to horde or not to horde

Which do you think is better simply bushing the balls into the player station, with a plow or even just with front of robot, or collecting them and releasing them in controled batches. A gathering device would be harder to design and build but it gives you much greater control of the scoring, but it may also take more time just to get a few remaining balls near the end of the game. Whats your oppinion?

I like to stay moving.

The ball deliver mechanism makes you a sitting duck if you squat in front of your ball chute for a significant amount of time.

If you horde the balls our team will not let to get the the player station it only makes sence not to let you unlaod the balls because there is no way of stoping the human player after he gets them

remember, the balls are 13" in diameter, so any device made to “store” balls on your robot is going to take up alot of room on your chassis

We are designing our robot to be able to store 10 to 15, and our idea is to use it to go over to the opponent’s side of the field and steal all of their 5-point balls. This way, it forces them to go to our side of the field for their balls, so they will be much less efficient.

Thats a good strategy, but if their bot becomes so inefficient at being able to get all the balls to their side then your overall score will be considerably low…

Our robot is designed more to win matches than to give our opponent lots of points. That is the primary basis of ranking, after all. And if they can hang from the bar, that’s 50 points anyways.

Really, the only reason I can see to have a ball collecting device at all is to pick balls up off your oppnent’s side of the field. If the balls were on your side, it’d be more efficient to just push them towards your goal with a much simpler ball-pushing device.

If you’re going to go for a ball gatherer, it’s all about control. Picking up and holding balls gives you far more control over where they go than a plow will. It also allows you to steal balls from the other team, if necessary.

Obviosuly 2 ways to go:
A: Use a plow system to push the balls to your coral

B:Use some sort of gathering device to collect a set number of balls and then deposit them into your coral.

-A-Using a plow system is much easier and lighter to build but it does have a large disadvantage. Plows were entially designed to push things like snow or any object that does not roll. We however are dealing with balls, not exactly the easiest thing to just push to exactly where u want it. Think of a plow pushing balls more as a socker player just nudging the balls to were he wants them to go. Another disadvantage of a plow is that the balls you wish to gather have to be in the remote area of between your robot and your coral. So your robot would have to drive away from the player station, turn around, and push the ball with a pool style shoot toward the coral.

-B-Of course the second option is much more complicated and going to consume much more of your robot. With some sort of gathering device the robot could simple drive any where were a ball is regardless of the orientation of the robot to the feild, gather it, and drive to the coral.

So in final, my team is going to go with a ball gathering device, for 2 main reasons. The possibility of various strategies can develope at the comp. and we beleive that we are going to be able to gather more balls faster and easier then a simple plow design.

My team had a couple interesting debates over the same topic.

There are a couple pros and cons to each side:

Smply plowing the balls into the human player box: easier to build, a LOT easier - and depending on how you do it, could be faster as well.

Gathering and containing, and later releasing the balls however, has the distinct advantage of being able to control the flow of balls - so the human player isn’t overwhelmed with balls to throw. Also, this give the operators more control over where the balls go - so you can give a couple to each chute. Also, you don’t have an issue with the balls rolling all over the place if you stop short or change directions sharply.

In a perfect world, holding would probably be better - but simply plowing them around with perhaps some sort of gate to keep them from flying all over the place when you turn about would be a compromise.

What makes you think the opposing team is just going let you waltz on over and take their balls? lol

While my team is going to just push the balls around, it wouldnt be to hard to make a storage device. Have an opening with rollers that are motroized to suck up the ball into a bag or net. It doesnt take up much room or weight of the robot, and it gets the job done. To relese them have a second exit chute that has a controlled “doggy door” type thing.