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  #11  
Old 05-05-2009, 10:41 AM
ManicMechanic ManicMechanic is offline
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Re: Robots that impressed you in Dallas

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.
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  #12  
Old 05-05-2009, 10:27 PM
C@meron C@meron is offline
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Re: Robots that impressed you in Dallas

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjohn1959 View Post
Was this the team that had won all those competitions in New Zealand? I had heard that they were really good. I didn't get a chance to see them.
Yes they were, i was allied with them in the New Zealand Regionals, they have one sick robot. Losing by one point was harsh, as was only scoring 59 in driver skills. I am so glad that they won the pragramming though

The problem for them in the finals was that their division lacked complimantary robots to their strategy. When with them in the NZ finals, they just filled up goals from the auto loaders, we scored the low goals, and we were basically tooo fast for anyone to balance any top cubes. good times.

And i have to say this: New Zeraland; 4 out of 5 unbeaten teams after days one, crazy. ashame we lost 3 teams in the semi's, us and 2900 in the same game as their firmware crashed and we got some really wierd beaching (stuck on cubes) after out two goal autonomous
  #13  
Old 05-05-2009, 10:34 PM
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Rick TYler Rick TYler is offline
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Re: Robots that impressed you in Dallas

Quote:
Originally Posted by C@meron View Post
The problem for them in the finals was that their division lacked complimantary robots to their strategy. When with them in the NZ finals, they just filled up goals from the auto loaders, we scored the low goals, and we were basically tooo fast for anyone to balance any top cubes. good times.
I don't understand your point. Among the 130 robots in the Technology Division there were plenty of ultra-quick robots who could protect the tops of the goals and score rapidly too. Two of them are in crates in the back of my van right now. It's a lot more likely that the division was brutally competitive and there wasn't that much difference between the leading robots.

As one example, 575 scored seven points higher than 2921 in the Programming Skills Challenge, and 58 in Robot Skills, and still only finished 2-4 in qualifying in the Science Division. This whole tournament was wildly competitive.

Free Range Robotics has nothing to be ashamed of. They lost a very close match against a very good alliance. They should be proud.
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  #14  
Old 05-05-2009, 11:02 PM
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bellpride bellpride is offline
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Re: Robots that impressed you in Dallas

Quote:
Originally Posted by C@meron View Post
The problem for them in the finals was that their division lacked complimentary robots to their strategy. When with them in the NZ finals, they just filled up goals from the auto loaders, we scored the low goals, and we were basically tooo fast for anyone to balance any top cubes. good times.
You are describing qualities that define Free Range's first pick, 1114A. Simbotics' robot was built for caps and low goals, and their superb driver made sure they did. In fact, 2921's 59 point driver skill loss was to this same 1114A robot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick TYler View Post
I don't understand your point. Among the 130 robots in the Technology Division there were plenty of ultra-quick robots who could protect the tops of the goals and score rapidly too. Two of them are in crates in the back of my van right now. It's a lot more likely that the division was brutally competitive and there wasn't that much difference between the leading robots.

Free Range Robotics has nothing to be ashamed of. They lost a very close match against a very good alliance. They should be proud.
One of Rick's ultra-quick robots help take down that alliance - I was watching as 418 knocked off 1114A's 6th cube on the 15" goal, then covered the two 21" goals with blue cubes, all in less than 20 seconds. Remember that the robots that beat 2921 were in Technology as well - it wasn't a weak division.

Blame it on luck (if not for the unintended pin in SF 1-1, I think Alliance 1 could have slid comfortably into finals), but not on 2921's partners. 2921, 1114A, and 148B were some of the best robots in the tournament, and they just ran into a combination of good robots and bad luck, like many of us did (3/4 of the 254 teams in eliminations lost because alliance partners didn't plug in batteries or receivers ).
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  #15  
Old 05-06-2009, 07:18 AM
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lyncas lyncas is offline
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Re: Robots that impressed you in Dallas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick TYler View Post
Anyway, going back to the topic, I was really impressed with Free Range Robotics 2921. Good machine, good software, good control, good drivers. Aside from the Exothermic robots, this was just about my favorite team.
The design was so good, it was duplicated in the college division by Massey University.

