The cheesecake runaway

In 2014, 3634 was picked by 2067 and 175 at our second district event. That was the first time our team had ever been picked in the history of the team. We spent lunch working with students and mentors of both other teams to revamp our drive system (among other minor adjustments) and wound up making it to the semifinals after playing a role we’d never thought of before due to the suggestion of the alliance captain.

The students came away from that so inspired that we immediately went back to the shop and (in the out of bag time) remade all of the changes we had done at the event and even added a few more. We went to our third district soon after and became alliance captain using the new strategies that the previous alliance had given us.

Going from almost last in our first event to alliance captain in our third, I feel like this is a perfect example of how cheesecake can be inspiration to the recipient.

Just out of curiosity how much did those 4 harpoon launchers actually weigh? I’m really looking forward to a post by 1114 describing the engineering and strategic designs behind these.

Being Cheescaked was definitely a great experience.

I have no issue with it… obviously the ability to grab two RC’s off wall in auto trumps most everything in Eliminations.

It can backfire though, our cheesecake arms were not fully working and remained fully extended in multiple matches and slow . In the ones they worked they were great. We lost by 2 QA in the SF. Very Frustrating. So many 6 point plays… ugh!

In SD…then we fixed them (re-did all air lines) and used them in Elims…they were super fast and flawless… still lost in QF.

Why I like it…

We would have been picked anyhow being in Top 20 of each regional, so being cheesecake for us ,was a great experience. It added to us a capability we could use. Watching the teams work during lunch was amazing and the transformation of the bot to loose weight in every way possible was very interesting.

It was not liked by everyone on our team actually half the team did not want the canburglar arms. I had to convince the team it was our best chance.

It builds teamwork between teams and when it works and makes a difference its cool.

We were almost cheesecaked last year too…they tried to add cheesy vision and we learned how to inbound the ball. They never could get the code to work in time.

Having cheesecake work is a great experience. I all for it. In fact next year we are going to be under weight so if cheesecaked we don’t have to modify the rest.

Anything that is within the rules that adds to teamwork and innovation is good in my book.

I’m sorry, but you’re wrong here. 1923 kids were involved in every single step of that burglar install. We were ecstatic to learn about the mechanisms 148 had to cheesecake us with, and their guidance was essential in making it successful. In fact, working alongside and learning from the greats like 148 and 1114 has motivated my kids more than anything in our 10-year history. They want to be on that level and now they got to see up-close how it’s done.

We did not play in the earlier matches because we still needed to get it through inspection. The queue to inspect for elims was a little ridiculous (having to snake through the alliance pit was hard, too) and so it would not have been legal for us to play.

You might have been confused because 148 and 1923 both wear black. Our robot was constantly surrounded by 1923, with 148 over our shoulders helping make things happen. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Editing for another response (sorry, on mobile):

Emphasis mine. “Let”? The coaches and strategists for all three teams had lengthy discussion about HP loading for us. We normally use a tether ramp, but didn’t want to make the mistake of tethering our ramp to 148’s Robin if it would create a problem for their auton routine. My drive team was far less comfortable loading without a ramp. We tried it in some of our matches - it didn’t work. We wasted totes 148 could have used for Robin.

In the end, we made a decision, as an alliance, not to HP load. Our job was: Burgle, get the cans in a good place, move the auton stack to the wall, and get out of the way. We all agreed that it would be the best role for us, and we executed as best we could.

We had a fantastic time getting to work with and learn from our partners - they’re class act teams with amazing programs, and hopefully we’ll be able to to capture a fraction of their magic to use from here on out.

Jared pretty much nailed it here.

I don’t think anyone is blaming the teams in question, or saying the experience cannot be inspirational for the teams involved. The teams evaluated the situation they were put in, and each reacted in a fashion that best suited their chances.

We obviously do not want to take away the experience of working closely with your alliance partners and great teams on how to improve your robot. That is a core part of inspiration and growth for many teams. However, when the point is passed where the core functionality of a robot changes due to “cheesecake,” we create a disincentive for teams to try and accomplish everything they can during build season. I find no fault with 900’s decision to build a new drive base for cheesecaking, a decision that certainly took a lot of guts and that most teams probably would have shied away from. However, I’m upset that we were playing a game where a drivebase with weight and space to attach mechanisms became a more attractive pick than 50 other teams in their subdivision. I find fault with a game where the best thing for a third alliance member to do is use a device from another team and then get out of the way.

So, in light of how much attention my post on cheesecake got, there are a few things i would like to clarify.

  • I would like to retract the ‘ridiculous’ I put before talking about 1114’s harpoons was not necessary and only came off as aggressive, and was not indended that way. “Impractical” was probably a better word, and if they were able to make them work on their own robot, congratulations.

To me, it sounds a lot more like copying someone else’s answers for an exam. I just couldn’t throw away everything we’d worked on for months for the sake of winning.

It’s not for the sake of winning, it’s for the sake of the alliance. I always say that when you get to the elimination rounds, it’s no longer just about your team - it’s about the success of the entire alliance. If you’re not putting in your all to achieve your alliance’s goals (which should be inspiring your students through accomplishment and success [aka winning]), then you’re doing a disservice to the other teams on your alliance.

