“Trench-former” bots?

How many teams will we see with bots that can shrink to fit under the trench and then expand once through it?
My team is building one and it seems to work quite well so far.


At least two :+1:


I think at least 1 high profile team will build a robot like this.


Probably about the same % as the tall low-bar bots from 2016.


I just watched a video of a robot doing just this (not my team).


That’s certainly an interesting way of implementing that concept. Looks pretty cool!


Orbit 1690 showed off their short bot with a retractable turret shooter at an open practice last night (also not my team)



I don’t know about this. There was a points incentive to going under the low bar in 2016, and it was a lot harder to make an indefensible shot from a short release point. Plus it’s a lot easier to have a transformer bot that shoots one ball (that can be carried up inside the shooter) than five (that need a flexible indexing system). I would guess the number of effective transformer bots this year will be lower than in 2016.


The turret flap opening like Orbit did was actually one of my first thoughts at the start of build. I’m not surprised to see some teams go that route, especially 1690 given their 2016 bot.

I may be mistaken, but to my knowledge there isn’t a turret on that robot :wink:


Oops…meant to say “retractable shooter” but I just finished reading a thread about turrets :upside_down_face:

This is nearly exactly the robot I foresaw soon after the game reveal. I even have a few onshape sketches proving out this very idea.

So happy to see this design successfully implemented!

Among the teams represented on CD, there will absolutely be fewer. I have a feeling a lot of 2016 designs will be copied by teams less likely than you would think with the extended build time and ever-increasing COTS library.

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When I read Trench-former I imagine a robot screaming down the trench run and breaking an un-stowed mechanism off. Or the robot was designed slightly too tall…
Hence trench, now former.


I thought this thread was going to be about bots that started out as trench bots but pivoted to being a tall bot partway through the build due to various reasons. I’d be interested in hearing about these kinds of situations and reasons for the switch as I’m sure there are at least a couple instances of this. Up till now I’ve just seen teams who picked one or the other initially and stuck with it the whole way through.


I do believe that 118 originally planned to make the Everybot this year a trench bot but decided not to due to climber design constraints.

Yes but that was still very much during the design and prototyping stage. I’m interested to hear from teams who had to pivot much later on. (If those teams exist.)


On the bright side, that truck now fits under the bridge.
Hopefully not too many teams draw inspiration from this…

I know our team has a manipulator that flips up, it’ll be fine driving one way, not so fine the other. Drivers instructed to take note (but preferably stow it).



We can all relate to this guy.


This is what we’re probably gonna do, and there is a lot of merit to building this way.

  1. We didn’t really make any major compromises to our low goal scoring robot by staying short.
  2. Because of the open build season rules, if necessary we can use time between competitions to “get short”.
  3. Being tall for the first event makes it so we can just copy the 118 hanger, rather than trying to make an unproven folding design work for us. It also means we don’t have to actuate our wheel spinning mechanism at all. Two big time savings, but both are things we can come back to later.

Designing robots to allow for future iteration / adaptability is something top teams have been doing for awhile, but is more important than ever now that it is so easy to make substantial changes between events. Why box yourself into a tall corner if you don’t have to?

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