did anyone else have a problem with 494’s steel hook of doom, i mean goal grabber? all i know is that they had recieved a warning prior to our match with them to do somthing about the hook, I don’t know if they did. All I do know is that during our first match they managed to pull on some wires or somthing in our bot and cause it to start smoking and for the battery to catch on fire so the leads had to be cut. Not only that but in the final match of that series, they again attacked with the “goal grabber” and completely destroyed a fan, some wiring, and moved the globe motor that powered our hook out of position. For this they were almost DQed, by a vote of 4 to 3 they stayed. Does anyone else think this unfair? I personally think that they should have been out of the competition because that is definately not gracious professionalism.

Frankly, you weren’t the only one that observed this aggressive behavior from 494. I know there were people from several different teams that didn’t like their actions and said they were using their robot like it was a “Battlebot”.

I don’t think 71 was 100% thrilled with some of the things they did either…

Off the field they were extremely helpful to my and many other teams so I cannot bad mouth them too much.

I agree. I can understand defense, but maybe pushing with the opposite end of the bot was in order. I also heard that the goal grabber was tied back for finals, but a little too late for some teams. Off the field and in the pits, 494 was one of the best teams out there. They had a dynometer for teams to test speed and torque. One force sensor was broken but it was cool to see. Also helping 1396 build a bot from scratch was amazing! I was suprised to see a strong competitor come from 10 hours of hard work! Great job and congrats on the win.

Yeah, there is really no need for having 6 motors powering their drivetrain. Plus you can get the same amount of power from one of our transmissions. I really do believe that FIRST needs to crack down on agressive behavior.

But that is the way this year’s contest was played. 494 wasn’t the only team knocking people flat. When people found out we had a flaw in our design they spent the rest of Friday waiting at the top of the platform and knocking us flat when we finally showed up. Alot of robots fell victim to that.
Singling out one team, especially after having such a good showing at the championship tastes of sour grapes.
Just let it slide.

Well here we go…

I want to start by saying that this is not a thread to flame or bad mouth anyone. If you want to post something like that, please use the personal messaging system.

It does sting to know that our robot was disabled for much of the semi-finals because it was ripped apart by the goal grabber of 494. We experienced their defense in both the first and third matches. In both they rendered our machine ineffective because of excessive damage. I truly feel like we let our great alliance partners down, especially in the last match. I also feel that if FIRST wanted to discourage this behavior, they would have issued a disqualification.

While talking with members of the 494 drive team after the match, a mentor told me that we should have built a more robust machine, with more protection for our electronics. He was right. Given the way that the game has evolved, teams need to be very aware of the need for things like protective shielding and enclosed frames.

I know people say many things because of the frustration involved with losing in this way. I hope I make it clear, as have others in this thread, that 494 did many wonderful things as a team. The strategy they chose to employ in the elimination rounds did leave many teams with a bad taste in their mouths. Also remember that they helped rebuils a rookie team who had their machine shipped to another location. They also provided the dynamometer and countless other services to teams. There is a huge difference between the team 494 that people saw in the pits and stands and the team 494 that people saw on the field.

Having been a member of a team that has had its share of controversial moments, I can say that we all need to look at the complete team, not just the results of their agressive play. I hope that this thread can remain a constructive discussion that everyone in the FIRST community can learn from.


if you were to watch the animation that FIRST put together describing the game… a line that is emphasized is “teams will need to build robust robots”… robust being the key word. keeping this in mind, i feel that it was the right decision by the refs not to DQ 494. they had a great robot and a well deserved win.

I don’t agree with some of 494’s agressive actions, but first off, what is wrong with a 6 motor drive train? Ive seen 6, 7, and even 8 (I think) motor drive trains in the past…

The Martains did what they did and they did it well, if the referees felt that they crossed the line too much, they would have been DQ’d…I know they were warned about it, but they didnt. Aidan Browne, the head referee on Archimedes and Benji (sp?) the head ref on Einstein have been doing this for a long time, and they know what they are doing…if they would have felt differently, something WOULD have been done…these guys are the best for a reason…

If FIRST were to make a ruling, what would they rule? They followed all the pinning procedure properly as far as I could tell, they were rough, but they did say in the intro animation: Robots should be able to handle impact… or something to that extent…again, I have to say I didnt like their way they played, we played tough and so did they, and they just happened to get on top…what else can you do?

Congratulations to 494 on their championship and I hope to see you guys at IRI.


Yeah, there has to be a CLEAR DIVISION between “defense” and “battle bots”. In the final match of Curie, 461 had the big 2x ball and was getting ready to cap. It was already fighting [a four digit team = team A] for a long time. then [Team A] backs up, and rams full speed into our robot not once, but THREE TIMES, the third time being so hard a ram (and with a fairly pointed edge) that the circuit breaker which FIRST gave us BROKE DOWN. It wasn’t just that one or some of the circuit breakers in the motors broke down. Even the LED lights shut off. Our robot was screwed majorly, and we were already down 0-1, so we became divisional finalists instead of einstein advancers. The big ball, which we had dropped the second time we got rammed, popped. At first I though it was that the judges disabled us for that 2x ball popping, but then I found out it was really that they had killed us (w/ the breaker).

