The Everybot was too good actually

I know this has been a topic here on chief delphi several times, however, now that the season is near the end I wanted to bring it up again, and state why I think the everybot was actually too good.

A lot of people may be confused as to why I’m saying this as many teams didn’t really use the everybot this year, and the teams that did use it did not perform well, but the main issue with the everybot this year is not the design itself, it’s the idea of the everybot. This year I believe the everybot was too capable, so it made a lot of teams afraid of what it could be, and so they had to design more and more complex robots, and were afraid of specialization, because if they weren’t better than the everybot, then they weren’t going to do well. Last year the everybot did a level 2 climb and scored low, and the everybot did what it’s designed for, and teams weren’t afraid of it because if they at least scored high or did a better climb they would be better than the everybot, so it didn’t fully overtake the design process like it did this year, instead it served as inspiration for some team’s designs, or allowed them to focus on other parts. This year the everybot could basically do everything, so teams had to consider in their design process if they maybe just wanted to do cones or something they would be worse than the everybot, because teams will be like “sure this team can do cones really well, but the everybot team over here can do both and at all levels” so it was never enough to specialize, and at a bare minimum teams had to score all levels and pick up from the human player station, then if they wanted to be better than it at all now they had to pick up from the floor as well.

The everybot taking over the design process somewhat killed my team this year, we were too obsessed to be better than it because of the fear of teams just using it and winning, so we didn’t think of specializing, or we didn’t think about being simple. And so in the end we had a complex and cool robot… and it didn’t work at all in our first comp, all because we were too afraid of taking it back a little bit.

This is why I think for the future the everybot should not be this capable, I’m not saying that it shouldn’t exist, it has great reasons to, but it should not dominate the design process like it did this year.

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We could probably have an entire thread about the Everybot’s competitiveness, because it’s not as black and white as you say.

A lot of teams overbuilt this year, from the Ri3D to the WCP CC to the REV bot to the Everybot. All of them had too much complexity for a game that honestly asked for extremely little. I think that, along with good old fashioned overreach, contributed to many extremely complicated robots this year from all levels of teams.

Remember that this is a competition against peers - that is, if something like the Everybot affected your team that way, it probably did it to other teams too. It’s up to you how to choose to use that information better than your competitors. In this case, the takeaway could have been “wow these robots look really complicated for a game that rewards scoring low and L2, maybe we should simplify our robot and get a ton of drive practice”.

The best robots this year have around 2 degrees of freedom, typically an elevator and a wrist with a rolly grabber. That’s pretty the max number of DoFs needed to play any FRC game at a very high level, any year.

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I made this thread to say why I do not think the everybot should be dictating the design process as much as it did, of course I fully believe my team will learn that but they would have learned that a lot sooner without the existence of the everybot, it set the team back a whole year.

The everybot should be a tool for lower level teams to be more active and competitive than just a toaster bot, and to serve as inspiration to every team as to how they can design their robot. It should not be this looming threat or high obstacle teams have to overcome to feel like they can be competitive at all this season.

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You really don’t get to decide this. It’s a resource like any other publicly available resource. You can either ignore it or embrace it, but you don’t get to dictate what is, what form it should take, or if it should exist at all.

My team, like many others maintained an Open Alliance blog this season, yet I don’t see you calling out 3512 or any other open alliance teams for negatively effecting your team this season. What’s the difference between us posting publicly available information and everybot? Why are you comfortable calling out Everybot and not others?

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Probably because it’s way easier to build an Everybot than a 3512 clone. You’re not competing in the same resource space.

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Ok, say we were. That still doesnt give OP or anyone the right to make these sorts of demands.

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My “demands” are basically what the intention of the everybot is. I’m saying that this year they unintentionally went past it and made things worse for other teams. Also on your point of comparing it open alliance, everybot is much more widely known, it’s a lot easier to make, and even if an open alliance robot was as easy to make as the everybot, it’s not like you can buy an intake from 3512 on andymark

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Minor point, but I’m not following your point with the intake. The everybot intake is the best thing that came out of the program this season. I’ve seen tons of teams with the official and homebrewed versions at all the comps Ive competed at and streamed this year and it’s working well for just about everyone.

