I am the head designer for 5161 and for our first 3 weeks we have been going for making a robot that is the most efficient and speedy at hatches and climbing the stage 2, maybe 3. We are not doing anything with cargo. I have completely designed the robot and we are now into the building stage. But I am wondering if we made the wrong decision by just doing hatches? What are your guys thoughts? Thanks!
To answer what you really want to know, I wouldn’t change your design now, whether or not it was the the “wrong choice”. There are better ways to optimize a robot for points without choosing a do everything design, but the amount of time that would be spent redesigning your robot in order to do that isn’t worth it. Continue on, and keep looking for ways to make your hatch delivery faster and faster, which means reducing cycle times. Pay special attention to acquiring and scoring them, as many teams spend absobinate amounts of time on the field just trying to line up.
Read this post from 610 to learn more about faster cycles.
To be honest, I do think you missed something in your game analysis. I’m thinking doing just hatches, even really well, won’t be enough to carry an alliance in quals or eliminations. That’s not to say that you couldn’t be a vital and important part of a winning alliance, especially if you do have a good level 3 climb, but if your partners aren’t there scoring balls for you, you might have a hard time finding wins and/or RPs.
That having been said, it’s really hard changing horses mid-stream and I’d agree with the other posts, now that you’re fairly committed, unless you guys have a whole lot of resources and manpower to do a 180, I’d stick to your initial plans and see them through to the best of your ability.
Just like what everyone has said, if you stick with your design, you will have more time for driver practice. Simple robots with great, well practiced drivers will be better than complex robots with inexperienced drivers. I believe enough teams will be able to do cargo that you should be fine and do well. In 2008, FRC 148 won the world championship by driving in circles, ignoring the game pieces.
Can you execute really well then help out by playing defense or throwing picks for your other alliance partners to keep the opposing defense away. I think there is a lot of validity with building a robot to fill a position, practice that position and grow with it as the season progresses.
Don’t disparage your team like that! Practice driving like crazy so even if you can’t do some of the tasks well, so you have a great driver who can help other teams be better. Also, at your first competition, look at the other teams’ mechanisms and see if you can make something similar for your second competition. Even if you don’t make it onto the elimination field, take pride in learning and improving.
When your become an alliance captain I think I would choose a solid cargo bot as my second pick and a hatch/cargo bot as my third. Have the third bot start with hatches only and switch mid way to cargo.
Yeah it depends on who the alliance captains are and who the teams are at the event. I agree it’s fair to say some captains (who themselves can score cargo somewhat reliably) will be looking for a hatch panel robot as a 1st pick. Point being going for the carry the alliance strategy is not the only way to win.
Doing one thing very very well, is far more valuable than doing a number of things poorly. With the former you are a valuable member of certain alliances, with the later you are a 3rd round pick. This point tends to get overlooked in the rush/enthusiasm to design a do everything bot.
Design within your capabilities and ensure that you absolutely nail the tasks to decide to do.
@cclee I’m with @Mr_Tatorscout on this one. There’s still plenty of time. If you are looking for a simple way to score cargo I would probably try prototyping a dumping style scoring mechanism. Load up from the loading station and dump the CARGO into the ship. Might be as easy as bolting a pneumatic cylinder to a Rubbermaid(Plastic tub) and affixing that to your robot at the right height.