You can see I’m full of contempt :mad:

I also heard that the EXACT same thing happened to the Technokats.

Whatever they think they did, it was NOT defense and was DEFINITELY NOT gracious professionalism.

Don’t get me wrong. I am NOT mad at the whole alliance. Buzz (175) was very graciously professional, and had an excellent robot. I am just mad at [Team A].

And yeah, I agree, the Martians were probably crossing the line between strategic defense and “battle bots”, but I was not on the same field as they were.

I will probably start my own thread on this very subject. Reply away!

Lets calm down and stick to the topic at hand. This is not 1388 bashing and/or ref bashing. This is a concern about 494’s aggressive behavior. In your case I would talk to 1388 about the match and then think before you post.

does anyone have pictures of said arm of doom?

yes and responsing to the last post i believe 461’s circut breakers switch was only partially on or something to that extent.

Yeah I agree I was too angry when I posted it. I had high hopes.

Still, the bottom line is that it isn’t cool to shut somebody’s robot off/get it very close to that point. With 6 motors, I have no problem. Speed (especially in autonomous) is an important thing, and that it can (and should) be used to tip the 10 point ball. However, speed (like power or a super powerful arm) can be used for both good and bad purposes. I mentioned the good purpose above, and I also mentioned the bad purpose of trying to inflict damage on another robot. It is against the rules to willingly damage someone’s robot. We could have done the same. 461 could have taken its arm and rammed a team trying to hang, but it simply wasn’t fair, so we didn’t do it.

To make a long sentence short, it simply isn’t cool, fair, or graciously professional to do that kind of aggressive behavior, and it should be banned.

You all have just cause in being mad that your robot was damaged or turned off…but this happens to everyone. We are all at work in the pits becuase all our robots get bashed and broken due to the harshness of this year’s competition. Singling out 494 as intentionally damaging teams is not really true, since all their doing is playing defense, and doing that well! Many teams this year were playing defense and these things just happen. From what i saw, in that final match they played an amazing defensive strategy not allowing their opponents (469 i think) to cap.

I doubt that 494 had any intentional interest in damaging your robot. They played defense and played it well repeatedly, and their actions, while frustrating to those of us with offensive robots :wink: worked for them. This competition demands robust, powerful machines, and that’s something you should shoot for in the design of your robot.

I also heard that the EXACT same thing happened to the Technokats.

In the Archimedes finals (3rd match), 494 came through the back side of the stationary goal and used their arm to prevent our team from capping the stationary goal, which would have eliminated them and put us on Einstein. Being the TechnoKats arm operator, I must say that there was no way that I could get the ball in the goal. That’s a heck of a machine, and they sucessfully defended our cap. I’m not aware of this breaking any rules. As far as other matches, many teams rammed other robots repeatedly, this isn’t just something that 494 did.

Kudos to 494 for a tough bot, and congrats to the whole alliance for the Championship.

deeply apologize to my team mates post about this situation with 1388…first off i would like to say that 1388 played awesome defense against us you guys obviously deserved to go on!! secondly the whole situation was further explained to me by my friend/driver he told me that they were being rushed to put the robot back on the field after the 1st tie and i guess somehow the breaker wasn’t entirely pushed back in when they were doing an electronics check (not to blame our electronics guy). so i guess during the match when 1388 was playing outstanding defense on us it popped out. so that’s the full story. thirdly i am sorry that all of this is off topic.

Speaking from a student driver’s point of view, I think that it is impossible to have any sort of ruling or standard to dictate the difference between an aggressively defensive strategy or a disregard for gracious professionalism. Robustness has long been a standard of FIRST design for many teams, and if a team is willing to take a risk with the placement of critical components of their machine, the team should be willing to accept the consequences of having those components damaged. I am in no way condoning malicious intentions, but intentions are nearly impossible to define. Contact is a part of the game as are aggressive defensive tactics.

I agree 494 played great defense and it’s not fair to say oh they won so they played rough. We were hit like no tomorrow trying to hang and some robots were trying to take hooks off the bar. So I stand behind 494 and there awesome drive train and driver and awesome game play. Also 71 and 494 are awesome teams to work with and even better to win the championship with. :smiley: Also 45 love the bot and great Archimedes final showing.

I don’t care what anyone else says - 494 had a great robot, and there’s no denying it. They play rough, yes I will agree with that, but they play to win. Things like this happen whether we want them to or not (i.e. IRI Finals Match - 2002) It’s just the way it is. We can sit here and debate about 494’s robot, or we can remember how they’ve played and prepare for next year.

Again, Congrats to 494.

hello… im not going to get deep into this except, i do have the match footage of where they rode up into our robot and cut our wires with thier “goal grabber” and the before (before quaterfinals started) and after (when we got back to the pits)… i am going to be posting of all them once i get them uploaded (like in 2-3 days)

What are you trying to accomplish?

I again seriously doubt that anyone was trying to intentionally cut your wires…we got some of our arm wires hooked and had to do some careful driving to get them out of another robot’s arm in one match…had we broken anything, it would have been our fault. Unless they have a robot feature/driving style that clearly is intended for the destruction of the robots, I don’t see what FIRST can do. In my opinion, the refs did a good job, there are a lot of things to watch for in these matches.