Invite to Rant on Technical Names

I’ve noticed quite a few newly christened names for assemblies or parts. (Mostly the Hyukapult, which is just a 2-Ball catapult with capabilities to shoot from multiple distances)

I’d like to invite a (friendly) discussion over the naming of parts, assemblies, linkages, etc. over how obscure names can be until they are no longer recognizable. (ie. Danny Lift vs. DR4B)

Specifically, I recognize a few users, such as @ meng and @ Foster have had opinions on this topic, but were without a dedicated place for discussion, and were forced to partially derail threads to do so.


My personal opinion: “slang” terms for mechanisms should be recognizable and intuitive. A casual VRC participant should be able to understand why a name was selected.

2BC was short for 2-Ball Catapult, for example, and I think that it is an acceptable shorthand term for such. (Double catapult implies 2 catapults, not a single one launching 2 balls, as was noted early season, though I still see the term used.)
The Hyukapult, (in addition to being painful to spell and pronounce) isn’t very intuitive. I had no idea what it was the first time I saw the term used to describe what looked like a 2BC, and had to read on until someone asked before me for clarification.

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I wouldn’t go as far to say that “2BC” has anything slang about it due the technical nature of the name of “2-ball catapult”

But I would agree with Meng that “hyukapult” is not a suitable name for a scoring system in Vex. Just like Choo-Choo linkages or whatever you wanna call them. There are better ways to express these mechanical systems.

The name should be descriptive of the device.
“Roller intake” means something intuitively.
“Goliath intake” means nothing intuitively.
If you have to ask how the heck someone came up with a name, it’s not a good name.

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link

Should this be called a differential since they are a thing in mechanics and are a different thing…

differentials

https://image.slidesharecdn.com/autoparts-140926103847-phpapp02/95/auto-parts-35-638.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differential_(mechanical_device)

and there is already a differential part in vex…

image

https://www.vexrobotics.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/f/i/file_66_2.jpg

If not what would be a better name?

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Think the issue is that most of us like to be recognised for a “new” gadget or mechanism that we came out with.

But the truth of the matter is that most of the time, there is really nothing new under the sun.

And the definition of “new” means the approach In accomplishing the task is completely different from the existing or common approach (and btw, this is also how the law decides if there is any infringement of patent or copyright).

So using “Danny” lift as an example, essentially the approach is similar to the standard dr4b, so it is not new, but just a variation of dr4b.

Another example will be during ITZ worlds, coincidentally, both 127X (hope I got the number right) and 8059D figured out a different way (separately on their own) to power the top tier of their dr4b, basically they didn’t have gears connecting the top and bottom 4-bars, but using standoff instead.
But the approach is still dr4b, and they called it standoff linkage dr4b - to show that it is a variation of dr4b.

But I can understand that students tend to have their own “private” language or terms within their own group, which is ok - if you are just talking within your own group, but a lot of things will be lost in translation once it is beyond your own group.

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