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?
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.
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?
Posted to the Spectrum Youtube page tonight.
Spectrum was happy to assist many of the teams that competed today. Getting more resources and virtual prototyping done for teams around the world is great for raising the level of play across FRC.
Interesting and confirms what I have been stating about defense as a viable option in the other threads…the “far switch bot dispupter and at-rick cube creator” should be devastatingly effective and a very viable design. Play the game on their end and keep them busy on their end … psychologically devastating.
Cubes on side is no surprise, the tall bot poses as you stated headroom and possible tippage yet can be desirable for the climb and elevation…decisions decisions.
Depth perception on the scale we had not thought of , makes sense since we are used to in front of us goals not to the side varying side scoring plates without a wall of some sort… I can see that being an issue now an creating at-risk cubes …thanks for mentioning that.
Small bot… we made a scale field and scale bots to war game with. Yes that platform is pretty darn small and many bots will be at or over the ramp when trying to climb in endgame, significant challenge to park all three let alone climb one or more. So smaller bots would potentially have more room to operate in endgame and allow for unique climbing strategies as well. Interesting they designed a game for bot sizes as you could easily buid a small bot than can always easilt get any cubes from the exchange very quickly and deliver to the own scale super fast. Decisions…decisions.
I am convinced the Game designers on purpose put the Exchange in the place that makes easy auto hard and that the platform is a devious trap.
I’m glad I saw your thoughts on gameplay as we are finalizing our main design this morning.
Thanks to all involved for the match footage and analysis! We’re finally able to prototype more this season but these are stop great help to see some of what is possible and how the game elements behave. These will make for interesting discussion at our next meeting.
This is such an amazing resource. Thank you to everyone who ran this!
We’ll see after week 4…
Thank you guys. This is a great resource.
Thanks to Texas Torque for hosting this event and thanks to Spectrum for getting the videos posted so quickly.
The Everybot team member I spoke with said they will be publishing a “How to” for this design including manufacturing drawings. CAD will not be helpful to many less capable teams who don’t have CAD capabilities yet. This was a very well thought out design, as one would expect from 118. It used inexpensive and readily available brackets from hardware stores. It was purposely designed to be manufactured using only the types of tools and equipment that even the lowest level teams would have. The control system is laid out nicely to make troubleshooting easy. This design embodies Karthik’s Golden Rules perfectly. It’s only weakness is that the floor pickup does not feed into the dumper. I suspect that, with some further thought, this weakness can be designed out. A climbing mechanism can easily be added at a later time. Without having calculated the scores, this robot may have had the highest OPR of any on the field yesterday.
Study the “2018 Field Layout and Marking” drawing “FE-00041” for the dimensions of all the zones and the distances between them. It looked too easy for robots running back and forth to the Portals to disturb their alliance mates as they are trying to score at the Switch or at the Scale. The stack of Cubes in the Power Cube Zone is also a constriction in the field. Lastly, Cubes that have been dropped or scattered from the Power Cube Zone will be impediments.
The tight and oddly shaped spaces suggest to me that being able to accelerate quickly to a moderate speed might be a good target for your drivetrain and overall design.
It will be a thing this year and it won’t be hard against a slower opponent. the robot with the red bumpers with “4587” is a 2017 robot with not capability to handle the Cubes other than pushing them around. It was not hard for them to frustrate Hour 12’s robot, the one with the A&M coloured bumpers (maroon) as shown in this video. Neither driver seemed that well practiced.
**The area on the far side of the Switch nearest the Driver Station will be partially obscured by the Fence and Switch mechanism as well as any robots trying to score on that Switch. It is less than 6’ from the far side Fence to the edge of the Platform and about 1’ is taken up by the row of Cubes.
Having a routine that drives your robot forward and then ejecting a Cube is not enough as shown in the first 10 seconds of this video.
Game Piece Control
Test your active intake mechanisms very thoroughly, with the Cube in all possible orientations. There are many examples of robots struggling to acquire the Cubes with their active intakes then having no trouble when the orientation is a little different.
Test and refine your intake from the Portal under non-ideal conditions. The top of Team O’Ryon is visible at the bottom left having to push a dropped Cube out of the way for a second attempt at loading from the Portal in this video. A couple of dropped Cubes in front of the Portal would make it almost unusable. I seem to recall seeing this happen in the earlier practice matches that were not recorded. In the 2017 game, a robot could just move over a few feet for a second try at the adjacent Loading Station but would have to go to the other side of the field this year.
Keep control of your Cube. Hour 12’s robot spends one whole minute with the same Cube as it falls out of their robot several times and they have difficulty re-acquiring it in this video.
For scoring in the Switch, and probably the Scale too, just ejecting the Cube so it just clears your bumper is probably not enough as shown by Team O’Ryon (dark blue bumpers with “4587”) in this video.
AMCC (Absolute Minimum Competitive Concept)
Team Caprisun was a “Robot in 12 Hours” built using a kit chassis by members of the host team, Texas Torque. It is the one with the big polycarbonate box on top and is totally passive. It can score relatively quickly by crashing into the Fence and using the momentum of the Cube to eject it. There is almost always a rookie team that didn’t know how much help is available and shows up at a competition with a box on wheels (sometimes just the box). The mid-level teams with extra resources (material and manpower) often help these teams get on the field and they often end up only being able to play defense. By bringing a sheet of polycarb and some extra tubing (or even 1" x 3" dimensional lumber), these rookies can be helped to actually score a Cube or two. That has to be much more inspiring than going back to school the next week to say “we played defense all weekend”.