Can 185A be stopped?

VEX team 185A, Skunkworks ALPHA from Utah, competed this past week at the US Open Championship. I have not seen any robot this year that can do what they do.


  1. 5 posts & 1 cube in the 15 second autonomous.
  2. A completed Skyrise with 6 posts with 7 cubes, with 1 minute 20 seconds left.
  3. None of their alliance’s cubes on the floor with 30 seconds to go in driver’s mode.

A very simple design, but very effective and very fast.

They will be in the Engineering division at Worlds. If they are paired up with VEX teams like 359A, 118, 2915C, or 1114M, their matches could be over well before the buzzer sounds.

This will be a team to watch.

185a is a very impressive robot, but they are far from unstoppable. Matches at worlds will be decided by autonomous. There are teams doing 6 skyrises in auton with higher consistency.

Also, a full skyrise is 7 tall with 8 cubes and 185A is in technology division.

I’ve competed with Nate(185a) throughout the year. He isn’t unstoppable, but he is definitely a force to be reckoned with. It’ll definatley be interesting to see how worlds goes. I won’t be surprised if he’s a division or even a world champ. I do know that he is beating his 63 pt skills run by a decent margin now.

Yup, their design is mind blowing. I have always thought of a needle cube intake as the most effective cube scorer, but I only thought of a max 2 cube capacity, while they have a 3 cube capacity. I also thought a robot with a needle cube intake will have a skyrise claw that won’t swivel which will take longer to stack skyrises , but 185A had a very fast swiveling skyrise claw. Also, the whole robot is very agile.

Haha, you forgot team 974x, during the us. open, they did very well, they scored the large majority of the points in their 80+ something point matches in the elimination rounds, they also built a full skyrise with full cubes with good time to spare during their elimination matches. Good skyrise robot. Not only that, but they took home the highest robot skills score award from the create us open. Also note mentioning team 118, they are pretty good. While those teams you mentioned are pretty good, it does matter if they can do a full skyrise cubes stacked on it within the match quickly. I think that if 185A, 974X, and 118 alliance, they would be bulldozing their way through…

With all due respect to 185A, which has a really good robot and drivers, but there is almost no such things as unbeatable.

Their alliances will play a big part and also with the right strategy, an above average team will be able to beat a top team.

In the past few worlds, we had some pretty notable scraps as well. So… to all the teams there, there is always hope. Don’t give up even before the battle :wink:

PS… recently I have seem some singapore teams having a robot skill run of at least 62 (considered their worst run).

I would also argue that there is always a tiny bit of luck involved as well when it comes to which combinations of robots are in which divisions. There are certain alliances that would be perhaps unstoppable…but the odds of all 3 robots being in the same division is unlikely.

I found a video (hopefully this is the right team!):

This is very impressive. They don’t necessarily have a very different or complex design, but it works amazingly well and fast.

As Paul has inferred as well as others, the key will be autonomous and defense.
This is one of the toughest divisions for sure.
Defense is definitely viable as teams fight to score cubes on posts, while “boxing” out the opponents.
Overcoming the opponents who win auto will be tough as teams at this level will easily finish a completed skyrise and score most of the cubes on posts.

I have seen nothing like it at all outside of Utah. 185A’s bot is very unique and complex. 4 motor drive, 6 motor RD6B, 3 cube expanding needle with several locks, an automatic cube straightener, and passive pick up able to grab stacks of 3 in one shot, and a completely pneumatic skyrise builder fast enough for 6 in auton plus a cube. I’d say that’s pretty complex. The robot is also extremely well built with an extremely rigid lift that’s reliable. Everything has been streamlined and optimized so that the bot is light, fast, but still has a high capacity… The only thing it can’t do is the last skyrise section, but the speed at everything else makes up for it. Picking up 3 cubes and guarding others makes up for this.

I have collaborated quite a bit with Nate (185A’s driver and captain) this year. He worked on this concept long after I gave up on it. Giving up many regional tournaments, Nate worked towards an ideal the I didn’t think possible so that he’d end up on top at the end. And it looks like he’s headed there.

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I’ve been hearing about quite a few robots that everyone seems to be calling “unbeatable”. What I’m really looking forward to is seeing these robots go head to head, to see just how unbeatable they truly are.

There is no doubt this robot is very complex and innovative, I think what I was trying to say might not have gotten across. What I meant is that their robot is not one of the crazy, out of the ordinary, and very different designs like a tether bot, but it is based on a rather common design: reverse double bar lift, tank drive, needle cube intake. It is rather how well these systems work and the amount of work and detail put into it that makes it so effective.

Thanks for the kind comments, however, nobody is unstoppable. In this game, auton is everything, and my auton is comparatively weak to teams like 62, 2915a, 2V, and anybody else with a reliable 6+cube auton yet unrevealed. My robot is also unable to score on a 7 tall, which really matters in close matches (learned about that when I faced 118 in qualifiers). I am working on improving in both of these areas, but there really isn’t much time left before worlds.

I also want to thank teams 118 and 1492X. 118 is the best team I’ve competed with or against all year, they’ve got a great robot, driving, auton, and scouting. Their ability to adapt to anything that happened in our matches and change strategies on the fly was something few teams do well. They had by far the most methodical scouting system of any team I’ve ever allianced with, and this allowed us to get 1492X as a third. 1492X was a great pick, especially considering that there were 16 alliances per division at nationals.

I can’t wait to see some of these awesome robots at worlds, hopefully I won’t be tuning auton in every spare moment like I was at nationals. Once again, thanks for all the comments, this thread was humbling.

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Karthik and VEX GDC spend a long time planning to ensure a game-breaking strategy does not happen.

185A sounds very good but they are not unbeatable.

Skyrise is going to be very interesting this week.
Autonomous is at an all time premium and all the programmers will rejoice !

This is true, I applaud the GDC for making a game that encourages more programming.