Front Claw/Pincer/Hugger Viability

From what I have been seeing, reverse claw robots have been the most numerous and successful within higher level competition. However, they have appeared to have maintained some sort of relevance primarily as a support for reverse claw bots.

What have you seen that most high-tier front claws share? In my opinion, it is a balance of speed and capacity that results in a high cycle time. Also, what is the strategy of those robots? From what I’ve seen, they essentially serve as clean up for reverse claws.

Front claws dont do well, there were only a few at Cal states and they got destroyed. Reverse claw is the superior design.

Pushbots also do better than front claws.

I would have to say catapults are the most superior design this year. One of my school’s other teams is a catapult and they destroyed at state. I am thinking about making a catapult for Worlds. #kachiga

I think 1045A leads the pack when it comes to front dumpers. The meta in China is also a front dumper – if you go to the channel @Izzie has on youtube, you can see plenty of matches there where front dumpers are the dominant design. China seems to have executed this design fairly effectively.

I wouldn’t be so quick to count front claws out. While reverse claws are also very strong, the Southern New England Championship did include some matches in elimination rounds that were two reverse claws against two front claws that had the front claws winning. Both designs are viable.

I agree that speed is important for front claws. The best strategy for front claws is to clear the near zone while another robot clears the far zone, though other strategies work. They can also play defense if needed.

I think the biggest benefit that a front claw gains over a reverse claw head to head is that the front claw can pick up and score from the near or far zone with only 90 degrees of rotation (generally facing forward, turning one way or the other to pick up stuff beside them, then back to front) while a reverse claw has to do a complete 180 to get things from the near zone, and then another 180 to score them. Reverse will easily dominate skills, but one on one, i think front has the edge.

The best team, from what i have seen, will have one of each, though. One front, one back, and one of either to swap in the second round.

Just another point to add, the front claws I’ve seen tend to be more capable of playing defence which makes for a good strategy when alliances with a reverse dumping claw

Definitely. The two styles together are a dangerous combo.

i had a forward claw at the beginning of the year but then changed over to a reverse claw. but from what I’ve seen forward claws are extremely effective with a 1:7 lift with rubber band help and fast drive is also a big part in that. i suggest look at teams from china and 1045 A on youtube

I was one of the reverse dumpers in that match. I have to say, I’ve never gotten stuffed that badly. You guys and 1615a did a phenomenal job of blocking us. However, we made many mistakes in those matches that ultimately led to the loss. We should have taken a time out to strategize, and I believe that we (after the fact) came up with a strategy to combat that. Also, our partners (no offense) had less than ideal autonomous routines. The real loss came from the huge deficit that we were put at in auton. If that had been closer, you guys wouldn’t have been able to block us for the entire match. If you guys had to score, our scoring cycle was much faster than the front dumpers we were facing and we would have over powered them. In addition to all that, neither @6916C nor I had the fastest drive nor arm, and we still managed to sometimes plow through the defense. I am planning on making our bot faster and upping the arm motors to high speed. Our 6/7 star dumps are capable of carrying so much momentum that at that speed, I have a hard time believing that the defense that was put up would have still held against us.

@TheColdedge I figured I would see you commenting on this thread. I think your team has proven the viability of front claw dumpers.

@blatwell I believe @Robo_Eng_13 has us covered. A back dumper and a front dumper is also in my opinion the best combo.

Although, the commentor that claimed push bots preform better than front dumpers got some chuckles out of me. Lol

I thought you might enjoy that comment. There may be some states/regions weak enough that some push bots get to worlds, but if the teams show up with push bots, they simply will fail miserably.

My prediction is that when it comes to eliminations, there will be plenty of front and rear dumping/throwing claw bots, a few catapults with forks, and no push bots.

The best rear throwers will have very quick cycle times and be very light. The best front dumpers will have huge capacities and block well. The best catapults will have quick cycle times with moderate capacities, and the best push bots will only be spectators by the beginning of eliminations.

If I may add, reverse claws have the capability to scoring objects in the far zone(if they can get past the front claw defense). Which has been stated previously is very bad for front claws, as they need to give up their defense and a large amount of time in order to retaliate with star of their own. This is the reason that I believe reverse claw have the edge, that far zone capability is unmatched

Go watch matches with one front claw and a back claw vs two back claws. The front/back combo usually has the edge. What you are saying because back claws can score in the high zone the front claws are disadvantage while ignoring that front claws score in the low zone where back claws are disadvantaged and also run the risk of getting stuffed at the wall. I have said in past posts that matches are almost always decided by driver quality, however front claw and back claw alliances IMHO are the current meta.

I agree with you that the combo is hard to beat. If it is two rear throwers going against two front dumpers, then it becomes very interesting. It will mostly be about cycle times. There are some very light weight rear throwers that can pick up in front of them, turn, and throw to the far zone in 3-4 seconds. The ability to throw at angles makes it a bit tougher to defend as well. With catapults being thrown in as rear throwers, some have the ability to throw over a defensive robot.

On the other hand, it is hard to deal with a bot like yours that can pick up and dump 2 cubes and a few stars all in one trip.

I guess what is making this game more interesting that NBN is that there are actually a few very different viable robot strategies and, as you have said, the best results come from a combination of these strategies.

Worlds is going to be exciting.

Yup, looking forward to it.

The main problem is that front claws have an inherent disadvantage. They tend the throw things in the middle of the field, where back dumpers have a little extra trouble picking things up and front dumpers as well. However, back claws throw things all the way in the back, where they are very hard for front claws to pick up and easy for back claws. In a world dominated by back zone flinging back dumpers, front dumpers have a lot of trouble.

I would say that the reverse dumper claws have a slight edge on the forward dumpers. But that depends on what type of robot the opposing team is using. Forward clawbots are so much better at close to the fence stars. But for far zone stars the reverse dumper claws are obviously better. I would agree with @TheColdedge that the combo is definitely very hard to beet but not impossible. At regionals (don’t turn this into a debate) the combo 60x (forward dumper) and 6834z (reverse claw dumper) were taken out in semifinals (see first video) by a traditional dumper bot and a reverse claw dumper.

Now the best forward claw dumper I have seen is the dr4b claw bot in this video:

As you can see the line between the two is very fine.

You bring up great points. I’m not trying to say definitively that the front/back combo is the only path, only that drivers all being equal it can give a edge.