Light Robot Vs. Heavy Robot?

We are trying to decide on whether or not we should have our robot be more on the light side or should it be heavy?
We were thinking that heavy might be better so that the opponent wont be able to push us around, but then that might burn out our motors faster. But if we do light, then we could be easily pushed around.

Any thoughts?

I’d suggest building light and look into other methods to prevent pushing. Those other methods could include locked omnis, traction wheels, pneumatic brake, using break type hold, or using a active break program. Building heavy robots both puts more wear on your notes it also increases the chance of wearing down mechanisms. Most important it slows you down during the match which could cost you the win.


Also, take a look at the designs employing skirts and wedges.


It can sometimes be useful having a little bit of weight to throw around, but it’s almost never worth it to intentionally be adding weight where it could be lighter. There are much more effective ways to be defensive that don’t make the robot heavier, and being light is just always going to be more efficient on your drive motors.


Thanks! This definitely helps. We plan to do more research to see which method will best fit our design.

It all depends on how you intend to play the game (and hence the importance of game analysis).

Latching on technik3k example of 169a TP robot - that season we actually had 2 very contrasting style, and both highly performing robots that were alliance and went on to become the worlds div champions.

169a - light and fast flywheel, with wedges at the side
8059a - heavy and still (deceptively) fast enough, with locked omni and c-channel blocks/box for chassis.

Having heavier robot will also help in pushing other robots around (of course provided you can catch the nimble and faster robots).

Go YouTube and look out for their worlds TP matches. And it might give you a better sensing of what you intend to achieve.


A heavy robot should be very strong but not by the nature of it being heavy. By building a very very strong well braced robot you will likely have a lot of weight associated with that build style.

I wouldn’t go as far as that. I think that you can build a reasonably strong robot by using the rule of triangle and appropriate bracing without adding too much to the weight.

This is my take on light vs heavy robots:

Light robots are good for offensive strategies, they can be faster, which means they can pick up disks faster and position themselves to shoot faster.

Heavy robots are good for defensive strategies, they have more momentum to push robots around, although the are slower as well.


I agree. I did write this on my phone with not to much thought. What i mean to say is if the goal is to desgin a robot that leans on the heavyer side then it should be added in a way that is not extraneous. Redndance in bracing is a very good way to adchive this.

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When my team and I were building our robot, we decided to use excessive structure to brace the robot. Unfortunately this resulted in our robot being 27.6 lbs.

There is heavy, and there is too heavy.

Don’t go too heavy. We struggled to maintain our driving agility and speed while lugging the huge weight around.

Additionally the drive motors will have too much strain, leading to them burning out quicker.