“I don’t care what it was designed to do, I care about what it CAN do!”
I think what of the most exciting things at the competitions is watching robots and teams implement innovative strategies or using their robots in ways that they weren’t designed to.
I remember back in 2002’s Zone Zeal, all those “proboscis” devices were really nice. I recall trying to develop a similar device that wouldn’t break the rules… and for some reason I never thought of something running along the ground. And I really wish I remembered the team name/number, but they had a smaller second robot that would detach and drive around the field while tethered to the main robot. What a cute little bugger. It was at the GLR I think… maybe… if not, the CDN regional.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t very involved in last years stack attack, but I remember at the CDN regional, one team used hockey sticks to knock down the bins. LAFF. Don Cherry would be proud.
What about this year? Any stories? Did you end up using a part of your robot for a completely different function?
I know with our team, we had designed these two arms to swing out and around our robot to herd balls and knock off the 10 point ball… but naturally, once we actually started competing, we realized that the game focused on the hanging from the bar. So we rarely herded at all. As we competed in Pittsburgh, we realized that our robot was very susceptable to driving over the balls. So we ended up ditching our autonomous program (which is a real shame… I wish I saw it work. We only ran it once, and that was by accident during the Pittsburgh practice round… but it seemed to work!) because those balls were a pain to manoeuver around. But of course, every now and again there’d be a ball in the way of us… so we used those arms to just whack them out of the way! And later on in the Canadian regional, we started using the arms for yet another purpose… while hanging on the bar, we can swing them out and interfere with lift systems across the entire platform. It’s too bad we didn’t have the foresight to develop something more powerful and sturdy, but when we needed them to, they did their job. Laff, they even managed to slow down 48’s lift system for those precious few seconds to win the round for us.
Too bad the video I have isn’t the whole bit, just couple seconds before this 48’s hook was caught up in our arm. I still have to congratulate 48 though; you guys had a great reliable robot, to the point where even when there seemed to be no time left you could still manage to get up on that platform and hang.