Is it necesary to pick up hatch panels off of the floor

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

in 2017, we were super jealous of those that could grab dropped gears


I voted no but I think being able to pick up off the ground could be an advantage if your placing mechanism isn’t reliable


Necessary? Certainly not. We were one of the teams who could not floor pickup in 2017 and we won two events (with a lot of luck to boot).

If we were to do it all over again, making a floor gear pickup would have been very high on the list.


I think unlike gears in Steamworks, it’s likely we’ll run out of these. The ones on the floor will decide the winner. My guess.


If your alliance never drops one, then no. But if you think it is possible one or more might get dropped…yes. Not as big a deal in week 1, but by the time CMP rolls around it will be necessary to succeed.


You have 24 hatch panels, and 20 slots in total (two rockets and the cargo ship). Your alliance would have to either place or drop a panel every 6.25 seconds in order to run out of panels. You likely have a robot doing cargo once you have enough panels in place (since cargo is worth more). At the same time, all 8 panels on the cargo ship are at the same level as the human player station, meaning that a really good team would be able to pick up a panel, turn around, snap to a line, and drop off a panel in a few seconds. Picking the panels off the floor seems to be very difficult though.


This video from this thread shows an interesting solution.


In 2017, I didn’t realize how many people would be dropping their gears. Being able to pick them up off the ground became a major advantage because you wouldn’t have to go all the way back across the field for a gear.

Later in the season it also became a strategy in elims in purposefully block up the pegs with gears against alliances without a ground intake. I’m happy to see rule G8, which seems to prevent any such strategies.


Our team captain and I built something similar minus the pnuematics. Using Velcro for picking up Hatch Panels works really well. I’ll add that we think adding a pnuematic clamping force to the HP is also probably a good idea, since it’s relatively easy to shake a HP loose (aka someone bumping you, ect.)

Necessary for what? Getting picked? Winning your regional/district event? Winning champs?


Looking really cool.

If you don’t want to pick them up, just leave them there. We’ll pick them up.


It can’t hurt to include this functionality in the design, and frankly, it doesn’t add much complexity.


It’s probably not necessary. 1986 didn’t have a ground intake in 2017 and they were a champ finalist. I think the hatch panels are going to be easier to securely place than gears so I doubt dropped panels will be as common as dropped gears.

However, we think we’ve developed a light weight low profile mechanism that can do it and won’t interfere with our (very very early and rough) overall robot design strategy.

Another thing to note is that the panels are so thin that driving over them probably won’t be an issue for the majority.

At all but the highest levels of play I don’t think dropped panels will be the deciding factor of matches.

The fact of the matter is that the best teams aren’t going to regularly drop hatches. Being able to pick them up off the ground might be helpful for qual matches, but at high-level competitive play, it’s going to be relatively useless.

We were a team that could pick gears up off the floor. The advantage, particularly in playoff matches, was insignificant.

Depending on your design, it may be best to ignore the ability to pick up hatches off the ground if it’s going to add any complexity. We will most likely be going this route.


Because of the very constrained delivery method used by human players for the Hatch, as opposed to the Gears (2017) or Discs (2013), I am more open to the idea that you can ignore Hatches on the floor and still be successful. Still, planning for dropped game pieces is never bad, because it will happen, and probably happen a lot.

That’s essentially each robot placing or dropping a panel every 18.75 seconds?

Because of the design of the loading station, I expect teams to grab hatch panels more securely than they did gears - you have to pull them through broom bristles, rather than catch them as they fall as was the case for gears in steamworks. If this is correct, hatch panels on the carpet will be a result of them falling off the rocket or cargo ship hook tape, not being dropped in transit. Also, note that in STEAMworks, gears on the carpet effectively blocked most robots carrying a game piece, as they could have been construed as controlling two gears at once if they drove through them. The hatch panels are much thinner. Unless you are on one of the handful of teams capable of doing everything, I think this is something to give a miss.


At first I thought it wouldn’t be necessary, but as I scanned the forums and the game manual, I realized that it might be an important factor that decides the match. We had a mechanism that picks gears up from the floor in Steamworks, so it’s possible we might impliment the same solution to this year’s robot. It might be a bit impractical because it takes up space. We would also need to add an arm or an elevator system to reach the higher hatches on the Rocket. Here’s a link to our 2017 reveal video which shows in action, and you can check out some other videos on our channel from competitions.
Reveal Video