Market Survey - Demand for wallbot/pushbot?

Hi all,

So far we have not been seeing a lot of wallbot/pushbot around for this season’s game.

Just wondering if there is a demand for it? i.e. if you are a seeded team, would you pick an effective wallbot/pushbot as your 1st or 2nd pick?

If it was up to me, I would look for a few specific things, speed to other side being one of them. I know as a fact there is one team with a 1:7 speed drive that will cross the field in about 2 seconds and use pneumatic brakes to lock itself in place, making it impossible to move it, I say it is a viable strategy that I may investigate further. AKA i would second pick one.

That’s what I am thinking as well… it is a possible, good 2nd pick.

In my area (Northern California), I haven’t seen many, if any legitimate defensive robots, so I am not really sure if that strategy is viable from personal experience. The field doesn’t really lend itself to wallbots, but I could see a wallbot or push-bot be picked by a team who has extremely high skills scores (e.g. 21/2915C from last year). That way the match would be turned into a 1v1 in which a large portion would be spent building the Skyrise with little robot-on robot interaction, leading to a likely victory for the high-scoring Skills + pushbot/wallbot alliance.

The problem with this strategy is autonomous.

I would choose a push bot because a wall bot stops everyone from moving, even your alliance. And personally I think wall bots are sort of cheating, because nobody can move, so the winner of the match isn’t necessarily the best. As for a push bot, atleast they can move and score cubes in alliance starting tiles…

The part about it stopping everybody might not be always true as it depends on where the robot positions itself to block. That being said, we had a blockbot in Arizona this year as we have had for a while 127C who was at worlds last year, they changed their robot to fit this game but this game is so difficult to blockbots. therir group made a very good robot but even if the blockbot Harrison is talking about with 2 seconds to the other side is against you it will never be 100% effective as I have seen this season… Something to think about

It will depend how big of a difference there is between the best robots and the third pick robots. A pushbot can make an opposing robot score much slower, and that might have a bigger impact on the match than a weak cube robot scoring for its own alliance. There were two defensive pushbots in the finals of the Science division at NZ Nationals, so it seems like at least some teams think they’re worthwhile.

That said, this sort of strategy can be a bit risky when you aren’t sure how the rules are going to be enforced. If you get to worlds with a defensive robot and the refs are interpreting SG9 more strictly than you thought they would, then you might have a problem.

Pushbot with transmission so you can do 1:7 speed or torque. Then you can push and block together. It could also just be a physical switch so you would set the mode before the match and use it that way.

If a wallbot is ruled to not be violating SG9 by one ref, could another ref rule later that the same action violates a more strict interpretation? If someone, it definitely makes choosing wallbots a risky choice. However, someone would need to have a wallbot that is effective for this game first.

That being said, if I were on a top team and already had one strong partner, I might pick an effective, legal wallbot in the third round.

This should almost never happen. The refs will almost always go with the call of whichever ref actually saw the event over the interpretation of a ref who was told about the event later.

Well It depends on the ref really. We had an experienced ref that had to call that foul multiple times this year. (It is funny though when you get to a point where at one match an inexperienced ref called pinning when they were “pinning” a block). There is so much leway on what could or could not happen with that rule.

Worth noting that every time I had to make the call, it was because the wallbot had entered the protected area, or had hit a robot that was engaged in the act of building a Skyrise. When they stayed away from the protected area, they never did anything (at least based on what I saw and my reading of the rules and the Q&As) that came near violating any rules.

In my experience, having had a wallbot at worlds twice, the refs at worlds have far more lenient interpretations of the rules against defensive play than at local competitions. There were many times at worlds the last two years when I did things I know would have gotten me disqualified at a local competition that the referees at worlds had no issue with.

Just a side note for anybody bringing a defensive robot to worlds, somebody from my team talked to the head referee of the division before the matches started to ensure that the way we read the rules and the way that he read the rules agreed, as well as to tell him what to expect our robot to do. At least personally as a referee, if you have a robot that’s going to do something unusual that could come near a judgement call as far as the rules, I would very much prefer to make sure we see eye to eye about the rules before the match started, rather than after you did something questionable. Obviously don’t try to have this conversation when the head referee looks busy doing something, but try to have it.

Obviously this is just my opinion/perspective, I can’t speak on behalf of the referees at worlds, so this is in no way any kind of official or even necessarily correct in any way statement.

It’s not cheating if the game rules allow for it. The winner of any match never has to be the best. Frequently it isn’t the best. The best robot that is. Strategy can change any game. An okay team can shut down a powerhouse team.

All in all, if the rules allow for it, it’s fair game, and it’s just well thought out strategy.