New Off-season Defenses

I have been informed that the portcullis will not be sent to off-season events due to safety concerns. I personally have no problem with this ruling and have put in an inquiry to see if the base can still be sent along.

We were already considering replacing the drawbridge and the sallyport with new defenses and now plan on coming up with something for the portcullis base also.

What ideas does the community have that could be used as an alternate defense (we already have a couple of ideas in mind). Keep in mind that you want to minimize the penalty to specific design choices.

A group of Minnesota volunteers have discussed this a few times, and we came up with a few good alternatives (by some definition of “good”).

My favorite practical option is propping up the cheval de friese as the CDF’s “alternative”, making a cliff defense. With the CDF, the challenge is getting on. With the cliff, the challenge is getting off. It’s easy to implement, and not too significantly different from any existing defenses. Unfortunately it is significantly more directional than the existing defenses- going from the courtyard back to the neutral zone would be pretty hard.

Some less practical options (in descending order from most practical to least practical):

  • A “wall” you have to break through twice to defeat, such as two totes stacked on top of eachother
  • “Boiling pitch,” which is just a bean bag chair that gets dropped on your robot after going through the defense
  • A cage with a bunny in it. Whether the bunny is real or fake is up to the planning committee.
  • A flat defense with nothing on it, but the head ref has a squirt gun and gives your robot a squirt every time you cross it
  • A second low bar, but connected to some propane to create an open flame instead of having flaps

Minnesota teams might want to be careful in the off season :wink:

10th Defense?

A set of boulders that are attached to the flat base that you have to drive over.

Was this from HQ, Andymark, or someone else? I’m just wondering what off-seasons won’t have the portcullis.

I was thinking a rolling-log type of defense. Should be quite entertaining to watch robots try to go over some round-ish material(s) that can spin in place but not roll off the platforms.

I’ve considered replacing several defenses with ones that don’t block visibility, but the challenge is to design a new defense that the majority of robots can go over without needing new mechanisms or changing their drivetrain. If we can think of new defenses that fit that bill, it would be helpful to share to the community.

My mom’s cousin heard from her friend who heard from her brother who heard from his barber who heard from his son that his teacher told him that his father’s brother’s sister’s former roommate heard from Frank himself.

An AM14U2 turned with its wheels perpendicular to the dividers on a low traction surface.

Additionally, pushing this field element on to the batter counts as a challenge.

^This. The visibility blocking adds nothing positive to the game from a spectator or driver standpoint. This is why we’re planning on scrapping the drawbridge and the sallyport.

You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Ty Tremblay again.

Though for the record, I’ve seen a few comments on various threads about replacing the “wooden” element with just clear plastic. While not a fan of the defenses (Scoring the crossings as a Ref was the worst.) because of the reduced visibility, I do think that they should stay for off season events because it rewards teams like 4678 on their incredibly smooth operation of those defenses.

Conveyor roller bridge of despair. PVC pipe around steel may work? Rough length the average wheel base at the event - probably something like 24-28". Peak height is close to the rock wall’s height.

A rock wall made out of a roll of carpet that is allowed to deform over the course of a competition.

A quarter-height drawbridge with less spring force - most teams could probably add something to their CDF manipulators to solo this from the neutral zone.

2 punching bags or a few steel vertical pipes attached to a “high bar”

Rough terrain with 1" more variation in the height.

Could do astroturf, gravel (please don’t use sand), or a turn table.

As much as we’d love to cart Tim around to every off-season event, I think we’ll have to pass. It was hard enough getting him to two event in two pieces. :yikes:

From Frank

the base of the defense will certainly be sent. The idea would be (for events that don’t want to create a new defense, though I think that’s a neat idea!) is that the ‘Category A’ defense would just be the CDF, so in that category, there would be no real option, the CDF would just be put on the field.

This would be an easy design. 4" dia steel pipe set center of defense plate, with 1"-4" underneath (make it adjustable (1" increments) so the head ref pulls a number out of a hat for each time it’s used)(or make it perm to the field like the low bar and set the height to pneumatics so the FTC can change randomly during a match). The end of the pipe would have end caps with bearing in them for it to rotate on (make it more fun, have the bearings off center so it has a cam effect). :eek:

Or a series of smaller pipes, same general idea. Oughtta be quite “entertaining” (and maybe claim a few robots on the way…)

  • Boulders cut in half, then affixed flat-side-down to a base.
  • The platform without installing a defense (with no attachment, so that there’s a lowered portion)
  • A big ramp to launch yourself into the courtyard, but almost impossible to cross backwards
  • A 2012 Bridge
  • a 2010 bump
  • A series of bungee cords strung across the base very close together
  • a Lunacy trailer you can push onto the batter that can replace a robot for the challenge requirement (or a tote or some other item to push onto the batter and can start on top of a defense platform)
  • A tall bar that can be hung from as a replacement for the hanging endgame
  • rolling bars
  • Just a platform, no defense on it, but you need to clear the other 4 defenses in order to get the breach
  • A bunch of 2013 frisbees