Trench run capability

That’s a pretty impressive lemon squeezer, pawpaw!

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Running the trench will be a definite positive on many alliance captain’s pick lists, but not as large as being able to climb consistently, or efficiently both intake and score power cells.


I agree, but also believe this game will evolve to a half court game.

  1. Two on the front court gathering PC’s and scoring with one on the back court shooting or delivering PC’s from just behind the control panel.


  1. One in the front court gathering PC’s and scoring with two in the back court, one playing defense and the other delivering PC’s to the front court or shooting from just behind the control panel.

The trench bot will be the control panel spinner and will move from front court to back court if the match requires defense or offense.

There will be no full court cycles required for an alliance with the proper strategy.

My $.05.

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Is this your $.02 adjusted for inflation?


I think we aren’t considering how robots play together.

Week 0 observation: you need to both shoot balls acquired from being loose in the sector and from the feeder station. I contend this is the meta.
Prediction/Fact: It will take finite time to get in position and shoot balls. Two robots cannot occupy the same space.
Prediction/Fact: Robots will not perfectly synchronize their cycles so cannot perfectly utilize scarce scoring positions.
Prediction: Most alliances will have two offensive robots and one defensive one.

I’m going to consider 4 classes of robot in both tall and short that I’ve seen so far or could imagine:
A) Tall robot, shoots from anywhere in the trench run (including behind the WOF)
B) Tall robot, shoots from anywhere in the near court
C) Tall robot, shoots from the close trench run only
D) Tall robot, shoots while up against the wall
E) Short robot, shoots from anywhere in the trench run
F) Short robot, shoots from anywhere in the near court
G) Short robot, shoots from the close trench run only
H) Short robot, shoots while up against the wall

You could probably combine the wall shooters with something else but you can think for yourself how that would play out. Probably pretty good.

Good: No traffic jams, and protected zone (trench) shots are always possible.
Defendable: While there is a position for all robots to shoot from, only one of them will be protected.
Centerpass: A robot will have to drive through the center at least sometimes to make this work.
Deadlock: There is only one scoring spot for two robots. Not good.


  • Class A and Class E play nice with everyone. Even themselves. If they can both shoot in all of the trench run, one can cycle between the WOF and the feeder station, and one between the close field and the trench run. No alliance coordination/synchronization is necessary when a class A or E is playing a full-court game. The only advantage class E has over A is that they might be able to make more accurate shots (leading to more hits or more 3 pointers) by driving under the WOF and then shooting. However the class E faces every technical trouble associated with being small.
  • Class D and H don’t play nice together. Traffic jams abound.
  • Classes B,C,F,G are the meat and potatoes I’ve seen so far. They compete for protected zones and maybe even scoring spots in general.
  • A class D or class H could be a good compliment to an alliance with an A/E and a B/C/F/G as they utilize the third protected space on the field.

An informal bit of reasoning along these lines is why we built a Class A and we’re pretty happy with that decision…

‘What does this have to do with the trench run’ great question, it doesn’t seem to that much, which is to say, being able to go under the WOF probably won’t effect match play that much.


It all boils down to ability vs necessity.
Your analysis is mix of both. If the bots you labeled as “only” must absolutely occupy that space to shoot, then problems arise (like the “up against the wall” target zone bots). However, if a bot has the ability to shoot from the far trench, with a little programming of motor speeds they should also have the ability to shoot from places much closer. So that extreme ability provides a potential range of actions.

A robot that has the ability to go through the trench expands their potential in terms of field navigation. A robot that has the necessity of going through the trench (carpet scraping chassis?) has limited themselves and will face all those deadlocks you mentioned.

Edit: So your analysis is very important. If a team has a necessity-based feature, make sure it has the fewest alliance-killing qualities.

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Correct. Which is why I define a class A/E as shooting from anywhere in the trench run. The firing angle is basically the same whether you’re in the front or back, just a matter of power, if that even.

Shooting both full court and at the sector line requires an articulated hood*. As does shooting both against the wall and anywhere else. Articulating hoods are some effort to get right so not everyone is doing that for understandable reasons.

*Unless your trajectory is a very high lob, but there are reasons I won’t go into about why you may not want that.

The further point is this which has been beaten to death: just because you have the ability to go through the trench doesn’t mean you will use it when you consider match play. You’ll probably be sacrificing many essential technical features in order to get that one. I always classify “minimal design effort”, “easy to build”, and “easy to tune” as features- and they are features you will use in any gameplay meta, no matter what. Going under the trench may not be in the meta.

I haven’t seen this with our (short) robot. But I guess each team is different.

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Articulated hood shooters aren’t the only way to shoot far :wink:

we did a vertical setup 6 in bottom 4 in top, we shoot pretty straight shots from the wof considering our Max is around 50-60 ft

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Clearly you don’t need articulation with a hooded shooter to shoot far… you just need it if you also want to shoot near.

Is your set of wheels fixed in position / release angle?


Fixed, we just vary the speeds based on distance, at 40 feet we around 70 percent power but under 65 it goes maybe 15-20 feet. So for upclose we did like 67 percent or under

Edit: the goal for our week 1 comp is to have our turret aiming accurately with the limelight, it is as of RN, but then we think for week 6 (2nd comp) we try to use code abd take distance from Target using limelight. We are still working that out

LL has a zoom feature that could be beneficial to you

Well, us trench robots do get a say in t h e m e t a as well. If I’m up against three tall robots, I’ll have our alliance gameplan around clogging up the rendezvous point and keeping their sector clear of balls. If successful, I don’t see how you’re going to benefit from being “easy to tune”.


We initially designed our robot to be able to go under the trench as well as climb, and as we did not have a working climber by week 0, are changing and sacrificing trench capabilities for a climber we know will work reliably. It’s simply not worth sacrificing 20 points and a potential ranking point for the possibility of an extra ball or two per match.


If there’s more than one robot climbing, my advice to the third robot is not to bother going for a 5 point park. That small space makes it all too easy to screw up another robot’s 25 point climb.


I hope the lack of bag encourages teams to think more like this - adapting and potentially considering serious overhauls or at least ‘cutting their losses’ when they see that their design is probably not going to pan out. Hopefully it remains like that instead of becoming what we’ve dubbed the ‘attack of the clones’.

Don’t get too attached to your designs guys. I’m waiting to see the thing that makes us blow our design apart, myself :slight_smile:


Trench and climb are not mutually exclusive. We currently have trench, floor intake and high goal. Climber is conceptually roughed in but is a stretch goal that will likely get done between first and second competition. Might get done for first event. This years climb is pretty easy height wise.


We currently have trench, floor intake, high goal, and climber. And it all works. Probably not the best robot out there, but yeah, you can put them all together, without doing anything too fancy (we didn’t even do any CAD this year, it’s all just built from sketches and by guess and by gosh).


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