Low Bar Poll, part 2

So, with the “Terrifying Karthik” thread, a vibrant discussion has started over the design choices of many FRC teams. With almost 80% of teams in the last poll stating they were planning on being “low bar capable,” GeeTwo brought up a very good point that, if all these teams are going to only go under the low bar, then focus solely on shooting, this potentially very exciting and strategically diverse game will stagnate quickly. So, I want to see how many teams actually are focusing on being a dedicated low bar fast-cycle shooter.

EDIT: In order to improve clarity of the options I’ve made-
when I say “breach capable” I mean being able to handle three full groups of defenses, in addition to the low bar, without any assistance.

I don’t see the poll.

Sorry, I was finishing it up. Should work now.

Very few teams actively plan on being worse at other tasks to be good at other ones. These are the teams with a good grasp of strategic tradeoffs and what they are capable of. Far more just figure they have some way of doing everything, and these teams will assume they will be fine at everything until the moment the robot goes in the bag, or even later. Those are the teams whom are likely compromising their performance the most - the jack of all trades is the master of none and all that.

Most (>80%?) teams find out what they are bad at in competition. And of those, most do not adjust meaningfully to their strengths. Successful teams are good at foresight and adaptability.

I have a bad feeling this poll is going to be more terrifying then the first one.

Do you think that those teams that misjudge how strong they will be relative to the field at their designed tasks will become defense robots?

If you look at the geometry, I believe a 54 inch moving wall will be able to block basically any shooter sitting near to the ground in the safe zone, and because of the small size of the goal this year teams being molested outside the safe zone by even a weak drive train probably have a low chance of hitting the high goal. Added to that is, if a defense robot forces a low shooter to shoot into the low goal (2 points versus 5 points) they take away any advantage the added accessibility of the courtyard via the low bar adds in the first place.

Our strategy is to be able to defeat B, C, D and low bar defenses while still shooting in the high goal. We are choosing not to shoot from far away. We thought that if we are going all the way to the low goal, we might as well have a consistent uber close range high goal shooter. So for our shot, we plan on being on the batter which could help defend against any sideswipes but it could make getting out harder.

I don’t think there will be too much of a problem with traffic if the two offensive robots communicate often on what they are planning to do. If the offense is not communicating to each other, that will be quite a mess…

You make a really good point here. An alliance of hybrid tower-breach bots is only as powerful as the communication between teams. If communication isn’t good, that alliance will struggle to do much of anything.

This poll is astounding to me. The “Jack of all trades” role is typically the worst role to take on (we’ve all seen the karthik thing, so I’m not going to discuss why), and few teams have the ability to adapt to their flaws during and between competitions. And, with the number of people crying for a shooting game after last season, I figured there’d be a lot of teams who would single out shooting as a singular priority.

Can confirm, very terrifying indeed. Over 50% of responders have indicated that they will shoot, low bar, and breach capable. That means over 50% of responders are designing to be able to handle every element of the game, save for climbing. From my experience, only a very small percentage of teams will be able to accomplish that.

50% of responders are either really, really good, or somewhat delusional as to their capabilities.

On the other hand, 50% of responders are at least somewhat honest with themselves.

Experience dictates that the 50% of delusional teams are most likely not nearly as good at aiming and shooting as they think they will be.

Accidentally voted for the wrong option :confused:

But when it does come down to it, honestly? Going under the low bar is definitely worth it. Copying off Rebound Rumble is not the way to go here, because should a robot this year have a significant amount of height, there’s a good shot at it tipping (therefore failing at the majority of other defenses). Just going off the top of my head, it would take a seriously good driver to get a tall robot up over the Cheval de Frise, the Rough Terrain, the Ramparts, and the Rock Wall (for much the same reason why you never saw the “standard shooter” from 2012 crossing over the central bar across the Rebound Rumble field). The only defenses where I see a serious advantage coming in with a taller design are the Portcullis, Sally Port, and Drawbridge, and that’s something to consider.
Traffic has been a primary concern of many teams in regards to the low bar. However, based on the limited number of designs that have been made publicly available by teams, with the right wheels, good balance, and good driving, doors open up (NPI) to many other defenses as well.
The fact of the matter is, don’t be too quick to turn your nose up at either option.

I don’t think this poll is all that scary… If a robot is going to be a “breaching specialist,” it only stands to reason that it will be able to cross at least four of the defenses. Two of the defenses are mastered with a drive train, a third by being short… That leaves a single manipulator to get through a fourth category… Beyond that, is anybody really going to build a robot that can’t attempt to put a boulder into one of the two goals? Notice, the poll does not specify shooting accurately - or even low goal vs. high goal.

It is fully believable that better than 50% of robots will be capable of crossing four defenses and capable of shooting boulders. The real question is: how proficient will they be? There will be very few robots capable of crossing four or more defenses in under five seconds each and firing off an aimed shot at the high goal with better than 90% accuracy within just a few seconds of crossing the defenses… Even fewer will be able to also pick up a loose boulder quickly…

At the same time, it is really hard to know, at this point, just how good your team is going to be at any specific task… I know that this next week is huge for us: mechanisms are basically built and we are in the process of testing and tweaking them… As an example, we tested our robot on the rough terrain last night and decided its performance was unacceptable, so we are making some adjustments this evening to the chassis and retesting in a bit… We know we have a good shooter, but have not yet tested its integration with the boulder pickup… Nor have we finished with our vision-tracking - we decided we needed some better lights… Etc.

I don’t think we should be ridiculing people who think they’re going to be able to do something that we know is hard. Every year, pretty much every team realizes that something or other is way harder than they thought. It’s good that teams understand that many events will be won by robots that go under the low bar and shoot high and go over several other defenses.

The GDC designs these games to be very difficult for most teams. There are learning experiences to be had. Every year I look forward to the previously mediocre teams that have their breakout years, and show the world that they’ve learned something.

This seems to be the case of a silent majority and vocal minority. There are valid arguments to be made on both sides. At this point in the season, teams who have already designed to NOT go UNDER the bar aren’t going to change their minds. I think the more interesting number is now many teams change their minds in the last 13 days and decide to not limbo.

I put other since…

We can go under the low bar
Cross every defense without help other then The Sally Port, and Drawbridge.
Climb
Shoot High goals and low goals

We have finished the mechanisms to do everything but climb. The climber is slated to be finished at the end of this week.

I selected that we can do B/D defenses. But I also think that we can breach, since we don’t have to do one category (that would be A for us), and we might be able to do C with alliance help.

Since this can be interpreted two ways, I am not very confident that the poll is an accurate reflection of what some folks think it is.

Advice taken, threw in a little edit in my original post to hopefully provide a little clarity. Regardless of possible misinterpretations, I think this poll still shows that a stunning number of teams plan on taking on the single hardest strategy available in this game, and only a select few have explicitly chosen to focus on one aspect of the game. Whether one particular strategy proves superior to the other will be proven in competition, but it seems we may have already made that decision ourselves.

We’re building as a sapper (breaching specialist) first and foremost. But, as this has limited scoring possibilities (especially if there is another sapper on the alliance), we also have a boulder pickup and launch at high goal (and can reverse the pickup for a low goal attempt), though our speed is rather slow and we have only made two high goal shots so far - but they were consecutive and did not touch the tower on the way in.

We’re switching from surgical tubing to springs (springs arrived via UPS today) to improve range/height consistency from shot to shot.

We are currently light enough that we may work on a scaling mechanism or a deployable defensive wall after bagging.