No limit # stars + this idea=success?

I have an idea for a robot to overwhelm the opponent with a bunch of stars during the last moments of a match.
There will be 3 conveyor belts on the robot, that start out in the diagonal of the robot, and extend out. The 3 conveyor belts lead to a catapult that can hold 3 stars. If you make use of the space in the 18x18x18 before extending, then the whole robot could hold at least 9 stars, maybe even 12.
The intake will be something like:


Of course, the intake will have to expand to the side, but if all the expanding & intake works, then this will be way better than a traditional dumper bot, because it can score in the far zone.
I don’t know if this is a good idea, and if rules will be changed because of it.
Here is a picture to illustrate better what I am talking about:
http://oi64.tinypic.com/24l9atg.jpg
Untitled.png

Simply having the capacity for 9-12 stars doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get them easily.

The way the robot in the video functions requires you to move around the entire robot in order to pick up stars, and with a conveyor belt that huge, it will be extremely difficult to maneuver on your half of the field. With a better intake mechanism, it might be possible to stack stars onto the conveyor, but then you would encounter another problem.

Once you unfurl your robot and it becomes clear that you are attempting to hoard stars, no team in their right mind will throw stars for you to grab. Instead, a smart team would throw stars to mess with the ones already on your conveyor, making it practically impossible for you to grab those stars again.

Launching might be difficult as well. Your catapult will be pretty much confined to a single area on the field, and thus an opponent robot can set up by the wall in the last 30 seconds and continuously block your stars with their lift/catapult/specialized mechanism. Without the ability to make quick movements and shoot fluidly, the effectiveness of the catapult becomes greatly reduced.

And finally, the motor constraints will make this kind of robot very difficult. You will need at least 6 motors (probably more) for the base if you are going to move around this huge conveyor. Additionally, a 3 star catapult will probably take 4 motors to be able to shoot fast enough to make hoarding viable. With a conveyor that huge, 2 motors will not be enough - probably at least another 4. And then you have to consider the intake, since a basic conveyor won’t be maneuverable enough. That’s another 2 motors. My estimates (which might be off) total to 16 motors, which is four more than you’re allowed.

I don’t think this will be a viable strategy, mostly because it sacrifices too much mobility for a slight advantage. 12 stars isn’t even half of the points at play, and sitting in place waiting for the last 30 seconds means that your opponents have ample time to get an advantage. If you can pull it off, great, but I think that a more conventional strategy might be the way to go.

And remember, you have a partner maneuvering in the same 6’ x 12’ rectangle you are. The longer & wider your robot is, the harder it is for both of you to move. If your robot is, say, 2’ long, you can split the field into 2 24" wide gaps if you are facing perpendicular to the fence and centered on the field. Once you start trying to turn, those gaps get even smaller. And you may find that 12 stars makes your robot longer than 2’ out of necessity.

if all the expanding & intake works
I’ve already toyed the idea of an extendable version of the belt in the video, since it was going to be used in many of my designs, and sadly, it’s impossible as far as i know, and here’s why:
For the belt in the video to work, it needs to be tight. However, there is no way to make a telescopic conveyor, like this one, tight. It would make the extending VERY rough. I’ve built a prototype of it and it’s true.


The ones in figure 6 and 7 are do-able with the “spikes” that hold the stars. However, it is still nearly impossible to have the thing extend when the chain is tight.

Ignore the post i deleted, I accidentally pressed “quote” instead of “edit” :stuck_out_tongue:

Great explanation!
My idea is that you don’t need to move fast, because your ally can push the stars for you.
I just realized that you only start with 7 stars on your side of the field, so there is no point of building bigger conveyor belts.

I probably didn’t make myself very clear. The belt itself doesn’t extend, it’s just shifted to a new position. Before the match starts, it’s ends are on the edges of the 18x18x18 space, so it’s actual length will be 18*sqrt(2) which is about 25.5 inches.
Your images look cool, though I am not smart enough to know what they mean :slight_smile:

I would recommend prototyping before making obtuse assumptions like these. Testing things allows you to get an accurate depiction of your motor requirements.

