[MCCC] Minimum Competitive Concept Competition

This year our team has decided to take Ri3d to the next level. In past years there was some dissatisfaction with how Ri3d robots have showcased different aspects of the FRC game. To provide a resource for the community that is both useful and eye-opening FRC team 4587, Jersey Voltage as MCC team Oryon, has decided to both build and field a robot with abilities that we feel every competitive robot should have (MCC).

In addition to building an MCC robot, we have taken it one step further by organizing an event to field and play against other MCC or similar robots all before week 2 (or during week -6). As such MCCC was born.

This Saturday the 13th of January we will be bringing together MCC team Oryon, Ri3d team Week 6, Ri3d team 12th Hour, and Robonauts Everybot to compete against each other at the Minimum Competitive Concept Competition. The idea behind this event is to demonstrate how First Power Up matches could potentially be played with MCC or similar robots.

Stay tuned for the reveal of our MCC robot from team Oryon as well as First Power Up practice match videos from this Saturday. Keep in mind this is a first-time event so suggestions/criticism is openly accepted.

I feel like MCCs were less about having every ability a competitive robot should have and were more about having one ability (albeit being very good at that one ability) that every alliance would want.

I sincerely wish we could join you!

I find this idea very interesting, especially since the bots that have thus far been revealed have had such diverse approaches to their designs. It’ll be fascinating to see how they contribute to an alliance of sorts. Thanks for doing this!

That is what an MCC should be imo. In practice I feel like some of the MCCs unveiled in recent years are alliance Captain level robots, and do far too many things for the word “minimum” to really be applicable.

Looking forward to seeing what Oryon and the others show off!

I’m looking forward to seeing this play out.

Definitely looking forward to this - should be interesting to see these MCC concepts play out.

With this years game relying heavily on 2nd and 3rd robots also pulling their weight I do not think an MCC robot could be competitive with only one focus. It depends on how you break things up when it comes down to mechanisms and or how a team breaks down being good at “one” thing but I think there are at least 3 things an MCC should be able to do to be a desirable robot that can actually play this game with intent to win regional/district events. This year I think we have come up with a simple yet very competitive design that will allow for a competitive robot. With that being said, hope you guys tune in to our reveal and enjoy the content we will be releasing in a few days.

I like that your are considering a winning alliance member MCC rather that a box on wheels…can’t wait to see what you come up with and see if it matches somewhat closely to what we come up with.

If you break it down it truly needs to be that way. When the number one alliance picks a 3rd robot if the robot does not meet the MCC there is almost no chance of being able to play in elims. I feel that that should be the definition of MCC. Because the number alliance has the last pick (excluding at champs), I feel that every robot picked before the last one should also be an MCC to give all alliances a shot at winning their event.

The advice I give rookies and low resource teams is to do one thing well. I’d interpret MCC as being able to contribute to an alliance. This year that could be as simple as getting across the auto line, bringing some cubes from the portal to your alliance’s balance scorer, or to the exchange and possibly scoring on the switch. Doing that repeatedly and reliably might not win a championship, but it will show up on scouting reports. Why does an alliance need two balance scorers, after all?

Jason

I like the approach. Given the many/most inexperienced teams are NOT on CD, how will this information be spread to the rookie/less experienced teams that need it?

MCC is, generally speaking, defined as a robot that is able to contribute to an eliminations alliance (usually in a way other than defense)

This year, I’d go auto line, Exchange, platform, and Switch as being a robot that would be an MCC. That’s a ground pickup/eject system, elevated ejection system (possibly), and a functional drivetrain with a couple of minor considerations taken with its design.

Last year it would have been a fast and accurate gearbot; in 2016 a low-goal robot with ability to handle the static defenses.

I agree.

So distributing it to other teams outside of CD is a little hard. I will be putting together a document to summarize what we learned today that will include videos as well as list what teams should focus on doing. My hope is that the document will be put together well enough that teams are willing to share it on their social media pages as well as try to distribute it to other teams local to them. Let me know what you guys would find most useful, I am very accepting of suggestions and want this to be a good early resource for ALL teams.

Link to the match video, if any.

Be sure to include the thoughts behind the design and scoring capabilities of the MCC, that’s a lot of what goes into fielding an effective robot. Younger teams should learn to do that first then design. Often the goals set will drive the design.

I would like to see from game launch to first cut a guide for teams as to what they need to eventually build to be a likely selected MCC or possibly even a peripheral late captain. High number teams can be really good year 1. Some teams are like us several years ago with no real clue year 1. We could have used a good guide as its somewhat overwhelming.

After Week 6 Ri3D competed at MCCC on Saturday, I have good feelings about Power Up moving forward. Played at (hopefully) the lowest level we will see all season, the game already provided some interesting strategic challenges as well as captivated all of TTWHQ’s attention during the switch and (much more rare) scale races. I think onlookers will quickly understand the more basic elements of the game, allowing for an enjoyable experience for teams and spectators alike.

That being said, there were a few elements of gameplay that stuck out to me throughout the day:

Cubes like to fall on their sides: Whether coming out of the HP slots, robots, falling off the scale, etc. power cubes tended to fall on their sides more often than not.

Max height robots should watch their head on a tipped scale: This one seems obvious when stated, but a 55” tall robot may have its hat knocked off if drivers aren’t careful. Is the stress-free sub-scale at all times robot worth the extra extending effort?

A fast, dedicated, opponent switch attacker can be devastatingly effective: The folks over at Everybot reminded us once again how powerful it is to have a robot that does only one or two things, but very, very well. If you haven’t seen some of their videos, check it out. Defending your switch may not be as simple as throwing an iffy third bot at it.

Depth perception is hard: I’m sure a good amount of practice or a well-placed camera could solve this issue, but more than a couple cubes were lost off the side of the scale due to misjudged positioning

Small may be best: Space is limited when lining up for the all-important auto as well as on the platform, our robot was 24 inches wide and we still had trouble getting everyone safely on at the end of the match. Slipping through this field’s narrow passageways is also more challenging with a wide robot. Don’t use the extra frame length/width unless you need it.

Week 6 looks forward to helping the community as much as we can through Ri3D and MCCC in the future.

First off, the Robonauts Everybot team would like to thank the event organizers and especially the event host, Texas Torque. We had a fantastic time with friends from Houston-area teams, and felt like we got a lot out of the MCCC.

We were able to get some gameplay time for our new drivers, who found it especially valuable to get to play Power Up under defense (and play it themselves). It was also valuable to battle-test the Everybot design, to ensure we provide a robust solution to the challenges of FIRST Power Up. Stay tuned to see more about the 2018 Everybot.

I have to second everything that Jack said about the game. It’s great to start learning the intricacies of match play this early. We also learned that the lanes on the field are small and get congested easily. This is a technically challenging game for drivers.

Again, THANK YOU to Texas Torque, for inviting us to your facility and even providing breakfast and lunch.

Can wr see some video footage of matches played?