This was a bit of a clickbait title, but I think pretty much everyone agrees that the addition of bumpers was a great addition to the “evergreen” items that make up just about every standard FRC game since it’s inception (ignoring you 2015).
I propose that the modification of the autonomous mode to the “sandstorm” mode this year might have been the best thing that FIRST has done to the standard model of an FRC match since they added bumpers.
The sandstorm change raised the floor of what the lower and mid level of teams were able to accomplish during those 15 seconds, and the amount of times where 4-6 robots either sat still or only drove forward was noticeably much lower.
The top teams performing at the highest level still had autonomous routines as having something like a 2 hatch routine was much more reliable then driving it. I also think as a by-product of teams not feeling as much pressure to get an autonomous routine done, more teams had working vision tracking software (definitely also a by-product of the limelight) and just overall better performance in teleop period.
The biggest drawbacks that I have heard people complain about overall has been a removal of a programming task. I think overall most of the teams that in the past have taken advantage of high-level autonomous modes still had one this year. I think for the rest of the teams out there, there are many programming tasks within just the control of the robot for teleop that could use a lot of refinement and improvement that would still benefit students education just as much or even more then throwing together some mediocre autonomous routine.
I’m curious what the overall opinion of sandstorm was this season, and if people think it should be something that FIRST continues to do in future FRC games.
- I liked Sandstorm, would like to see it in future games
- I liked Sandstorm, would not like to see it in future games
- I liked Sandstorm, not sure if I’d like to see it in future games
- I’m undecided on sandstorm so far
- I disliked sandstorm, would not like to see it in future games
- I disliked sandstorm, would like to see it in future games
- I disliked sandstorm, not sure if I’d like to see it in future games