Cheater tube

Did anybody see the cheater tube strategy used at nationals? what do you think about that?


For thoses of us who were not there and were at another competiton and could not watch the event can you please elaborate on what you mean by “cheater tube”??

I believe Delta is referring to having a bracket on your robot that suspends a tube in the air, but over and around the wall post located by the colored starting tile. This allows you to score it in autom. by just driving forward. As I understand, this is all legal, just seems a little “cheap” - but none the less it is allowed and a quick and easy way to score a tube.

Yes this is what I’m referring to. It is legal but it is still a little cheap. They would start with a ring around the post with their robot touching it then just back up. This came into play a bunch at Nationals.


It’s been at use in the Pacific Northwest since January. I would say it is used “a lot.”

Yes, this is what I’m referring to. It is legal, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it’s pretty cheap. It came into play a bunch at Nationals. I only saw it not work once; when is was our ally doing it (go figure).


It’s a tradeoff. Your robot needs to fit inside the starting box even while holding the tube in this configuration. If you can still be successful with this additional design constraint… why not?

Yes, the “pre-scored” (but not really because the robot is touching it…) preload tube has been done “a lot” in many different regions. On the East coast it didn’t start until “late” around February, when we implemented it on our robots. Though now many robots have done the same. I’m not sure where it originated and exactly when teams started using this “strategy”.


this is interesting because one of our teams (1200 Syntax Error) did this originally and they weren’t sure of it. Someone sent a pic to some of the head vex guys and asked them about it and they said it was totally legal. Now, on the whole being “cheap” thing. The only reason that you would think this is cheap is because either you don’t have it yourself or that its against your “rules” or whatever. This isn’t a bad thing if you think that it is, but that shouldn’t take away from the simply genius behind the mechanism.
My personal team added a similar thing to our bot and it has now added 7 points to our auton. What I’m really trying to say is that I think its awesome. I’ve kind of given up on the whole thinking things are “cheap” when I find out how well they work. So is it cheap? maybe. But I’d take a few people calling me cheap over 7 extra points every day

I understand your argument and we have considered putting it on our robot, it just seams like taking advantage of a convenient lack of rules regarding this topic. I agree that it is legal and that teams should if possible try to take advantage of it, I’m quesitioning whether or not it should be legal.


Maybe the game designers thought of this strategy, and decided it should be left open for teams to be able to do. Then again maybe they didn’t. But I congratulate the first person/people who thought of doing it, as they found one of those things that make us go “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?”.


we couldn’t fit ours in the 18" cube but we thought of an easy way to get around that
i also agree that the first person to find the “loophole” should deserve some kind of award :slight_smile:
(other than almost winning all the autonomous bonus points the first time they did it)

I have seen this move at competitions around California. However, is it really the spirit of the autonomous section of the game? My programming mentor said that this is a real disappointment to see because teams just program to drive forward and usually win the autonomous portion of the game. I know this won’t be the case at world because there will be more complex autonomous programs, but next year preloads should be placed in the robot.

well the entire point is to “up” your game right?
if everyone “stayed” at 0 auto points, then there wont be much of an incentive
but someone “thinks” and found the loophole, then it will force the rest of the teams to neither copy the “prescore” or do an actual autonomous
and by the time “everyone” has the “prescore tube” the truly good teams will score much more than just one tube
that raises another point about “ram” autonomous’ but i’ll probably start another thread about that

The ram autonomous, while annoying, is quite effective. Since teams are going to do it anyway, I guess that we’ll just have to code for it.

I think this is the true challenge of robotics… It is so much easier to destroy hours and days of hard work… (i.e. the straight ram auto, descoring, etc…)

My personal opinion, I’d say that’s what separates the good teams from the great teams. There are teams like KTOR, with their etch-a-sketch auto mode, which makes it almost impossible to guard against.

Also, you have teams like ACME. Great autos, but really fast… Also very hard to defend against… And then to finish, you have teams like S^3… They have a really extensive auto, that goes on and on and on! Sure, they might be stopped a couple times, but when they aren’t, the other side has to spend 30 seconds just fixing the damage they wreaked!

So yes. It is very unfair. You spent many many hours slaving over the computer screen, perfecting that autonomous period, and insuring it will work. But what makes yours better is when you DON’T score if you aren’t against the goal… ::coughultrasonicscough::

And yes, you could complain about the “cheating” preload scoring, or, you could just include it into your amazing autonomous. Gain an extra seven points. If they do it, then you’re even. If they don’t, then you are ahead.

This is what makes robotics challenging. The fact that we don’t know what the other side might dig up next. You must be constantly developing your strategy to meet with any and all crises that might arise. Especially as we approach the World Championship…

Looking forward to seeing some great teams in a month! (and some great autonomous periods!)

There’s nothing cheap about this strategy. Simple yet effective strategies shouldn’t be called cheating just because you weren’t smart enough to think of them.

I just think that if everyone would spend their time developing their autonomous to perfection, instead of trying to find loopholes, the world of VEX would be a better place. Just my opinion.


I applaud whoever thought of this idea; they’re incredibly clever. Is it cheating? No. If you don’t have it, are you likely to win any autos at Worlds? Also no. Developing complex autonomous programs is for Programming Skills. This is strategy.

So instead of talking about how it’s unfair (it’s not), do it.

Our team first had this idea of scoring the high goal during autonomous at a Japan Tournament in November. It is a definite must have for any robot going to Worlds.