just leave the top open. If you have time/weight/space on your current design, then add something to help snare HP throws.

I think being versatile is key. however, efficiency and versatility isn’t necessarily easy. :confused:

thats what i said. they just now feel it is essential to add a hopper.

It may be time to remind them of what FIRST is attempting to accomplish: it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s getting a robot on the field.
If possible, nicely tell them that the students in charge of the design will make a FINAL decision and that they will stick to it. If it works, great, you designed it well. If not, well, you learned something, and you didn’t risk showing up to comps with an incomplete robot.

Tell them “it’s designed how it’s designed, if you can improve the design by adding on to what’s there without going over size or weight limits, go right ahead, but no subtraction.” By the way, if you have a hopper in the design already (or even a lot of empty space) you shouldn’t need to add more space. Hoppers that expand out are not necessary this year. (I just hope I don’t eat that last sentence.)

oh we have told them that. and not all that nicely. lot of bad words. but nonetheless its time for a student takebackover. REVOLT.