Do you think its too capable? Do you take issue with it being sold?

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No, my point was that everybot was a lot more accessible because you could literally buy it.

You do bring up another point though about the intake itself, yeah it is one of the best intakes around, I think it’s kind of absurd that basically, the best intake is publicly available in what like week 3 and that teams could literally buy it themselves. Of course not every team used it, it wasn’t proven to the best yet, most teams made their own intake because they wouldn’t want to use it, but if many teams including my own took the easy route and just bought the intake we would have done significantly better at competition.

Open alliance is an entirely different game from everybot, with open alliance it’s moreso about seeing what other teams are designing, maybe use a thing or two from them if you want, but it’s not like you can literally buy their intake and put it on yours.

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Off topic, Adding in the budget for a gyro including auto balance code would’ve been huge, for a lot of teams I’ve seen. At high ends of alliance selection it gets harder and harder to find teams that can just consistently balance.

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I don’t read it as demands. I read it as feedback/commentary. “X shouldn’t do Y” is not a demand, it’s just a statement expressing an opinion. The people creating publicly available resources can indeed choose to accept or reject that feedback, but it’s perfectly reasonable for someone to give that feedback and have a discussion about it. Just saying “these are demands, you don’t have a right to dictate what other people do” is shutting down the conversation completely and denying the opportunity for an open discussion.

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Then don’t make it one. You’re focusing too much on trying to be better than one particular design rather than just making what works for your team.

When designing Everybot, 118 had the goal of building a robot that a low-resource team could put together and that they would want on a playoff alliance with them. It’s not laid out as a challenge to beat it, it’s a resource to help teams build their robots either by using parts of the design or the whole thing. It’s Coopertition in its purest form - helping others out to give both of you an edge.

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And we’ve still seen many robots much better than the everybot that were easier to fabricate.

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Fair enough, I just think OP and their team is putting way too much stock into what Everybot is doing rather than coming up with a set of unique goals that work for their team based on their resources, capabilities, and constraints.

Everybot is a generalized solution, it can never hope to perfectly cater to all teams because each team is inherently different in innumerable ways.

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The way I see it, it’s not a problem of the everybot design that it was capable of doing everything. I see it more as a fault of game design that this year’s game was so simple that a single, relatively simple mechanism can compete in most/every aspect.

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If you were so concerned with the everybot being so competitive, why didn’t your team build it and iterate on that platform? The everybot doesn’t exist to scare teams into coming up with a better design, it exists as a resource to give teams an idea of a useful, functional bot achievable with low resources. If you overextended and tried to do too much, that’s not really the everybot team’s fault, is it?

Side note: I’m not trying to be harsh here, although I know it sounds that way. Identifying what your team’s capabilities are and keeping your design within those limits is, imo, one of the hardest challenges in FRC.

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this is true as well, the skill ceiling of this game was too low, and there wasn’t really much to design for.

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I would contend that picking up and scoring cones across horizontal distances not often seen in FRC was anything but simple.

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As evidenced by the number of teams who routinely build amazing machines but fell off this year (at least with their initial iterations), I’d argue that this year’s game is really hard to design well for. There’s also a huge number of teams who overreached without any help from the Everybot.

I have my own criticisms of the Everybot concept. I think they could have made a low cube blooper that was easier and less expensive to build, that would have been more competitive. Teams 4550 and 1561 are among the many teams that designed for this idea without any models to follow and went on to captain high alliances with great success. But that’s a different topic, I think.

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I really wouldn’t consider the Everybot intake the best. We built one, but ended up going with a different design (from 6328) due to the weight of the Everybot Intake. We liked the design, but it wasn’t a good fit for the rest of our robot and I would guess there are other teams that would be true for.

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