To build an craw or not, that tis the question.

One thing we are considering is that do we need an claw this year to be able to pick up game pieces from the floor? Since there is the feed slots on the other end of the field we were just planning on driving back to get a new piece. However looking around it seems that most people are building a claw or some sort to pick up game pieces off the ground. What do you guys thing?

Seems kinda late to make this decision. But generally, no matter what the game piece, whatever the game, the floor will be littered with game pieces. Just a little something to help you make your decisions.

Good luck.

The feed slot is perfectly fine as a source of tubes.

However, here are a few factors to consider:
*There will be defense, if you’re carrying a tube. Defense subjects robots to hard loads and forces. These forces may cause tubes to leave grippers before they are intended to. Design accordingly.
*Driving all the way over to the far end, picking up a tube, and returning takes time. Wouldn’t it be great if your feeders could just throw a tube out to the end of your lane and have you pick it up right there?
*You are going to place, you open your claw, and you suddenly use one of a number of 4-letter words. Your tube is on the ground, and you can’t pick it up. Now you have to go all the way across the field to get a new one. Ouch.
*Your opponent (or your partner, or you) drops a tube. You would love to get that, but you can’t floor load. The best you can do is shove it into one of your protected areas and hope a partner picks it up.
*In qualifying rounds, it’s quite possible that you get 3 robots on your alliance that can’t floor load. Every dropped tube is fair game for your opponents, particularly if they have a floor loader.

I call those 5 good reasons to at least consider floor loading.

If you don’t floor load, then I would suggest making your grip so solid that the tube can’t come out, unless you want it to or have placed it solidly on a peg. Plan on a 165-lb robot hitting yours at any random angle at about 15 ft/second (their speed), bumper to bumper, when you’re least expecting it. Then pray that Murphy is taking the day off or bugging some other team…

If my opponents couldn’t floor load, I might intentionally drop tubes in their lanes…

When my team goes to figure out how to play a game, we think about all the functions a robot can have that are pertinent to the game. Then go through and assign priorities ratings and practicality ratings to each strategy. We decided that floor loading was high on our priority list. If you didn’t that’s fine. Every team has a different set of priorities. I personally think floor loading is important to have, but given how late in the build season it is, I would stick with what you have, and make it as good as possible.

I agree with all of this but the last.

As long as you’ve got the weight and motors (or pneumatics) for it, I don’t see a reason why, at three weeks left, you wouldn’t redesign an arm to accommodate a better strategy.

…you have made your robot modular, right? :slight_smile:

I suppose I can agree with this. For something as important as picking up from the floor it would probably be worth going back and redisgning.

The point of was getting at is sometimes time is better spent perfecting an old idea rather than rushing through a good idea. A bad idea that’s well built is probably better than a poorly built good idea. At this point I guess it’s time to evaluate whether it’s worth it to redesign.

Be careful of this strategy in respect to the rules updates. Remember the tube is part of your robot and if you cross the lane with it you will get a penalty… you might be able to push a tube in across the floor … maybe…

Since we have a small team we decided to leave a spot to build an arm on the robot then get the base and forklift done the revisit the Arm. Thinking about it it might seem worth it. But to do it we need to design and build it Hm. Decisions decisions …

I agree completely… But just dropping a tube in front of someone’s lane might be enough to cause serious problems for them if they can’t floor-load. (One could always drop a tube, then accidentally hit it in a side-ways-like manner… I’m not making any claims toward GP, or rules or anything – but we’ve been burned before by what should have been illegal being allowed by the refs, and even more by not understanding what the rules actually were.)

All that aside, my actual point is this: If you can’t pick up from the floor, you’re not a top-tier robot. Period.

My team is making a feeder robot this year. With the number of robots doing that this year, you might become a hindrance to your team if you don’t have at least some minor floor pickup.

Yeah this did it, we are building an claw for floor pick up B-)

I bet in 2006 people thought the same thing. Then they saw team 25. They went undefeated through 2 regionals, only 2 loses in route to a Newton Division Championship and ended up Championship Finalists. They got game pieces from their human player on the other side of the field and drove the length of the field to score them. No ground pick-up. 3 Banners, 3 Gold Medals and 1 Silver medal. Thats a top-tier robot.

Teams can be “top-tier” if they excel at the strategy they build for. 3 weeks in, if your strategy is human load only, stick with it and make it unstoppable.

Well, if FIRST has taught me anything, it’s that there are exceptions to every rule!

…it just seems to me that floor pickup capability is not that difficult to add to a pre-existing grabber assembly, and not having it is very likely to be a bad idea.

What, no Get Smart references? Not the Craw…the Craw!