Smaller robots

Over the years, the FIRST robot sizes have been getting bigger and bigger. These larger sizes, although they do allow teams more freedom in designing their robot, have many negative aspects as well. Personally, I think FIRST would gain a lot if they decreased the robot sizes a bit… To somewhere about 50-75% of the current volume. I just think smaller machines are more impressive, it forces teams to be more clever and efficient in their designs, and we could cut the playing field size in half (that means teams could compete twice as much at regionals and nationals).

What do others think about robot sizes?

  • Patrick, having some crazy vision of tiny robots zipping around picking up and throwing Nerf footballs.

Although I originally liked the idea of the larger 'bots, the larger fields that we’ve had to make to accomodate 4 teams at a time are getting rather rediculous. Lets try something different and bend some rules :wink: I’m all for making smaller bots. Besides, with all the huge bots on the field, you have to admit you tended to root for the “little guy” that would speed around on the field :slight_smile:

~ lora

I like the way it has been the past 2 years, where there has been a large maximum limit, and then a smaller limit to make it easier to access parts of the field.

Larger robots make FIRST a more impressive competition. People are wowed when I say that we build robots that are 5 feet tall and a 130 pounds. Reducing the size would cut into that.

Matt

But…larger robots also decrease the amount of people that can carry it…or, it increases the amount of people needed to carry it.

Im not saying decrease the weight…but I dont know how much heavier it can go.

If the weight gets heavier we won’t be carrying our robots. We’ll need acces to the feild by way of lower the outter bar, if the field is similar to last year, and we’ll have to engineer our carts better and equip them with a ramp to roll the robot off. That or we’ll have to drive our robots to the field.

I personally like keeping restrictions the way they are. The 5-feet tall robots are impressive, and outdoes all Battlebots (unless you count The Snake). The weight isn’t bad; at 130 pounds & 5 feet tall, you can easily get it on the field with 2 people. Increase that, and you’ll have problems.

In conclusion, keep the weight & size limits the same.

I think we should keep the size limit the same but boost up the weight limit to 150lbs.

Also about acess to the field, I remember someone talking about this in the old forum, Could there be an acess way to the field. Ie a removable section of the fields outer bar if applicable next year!
I remember someone talking about how some people tripped over it when carrying their robot and fell. I think that this could be a serious safety issue!

My Feeling about the sizes of the Robots is that a small robot would show off higher classes of design, and more space on playing fields. On the other hand, a larger robot could show off more Driving skill, as shown in the past with our Robots, our “Cherry-picker” from the 1999-2000 Season required more skill and Driver co-operation then last seasons “ramp-wedge”, also a larger robot requires more real world Engineering, a super-strucher, sub-functions, and multiple mechanisms allow for many more functions to be completed at once.

People may like to route for the little guy, but theirs nothing like watching a full 130 pound, 5 foot tall machine punch its weight on the field. But I have a feeling that those of us who are in FIRST now won’t see a small robot out on the field, but those who follow us will.

At your Service,
Griff

I like the current weight limit. In my opinion, i think that 130 pounds should be the maximum because, if they were heaver, many teams would need more than two people to safely carry their robots. It is hard enough for the poor rookie teams that have heavy robots and do not know to build a cart to carry the robot in to carry 130 pounds around (much less 150). Anyway, Just my opinion.

Sean

I cant say ive ever seen anyone on my team have problems lifting our bot… even when we WERE 150 lbs.

they’re not that heavy. even the girl’s on our team don’t comlain when lifting it. they’re not the strongest girls either. sorry courtney:D

*Originally posted by Sean_330 *
**It is hard enough for the poor rookie teams that have heavy robots and do not know to build a cart to carry the robot in to carry 130 pounds around (much less 150). Anyway, Just my opinion.

Sean **

Maybe that should be one of those “trade secrets” brought to the attention of new teams in the regisration packet from FIRST?? There sure are plenty more of those; the small details that are obvious to novice teams but are sometimes overlooked by rookie teams!

Funny… i was on a rookie team. We built our cart in… oh id say the 5 hours before we left. It held the 150 pounds. It also held 70 some for 12 blocks in NYC.

Hmm… I guess i don’t view that as a problem :slight_smile: probably just me though.

*Originally posted by GregT *
**Funny… i was on a rookie team. We built our cart in… oh id say the 5 hours before we left. It held the 150 pounds. It also held 70 some for 12 blocks in NYC.

Hmm… I guess i don’t view that as a problem :slight_smile: probably just me though. **

well, on our rookie year we used the lid of the crate as our cart. we slapped on 4 casters and a piece of rope and we were set. it was great cause we had no idea of how serious these people were.

I think making the limits smaller will tend to hinder rookie teams because they have not yet learned to complete all of the tasks using a smaller amount of space. Also depending on the task, like lifting a big ball, even the most veteran of teams would have trouble with a smaller robot. Just look at how accurate most teams were with the big ball this year. Now if the tasks were lower or smaller I could understand making the robots smaller. But all in all the size is not out of hand, the robots are still managable and the larger size allows for more variaiton in the robots. besides there is no rule that says your robot can’t be as small as you want it to be, so more power to the people that make thier robots small and maneuverable.

I am going to attempt to end this in 3 very true words:

BIGGER IS BETTER

The size of the robots should be based on the game. Sometimes things get too big to handle safely. Things tend to get cumbersome when they are larger. Weight is not always balanced as well and the cg changes. I’m not saying that the robots should be smaller or larger, but that the size constraints should be set to the game. I also think that access to the field will have to be made better than it was last year.

Tha access should be like battlebots- a ramp

Actually, building a cart is not all that difficult. Our team’s cart is rather simple, but has managed to hold three different robots with no problems. All it is is 4 pieces of angled steel with casters on the bottom and a piece of plywood across the center and a long handle on one side. Simple, easy, and efficient. Plus, the plywood makes it easy to decorate, or, can be removed if you space the sides out right.

Jeff