[Ri3D] ‘Snow Problem and Greenhorns Game Match

Tomorrow, `Snow Problem and the Greenhorns will compete in the first matches of Recycle Rush, at Becker High School in Becker Minnesota. We will work together to score as many points as possible to help give teams an idea what scores might look like in official competitions. Matches are planned to be streamed from both Ri3D teams’ accounts. The streams will start around 4pm, ‘Snow Problem will be streaming from their youtube page at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBv8vHAnG_1f9Ie_K1CrZCw.

Special thanks to FRC team 4607 for hosting these special matches and to the Greenhorns for organizing it! We’ll be using team drawings of field elements.

We hope to see you in the stream!

`Snow Problem

A few shameless plugs…

Remember to check out `Snow Problem’s websiteand our live stream.

Like us on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter @SnowProblemz](https://twitter.com/snowproblemz).

The GreenHorns are excited for the opportunity to work with 'Snow Problem! Seeing two 3 Day Robots working together will definitely show some insight into how the game could possibly play out. We would also like to thank Team 4607 for hosting and providing our team with some of their own components!

Here are a few more shameless plugs:
***Make sure to click on “live” in the upper right hand corner

Any update?

We’re live for the demonstration at http://youtu.be/GdyxApSVI-k

We’re doing practice matches with different strategies. So far we’ve seen a couple 24 point “matches” and a 30-point solo run with 'Snow Problem. If you want us to try anything, mention it and we’ll try to make it happen. I’ll also write something up with what we’ve found after it’s over.

Edit: Never mind, we’re done for the night. Write-up incoming.

the video is all garbled. Will this me fixed?

We’re looking at options now. Since it was on a GoPro we should be able to retrieve the last four hours or so of video. Everyone is getting a well-deserved good night’s rest now (or will be soon :P).

Here are a couple of notes/first impressions from watching two low-mid tier robots play the game:

-It’s a lot more exciting to watch than one would expect. There’s a constant tension on whether the totes will fall over-- it’s really easy (and faster) to stack them imperfectly aligned if you’re only grabbing one at a time.

-Noodles in the recycling bin are key-- scoring those guys alone is super easy (we could do it in 30 seconds-- with practice and a more solid robot one could probably get it down to 15-20 seconds)-- these are the equivalent of two 3-tote stacks, which is huge.

-Shorter, “complete” stacks were easier and faster to make than taller stacks-- for ours, I think the best height was a complete 3-stack. GreenHorns would do a two stack from the loading station and Snow Problem would cap it with a bin w/noodle and a tote. This seemed really effective

-If alliance scores are at 1.5x our average score (which would be 36 points), Coopertition will be a huge plus, doubling an alliance’s score.

-Picking up bins is easy. Picking up totes is easy. Picking up bins and totes is easy. Picking up both well is hard. Picking up both well and quickly is really, really hard.

-Stacking totes two high at the feeder station (per our video) was faster than either of our robots. I think this will be true for the majority of teams.

-Driver practice is even more essential than usual. To maximize points you’re working against your own success. The higher those stacks get, the more difficult it is to see. Picking up the right totes at the right time will be a key strategic thing at a high level.

-Peter (former 2175 driver) hates camera driving. After driving for a few hours, he was practically begging for one.

-Slide drive/strafing is huge in this game. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of Einstein this year is slide drives. 6WD is not nearly as effective as it has been in the past. I’ll bet there will be successful teams that use it, but strafing makes the game so much easier.

If anyone has any questions, I’ll be reacquainting myself with Chief Delphi over the next few days, so feel free to ask here, in the Snow Problem thread, or via PM.

Also, anyone who says FRC is the hardest fun you’ll ever have clearly hasn’t done Ri3D. I loved my time as a student on 2220, but Ri3D was flat out exhilarating. One of the guys on the team said “After building this thing in 3 days, it makes me wonder what we spent the rest of the six weeks doing!”

Having driven with Peter for 3 years (as 2175’s weapons officer) I’m having a hard time even wrapping my mind around this. I obviously can’t begin to comprehend how hard this game is to drive, since in my mind nothing, NOTHING could ever convince Peter to drive by camera.