Each team should ask not what their alliance can do for them, but what they can do for their alliance.

First of all congratulations on advancing to the Einstein Semifinals. The real question here is did Robin use all the totes from the human player station? If they did then I agree, but if there were some totes leftover that weren’t utilized, would there have been any negatives from attempting to score any extra totes that Robin didn’t use?

I totally agree with the idea of regulating cheesecake; adding a gigantic mechanism (from what I heard, upwards of 70lbs) to a robot, regardless of that robot’s previous weight, is extreme and should be disallowed. However, regulating the parts used for cheesecake is hard; mechanisms would be easier. If during partial inspection, a sticker with a team number was placed on every functional mechanism (defined by the inspectors, but generally things that have benefit to an alliance. For example, having a sensor or camera on the robot wouldn’t count as a mechanism, but having an elevator pulley or ramp would). Then, the inspectors can see for eliminations which objects have a sticker with a different team number or no sticker at all. Inspectors would then be able to regulate the number of cheesecaked mechanisms and/or the weight of them. Additionally, they could also regulate the number of mechanisms that have been removed from the original robot (as they should/would be able to know how many stickers they gave).

Just an idea, and completely my own opinion. I would personally have a hard time taking apart my robot to the same extent as some others, but along with Alex, I do think it added another element to the game. Did it make Recycle Rush better? That’s a debate for another day.

They made the call before they were selected onto an alliance.

     I am speaking from limited but enlightening experience about cheese caking when I say that a limit to the weight or size dimensions of the cheese would be a thoughtful idea. This year I have witnessed and read about two similar incidents concerning an alliance's ability to make it to the playoffs in a regional/district/division and actually win the whole shabang. 2383 (The Ningineers) came up with a "Noodle Net"  that they put on team 5469 (Flare). The idea was creative and the purpose was to block or prevent "litter" from getting tangled in the drive trains of that alliance as well as to reduce the points scored for the litter. During the Bayou semifinals the alliance consisting of 2383, 179, and 5469 the net's tethering rope became tangled up in 2383's drive train, preventing them from scoring their maximum amount of points. Note: 5469 did not move the entire playoffs! So it became a 2vs3, and the cheese cake was effective in some ways but led to that alliance's demise.
 I will only be able to restate the pros and cons of the 

4 harpoon cheese cake idea. But it did hurt 148’s alliance, regardless of the can burglaring properties it had, I feel like 1114 and 148 should have used their own automonous can burglars to retrieve the same amount of cans. I feel like if that had been accomplished than the third member of the alliance would have been able to contribute more toward the teams progression in the finals on Einstein, and potentially have won. So for all the ingenuis cheese cakers out their beware of the potential hurt it could bring your team or alliance…

You should read about 900 and the robot build they did to work with 1114, 148 and 1923.

Also another side note, 148 cannot be a fast canburgular. They are forced to stay in the staging zone because of Robin.

That’s a really good question. I believe (yesterday was a blur to be honest) in almost every match robin came within 1-1.5 stacks of using all the HP station bins. However another big reason that we did not try to human load is that Batman deposits it’s stacks on the near scoring platform, behind which we parked. by the time we knew whether or not we could use some totes that robin wouldn’t we we were fairly blocked in. The addition of Catwoman (148’s can burglar) made us a bit wider about 32ish inches which made it very hard to maneuver behind those stacks and put a high risk of knocking over a stack. Therefore the strategic choice was made to not have us attempt stacks after a few attempts, especially since without our ramp, we can’t guarantee the totes to land flat on the ground.

On a sidenote if anyone is interested I will write up a full account of the modification process that we underwent after alliance selections similarly to what Marshall wrote about team 900.

I would love one. I only got over to your pit for about 30 seconds because of what we were doing and for you guys it had to have been done insanely quick. I would love to know the details.

 Although 148 is limited by their robin, the possibility for them to add modifications to their strategy is numerous.

We kind of like our strategy the way it is.

I believe the intention of the harpoon mechanism was to keep the alliance in the finals from taking the cans and not use them on either side, the speed on those harpoons would have been insane and no one would have been able to take the cans, so even if they cant use them, neither can the other alliance and it becomes a stack off. Also 1114’s canburgling mechanism was inconsistent at the speeds necessary to win the can wars on Einstein and this mechanism would have removed that inconsistency and atleast kept the other side from getting any of the cans.

I know 1114 and 148 And both are exemples of GP i can easy prove this citing 148 position after have they robot disable in the regional final this year or 1114 for the same great example after the eistein mess in 2012, legal cheasecake is not the problem because is legal, and if it is in the rules the teams need to use it for achieve their objectives, 4613 also build a canbuglar if was necessary, and i also saw 1114 and 148 building those cheasecakes during the entire competition and it is a achieve to be proud of.

but about the rule that aloud it and this years game that turn it necessary at this level… i disagre

About the experience in being cheasecaked, is problaly the same as being chose by a power house alliance. I hoped was me being cheasecaked by these guys :slight_smile:

also i want to congratulate 1114 148 1923 and 900 for being curie champions!