So we’re all super excited about Toss Up, and I know that our team is already talking about power takeoffs and all sorts of wild climbing concepts. But the question is: Is climbing really worth it, and if so, what level?
I’ll voice my opinion. Firstly, the point/match time compromise must be analyzed. The maximum climbing score for one team is 20 points (high hang with ball). I will make a guess that an average match score will be 60 points, with no climb. So, assuming consistent scoring, it is reasonable to dedicate 25% (20/80) of match time to hanging, i.e. 26 seconds. However, while a team is busy hanging, the opposing alliance will be descoring their points (those which can be descored).
After a little math and a little educated guessing, we have concluded that climbing is worth it, should it take 10 seconds. Just look at Curahee in 2011, a less than 10 second climb, and it wasn’t used a lot of matches because of a descoring threat. But that is just our first preliminary guesses. I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks.
Well, hanging in Round Up was worth a similar amount of points, (hanging bonus/max match score), but it’s not quite the same. Here, there’s a rule preventing interaction with hanging robots with 30s left, so it’s easier to not get pushed out of the way. Also, a slanted ladder made it all kinds of difficult, but I can imagine climbing a pull up bar being a lot easier.
Also, permanent points. Hanging cannot be descored. I cannot stress how important that is. Anything that is permanent can be worth twice, 3 times, 5 times as much as an action that can be descored and rescored. In Round Up, 1103 typically won the auton bonus and the hang, so that’s a permanent 30 pt lead, or 5 tubes that cannot be descored. Anybody on the ground has to score that many more than his alliance just to not lose. If the goals this year are filled, then hanging is worth an extra 5 buckyballs, which is really big when there’s only 10 of them.
It should also be noted that the difference between low hanging & high hanging are only five points. Assuming that you do this with a ball, that’s 15 points vs. 20 points. It may be much easier to barely lift your robot off the floor with a ball in your possession vs. raising above the field perimeter.
Points are going to be harder to come by in this game and every one will matter. I think you’ll see some specialty robots that focus on moving all game pieces to the scoring zone and hanging, and others that are short robots that can still manipulate the large balls & collect / score the buckyballs.
If your hanging mechanism is passive, it may be a lot more trouble than it’s worth. It’s all a trade-off, motors are always hard to come by it seems like when something like hanging comes up in a game.
This year more than ever, a robot needs to do everything. You should be able to score the BuckyBalls, cap the Cylinders, descore the Cylinders, and high-hang while carrying a ball. Local competitions are going to see a lot of robots that can do one or two of those things, while Worlds will see robots that can do everything.
If you want to win, do it all. Hanging with a ball is (arguably) the most important aspect of the game this year. Because the maximum point totals are so low, those 15-20 and the 10 from Autonomous are going to be huge. That right there is equal to a full Cylinder by your opponent, and they can’t be descored.
I think the largest roadblock is the 10 motor limit. With 12 we would be fine, but I’m going back-and-forth on where they are best placed. Because you need speed (and to get over the bump), but also a powerful lift. And how do you build the most efficient intake? Does it need to get all the game objects? Do you have two?
It will be incredibly valuable to quickly score as many buckyballs in the stash goals, cap the big ball it if you want (but those are easily descored), and then go climb. Other than the big ball cap, those are all permanent points.
I really don’t think a robot has to do everything. I am sure there will be many robots at worlds that won’t do everything. In fact, most robots at worlds won’t do everything, if not all robots won’t be able to do everything. Physically doing everything this year is challenging, not to mention if you can’t do it effectively, it’s useless to do it.
The worst thing a team can do is bite off more than they can chew. Do what you know you can do, and push the boundaries a little bit at a time.
It is possible to descore the stash goals… though difficult… so perhaps not all matches will they be “permanent”.
We have something designed that can handle the top 2-3 in a Cylinder so far. The bottom ones are causing some problems, but we’re less than a week into the build season. Give us some time. I expect to see a robot that can take all 5 out in a span of 5-10 seconds without breaking the rule regarding Hoarding before Worlds.
The only “for sure” points are Autonomous and Hanging. Everything else is up for grabs.
I am thinking a scissor lift will be the best way to be low enough to get below the 12" bars and still get high enough to score the 24" goal and cap it. We first thought about tank tread but recalled seeing many robots struggle with keeping them on. We will make our first attempt with 8 omni wheels with a 4 motor drive. If I recall 9090C only used 2 393’s for their scissor lift which worked great and lifted a bunch of sacks. This year it looks like our intake will be most of the weight being lifted an not 9-10lbs of sacks. The weight of the Bucky balls is negligible.
I think with 10 motors and some pneumatics we will see a lot of good scoring robots. We will not get too carried away with starting to build until our field is set up. We are going to take about 2 weeks off and then get busy. The nice thing about being a homeschool team is having 24/7 access to the robot and practice field. Our biggest handicap this year was no field and actually doing our autonomous and robot skills with a calculator and then doing some quick last minute dial-in at events when we could get on the practice field.
I do think we are going to see a larger diversity of designs this year which will be a welcome sight, and a lot of robots that only complete about 1/2 the tasks really well.
Very early in the Clean Sweep season, I had a CAD of a system to descore the locked up green balls, which was abandoned because locking green balls was so rare until the world championships. I’ll see if I can track it down and post it. It used three long runs of low strength chain in a triangular arraingement, mounted to a double stage cascading elevator system. There was a team at worlds for elevation that did this also, but only 2 cubes deep.
Which is totally doable. It should even be able to hang. The problem we’re having in the HS division is that we have two less motors. I could PROBABLY make the descore arm with 2 motors instead of 3, but I don’t want to take motors from our lift. And we want to stay away from Pneumatics as much as possible due to their cost. I think the design is using one for the moment.
I have already figured out a way to do it using 2 1" wide lengths of lexan Bent slightly at the ends and pushed together from opposing sides. I just don’t think it’s worth 2 motors to do. Aside from de-capping the big ball I don’t see de scoring being worth while. Once we play a few matches I might think differently.