This makes very little sense.
A. If they don’t shoot them, then you are automatically winning. They need to toss them over at some point in order to earn points.
B. An expanding robot like this that can’t intake in certain positions is simply poorly designed.
C. Don’t assume robots have dead on accuracy that can hit them off of something like a conveyor. You saw Nothing But Net. Completely spherical game objects, and yet, accuracy lacked for many teams, and for good teams, accuracy only pertained from a certain range. Having the ability to knock stars off of a moving target consistently is very unlikely.

Ah, I see what you mean now.
as for the pictures, they’re just the blueprints of an extendable conveyor.

I ask you to re-read my post, and correctly address my points in the terms that they were intended to be expressed in, relative to the quotes I was replying to.

I will reply to this as it is the only statement I made that was correctly addressed. Stars are not spheres. They do not fly through the air like spheres. They are not going to perfectly align in every single robot, especially in large holders. You will, undoubtedly, not get the same accuracy as you did for NbN, and even more so, it simply isn’t needed. This year, your goal is half the field. Last year, it was a corner.

Also, saying that the only method for manipulating stars is very misguiding.

The partner can push the stars for them. Also, the dump bot doesn’t have to intake all of the stars to win. It just has to intake a few of the stars that are shot from the opponent to gain a score advantage, which is possible if the opponents start shooting after 30 seconds are left.

Different air resistance, for one. I assume the air resistance would be more, but in any case, it would change depending on orientation the star is thrown is because of the different surface areas. It’s going to be weird (i.e. difficult) to model these as projectiles with air resistance, because if any spin is put on the star, the air resistance is going to be constantly changing, regardless of velocity, which is certainly different than a sphere.

Because of the weird shape of the stars, if you don’t have a good design, the stars might end up on a different place on the catapult each time you launch them.

7 stars are on each side (2 from preload), and 10 on the fence. If the opposing team launches the 7 stars in the last 30 seconds, then the robot and its teammate have about 20 seconds to collect stars, and can launch more than 7 stars (what the robot was designed for). So in the end, the opposing team will still have more stars on its side, unless it is somehow able to intake stars from the fence and use them.

Personally attacking the nature of a post or individual is insulting, and not relevant to this discussion. If you wish to discuss personal issues like these, please discuss this in PM with me so that we can resolve any issues you may have, without sidetracking this thread.

No offense taken. Strategic discussion is valuable, and so long as an individual isn’t attacked, there is no harm done.

Air resistance varies with the form of a shape. So does weight. (Let’s not forget that there are cubes in StarStruck)

My wording was off there. My intention was to express that this thread suggests that only a conveyor could be utilized for this general strategy, when that is simply not true. Thank you for acknowledging this.

I would strongly disagree with this. Once again, I suggest prototyping designs for this strategy in order to get an accurate value in regard to the number of motors on a mechanism.

Once again, speculating that X robot can complete things in ways Y robot can’t, when this hasn’t been tested, nor proven.

Speculation is part of game analysis. It is necessary in order to set yourself in the right direction for the game. Intaking game pieces in corners is important, and while it may not make a robot as a whole “good”, or “bad”, it is a “good” feature.

Could everyone please stick to discussing robots and strategy, while staying away from the personal attacks?

I believe this idea will not be the best. But i personally believe this idea may be taken into concern for teams using dump bots

Lol what about a conveyor belt that’s so long that it basically stands still, with a semi-bot that grabs stars and gives it to the conveyor, which conveys it from the ground to over the fence.
aircraft-ground-service-equipment-belt-loader.jpg

That’s definitely a possibility, although I would be concerned about getting everything to expand from the 18" cube. If you think you can pull it off, go ahead and give it a shot.

Why is this? The cubes apparently “stick like glue” (that’s a quote from someone at the HZR competition), and I imagine that throwing a cube pillow into a conveyor designed for stars would jam something.

I think that it sticks like glue because of the edges of the metal. This means that VEX might be very strict with cut metal that the edges aren’t sharp to tear the cubes, or maybe, the stars.

Tried it, didn’t work. See my post above about the vex telescopic (extendable) conveyors.
If you’re sticking with the idea, search up “Chicken Cat” on youtube. Check out the video about the machine. (Can’t access youtube right now to give you the link)

I’ve deleted four posts from this thread for being off topic and better suited for a private conversation.