Shooting cubes?

I’ve been a lurker here for a while, but now I have a question that’s been bugging me. Are there any teams out there that are going to be shooting their cubes into the scale?

I’m sure we’ve all seen Snow Problem’s Ri3D bot, so you would think that more teams would try out a shooter because of their proof of concept. Are teams being secretive, am I missing something, or is there a significant reason why people don’t seem to be shooting?

I think there will be a fair number of teams shooting. Lose the high CoG but also lose ability to place as accurately/carefully.

Our plan is to have a pneumatic punch inside our telescoping arm. So ideally there are times we are shooting, and other times we are able to place cubes.

I know of at least three teams who are building shooting robots in some capacity, and in the two weeks after the Ri3D build we received requests for info from about two dozen teams via a variety of channels. We forgot to put our CAD link behind a shortener so I don’t have data on how many teams downloaded our CAD. Additionally, the YouTube video has been viewed around 60k times, so I’m guessing at least a few of those translated to robots.

My pet theory is that a lot of teams aren’t going for a shooter because they’re betting on a lot more cubes being scored on the scale. The less precise control on a shooter is a lot less scary if you’re thinking you’ll only need to score <6 power cubes on the scale than if you think you’ll need to score >6.

One of the other disadvantages to a shooter comes when you’re attempting to score multiple power cubes in autonomous in the scale-- you have to move significantly further than if you have a lifting mechanism. I’m not sure how many teams are actually planning on doing that, but at a high level of play it’s something I would be concerned about. Then again, with most of the lifts I’ve seen you have a significant amount of extra turning to do in order to do that kind of an autonomous.

I’m really excited to hit the season and see how many teams ended up going with shooter mechanisms, and hope that we’ll hear some of them say they were inspired by our robot :slight_smile:

Beyond wheeled shooters and other things of that nature, word on the street is that a few teams are making catapults for these cubes! Lots of great ideas out there!

To be fair shooting is the second half of one of the equations in this years game. The first half of said equation is being able to manipulate a cube. While another equation is climbing.

I’m starting to get a self conscious. We are shooting, but it looks like every other team in the world is going to make an elevator. We intentionally avoided a tall robot like the plague. In the preliminary matches I’ve seen so far, it looks like the elevators have to drive slowly to keep from tipping over and I think this is going to be a speed game. I’m also not convinced an elevator will be able to place cubes any more accurately than a shooter. A lot of the elevators I’ve seen wobble around so much when extended they essentially throw the cube at the switch in the end to get rid of it. I’m starting to think we will either look brilliant or dumb.

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Don’t be self conscious! We will be shooting too. The goal was to avoid a high CG to be more stable and to be able to play better defense. It’s definitely a workable option.


My team’s robot also has a shooting mechanism. I’m also curious how high other team’s shooters can launch the cube. Our shooter, raised at an angle of 70 degrees with 4 Vex 775pros at a 9:1 gear ratio and am-3563_black wheels, and supplemented by a pneumatic thruster, is able to launch the cube approximately 10 feet in the air.

Our robot can shoot the cubes a short distance by angling our grabber upwards (it has to be angled at start to keep us within the max bounding box) and setting the grabber wheels to max output. We probably won’t use it for much, but it can buy us a few fractions of a second if we don’t have to put the claw directly above the scale to put a cube in.

If only we had time to test a cube launching autonomous…

I think shooters will have a advantage in weaker districts and regionals where the scale is not getting filled. At higher end competition, you will see enough scale scoring that placement will become important. In early week one events the speed of the shooters will help them.

it’s really dependent on how you believe the meta will work through the season and just how fast some of the placer bots place.

There are definitely a decent number of shooters, but they are a minority. I think a wobbly/slow elevator probably won’t do as well as a solid shooter, because the elevator will be slower. That being said, in my opinion, a not very good shooter will be not very useful at all. If you can not accurately shoot, the cubes will fall off after only a few have been placed. In the end, a good fast elevator will beat out almost every shooter as the season progresses. The more cubes being put on, the less usable a shooter bot is.

I have it on very good authority that the following shoots cubes very well.

2 trigger wheels(3.5" colson) 10:1 VP with 775pros
2 accelerator wheels(4" colson) 5:1 VP with 775Pros
2 final wheels(4" colson) 4:1 VP with 775Pros

0.5" compression in a mostly rigid frame

Launches the cube HARD.

Bench grinder hard, or just regular hard? Inquiring minds want to know.

Like 8 feet straight up hard.

You could probably drive a bit faster with a good CoG. Just an idea though…

Our team has never really gotten a shooter of any type working well, with the exception of 2809 in 2013. This was probably one of the factors in our decision to do a lift. However, shooter bots are definitely going to be useful this year, so don’t feel self-conscious!