Low Robot vs High Robot for Infinite Recharge Challenge

What’s stopping it from doing so?

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I am fully committed to building a low bot

JK, but a lowbot going over those 1x3 bars will be a lot less tippy (and therefore faster) than a highbot. And lowbots can turn into highbots, just ask 1619 or 971 or 125. And lowbots will have other advantages sometimes. It’s all about strategy and tradeoffs.

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It’s the roulette table.

From what I saw when watching videos of robots in 2016 was that a lot of the really top notch robots were able to fit underneath the bar, but extended up to avoid defense.

Please don’t make unsubstantiated statements like this, conjecture presented as fact, on the forums without something to back it up. Your intuition isn’t enough.


Our team is most likely doing a tall robot. One of the main reasons is because if you have a low shooting robot, you’d have to worry about the opponents blocking you, where as if you have a high shooting robot, you wouldn’t have to worry about that unless the opponent is tall as well.

Maybe I’m missing something but if you’re a low robot with a reliable shooter, can you not shoot from the protected trench? That seems like plenty protected, fast cycles to me…

That’s true, but you aren’t entirely protected in the trench, you’re just protected from contact in the trench. So you could still be blocked while in the trench, but I do see your point.

To give concrete examples, it’s harder to fit 5 balls into a low robot than a high robot, and harder to reach the pole as a low robot, and harder to block shots as a low robot.

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This year the control panel seems to be the thing that is a trap for a lot of teams. I see benefit from teams going for 8+ auto to get the extra 2 from the other side of the trench, but during teleop I think we will see significant congestion within the trench either by long range shooters or control panel bots. This will cause close or mid range low bots to do cycles threw the middle anyways or find balls elsewhere besides their own trench. I think the short bot will be very strong on high recourse teams with dominant autos or distance shooters.

Agreed. It isn’t really that difficult, but it is weird and new and almost certainly finicky - and requires scoring a lot of power cells to be useful. Something which just pushes up one or two hooks to be high enough to engage the rung and can pull them down with more force than their robot weight can be worth a solid 25 points every time it works, and an RP occasionally in quals and (coupled with a decent power cell capability) is easily enough to make you pickable for elims by a team which has either CONTROL PANEL or an active balance capapbility. [added] Control panel capability just doesn’t reach up to nearly these levels due to the number of power cells which must be scored.

First of all, you asked a single question. Some of those who answered that they would be short might be planning a near-vertical launcher or a low port launcher, and may or may not be planning a climb.

Secondly, the robot doesn’t always have to be less than 28" to traverse the trench. My team’s 2016 robot was about twice the height of the low bar in the starting configuration as shown in the link, but after activating one solenoid valve to lower its intake arm, it easily fit under the rung and had an intake deployed outside of the bumpers. That intake went slightly past 12", but wouldn’t have to for a 7" ball. That arm was well over 35" long and with a few tweaks could have held five 7" power cells and shot them back out in reverse order with the arm raised; this would be even easier if the pivot point is raised to about 18-22" above the carpet. That pivot point could easily put the intake in a great spot to be a shooter for a high robot-against-the-wall shot, or a 3 point shot from further back.

Thirdly, the climber is a separate problem, but a if you separate the hooking and winch functions I can think of several ways to get that in the unused space, some such that it starts out short enough, but easier ones where it leverages the shooter start configuration height to get the hook in place.

Finally, while I definitely expect that at this point in the season most teams have eyes bigger than their stomachs, a 50% answer to your one question poll doesn’t terrify me; I fully expect at least 25% and wouldn’t be a bit surprised if over 50% of robots can run the trench. I don’t expect nearly that many to be able to do all three that you listed.

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There’s a lot of tradeoff value between being tall and being short. Some things, shorter robots can do better. And some things, taller robots can do better. It will be really interesting to see what teams roll out to comps this year. Can’t wait.

After doing a low bar bot in 2016 I would rather see us go tall for this season. The extra complexity of packaging everything will compromise our ability to be an effective climber or shooter, I’d rather focus on those tasks.

Plus at higher levels I think there is an effective way to play this game through lots of passing and not as much cross field runs. When we have more balls and prototypes I’ll want to see if we can effectively land balls in a consistent spot.

I just want everyone, however long you’ve been in FRC, to take a moment and think about how many shots you have seen blocked and under what circumstances. Personally, I can think of about a bajillion, but about 98% of them were frisbees hitting pool noodles or cannibalized flags in 2013. There was that one time 1551 shot a ball out of mid-air in 2012, a couple goalie poles in 2014, and maybe a handful in 2016? (I didn’t watch many matches that year.)

I see so little resemblance to any of those scenarios in this game, I can’t justify wasting any energy worrying about getting shots blocked when the worst case scenario is that your opponent is 17" taller than you.


I think there will be a lot of robots around the 28 - 35 inch marks. I believe that to be pretty common.

This is sort of interesting.
Has there ever been a game where passing was ever an effective strategy (other than aerial assist where it was the only way to score)?

Having 2 different robots spend time picking up the same balls twice is unnecessary time wasted.
The supposed benefit of this is to avoid defense, but a defender can pretty effectively slow down either team while they’re trying to pick up balls.

The one way I can see to make this work is to park a robot in the loading zone, have it shoot a stream of balls into it’s alliance’s trench, where the second robot can pick them up and shoot them into the goal, untouchable. This pipeline if made stable would potentially cut cycle times in half since the robots don’t spend time backtracking to collect more balls.

That’s only if there isn’t an opponent bot that is blocking your shots. You’d have to shoot just perfectly to keep it in the trench

My internal “Low vs High” debate has boiled down to a pretty simple fundamental decision… Do I want to seed first or be picked first?

Going high makes it easier to develop a solid climb balancing mechanism while going low enables faster/more flexible cycling. So I’m either playing the bonus RP game or positioning myself to be the perfect compliment to a climb balancing team with elite cycling.

Both options are completely valid, and you’ll see highly competitive teams choosing each option.

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What I see the top teams doing is creating a robot that fits below the wheel of fortune, but extends up when it’s ready to shoot. I also see a lot of average teams trying to do that and failing at doing that and storing 5 balls in the robot unlike the top teams.

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I recommend checking out this document: 4607 Infinite Recharge Strategy