We’ve seen 2 intake designs that are capable of playing the game really well. One popular design has been a top roller with a conveyor table that pulls sacks away from the roller and allows the robot to hold a large number of sacks. The other design features a top roller with a polycarb table that flips to a different angle with pneumatics to score.
Which of these designs will be more effective for worlds? They can both score, descore, and rescore efficiently, but there are differences that could make a difference.
Or, will some other offensive design pull off these tasks well enough to keep up in the fast Sack Attack WC gameplay?
I’ve thought about this before and I don’t know if either design is inherently better than the other. This year my team started with a tank tread table, and, although it was effective, we later switched to an angle-changing polycarb sheet. This is because the new intake was able to intake faster, dump faster, as well as descore better because two motors could be placed on the roller rather than one on the roller and one on the table. You free up one or two motors by ditching the powered table.
However I have seen teams use conveyors more effectively than our original. For instance, two of the winners of the New Zealand National championship hold the top spots in the world for skills, and can do all these things, as well as intake faster with a conveyor. It really depends how you make it, and if you can use those one or two extra motors for something that gets you an advantage.
It all depends on implementation and driver experience. Where we compete, there are hardly any good top-roller robots, and the main conveyer belt one that competed well was a scissor-lift belt with an arm that just flips the sacks on top of the belt. All the other really competitive robots have been minor variations of the spatula bot. Of course some are better constructed than others: some are much more prone to tipping, some have faster arms, some have stronger arms, some have a larger scoop…
Even then driver experience can triumph all. Some of our school’s robots are not as cleanly and stably built as our others, yet a good driver with experience can easily outplay a sturdily built robot of the same or of a different design.
First of all, I’m going to have to agree with Owen and StephenDsDude on the points listed so far. Both designs seem to have their merits and depending on how you build them and specific tweaks that each team adds to the general concepts, it is difficult to generalize the two designs and compare them directly. For all those out there still looking to make a decision between the two styles (or any other type) just focus on getting the design down early so that you can tweak and tune and tweak and tune it until it’s perfect.
I’d also agree with Stephen on the points that he’s given here. I’ve seen the 675 robots with their mega-fast, double-jointed shovels and their excellent drivers sweep their local competitions, with 675A currently holding the highest U.S. Driver Skills record at 280 points. Additionally, if given the opening and the right circumstances, they can descore a trough in a blink of the eye.
It’s not easy to generalize designs like this. A lot of it comes down to how much time you put into your design. Even a theoretically weaker design can be aided by effort, build quality, programming assistance and top-notch driving.
My robot has a conveyor table that pivots with pneumatics though lol. To be honest though, i think they a 2 very well proven designs, and I have been using the top roller and conveyor combination all year, but I will admit, having an extra motor is starting to look very attractive. This being said, I am begining to lean toward the “chainsaw” with a pivoting tray, but in this situation i can’t really say either is superior. And, then again, I am begining to see a few other scoring designs that work exceptionally well. With things like the giant basket collector and the shovel bots floating around, it is hard to say any one design is best. Needless to say, this year is much different from gateway where almost everyone had the same intake system!
The difference is if you want to have a super quick robot that only holds ~6-10 sacks (pnuematic table/2941B). Or if you want a quick robot that holds ~10-15 sacks (back conveyor/2941A). I would say that in theory both descore just as well, but in reality the back conveyor retains the descored sacks a little better. But honestly i could see either one being a world champion this year (at max efficency).