Massey - http://www.flickr.com/photos/steevithak/3505580808/
2921 - http://picasaweb.google.com/ricerobo...70025453593570
  #16  
Old 05-06-2009, 07:53 AM
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Rick TYler Rick TYler is offline
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Re: Robots that impressed you in Dallas

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellpride View Post
they just ran into a combination of good robots and bad luck, like many of us did (3/4 of the 254 teams in eliminations lost because alliance partners didn't plug in batteries or receivers ).
I know about at least one of those matches you write of. In quarterfinals of Science, 575 plugged their battery in, but this *&^#^$*# battery chose this match of all matches to have a wire pull completely out of the connector. I'd post a picture of the offending battery, but it was tossed into a trash can in the arena in a fit of frustration.

We had another similar problem in the finals of Technology when a loose socket in the controller of 418's computer allowed a temporary power fault and shut off the controller. In the next match, they used a piece of latex cord tied around the controller to hold the connector in place, but then their partner suffered a failed motor gearbox and they lost two in a row.

Some of our controllers are now four years old and are showing their age. We have one (not used on a competition robot) that has a battery port that is so worn that cables simply don't stay plugged in.

I know that the guys on 575 were particularly angry/sad/embarrassed that their battery cable failed like that. The wire was pulling loose from the connector and they didn't notice it. It made just enough contact to make the lights come on, but when the robot moved it came loose and failed. Lesson learned -- we are keeping our newest, best batteries in a separate box from now on, and they are only coming out for competitions. And all battery connectors will be held in with elastic straps.

I think the second-generation Vex controllers have a mechanical latch to hold PWM and battery connectors in place and I think this is great. Matches should be great epic struggles of drivers and machines and not be determined by little plastic connectors that have worn out.
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  #17  
Old 05-06-2009, 08:00 AM
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pjohn1959 pjohn1959 is offline
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Re: Robots that impressed you in Dallas

Aw, the cursed battery problems. I think that they plagued us all for years. I remember in the quarters in 2006 (Aim High), our robot turned left and the battery went right. I remember thinking " that can't be good for somebody", then looking down to see that it was us....
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  #18  
Old 05-06-2009, 12:57 PM
C@meron C@meron is offline
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Re: Robots that impressed you in Dallas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick TYler View Post
I think the second-generation Vex controllers have a mechanical latch to hold PWM and battery connectors in place and I think this is great. Matches should be great epic struggles of drivers and machines and not be determined by little plastic connectors that have worn out.
I aggree TOTALLY. far too many teams lost elimination matches due to batteries, tether cables, etc.

Go vexnet!
  #19  
Old 05-06-2009, 05:21 PM
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Gotta Be Hawaii! Gotta Be Hawaii! is offline
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Re: Robots that impressed you in Dallas

Quote:
Originally Posted by C@meron View Post
I aggree TOTALLY. far too many teams lost elimination matches due to batteries, tether cables, etc.

Go vexnet!
you said it. we lost our first round because our controller was broken. so when we borrowed one from vex (our alliance partner was a no-show), that one was broken too!
  #20  
Old 05-06-2009, 09:46 PM
elnerdo elnerdo is offline
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Re: Robots that impressed you in Dallas

Quote:
Originally Posted by lyncas View Post
The design was so good, it was duplicated in the college division by Massey University.

Massey - http://www.flickr.com/photos/steevithak/3505580808/
2921 - http://picasaweb.google.com/ricerobo...70025453593570
your exactly right here... We (Massey University) ran the New Zealand competitions and when we were invited to Dallas to compete we chose the best robot in our regional competition and that was 2921!

Because they are all home schooled kids they used our facilities as home base... the robot was pretty much copy paste but there one was driven by two people, we built both our robots in the few days leading up to the flight out with our second robot complimenting the other. Our first game was the first time driving these robots on the field and pretty much the first real practice we had..

2921 was a robust design which was top in the 3 divisions it entered into... It also won the first two games on its own, where in the first its alliance members hadn't turned up and the second match there alliance was disqualified for being to big.
 


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