Our scouts were given the mission to not only find good performers, but also good designs. Some of them went a step further chased down those robots in the pits to get more details. A few of our favorites:
40 Trinity (of course) Beautiful craftsmaship, as well as utterly unique design.
44 Green Eggs -- We'd never seen a 4-bar design quite like theirs
254 Cheesy Poofs -- It never ceases to amaze us how much mechanical massiveness they manage to fit into a 18-inch cube
478 Mustang -- Their 4-bar lift was similar to something we used last year for Quad Quandary, but with faster, more efficient lifting and able to lift higher. When we looked more closely, it was a simple matter of bar length and spacing. The devil is in the details!
1899 Exothermic - Our team was amazed at how quick this holonomic drive bot was. We've built holo drives before, but the drivers could never get comfortable enough to make them practical. When we visited the pit station, 1899's kindly offered to let us take their bot for a test drive (now THAT's gracious professionalism). We were impressed at the mapping of the right joystick to produce very intuitive spin/strafe motion ("it's just like HALO").
8193 This Chinese team and one other (can't remember the number) had really nice looking scissor lifts which intrigued the rookies, especially. We've tried building a scissor lift before, but did not find it practical because of the torque requirement. Thanks to the announcers ("If you're going to build a scissor lift, gear it from the center"), we were alerted to our problem (gearing from the bottom) and got a chance to check out this efficient design.
Speaking of announcers, I was so pleased at the in-depth expertise and analysis they brought to their commentary. They alerted us to not only good strategy play, but also good design and really enhanced our appreciation and enjoyment of the event.