Ideal Robots For LRT

Ok so I’m sure many teams have figured this out already, but I’m starting a topic on it because I haven’t seen it discussed here on the forums yet. This post is going to be very very long so I’ve organized it sort of.


The current robot designs that teams are using for in person tournaments are objectively not the best type of robot for a live remote tournament.

The best robots we’re seeing at in person tournaments right now are optimized for drive speed, cycle speed, descoring speed, and light weight.

none of these matter nearly as much in a LRT match.

in an in person match of change up, rows are the best way to score lots of points. this is why robots need to be so fast, they need to be able to control many goals across the whole field while they are constantly being descored. But in LRT matches, row bonuses are no longer the best source of points. Let me explain.

The better way to score points than rows

The key feature of the strategy I’m discussing here lays in three very important things.

firstly, that any scored ball contacted by robots will count as scored. (this is only for live remote tournaments)

secondly, due to the definition of a scored ball, balls do not have to be fully contained in the goal to count as scored. they only have to be partially within the horizontal edge of the goal (they do have to be fully under the top of the goal but that doesn’t matter here). This, combined with the first point means that any balls pinned to a goal by a robot at the end of a match do in fact count as scored.

And thirdly, live remote tournaments have a goal doubling/quadrupling feature where any goals touched by one robot at the end of the match have their points doubled, and any goal touched by both robots (of the same alliance) have their points quadrupled.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

The math

if you can design a robot that can hold large amounts of balls (I’m talking 12 balls at least, at the highest level all 15 available balls of that alliance’s color) to a goal (center goal is preferred for it’s large capacity for pinned balls as well as it’s strategic row-blocking position), as well as contact the goal along with your alliance partner, you can achieve a massive amount of points, while taking away half the rows from your opponent.

lets say that we have an alliance of 2 of these robots, and that they can both hold 15 balls of their color to the center goal, while also quadrupling the center goal through the contacting bonus.

That’s 30 balls of the alliance’s color, that’s 60 points, now quadruple that.
That goal alone is now worth 240 points.

there are of course other balls on the field for both teams in this alliance that are worth points as well, but those don’t even matter.

for the sake of this discussion, we assume both opponents can do everything in a match that a standard hoodbot can do.
the opponents will not be able to own the center goal, therefore they are limited to only the 4 edge rows. even if they own all 4 of these rows (that’s 52 points), as well as score every ball except 5 of their own color(we’re using those extra 5 later. 10 balls of your color, 14 balls of other color for each team, that’s 20 + 14 points, 34 points for each alliance, 68 points total), and that both robots on this alliance cram one of the edge goals with their remaining 5 balls of their color each (a standard hoodbot should be able to do this with the right technique and minor modifications) and quadruple that goal. (20*4, 80 points), and we throw in auton, that brings this alliance’s grand total to 206 points.

in this scenario, these goal cramming robots would beat the very best standard hoodbots.


Now it’s all good to theorize about the maximum points from one goal, but is it possible to build a robot that can cram 15 balls into one goal? I say it is.

it will be a very daunting challenge though. your robot needs to be able to field, descore (many balls are tied up in goals around the field), score 3 balls into the center goal, as well as pin 12 balls to the outside of the center goal, 3 on each side.

But, I think it is definitely possible to design a robot that can do this in 2 minutes.

drive speed doesn’t matter as much, nor does drive torque, so 4m drive isn’t necessary. Side rollers are still pretty important because you need to descore a lot of balls that are tied up in goals. You do need to score 3 balls inside the center goal. And you’re going to need some way to hold 3 balls against the center goal on all 4 sides, that’s going to necessitate some crazy expansion there.

One possible robot I can think of is actually a tetherbot. if you make 2 tetherbots then each bot only has to hold 6 balls against the goal on two sides. that way no mechanisms have to wrap around the goal. and one of these tetherbots needs to be able to score in the center goal, but not both.

But of course there are other ideas, and I’m really looking forward to seeing if anyone actually pulls this off during worlds.

And as an afternote to recf and gdc, please do not change the rules to outlaw this strategy. I’d be willing to bet many teams have already invested a ton of work into robots that function around this powerful, albeit unintentional, feature. Changing it now would be negating all this hard work on these team’s parts. And besides, it’s a good feature because it actually rewards teams for taking on a daunting engineering challenge.


eh… to much work, im good with my hood bot.

cool analysis though

of course I don’t expect robots like this to become the norm, especially with the limited time and challenge they pose. But I do think we’ll at least see a few robots that use a strategy like this one, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this ends up being the winning strategy.

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cage gang would disagree with this statement


I doubt it because they’ve shown that they want teams to be able to score tons of balls in goals

Tbh you’d have to be crazy to do that

I completely agree. As long as 1 team attending worlds does this well (15 balls int the center and touching plus 3 other balls scored elsewhere), that design will win worlds. Unlike a normal match, nobody can play defense and stop them. Another reason I won’t be attending virtual worlds.


for it to be an unstoppable strategy, there needs to be an alliance of two of these bots to win. Because while one of these robots is still extremely formidable by itself, it could theoretically lose qualification matches with a very weak partner against 2 of the best hoodbots. But as long as one of these robots ranks first in their division, and there is another one of these robots in the same division, they can ally and basically win unopposed. as long as there aren’t more than 2 of these robots that is. It would be interesting to see what would happen if finals came down to 4 of these robots. I suppose it would come down to auton in that case, which is interesting because these robots wouldn’t need auton to win against any other types of robots so they probably wouldn’t have a very strong auton.


Agree. If one of these bots shows up it will probably be able to rank very high. Even if there partner can only put three in the center and double it that is still probably enough to win. Decent hood bots can also get 6 balls in the goal by shoving ball in the front. If there are 4 of these bots in the finals it could also come down to where the other 3 balls that don’t go in the center are scored.

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well, there are only 15 balls of your color available, so this kind of robot would score them all. there are 14 balls of the other color available, and ideally they would be scored in the other goals, but this isn’t necessary to win against a standard hood.

I’d love it if they just changed the scoring definition to be- a ball must be fully contained in the goal. This would fix this “issue.” I recently built a prototype for this design pretty quick and it will deploy like a cage around the goal. 27 balls could be scored which is absolutely insane and the main issue with this is that the only way to beat this strategy is too join them. You could in theory 334 points from one alliance with no rows and no autonomous bonus.
Please fix this, it’s too easy and too high reward.

How can you score 27 in the center what? Assuming you put 3 in the middle and then 3 on each edge thats 15 total

Edit: I think you meant with both alliance partners. nvm

“fixing” this issue would be a bad decision on the gdc’s part for the reasons I mentioned in the post.

It is high reward, but it’s most certainly not too easy. Designing a robot that can hold 12 balls against the center goal is not a simple task. Is it possible? totally, and I expect teams will pull it off. But it isn’t easy.

And to be honest I think it makes the game much more interesting. Having some kind of rewarding difficult engineering challenge is something change up desperately needed, and now it has it.


Old picture but the bottom 4 balls are scored.
This won’t be fun to watch or play.


that’s only 4 balls scored. now try 15.
not as easy as you think it is.

I disagree. I think watching massive cagebots or tetherbots completely break the game is the most fun that LRT could possibly be.


This is just a prototype and shows the idea of what you can do. Ideally you would get all 4 sides and then score 27 balls. Lots of robots are capable of holding a cage with little to no modification and it’s a strategy that completely invalidates autonomous, rows, and every goal but the center.
It’s up to the gdc to decide anyways but I’m going to build it just in case they don’t invalidate this strategy.

you could score 4 balls on all 4 sides, but why would you? you only need to score around 14-15 balls to guarantee a win against standard hoods.

also I think you’re underestimating how difficult it is to do that on all 4 sides. I seriously doubt it’s possible with

but hey if you can find an easy way to do it then congrats, go win worlds.

I still think it would be a bad idea for the gdc to ban this because of all the hard work many roboteers have probably already poured into robots that do this. Also I just think its hilarious how much this breaks the game.

I agree it wouldn’t be fun, but it is unfair to change the rules with under a moth until worlds.

A lot of people talk about cages being relatively easy to make, but I highly doubt people have taken into consideration that deploying them is a pain, designing around a fully enclosed cage with a tethered robot requires some insane space savings, and making sure the balls inside the cage are scored.

Making one in CAD through sketches and assemblies or making a purely mocked up cage might be simple, but trying to balance all of these aspects most definitely doesn’t make it easy.


There is literally nothing more fun than watching a webcast, and seeing a crazy robot design folding out and yelling at the screen “WHAT IS THAT?!?!”
Example: Giant Rectangle
(not that it’s viable for LRT, I’m just saying it’s a hilarious design)


reminds me of this epic robot.