Dude, Peter couldn’t drive this game. If I had a dollar for every time he knocked over a stack yesterday… After seeing Peter attempt to drive around on a flat field surface, I’ll be pushing for robots to get done as early as possible for drive practice. I think this game will be one of the most difficult to drive for as the field you’re driving on is very small for three robots. You don’t want to knock down a stack.\

**Edit: For all of those trying to watch the video from yesterday, something happened and we’re not sure what. After I get off of work, I’ll be checking to see if there is a recorded version on the PC we used. I also contacted Google/YouTube for support on this issue.

I’m not surprised camera driving is going to be a thing this year. Teams are really going to have to be concerned about bandwidth to not overdo it.

Couldn’t agree more. I’ll talk about things that I saw and reiterate ideas already stated. First and foremost seeing 2 FRC robots on a semi accurate field driving around and competing in Recycle Rush opened my eyes to this game. It gave me much better idea of strategies and functionality that teams should strive for.

Strategy Ideas
One robot preparing stacks of 2 at the feeder station seemed to be the quickest and most efficient way to get stacks of 2. Having one robot on an alliance dedicated solely to that task and making stacks of 2 until the 30 bins runs out would be highly effective. Robot 2 on an alliance would gather the 2 stacked totes from robot 1 and bring them to the scoring platform. Just continuing to do that until all 30 totes are gone. Robot 3 would then grab a recycling bin, fill it with a piece if litter, and place it on top of 2 stacked totes made by robot 1. Then robot 3 would then grab the 2 totes and recycling bin and transport all of that over to the stacks made by robot 2 on the scoring platform. By using the above strategy an alliance could make 3 complete level 4 stacks and however many more 4 tote stacks it has time for. In this scenario that would amount to 90 points from the completed level 4 stacks plus 8 for each additional 4 totes stack.

To me this says the coopertition points will be massive, accounting for between half and a third of an alliances overall score.

Ideal Robot Functionality

It is vital that a robot can manipulate totes some how some way. In the above scenario Robot 1 would be best served by having a mechanism that essentially acts as a continuation of the feeder station. If left alone the totes tend to fall into awkward positions when exiting the feeder station. With Robot 1 in place the totes would ideally slide to the ground in a way that is easy to manipulate and stack. Robot 1’s mechanism would need to pivot so as to allow totes to slide directly to the ground or on top of another tote.

In the above scenario Robot 2 would need to be extremely efficient at moving with 2 totes. Having a mechanism in control of both totes at the same time is crucial. Robot 2 would also need to have a quick drivetrain that is easy to line up. For The GreenHorns slide drive worked perfectly. Robot 2 would also benifit from being able to grab totes when they are in any orientation.

Robot 3 in the above scenario has the most difficult job. Robot 3 is essentially robot 2 except this the added ability to be able to have control of the recycling bin when driving.

General Lessons and notes from working with 'Snow Problem

Robots must have the ability to manipulate fallen over recycling bins. Just looking at them the wrong way seems to make then fall over. They are way too valuable to leave laying on the ground.

Controlling game pieces while driving is crucial. Carrying 2 totes isn’t hard to balance at all. Any more than that and you’ll want to have some mechanism holding onto mote than 1 tote.

Don’t knock over your own stacks. I did this multiple times during our matches because I’m a terrible driver. Knocking over your own totes is the worst thing you can possibly do. It’s also a lot easier to do than you might think.

I would say having the ability to strafe is crucial. However the caveat to that is that if your team hasn’t done mecanum before I would stay away from it. Slide drive is the way to go.

Going along with the 2 above points I would say that driver practice is more crucial now than in any previous game. Get your robot (or at least drivetrain) finished early!!!

The feeder station is more efficient than the totes laying on the field. Running out of the 30 totes back there is something that will be incredibly rare during qualification matches. During playoffs maybe not so much.

As stated above cameras are absolutely vital.

This will be a very fun year. Working with 'Snow Problem and playing this game was one of the most fun experiances I’ve had in a long time. I can’t wait to see this game for real.

The GreenHorns also have match video that we will post after we post our reveal video…

Hey now… I’ll admit, it wasn’t the easiest to drive around but I could still manage :stuck_out_tongue:

Camera’s are going to be pretty important so you don’t tip over your stacks. I’m not saying you drive solely by camera, you just need it to tell when you are clear of your stack.

I’m just glad you didn’t hit anyone with the angled aluminum of death. And as time went on I think driving got slightly easier, with our drivetrain it was difficult to maneuver.