Original Defenders

Im just curious if there are any defense bots out there that actually built their robot for defense. It seems that not many teams looked into defense in the beginning, and that defense came out as a second option for them. I was just wondering if there are any bots out there, like us, that were built with defense in mind as the main strategy, and not a backup.

We built our drivetrain with defense in mind but as a parallel strategy (we wanted to score discs and defend). After our first regional, we found out our strengths lie in defense and put that out as our main strategy. We took apart and rebuilt our DT (switched out CIMs for NEOs) at our second regional and it has served us very well!


After our success last year playing defense, we went into this season wanting to be a “Swiss army knife” of sorts, opting to score low only and have a powerful drive base for pushing anything and everything. It’s worked out well for us so far (although the G20 mess hit North Carolina a week earlier than everywhere else, so that caused some grief).

6443’s robot wasn’t built specifically for defense but that is definitely something that they had in mind when they designed it. they prioritized climbing and defense above a effective manipulator for their first 2 events. they won because of their defense despite not having the best cycle times. now they have improved said manipulator and climber so they are not limited to their great defense.

271 builds for defense every year and this year we saw day one that defense was going to be huge, we’re strong believers in that all the qualities that make up a good defense bot play into being good at offense as well…we’re still working on that second part though :joy:


We usually don’t design our robot around defense, but we specifically design to not exclude it. In the past few years, we have opted for an all traction(no omni) drop center tank drive. This allows us to maintain a good deal of mobility and control, but also gives us an immense amount of strength on defense. We opt for a more area-control/denial style of defense, and that amount of friction on the carpet from our wheels makes us extremely hard to push. From the frame up, not much matters beyond being able to keep all of your parts within your frame, and trying to keep CoG as low as possible.

747 is a strict defense bot with a HAB 3 flipper. This was their intended strategy all season and they have been very successful (FMA DCMP win).

The combination of a preloaded hatch score, Hab3 climb, and defense is really smart for this year’s game. It’s a nicely limited design scope that doesn’t stretch a team out too badly, but it’s still really effective alongside some scoring partners. The climb is great for a defense bot, since they want something productive to do at the end of a match, and it allows the fast scorers to score right up to the end instead of doing their climb.

Being able to deliver a preloaded hatch is easier than also being able to pick them out of the feeder station, so that cuts down on time needed to attain that capability. Not doing cargo is fine for this strategy, so that saves on robot space and design time. Hab3 climber is easier to come up with if the only other mechanical ability you’re designing around is the preloaded hatch scorer. I just like this combination as something that’s effective and attainable for a lot of teams. We never thought of this combination in our Day 1 strategy discussion.

When choosing defense as a strategy up front, it’s very important to carefully choose the complementary scoring capabilities that fill out the entire strategy.

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1073 is a mean defense machine. With 10 pnuematic wheels and a shifting drive train with a low gear for defense, I can almost guarantee they had defense in mind when designing their robot


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