What do you think will be important this year?

It’s still early in build season, but what do you think will be the most important things to keep track of this year (I’ll try to update this list with the suggestions for quick reference)?

My predictions:
Ability to go over bumps and/or through the tunnels
-Tunnels can easily be blocked
-Bumps are wide, but can risk tipping
General scoring ability (i.e. average how much they score)
-Ability to hang
-From tower
-From another robot
-Ability to support another robot
-Ability to propel a ball through the air?
Defensive ability
Human Player speed
Attention to Rules (not getting penalties/cards)

Additions:
Ability to start in any field zones
Ability to play effectively in any field zone
Ability to pass and receive passes
Ability to defend tunnels (basically, ability to push/resistance from being pushed)
Vision Tracking abilities

Ability to play in any field zone will be a big factor for a number of teams, I think.

Ability to pass/receive passes will be something to watch for, as will be ability to defend the tunnels.

Hanging will be important, especially the ability to hang with another robot or two hanging from you.

Adding on to that, I would also say ability to start in any field zone.

Specifically for autonomous mode. A robot without a long range ball mover will be screwed if it’s two zones away from the goal.

I think the key to this competition will be flexibility. The robot will need to be able to do pretty much everything, and that might not be that hard to pull off.

The tunnels will be insignificant. Hanging from the tower will be common, until teams realize they can’t defend during that time. Being able to move balls accurately is key.

I think the best robots will do something with the bar not mentioned in this thread yet in addition to shooting from at least the mid range. :slight_smile:

Swinging? That’s the third way to travel from one zone to the next.

This was the topic of discussion for our team today and, while no conclusion as a whole was reached, I agree that flexibility is key, but more so almost - durability. The robot should be able to push it’s way through things blocking a tunnel, or withstand going over a bump, and be able to weather a fall if something goes wrong while it is suspending itself or has robots suspending from it.
It also seems though that if you can’t hang your robot it would be useful to be able to play defense during the end of the match, because while one alliance may be focused on the tower the other may just be shooting in balls continually.

Tarzan-bot?

Anyway, I think that being able to start from any position will not be too important. Rather than seeing robots specialize at specific game tasks per-say, I think that the emphasis will be on specializing play for one zone of the field. I think that going over the bumps will be a risky proposition for quick traversal, and the tunnels seem easily blockable.

Ball control, as well as hanging.

On a related note: linky

Seems to me that these matches will be somewhat low scoring (they wouldn’t give you 11 seconds to return a ball if it didn’t take that long, and that will limit shooting), so getting up on the towers will be really big, especially if you can lift up your alliance partners as well.

Also, I think that robots in the farthest zone (the one with three balls) will need to clear the balls towards their own goals before the start of teleop or the other team will just come over and score with them.

Honestly, I think the tunnels will end up being a bottleneck for many teams, so being able to go over the bumps will be big,

Also, being able to play both offense and defense will be huge, as two of the three sections will be primarily one or the other.

I think for all the sections, being able to move balls quickly will be big, as you can effectivly play both offense and defense with a single move.

The middle will be a combination of offense(being able to move returned balls) and defense(blocking tunnels)

Having the opportunity to time the ball return at Manchester today, it took about 7-8 seconds to pick up the ball and place it on the track, and another full 7-8 seconds to roll down the track and onto the field. Theoretically then if you were continuously scoring you could get 7-8 balls a minute, maxing out (including autonomous) at 22 points for a match.

Wanna put money on that?

That means that in the time it takes all three robots to get on to the tower (lets assume 15 seconds), if the opposing team can score about six times, which means that hanging either ties or beats it (32 min. and 2+23 max for two robots hanging off the first, as opposed to the 6*1 of shooting).

If you ask me, having a handle, or some other convenient way for your comrades to hang onto your robot will be almost as important as the ability to hang in general. Being easy to grab and hang from will be a great advantage for an alliance.

Seems like it’d be slow and slightly dangerous (a fall might leave a big mark). Also, if I understand <G44> [BALL CARRYING – ROBOTS may not CARRY BALLS. Violation: 2 PENALTIES for each CARRIED BALL.] you wouldn’t be able to bring any balls with you, so I’m not sure what the advantage of that would be as opposed to just trying to make it over the walls.

I think a tunnel-dependent robot will be easily shut down. If the opposing alliance’s star robot is tunnel-dependent, then your alliance can just take your weakest robot and stick it in a tunnel.

Also, I think pushing in the tunnel will be difficult with the high-up bumper positions. The force of pushing will be acting on your robot horizontally, and most likely above your robot’s centre of gravity. So your robot will tend to lift the side it is pushing with, and may very well flip.

On one hand, herding a ball in any controlled manner would be very hard to do if you are going over the bump. On the other, going under means having to fight the 36inx18in space of the tunnel (29inx18in after you’ve factored out bumpers on the sides).

The advantage is that unless another robot is also swinging, you cannot be blocked. You can be pinned or completely blocked in the tunnel, and you can be blocked or flipped going over the bumps. Of course you can’t take a ball with you, but the only way to reliably travel zone-to-zone with a ball is through the tunnel anyway.

Don’t forget about defense. You can stay in your starting zone and block the opposing alliance. And, you can block opposing alliance robots from traversing the tunnels and bumps in the center field to buy time. Then, when it comes to the finale, hanging is key earn some extra points at the end of the match. I mean, scoring the soccer balls is 1 point each. At the minimum, you’ll probably be able to score 2-3 balls, given the circumstance. So, defense, as much as offense, and hanging will be a key role in this year’s game.