Robots picking tubes up?

In our team debates, we are deabting on whether or not our robot should be able to pick up intertubes off the floor. I feel like we shouldnt do this since the intertubes are handed to the robots via the allaince station. I want to keep the robot simple but I am also aware of teh fact if the time comes in a game where we have to pick up an intertube off the floor, and then looking back in the season and saying we should have design the lifter to pick off intertubes from the floor. What is your input on this idea?

I would say the arm being able to pick tubes from the ground should rather be a side effect than a main focus. Since there are secured lanes and plenty of tubes it is a reliable mean. Tubes on the ground however is unpredictable.

If my alliance can pick tubes up off the floor and my opponents can’t, I’m throwing every single tube i’ve got onto the floor knowing that the opponents can’t get them and score them but we can and it will cut down on the time to retrieve tubes.

If your design allows, do your best to try to develop a floor loading device.

If not, then try to make your robot as easy to human load as possible for the least amount of hassel and practice loading so as to give yourself the gretest advantange during compitition.

We came to a similar conclusion. If every robot is unable to pick tubes off the floor, tubes will be thrown less because there is a good chance your tube will be intercepted and help your opponent. However, an alliance without the ability to pick up off the floor is an invitation to throw tubes out.

From a different view, if you cant pick up tubes, then a dropped tube in front of the feeding station will make it impossible for you to get tubes from there.

I highly suggest that you build a robot that can pick up off the floor if it is within your abilities.

My team spent a lot of time discussing this. We decided there are many ways a game piece can end up on the floor and we wanted to have the ability to take advantage of any opportunities that presented themselves (ie. an opponent comes out of their lane and drops a tube near our scoring zone). But we wanted to make sure that this would not over complicate our retrieval mechanism (and it didn’t for us).

So what I am saying is if you have the resources and time, do it.

Here is a scenario that may come up often and could absolutely kill you if you cannot ground load:

You head over to your feeder and grab a tube, you start heading back to your scoring zone, and an opposing robot is waiting for you trying to keep you out of your zone. Due to some sort of collision, or interaction you end up dropping the tube a few feet outside of your scoring area. Now, you have to turn around and head back to your feeder just to go through the entire process again.

An even more realistic scenario:
You grab a tube from your feeder, head towards your scoring zone. Get your arm to the correct height and begin lining up to score on one of the pegs. Just as you release the tube, an inexperienced driver driving one of your alliance partners robot, bumps into you. The tube falls to the ground. Now you have to go all the way across the field to get another one.

In my opinion, there are way too many ways for a tube to end up on the ground, and there may even be strategic advantages to picking up off the ground, like having runner robots, etc. Ground pickup will be absolutely essential to the success of an effective tube placing robot.

Now if your strategy is aimed at something else, maybe you can sacrifice that part of the game, however if you are planning on scoring tubes, I would would plan on picking a tube up off the ground.


There is already a thread for this right here: