How to stop wall bots?

If I am charging at the wall I am intending to score in a scoring zone and the opposing alliance is trying to block me, I would not be forcing them into a penalty because I am playing the offensive portion of the game and they are allowing themselves to have the risk of being DQed.

I would say you aren’t forcing your opponent into a rule violation, because your opponent decided to put their wall there. they weren’t forced to do so, and since you are the offensive robot you get that upper hand in the matter of DQ’s

1 Like

A critical assumption of this robot is that we have a “good partner” - that is, we freely assume that our partner’s auton matches one of the opponents, so that’s 8-9 cubes scored in our auton. Our partner then has 1:45 to score 11ish cubes, which, based on your assumption, is only a few more cubes than what a robot was able to score autonomously in just 0:15. If the wallbot’s partner is woefully inept and can’t manage this relatively easy goal, then the wallbot accepts the loss. With a wallbot, you are unfortunately forced into making these “good partner” assumptions.

Additionally, the 2 4m bases that are a part of the wallbot are designed to play “counter defense” against your defensive attempts. Think “O-line” or “screen” from American football or basketball. Without a lot of competition proof, it’s up for debate as to how effective counter-defense will be, but I feel confident that the wallbot can stand its ground.

The hoarding strategy does indeed seem valid at face-value; the question is whether your two robots under defense from our two basebots will be able to hoard cubes faster than our unfettered partner. I think our partner will be able to grab 11 of the cubes on our side before you are able to hoard everything.

You’ve raised good points, but I don’t think any of those strategic plays will be enough to make the match tilted in your favor. Any assumptions made about the capabilities of the wallbot’s opponents should be extended to the wallbot’s partner, too. If we are stuck with a bad partner, then we would likely have lost even if we were a normal metabot anyways. I hope this reasoning makes sense.

2 Likes

We did indeed test this, by placing the wall away from the perimeter so that it contacted only on the tiles, and then ramming the 315G (Turning Point division finalists, 6m base with ramps) robot into the wall. I think we have footage of this too, and it should be in our documentary when that finally comes together.

I hear your point, and I understand where you’re coming from. Given Amonton’s First Law and all, it seems that pushing an 11lbs wall should be pretty much the same as pushing an 11lbs robot with mesh/banded traction wheels, which is difficult but not impossible. However, I think that the weight of this wall causes it to sink into the field tiles more than any normal robot with wheels does. This deformation, I think, means Amonton’s First Law doesn’t directly apply, and so the 11lb wall is even harder to push than an 11lb robot.

A last point on a different note: we don’t disagree that an 8m basebot with some specially designed anti-wallbot features (wedges/hooks/etc.) could be a potentially effective counter.

However, a bot designed expressly to counter the wallbot is, in our estimation, a bot that can’t score well anyways. Seeing as we still have 2 4m basebots, our strategy would likely be to simply gang up defense on your partner after deploying our walls. Even if you are able to move a wall out of the way, I imagine your partner will find it exceedingly difficult to make use of that new window of opportunity. This might bring the game to more of a 0.5v1 or something, but I will assert that the advantage remains with the wallbot alliance.

2 Likes

We pretty much freely cede all protections under and associated rules by being a defensive robot, and we’re mostly fine with not having any protection. We’ve taken care to either design the robot robustly enough to handle vigorous interaction, or documented in the FAQ doc things that need to be fixed with more time in a non-RI3D version of the build. The key part is that any blatantly destructive mechanism should be caught and prohibited at inspection, so we don’t have to worry about something as extreme as a buzzsaw etc.

4 Likes

Somebody use a jackhammer

3 Likes

Y’all think it’s impossible to get over a wall- but y’all have forgotten the dark magic of the bogie drive

4 Likes

Will a robot with a bogie drive so severely elevated to climb over a 3+" sheer wall actually be able to navigate the field, collect cubes, and score stacks in the first place? I think it’s possible to build a drive that can surmount a wall, but I also think any such drive will be absolutely terrible in normal competition.

Best part? If I’m understanding R1 correctly, you can’t legally switch out drivebases during a competition, so the “bogie base only against wallbots” option doesn’t hold any water.

1 Like

28%20AM
:eyes:
7 Likes

Just have 2 robots like the wallbot and make one of them a bogie drive. Fight fire with fire, as they say.

1 Like

You may well be right. So, if we assume a 9 stack in auton is strong and all 3 active bots succeed, your opponents would have 22 points and your partner would need to score 14 cubes to win. (Ignoring towers for simplicity, though your opponents start with an advantage that is multiplied by tower play.)

If your opponents begin DC by gathering cubes, you have to move to deploy walls, possibly while also defensing them some. While you are deploying, they can converge on the goal that your partner did not score on in auton. At that point, you cannot really defense them without getting into trapping/pinning issues. Even if they go for active defense on your partner, you engaging as well would be a big mess of bots on your side of the field. That big mess would be in the way of stacking 14 cubes somewhere.

I concede that it would be very hard to beat your concept if you have a strong partner. Just pointing out a way to try and do so.

*edit for math.

could both opponents together move either of the walls? my guess is no, but if they both had beefy drives I could see it happening.

Hmm… Phrased this way, this seems like it could be the beginning of a viable strategy. A well- coordinated opponent alliance might be able to pull some variant of this off. I think it’s probably impossible to be certain of the validity of this strategy (and also to be certain that no counter on the wallbot side exists) without extensive competition testing.

With a wallbot like the NorCal design, there is a mind-bogglingly large amount of flexibility in where, when, and how you deploy the walls and allocate the tetherbots, and I think that’s something that would tip the scales towards the wallbot side. I imagine that the wallbot team will have a far better understanding of its own capabilities than any opponent could ever get, and this continuous uncertainty is an advantage.

Maybe the best thing we can do is wait for someone to bring a wallbot to an early-season tournament :wink:

2 Likes

Wow, I hadn’t seen that video before - looks like a 5" climbing bogie drive is very feasible from the drive perspective. My concern is about the stack of cubes such a robot would need to carry. How much clamping force would you need to exert on the cubes to keep them together with that big of a jolt?

If I were the wallbot playing against a bogie drive like that one, I would probably concentrate the defensive pressure on that robot and hope that that was enough to stop you.

Are there any weaknesses of a bogie drive that a wallbot could exploit? I’m not very familiar with the design, but my assumption is that it must have some drawbacks since it doesn’t seem to be very prevalent. Is it just the complexity added for comparatively little gain that makes a bogie drive usually unappealing? I would honestly love to see a “wallbot climber” robot design this year. Robots that are explicitly designed to beat wallbots are definitely a legitimate threat. However, if there are only a few top teams willing to take the risk of building a wallbot, then I imagine there would be even fewer teams willing to put in the extra effort to build an anti-wallbot robot.

2 Likes

Related: Woohoo, wallbots remain legal and un-nerfed in the new manual update!

Looks like there won’t be any help stopping wallbots from the GDC :stuck_out_tongue:

4 Likes

if you’re going to the length of building a bogie drive just to try to get over a wallbot’s wall, then who’s really won, the wallbot or you…?
I genuinely find it unlikely that wallbots will be common enough to force teams to take measures against them.
Now, I can really see offensive robots with partial wallbot abilities being a thing.

3 Likes

If you build a bogie drive you’ve already beat the wallbot, even if you don’t play against it.

how so? If a design is such a threat to you that you go to such lengths to try to overcome it, that design has done exactly what it was supposed to do.

But once you overcome it, it’s no longer a threat to you.

let me elaborate: I meant the wallbot has still won because you’re attempting to overcome it with some advanced drive system, which honestly I see as a win for the wallbot, even if they lose the match. idk, I just think the point of a wallbot is less to win the match, as it is to strike fear into the hearts of its competitors.