After seeing video of midwest and being in NJ driving I found that it is not necessarily shooting the ball but the ability to hurdle without stopping. The only real shooters in NJ were 103 and 25 but a couple of robots like 694 and 293 we able to lift the ball up and hurdle it without stopping. I believe team 33? had a similar capability to 293 where the top of the gripper folded down so the robot could go under the overpass without stopping.
I agree that hurdling without stopping is very important. It seem to me most of the teams that have been mentioned that have competed so far have been highly successful. My team was getting nervous about our launcher, but it seems like we’ll be alright;)
The other big stopping point (which is just as important as stopping after hurdling) is the ability to corral the ball after hurdling. It doesn’t matter if you have a fantastic full-speed shooter if it takes you 20 seconds to regain control of the ball afterwards. An arm bot with fantastic picking-up abilities will beat a shooter bot who can’t load consistently.
Actually, I would argue that pickup is MORE important than hurdling. A good arm bot is only stopped for 5ish seconds following a hurdle while the arm retracts. However, the difference between 1114 and the field was that they could get the ball back under control almost immediately upon reaching it, while other teams were less good at that. The amount of time you lose with a poor pickup is almost certainly greater than the time lost even with the slowest of arm-retractions. I noticed 25 had issues on occasion with poor picking-up and it seemed to hurt their scoring abilities in the qualifying matches.
Our robot isn’t exactly a shooter, it does have a small launcher in the claw that kicks the ball over, I would say it’s more of a hybrid, and we are working on an even more effective launcher for our next regional
Based on what I saw in Portland, grabbing the ball quickly and reliably is more important than hurdling quickly. The team from Hawaii (368) could approach the ball at basically full speed and just vacuum it up then pause slightly to hurdle. They were, imho, the most dangerous robot on the floor at that tournament. Any time they spent stopping to hurdle was compensated for the fact that they didn’t need to stop to grab the ball. Team 100 could suck the ball right off the overpass, meaning they didn’t need to compete for a ball at the start of most matches, and could suck it up off the floor almost as well as 368. Most shooters had to stop to grab the ball… with the occasional exception of 472 who completed the “shoot bounce grab” routine without even slowing down at least once… and to a loud round of applause.
That said, there were only three real “shooter” bots out of 55 machines at the competion… us, 472, and 360… all of whom were in the elminations, 472 right up to the end. Just because you can shoot doesn’t mean you CAN’T grab the ball… you just sacrice a bit of time doing it relative to a great lifter.
A shooter like 1114, however, appears to shift the balance by combining the speed of pickup of a good lifter with the speed of hurdling of a good shooter.
Darn sneaky Simbotics folks. They are doing it again!
I definitely agree that a solid pick-up is key to being a successful robot. I feel like people have been under estimating shooters, but we’ll wait and see what happens in a couple more weeks. Maybe shooters won’t end up being as valuable as I observed them to be in the first week of competition.
Well, since we are linking threads here, I’ll draw a quote from the thread you reference:
…going to be the simplest bot imaginable; a simple single or dual pneumatic (or other fast reloading mechanical) catapult, and a kitbot drive base.
In Portland shooters did **not **dominate. (I wish they did… we were one of them.) They did well, but not dominate. None of the shooters came close to being “the simplest bot imaginable”, and although at least one used a kitbot drive base (why not?) it was heavily modified. If shooters are “simple” then why did less than 6% of teams at this regional build one?
The only truly dominant shooter I have seen so far is 1114 (although there may be other examples that is all I have seen) and I would hardly call their elegant and effective solution to the hurdling problem simple. Effective, yes, elegant, yes, but not simple.
I think the first weekend of regionals has greatly reduced the potential for describing this year’s games and robots in a cynical fashion. No one technology or design has demonstrated an insurmountable advantage over any other design.
That team was 473 from Montana. Additionally, we also built a shooter. There’s at least one match where everything worked well. Unfortunately, a pot on our grabber broke on Saturday, rendering us rather ineffective. Thanks to Eugene Brooks and team 1280, we got it fixed before eliminations, but unfortunately we weren’t selected.
We’ll be coming full force to San Jose (first time ever we have competed before San Jose) and we’ll be ready to go.
My apologies to 473 for the numbering error, and also to team 8 for not listing you as a “shooter”. I did not list your machine as a “shooter” not because I forgot it (it is a very cool design and hard to forget), but rather because it struck me as more of a hybrid “shooter/arm” mechanism. I tend to classify shooters as those that pick up the ball and hold it inside their original starting dimensions and then launch using a relatively short but speedy mechanism, kind of like 1726 and 118, to use some commonly referenced examples. I saw your design when it was working well, and it looked really good but wasn’t sure whether to count it as a “pure shooter” because I didn’t know if the robot could work as an “arm-bot” for lifting the ball over or poking balls off as well. (Not that pure shooters can’t knock balls down, but typically they don’t use their shooting mechanism to do it.)
Well 148 is neither a shooter nor an arm and it went undefeated at St. Louis.
And 121 dominated BAE.
So I don’t think it’s fair to say if it’s not a shooter it’s worthless junk. In fact to assume that is just bad scouting in my opinion.
Really? Based on the winning alliances in Oregon, St. Louis, and New Hampshire I’d think arms had a pretty good weekend as well. So far very few teams have “dominated”. 1114 is typically agreed on as the best machine, but even they lost twice in qualifications, and encountered some trouble with the #2 ranked alliance in the semi-finals. 103 was as close as any individual team I saw came to dominating the competition, but they are the exception rather than the rule, and it would have been interesting to see how they would have done in Chicago.
Ultimately it comes down to your overall speed in every mechanism, not just the mechanism used to hurdle. The teams that are up near the top are not only hurdling quickly (which many arms can do), but also getting around the field quickly, removing the ball form the overpass quickly, and acquiring the ball quickly.
Comparing a high school track star and an Olympic sprinter would also be bad scouting. It simply isn’t fair.
‘Arm bots’ aren’t worthless junk, but it would be interesting to see some of these teams mentioned in this thread play head to head. The level of play at the Midwest regional was pretty much double (IMHO) that of any other week 1 regional. The dominant teams at MWR seemed to all be ‘shooters’, with the exception of 33. But… as said many times before, there will be a handful of great robots, some shooters, some with arms.
I’d pick a winning strategy over sheer force any day. It seems 148 chose the same at St. Louis, but only time will tell if it can hold.