pic: REX (Team 4334 - Alberta Tech Alliance)

What’s with the black battery? I assume an non-legal battery for off season play?

Without the bumpers, your collector almost looks wider than the actual drivebase…I think it may actually be wider than your robot…

Where was this at? A demo, or just a robot photoshoot?


The photo was taken during the Calgary maker fair.

Their appendage is right at their frame perimeter. Our pit was across from theirs at GTR east, so I got a good look at the robot in person.

(And this was before they were famous :D)

One of my favorite robots of the season :smiley: It was so sad seeing it being disassembled after IRI :frowning:

I think a large part of FRC needs to step back and seriously ask themselves why they didn’t build this robot. All the long bots who missed elims, shooters that could only do 2’s from a tiny portion of the fender, teams who were in over their head in basically any capacity… You can learn a lot from this robot. With just enough features to have a competitive presence at all levels of play, I really think this is the best simple robot of this year, and an example of excellent strategic design.

Anything special? Extra capacity? Was thinking about getting some larger batteries for demo purposes.

From a strategic game playing perspective, this is absolutely true.
We see too many times where teams try to build the “do it all” bot and fail to different extents.
I will say however, that the journey is just as important. Regardless of how the robot turns out, its a success if the students, adults and mentors all learn something in the process.
Some teams understand this, but still go for the gold because of the value they place on that journey.

Nothing special. Get them cheep from a local supplier.

It’s probably because most teams don’t want to play the roll 4334 played this year. I’m not trying to take away from 4334 in any capacity. They accomplished a tremendous amount this year, not just for a rookie, but for any team. Rookies making it to Einstein is not a frequent event.

However, 4334 was, for lack of a better term, a support robot. Their claim to fame is being a great feeder robot for two of the most dominant teams in FRC, 2056 and 1114. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Since matches are played 3v3, being a support robot, a defensive robot, a feeding robot, is a necessary role. Most teams, however, don’t want to play that role. Most teams want to be take an active scoring role for their alliance. Honestly, I find that to be the more fun and enriching part of FRC. If every team built a simple robot, didn’t try to stretch boundaries, if the offensive roles were left to the teams that could only do it reliably, I’ll be honest… It would be boring.

If a team wants to finish their season well, then yeah. Building a robot like this is awesome! It’s a very desirable robot to round out a powerful alliance. 4334 should serve as an inspiration to all teams. They analyzed the game, and decided that it would be better to build “The little robot that could” than try to make 3 pointers. But I don’t think “a large part of FRC” needs to try and follow this trend.

I will agree with you that, however, 4334 has taken a leap in strategic design that most teams haven’t found yet. They built within their boundaries extremely well.

Cheers to 4334, on an amazing rookie year, and for many, many more great years to come!

More boring than watching a regional competition where, let’s say, 70% of the robots try to shoot 3’s and only 15% can make more than one a match reliably? Because we’ve all seen something similar and if you haven’t, allow me to tell you how painful it is to watch. There’s a certain regional (maybe more) that in 2012 saw an elimination round match where the score was 0-0. That’s not just painful. In my book, it’s unacceptable.

I’d rather see an FRC competition where EVERYONE can at least score the bare minimum point values than one where everyone tries to do something really tough, with the majority failing miserably.

Boundaries should definitely be pushed if a team wants to play on the next level, but that doesn’t mean teams shouldn’t be realistic with their goals.

If everyone built at LEAST the MCC (Minimum Competitive Concept), Qualifications and Elims would both be way more exciting and I would be a happy scouter and spectator, not to mention the fact that I would be happy knowing that every team in FIRST had a chance to be a potentially fantastic alliance partner in both qualifications and eliminations.

Yes, most teams want to play that role, but here’s the thing - most team’s can’t. They set their goals too high and fail, then they do the same thing year after year.

Honestly, I find that to be the more fun and enriching part of FRC. If every team built a simple robot, didn’t try to stretch boundaries, if the offensive roles were left to the teams that could only do it reliably, I’ll be honest… It would be boring.

I think you’d be pleasantly surprised how much more competitive events would be with more simple and reliable robots on the field. Which is more exciting: Watching teams struggle to move and score even a single three pointer all match, then fall off the bridge, or a match where three robots are shuffling balls around the field, supporting one or two elite scorers, possibly scoring on their own in the lower goals trying to win with volume?

I think even if FRC were oversaturated with support bots (which will never happen, as teams will always continue to overestimate their capabilities), there would still be quite a bit more strategic depth than what we see now.

If a team wants to finish their season well, then yeah. Building a robot like this is awesome!

I think people understate 4334’s regional level potential. They’re not just good because they’re 21 inches long and they have an intake roller. Another key part of their game was their autonomous mode - with an easy 8 points, plus easy balancing (either 20 on the alliance bridge, or co-op to seed high), they could score enough every match to secure their spot as an alliance captain or first round draft pick at almost any event this year.

I understand what you’re saying, but I disagree in some respects. I don’t think it’s okay if teams start saying “Well, we won’t be able to make 3 pointers anyway. So let’s not try to make them.” I know that’s not what you were saying was happening, but it was an implication I could see occurring in this circumstance.

Personally, yes. I would rather see 70% of robots try to make 3 pointers and only 15% make it. Because the 55% now have something to improve upon. And, in a nice, not necessarily perfect world, many of them would be working hard to become reliable shooters.

I love 4334’s robot this year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to disparage them. They did a brilliant job building with their resources and experiences and it obviously payed off. And I’m not trying to say, to anyone who is reading this, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you can do it. Try it anyway.” What I’m trying to get at is that I don’t think everyone in FIRST should build a simple, support based robot, because you start taking away part of what I love about FIRST: The diversification of designs, the run for improvement on a team, and teams stretching their boundaries and learning from what happens as a result.

I would argue that a lot of folks would like to have built that robot, but they didn’t have the guts. It takes some cojones to be that specialized and rely on partners for qual wins and other teams’ scouts for alliance pairings. Most teams take the “safe route” and try to do it all - often with less than stellar results. This is the most exciting non-traditional robot since Tumbleweed in 2008 (which made the 148-4334 interactions at IRI even more delicious).

I usually don’t disagree with you Taylor (excluding politics :slight_smile: but I don’t think it takes guts to understand your teams resources and capabilities. It doesn’t take guts to analyse the game.

A robot that could manipulate and climb the bridge and balance would have won a lot more matches than a robot that scores poorly and can’t do these simple things.

I supported 4334. I think they were the top if not one of the best support robots. And they were only a rookie!

I feel its kinda a risky gamble that you will picked be on a top alliance with a support robot. Since a support robot doesn’t necessarily score a lot of points they will usually seed lower making it a luck of the draw on what alliance they get chosen on.

Great job!!! Looking forward to seeing more robots from 4334.

Every year one of our main mentors (ahem, my mum) says “Why can’t be just build a simple robot that just does defense? Or just does the end-game?” We’ve never done it and really have never had a great answer as to why not. Now I’m not afraid to say that we have fallen victim to over-complication several times, which is probably what leads my mom to ask her question at the beginning of every build season.

The answer might be a little bit of fear and pride. I’ll use 2008 as an example to contrast two robots. Robowranglers built a zippy little octagon that won CMP. We (my team) built an overly complicated machine that tried to do to much. I remember sitting in our strategy meetings. Everyone wants to build the bot that can do almost everything. Unfortunately, we all know that almost impossible. It takes some humility to say ‘We aren’t going to try to do everything because that just won’t work’. (I’d like to say that we have learned some of humility throughout the years)

But I think there’s also an element of fear. Sure you can build a robot that only plays the end game, but what if competition comes around, the endgame isn’t as important as you thought and that strategy blows up in your face? The same would be true for a specialized robot. The Robowranglers 2008 robot worked because it did its job really, really, really well. What if we would have tried to build it and only done a okay good? Not only would we would probably not do as well at competition but we would also feel like limited our own abilities. Building a robot that does one thing well only works if that one thing is done super-duper-well. I think teams struggle from the fear that they can’t achieve that. (myself included)

But this won’t increase the number of high quality scorers in the game. One of my favorite lines in pick list formation is “Any (scoring) robot can be a feeder robot.” Another team’s stubbornness or your lack of persuasion prevents this from being perfectly true, but if they can try to score, they can feed you. All that more feeder bot designs would do is prevent some mediocre scorers from evolving into elite scorers during the season.

Back to the topic at hand, everyone loves Rex, no?