what makes a good robot

What makes a Good Robot for competition?
The size?
The speed?
How much it can pull?
Some thing special to the robot?
Does it matter what the game is?

I am an eighth grade and i need input about this topic. Please post your thoughts and suggestions. thank you and go team 303

a reliable drive base that always works

the robot has some ability other than driving around

and then it always gets people to tell you your robots cool if you have something very unique, or something very big (like our wheels)

boy… you’ve asked the mother of all questions here! =-]

you realize asking over 4000 people “What makes a good robot?” is like asking them “What kind of pizza should i order?” hehe… what i mean is, it’s all a matter of taste.

as for my personal taste, it’s all about the drive train. It’s like the offensive line in football. your drive train does most of the work and usually doesn’t get as much credit as the fancy arm (aka the quarterback). as for specific types, 4 wheels, 6 wheels, and tank treads are all great. stay away from casters. they only cause headaches.

3 things are key to a drive train: Speed, Power, and Maneuverability. try to get the best mix of these 3 elements, and you won’t go wrong.

one more thing that i always look for in a robot whether it’s mine, my partner’s, or a future opponent’s is reliability. whatever you build, build it to last. this machine is gonna have dozens of hours of run time in its life. you don’t want a chain to snap or a belt to pop off at a bad time, do you?

with all this being said, and with whatever anyone says following here, please remember the most important thing is to have fun.

and pass me a slice of pepperoni and sausage, please!

haha. I guess my favorite part would be the manipulator

takes so much time to work on, so much thinking just to get a feasible one, and yet, it is rarely, if ever, used during competition.

A strong, reliable base. Speed is not even required, for some games don’t require it. Power is a constant requirement. But I stress above all else the reliable aspect- make it perform CONSISTENTLY.
Also remember that simplicitiy is the greatest form of complexity.

good question, but it completely relies on the task at hand.

for example, this year, alot of power and speed was necessary to push bins and robots around. therefore the drivetrain is very important. in past years, i.e. 2001, you did not need to worry as much about being strong as you would need to worry about manipulating the large goals and balancing, as well as placing the large ball on top of the goal.

even in real life these hold true, for example there are arms that can mesure out and perform scientific experiments thousands of times more accurately than any human. On the same hand there are big Robotic Crate lifters that move shipping crates around a dock and onto the right boats. these need to be made stronger and reliable, not quite as accurate tho.

i hope this helps you.

*Originally posted by George1083 *

stay away from casters. they only cause headaches.


not neccessarily. Many teams have successfully utilized retractable caster systems to help them turn better (they can work wonders with Tank Treads). What you want to stay away from is using casters 100% of the time.

basically, I think that If you cac combine speed, power, and most of all MANUEVERABILITY, then you’ll do all right.

haha… casters are a big big pain… well this year especially… if you had 4 casters and were a stacker… going up the ramp in front of a low profile robot was suicide… honestly… i even saw some KOH bots with casters not being able to make it up the ramp consistently… but tank treads are a neat idea… creative ways to solve the turning issue too… i believe one of the rookie teams (1000?) at West MI had a neat pneumatic lifter that would lift the front of the robot out, lowering the back end where there were 2 wheels on either side, allowing for quick turnarounds…

but overall, this year its been a good drivetrain (doesnt have to shift either) and a design that lets you do one thing in particular, really really well. blizz4d could push bins and robots around well, but an added bonus was a simple 2 stacker that came naturally with the design of the wings…

Well, thinking about it, consistency and a unique feature (to help win game) is important.

I don’t want a box, but if it’s a box that can knock down the wall or can stack, that’s awesome.

Also, the robot should not need to be repaired between every match. It may be great, but if it was built very solidly to start, you could just hang around the pits (which is what our team ended up doing on friday; spent thursday fine tuning).

Last year, we did very well at our competitions. We had a very unique gripper system and two extra wheels which could pop down and lift up the robot with the goal’s weight on it (more traction). However, the robot needed constant repair and compared to this year’s system, was a complete pain. I think that trying for doing something extremely complicated doesn’t pay off whereas making a consistent robot that is excellent at at least one thing is a much better and easier idea.

*Originally posted by George1083 *
Stay away from casters. they only cause headaches.

Wow, I hear that. Casters can cause a pain and a distraction. Try to stay away from them, especially if there is a ramp. If there is a ramp, casters will not steer you consistantly. This also adds a variable in autonomous, because the caster placement will be different each time. Team 294 had a huge headache trying to fix our drive system, and casters were the main problems. We could not get up the ramp, and when we tried, we would pop our breakers. The solution: lock them in place. During the Thursday rounds at the LA regional, we locked our casters in place, and combined in qualifying matches and elim matches, we lost one match we were in, as opposed to going 2-9 in AZ.

*Originally posted by punkrawker303 *
What makes a Good Robot for competition?

Simple: something students built in which they place pride. If you made it with your own two hands, it gets you the full experience, and you’re happy with it, you’ve got a good robot. It won’t necessarily score high or get you into finals, but that’s not what FIRST is all about.

-Good driver
-Robot that is well taken care of
-Robot that the builders know what they are doing
-Robot that works with many other types of robots
-Robot that can function as designed

*Originally posted by JosephM *
**-Robot that can function as designed **

I dunno, i wouldn’t go quite that far. This year our team built a stacker, and we only really threw on some wings for stack pushing as an afterthought. turns out, we didn’t stack at all, but the wings and speed made our bot great for the game.

it doesn’t help to function as it was designed if the design idea was flawed. It just needs to work with the game

All you have asked make up alot of the good machine and everyone above has posted great suggestions, but there is one big picture that is being forgotten.

The team, the students, the drivers, the advisors, all the people be hind the scenes are what really makes a good robot. I’ve seen teams with a middle of the run machine win because of all these people. My suggestion is if you are looking to build a good machine start by building the team!!! you’ll go real far!!!

My 2 cents…

Make it reliable, and make it memorable. Innovation is a key to FIRST…

Aaron Knight
Webmaster and Videographer
Team 891: Neverending Chaos…

the two MOST IMPORTANT qualities that any robot, or any machine period, can have are: Reliability and Consistancy…and if you want to be consistant, you must be reliable. If you don’t have these qualities you will be a sitting duck…literally.
If you watched 45’s Galileo matches at Nats in then you can see that reliability is key…whenever our robot worked, we won…whenever it didn’t, we lost…it’s that simple. If your machine is not reliable it will be a very frustrating year, especially for your drive team! :wink:

what makes a good robot is durability and the power it has and how good the drivers do. How the team cooperates effects the way the robot comes out. I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity to do this w/ a robot!:smiley:

Sparky won 2 regionals and made it to the Arch eliminations and it had casters, but they where in the front.

What makes a good robot, you ask? Students, of course! Students always make the bestest robots!!! :]

I guess the three most important robot compontents, are:

good driver
Reliable Chassis

But really what i think goes into a good robot is a certain degree of innovation and cerativity in design. Even if you do not win, but still have a very innovative and creative machine than you have built a good robot.