pic: 2015, Year of swerves?

You aren’t crazy, everyone seems to be talking about swerves this offseason. Data taken from CD search results then broken into 1/2 year periods and graphed.

I’d rather have moving alliance partners…

I stand in awe of the pioneers who created the early swerve, crab, etc. drives. I drool over pwnage’s drive from last year. But my team doesn’t need swerve to do what they do. Who said swerve “is never necessary”? Anyway, kudos to the amazing teams that have moved the game forward.

This will be the return of 1/4 of the robots not moving at their first competition if it is.


Not to mention having alliance partners that don’t spend half the match trying to figure out what direction they are heading.

A lot of people are bagging on swerve, but in all honesty, I think people who do swerve will be able to move. I have seen a lot of offseason projects, so if they programmed it and tested it and created offseason drivetrains, I think they will do just as well as anyone else.

To extend my opinion, I think that swerve is most of the time not necessary. If a team doesn’t have resources and does swerve, then they are going to sacrifice game / end effectors.

Why swerve? At least 2 of the 4 championship winners will have 6 or 8wd next year.

Leading up to the 2011 season, 2220 did two full swerve iterations. We still didn’t move for a regional and a half.

That said, I think the resources available for teams to do swerve are ininitely better than they were then.

I’ll be interested to see how many swerves pop up for the 2015 season.

Unicycles are hip I think those have a fair shot too

Why did someone design a car when they had horses?
Why do people build 1000 horsepower cars for the street?
Why did someone design an electric powered car when there are gasoline engines?

Don’t stifle creativity.
This competition to me is a way to teach the students about engineering.
Through success and failure, the journey is what’s important.
If you use the same drivetrain design year after year, what are you teaching about designing a drivetrain?
Most will argue they put the time into the mechanisms for that years game and that is a valid argument.
Some are in it to win at any cost and some are in for the fun of it.

I agree swerves are not necessary to win, thus far.
Pnwage has discussed this at length and we are not a “Swerve Team”.
It helped us seat first and win our first regional last year but it had it’s negatives at Champs and at IRI.
A four CIM swerve does not accelerate like a six CIM tank.
The extra mobility doesn’t help if the other team can get there quicker.
A single speed swerve does not get out of a pushing match if it’s geared for speed, and it doesn’t move quickly if it’s geared for pushing matches.

Our swerve is now fully Field Centric, with only a few degrees of drift over an entire match. My 9 year old jumped on the sticks and drove it to 90% its capacity the first time he drove it. Now anyone can be your driver, not just the best “driver”. Can you say that about a tank drive?
Now if we could just get the same acceleration as the 6 CIM tanks…
Ah, 8 mini-cims…


Although I’m not sure that 8 mini-CIMs is the best solution to your acceleration deficit.

Building swerves for the first time last year was a good decision for my team. Even though it barely helped us in competition that year, it stretched our abilities and our knowledge. (It also helped my best friend get into MIT, and helped me win the Dean’s List Award)

Swerve is good because it is one of the few things that you can completely build and test during the offseason, and then it almost always will make you more competitive come the next season (assuming your team has the resources to complete it and then easily replicate it during the build season, which many teans don’t). No, it is never necessary, but it often gives a huge advantage. Look at 16 in 2012; they were one of the few IRI caliber “feeder bots” because of their swerve. Or 2000, when the second iteration of the original swerve by 47 allowed them to remove balls from the opponent’s trough, slide sideways to their own, and score the balls. Or any game where you need to pick up a game piece, and swerve allows you to better manuever the field and pick them up. I would not consider it waste of time, so long as you have the resources to do it and make sure to get plenty of driver practice.

Also, 2009 was a year where swerve was very advantageous. We better not, but if we have a game like that again, with all the COTS options I could see alot of teams doing it.

I thought that graph was pretty accurate.
Anyway, many swerves may not be built for 2015. 2016 will have more swerve drives IMO.

Well, “swerve is never necessary” is like “moving is never necessary”. You can sit still for a whole match with blinking lights and compete with that. Great. However, it’s probably advantageous to move a little bit at least.

Ask 254 (from whom the quote is sourced) if not driving swerve is like not driving.


While the COTS swerve modules certainly have made machining a swerve as simple (if not simpler) than machining a WCD, the mechanism is only part of swerve.

In order to get the full benefits of swerve (or really any omni direction drive for that matter), you really need to be able to implement a good control scheme that is exponentially more difficult to do than a control scheme for WCD.

Also as a side note: I think that some of the initially negative posts about swerve on this thread we’re saying “Swerve is useless”, but were saying “A lot of teams are going to underestimate the challenge of implementing swerve during build season and will subsequently not have functional/effective drive bases come competition time”. (Disclaimer: That’s just my interpretation and I don’t want to put words into anyone’s mouth)

That argument doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I can think of several counterexamples, but I would rather you reword the post because I think you might have meant something else…I assure you as a driver myself that swerve is never necessary, whereas moving is. The best drivetrain is the one that gets you from point A to B the quickest, and if that drivetrain for you is swerve, then that works out nice. But for a lot of teams, it seems like a standard tank drive accomplishes that goal just fine.

The goals of a good drivetrain depend on the team. I think for most teams a reliable and easily maintainable drivetrain are far more important than everything else. For many teams, agility and speed are far lower on that list than you would think, and therefore swerve isn’t prioritized.

That’s true. I think what I meant was that you can still achieve a high level of speed and agility without attempting the complex nature of swerve and still have a championship level robot.