Viability of human players loading cargo at the terminals

At first this seems like a great idea especially with the low cargo limit however due to the fact that you must wait for balls to roll back into the terminal it makes the entire idea redundant.
Just looking for some more thoughts about this

Herding Cargo to the terminal, and pushing over the ramp, will get it to the Human Player, who can then load it into your robot.

The robot will be simpler than one with floor pickup. Driver skill will be necessary either way. It will take considerable time to do all this, though.


Herding to the terminal I think will be used a lot especially on “defense” bots (as in they aren’t effective for anything else).

I also think it’s going to be harder then people think. We participated in the Turtle Trials and that was our main focus (feeding the HP)
We could roll balls in from 15-20ft away then with an awesome driver.

The terminal however has those pesky bars coming down that are gonna deflect a lot of shots that aren’t point blank.


If a robot doesn’t have a floor pickup this year, they better have a bullet-proof 15 point climb, otherwise I don’t see how they can get drafted. Floor pickup might be more important this year than any year I can remember in FRC… and it’s always important.


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If I have to choose between a mid rung climber with no ground pickup and a robot who cannot climb but can pick up cargo and score it low I’m currently thinking I’d pick the mid rung climber and put them on defense, I’m curious to see what others think

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I’m hoping these aren’t my choices :joy:

Mid/Low Rung climb should be something that 50% of teams at the event will be capable of doing in some capacity (to say nothing about reliability).

I’d guess that 70+% of teams have a semi-effective ground intake.

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Ryan, that’s why I put these crazy ideas out there…when they’re really bad, folks step right up and let me know!

Keep in mind that I haven’t had a chance to talk with any of my team yet, I was gone all of kickoff day getting the KoP, and we don’t meet on Sundays.

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Yeah since they said all teams can go directly to second lowest rung I believe many teams will have climbers capable of reaching the lowest 2, but if a team doesn’t have a ground intake the should probably be able to play decent defense and be able to climb to at least the second highest rung

2012 or 2016? I would say basically any game that had you traversing the length of the field (and over obstacles) to get from the feeder station to the goal with reintroduced game pieces would count as being more reliant on a ground intake than this year. Nevertheless it is still going to be an important feature.

On a semi-related note, I’m extremely concerned about the bounciness of the balls impacting their availability to pick up. I suspect that the most successful cargo scoring teams will have intake designs that are more complicated than merely a roller at the height of a ball resting on the floor. Gaining control of a ball before it stops bouncing (and hence rolls all the way to the edge of the field) could be a major advantage in optimizing cycle times.

More on topic, I think the importance of loading from the terminals might have been overlooked so far—your opponents can force you into it. The post-reveal video Q&A specifically mentioned that teams are allowed to carry the opposing alliance’s cargo, and nothing that I can see says that you can’t take that cargo to the terminals and force your opponents to inbound it again to use it. There are only 11 cargo for each alliance—it won’t be that hard to significantly restrict the supply for a team with a quick intake and some good driving. Anyone with designs on being a highly efficient cycler but can’t interface with the terminals effectively is vulnerable to getting bogged down by this sort of defense.

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Your human player can put them back on the field, as soon as the opposing alliance puts them into the terminal, eh?

Of course. But then they’re bouncing again, and they’re in whichever corner I chose to take them to—probably the one at my alliance station end, farther away from yours. And if you put them back in play right away, I’m also allowed to stand guard and block your access to up to three of them at a time. I think it adds a lot of annoyance and extra time to the scoring cycle in a way that probably outperforms regular old bump-and-grind defense and minimizes the chance of taking penalties. It’s a concern I would be taking seriously if I wanted to make one of the ~100 best cargo shooters in the world.

I agree.

Meanwhile, the other 3500 teams…

My two cents here is thinking about how a HP will be a lot better at figuring out if my robot is loading a red or blue ball than my poor drivers trying to see behind the hub.

Still going with ground intake for sure, but herding cargo into the terminal for HPs to sort out on the far side of the field might be worth time in a match.

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