Stationary Feeder Bot?

How viable of a strategy would it be to create a bot that has three functions:

  1. Collect balls from all three high dispensers at once

  2. Shoot balls out low, such that they could go into the lower goal from within the target zone

  3. Spin the color wheel

Thus far, this sounds kind of like an “everybot” - get balls, shoot into low goal, spin the wheel so your high-goal bots can keep shooting, right?

However, I think the key to the strategy I’m considering is being able to funnel in balls from all three high dispensers at the same time. With a correctly-tuned high-goal robot with floor pickup, you could make one powerful combo - by sitting in your loading zone, collecting balls, and then tossing them into your trench run, you prevent the opponent’s ability to “overload” your loading station like so many have discussed. You also act as the perfect feeder for your high-goal floor-pickup bot, who can basically sit in the end of the trench run spitting balls into the high goal completely protected from any defense.

The only weak points I can see with this strategy are blocking the shots from the feeder bot to the trench run, the fact that this relies on your opponent scoring in the first place, and of course the opportunity cost of having one bot sit mostly still.

On the other hand, however, this chains any balls your opponent scores right into your high goal faster than just about any other strategy, can be broken off at any time with the feeder bot shooting for the low goal, puts a bot in a good position to spin the wheel, and it is probably a pretty achievable design for most teams that pairs well with a top-tier bot.

So, is this idea viable? Or are you better off focusing more on shooting at the goal rather than to your partner in the trench run? Interested to see what everyone else on CD thinks.

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I I am not sure if l would want to constrain my design like that. If I were to need to change my strategy, I don’t think I would have much wiggle room. It’s hard to try to be a one niche robot.

I think it’d be more effective to have your intake be a roller that picks up the balls off the ground. If your robot doesn’t directly pick up the balls off the ground, then the balls will hit the ground anyway.

I agree

But floor pickup is going to be hard for a lot of teams, and if you can’t do that anyways, how viable is targeting your robot at feeding to the trench instead of running across the field to shoot in the low goal?

What’s to stop an opponent from intercepting those balls?

The TRENCH RUN is a protected zone; opponents can retrieve powercells from there, but they do so at their own risk (of a TECH FOUL)

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We’re referring to the time when the ball is traveling from the LOADING ZONE to the TRENCH RUN, and is therefore fair game.

Obviously this is a weakness. You could always go for something that shoots in an arc or a mecanum drive to dodge blocking robots, but at this point it is starting to get a little bit more complicated and you might start to wonder why you wouldn’t spend that time focusing on the high goal. Still, it is not an insurmountable issue - just driving to the TRENCH RUN before feeding would still work.

Is there a specific rule against picking up balls from an opponent’s trench run? I didnt see one, I could picture an opponent robot collecting those balls and getting out of the trench before anyone is able to get there and tag them if they have a fast ground intake

That’s extremely risky - if they aren’t fast enough (and keep in mind they’re running very close to our hypothetical high-tier shooting bot who is probably quick and well-practiced) they give your team a free 15 points.

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I’d remember that for every low goal I score, I lower the team’s score by potentially 2 (teleop, 4 auto).

I think that receiving the balls and getting them quickly to your high shooters in protected zones is valuable.

Floor pickup isn’t super hard. Just create a roller.

It can be challenging.

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The way I’d do it if I had control is I’d have as many people as possible make different intake prototypes and determine what to use based off of what’s the most effective.

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Yeah theres no doubt certain teams can pursue all possible designs.

I think this is viable but can’t be the only strategy. If the alliance shooter bots are having difficulties, be ready to drive the length of the field and dump in the low goal. I consider balls in the trench to be pretty protected. Besides G11, making a quick retreat from the opponents trench is impeded by the rendezvous bump and the support pillars. Why bother? Just use your own load station and trench.

There is unappreciated value to being able to do the low-goal.

If your alliance is planning to get the 4th RP, by scoring 49 fuel cells, that’s an average of one every 4 seconds. And, if you have multiple shooters aiming for the high goal, they are going to interfere with each other. Scoring into the low goal will be a huge help.


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