Offensively Defensive: Blockinator

I’m sure many teams out there have realized that with only two cargo allowed, robots don’t need to be very big this year. Having a low center of gravity while racing around trying to get cargo is a plus. But having a ball launcher permanently low could be a problem.

We were going over launcher placement this week, trying to settle on a final robot sizing plan, and I started to get concerned about a towering defender. With robot height limits of 4’4" during teleop, and 16" extensions allowed, there’s a good chance that many teams are going to be susceptible to defenders getting in their way. It may not be likely that you’ll have a tall shot-blocker shadowing you around the field, but it is something to plan for as a contingency. Right?

So then I got to thinking… what would be the ultimate shot-blocker??? I submit to you, The Blockinator


  • Kitbot chassis with 3CIM WCP shifting gearboxes
  • Central turreted blocker system, at max height
  • Retractable polycarbonate shield
  • Limelight on back of blocker system tracks HUB so blocker is always facing away from HUB, and toward opponent robot.
  • Hopper stores two opponent cargo, able to launch them sideways if a third is caught

The idea is to drive, get between an opponent and the HUB, and always have the blocker facing the opponent.

Needlessly complicated? Yes! That’s the fun part.
Are there limits to ability that could be fixed? Of course! Share your ideas.

Cad in Onshape: Onshape


I want to build blockinator over the summer and have you drive it at Beach Blitz.


Combine this with the jump climb concept and you’ll be unstoppable.


More teams should be figuring out how to integrate blocker shelves into their robot. This would be a killer addition to an Everybot who is playing a defensive role.


The turret is a really nice touch, I enjoy that thoroughly


Real talk though, if we have one of these at our events, I’ll likely just add fiberglass rods at the corners of our robot that go to max height. That way a blocker can’t reach over top of us without contacting us inside frame perimeter. The fiberglass rods would also just bend out of the way whenever you’re driving under the Low Rung… It also just might not be necessary since it would require a >16" extension to block most shooters since the shots are close to vertical.


The real game changer would be firing the cargo straight in the air to get it bouncing rather than just out the side.


Another thing teams should consider! Just make sure they’re not going to sway around and go beyond 16" when driving around. Good idea!

1 Like

You could just add a wack ton of energy such that it just spins on the ground at high speed (like a top) for an extra 5 seconds, making it more likely to zip off to some corner of the field…

I see your bluff concern and raise you a nimble swerve :wink:


The defender is on a swerve, no?

Bonus points if you put one of these on the inside:


Or fire the opponent’s cargo at high velocity into a grouping of more of their cargo to play “billiards”? :laughing:


The extension seems likely to draw g204 fouls for being inside the opponents frame perimeter.


If contact is made, yes.

1 Like

I’ve been trying to figure out what this means for the past hour and a half.


Yup, we’re including mount holes for fiberglass rods if necessary.

1 Like

I love this concept.

So, with this design being a tank drive, and the configuration of the hub being round such that you can shoot from any angle, this Blockinator will be minimally effective against a swerve shooter bot.

If the Blockinator’s tank drive is oriented to go side to side, then the shooter can just back up a bit and this bot would not be able to quickly give chase. If the Blockinator’s tank drive is oriented to move in and out, then the swerve shooter bot can just strafe to a new shooting space.

So, what would make the Blockinator much more effective as a defensive bot would be Swerve!

Just sayin’…

1 Like

Except for the fact that teams who can effectively pull off swerve have minimal overlap with teams best suited to build a robot like the Blockinator…

A well driven tank drive is frequently, severely underestimated. With a suitable amount of practice a tank drive would have the ability to block all but the best driven swerve drives out there.


I don’t think the turret adds much relative to what it costs you. You’re not going to block over the corners of the robot, right? And unless your base is square, one or two of your four sides are going to be less effective than the other two. If you must I would just have two blockers and only use one at a time - they don’t weigh much!

Rather than two separate ejectors for opponent cargo that you happen to catch by accident, if you are going that far I’d just add an Everybot low intake, which can effectively do the same thing but also can score low goals and pick up balls off the ground.

If you are really, really smart about it, maybe you can make your blocker mechanisms hold three positions, such that when both are straight up it serves as a passive mid hanger. Or just have two separate mechanisms share structure. Lots you can do here. The point being - it’s pretty easy to add side blockers to an Everybot style robot.