Need of ability to Pick Up Power Cube On Its Side?

My team is wondering the importance of being able to pick a cube up on its side.It seems from the video when introducing the power cubes from the portal they fall on their side. Has any team tested a portal to see if the cubes can be entered in different orientations to the field to land in consistent orientations? Video would be appreciated.

We felt it would be a valuable ability as the cubes will be ‘dropped’ as well as fall from the loading station.

Once one is on it’s side it would be difficult to put back on it’s “bottom”


Our team is going with an intake design that can handle cubes on their side, because we find it too likely that cubes will land on their sides both from the portals and from the pyramid collapsing, and making an accommodating mechanism isn’t incredibly difficult.

That ability is on my list of requirements.

If you can’t collect a game piece (regardless of year) from multiple orientations you’re likely going to be frustrated.

Sorry might have to clear a few points up we are using this strictly game analysis to determine Wants Likes and Needs. Could very well have a pick up but need to statistically determine the importance of how much time to allocate on this part of the robot.
Trying to use this portal info to determine how many power blocks you have to statistically account for in a game and where are they likely to flip without you or an opponent making a mistake.

28 of the 66 cubes will come from the loading station, many of which will land on a side that is not the bottom.

Once the plates for the scale and switch have 1 layer of cubes the next ‘layer’ will be above the guards and therefore prone to being knocked off by a robot trying to put another cube on.

robot grippers will sometimes (probably underestimating here) fail to hold a cube.


BTW, we’ll see you at CIR

Correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t there only 60 power cubes? 10 in each Power Cube Zone, 6 on the opposite side of each Switch, and 7 in each portal(3 of which may be preloaded in robots on your alliance).

Here’s a video of us loading in cubes on the real field. From our testing it wasn’t very consistent, but can probably get better with more human player practice.

It’s not optimal, but as long as you’re designed to pick up something 13" wide, you can still get a cube on its side as long as you approach it from the “top” or “bottom”. The biggest problem will be when you can’t see the logo on top!

Also note that any roller type input will have difficulty picking up a cube on its 11" dimension because there is no structure on the “top” face.

It seems like you were really forcing the cube hard… what happens if you gently do it?

From my experience, there is usually a simple and clever method of collecting game pieces in any orientation. The hard part is figuring out what that solution is so that you minimize your build time on that design.

In every game for my team, we make it a goal to be able to handle game pieces at any orientation. The time you spend in building an excellent sytem for any game piece in any orientation saves you time on the field.

There are 6 sides to the “cube”.

Two allow for a short orientation.
Four allow for a tall orientation.

While a majority of cubes are pre-loaded on the field, and are in the short orientation, 5 per side are on top of a pyramid that will likely get knocked over, and ~11 will be fed through slots.

I’d wager that roughly half the cubes will be in the tall orientation at some point during a match. Being able to collect, or re-orient a cube should be a NEED in my opinion.

What if your plan is only to play with the cubes delivered to you from the portal or the exchange?

OP is looking for statistical info to help them determine Need/Like/Want classification, and time to devote to a mechanism that gathers cubes.

Wouldn’t bumping the cube flip it to the “short” orientation? You could just have a plate above your pickup mech for bumping the cubes over.

test it.
I believe you’ll find the cubes tend to slide rather than flip

I don’t think it’s a solid reason because in years with an object that is not symmetric like 2015/2013 it wasn’t necessary to grab the object in a flipped position.

However, I’m not sure that this year this is the case. There aren’t plenty of game objects like 2013, and it’s harder to see if the object is flipped like 2015.
Your team need to decide strategically if it’s worth the time to find a solution, or you believe it will be rare/you can handle it by driving and grabbing it from the right side of the cube.

I don’t think anyone has built enough of a working player station to find out yet but if you’re calculating make sure to take into account:

It’s not going to be as easy as in past years (totes) to tell if it’s flipped. These cubes aren’t actually cubes, but they’re close enough that if you’re headed towards one across the field you might not know what its orientation is before getting close.

There’s not as many cubes in the player stations as past years, meaning that you probably won’t be able to rely on them as your sole cube source. This means that your ability to have your human player drop the cubes in the perfect orientation (let me tell you, feeding gears is an art) won’t prevent you from possibly needing to get cubes from the wild. Cubes from the wild won’t be in the perfect rotation.

If the FIRST logo isn’t on the top face, it’s been flipped.