Post-Season Review

Now that the Skyrise season is done and dusted, I’m curious to know what people thought of this game and this season compared to other years.

I’d estimate that SkyRise was about 3 times harder than Toss Up (the previous year’s game).

Skyrise in terms of difficulty was among the most difficult games I’ve ever played. And I started way back in the days of VEX being with FIRST.

I think strategically I would’ve liked to see a little more. There was a good amount of strategy, but I think less than in previous years.

That said, I believe level wise, VEX U had its best year in terms of excitement, particularly in the finals.

My mind was blown when I saw what the finalists in VEX U were able to accomplish. Until I had seen those final matches, I had given up believing anyone could do anything like that with Vex’s sloppy sensors. Apparently they aren’t so sloppy, after all. :slight_smile:

I liked the autonomous bonus being such a large portion of Skyrise. It forces the kids to actually need to program to stay competitive. Third favorite game in the ones I have been with (Round Up, Gateway, Skyrise, Sack Attack, then Toss Up)

The pick and place was a great challenge too. It had a much tougher placement problem with the Skyrises than any of the previous games. The cube gabbing was good but actually tougher to push that mountain than originally anticipated.

The heights were a bit large for beginners and actually required to play the game. It took a ton of hand holding for new teams to have a competitive robot. The number of viable designs available to reach 48" (plus cube height) was a few.

Only four designs emerged to solve the height issue: double reverse 4 bar (or 6 bars), an 8 bar, scissor, and a series of linear lifts. The double reverse and scissors emerged as the top ones at worlds. The others fell away

I do like games with defensive strategies and Skyrise was not a lot of robot interaction. No hoarding in the corner, no disrupting skyrise building, no taking apart skyrises really limited interactions. I miss the banging around of Gateway and Round Up. Maybe this coming year will have more jostling.

Eh, but in the end it still came down to drivers, not autonomous at all. In finals autonomous (with the exception of VEX U) was rather disappointing. Autonomous just doesn’t work that well.

I agree, Skyrise was one of the more boring games to watch. Toss Up was very aggressive and exciting at worlds, and Nothing probably will be too.

I agree, autonomous was a HUGE part of Skyrise, especially when compared to Nothing But Net. Some people enjoyed this, I personally think that it made late season games too predictable. If an autonomous ever failed in a high scoring match (95+), it was pretty much over for the other alliance.

Skyrise has probably been my favorite year (because we’ve done so well) although the most difficult.

In my first year, Sack Attack, we had a claw bot (6430). We didn’t do very well. :smiley:

Second year, Toss Up, we did decently well, this was when we got a second robot (6430B). Somehow both of our teams made it to worlds that year. We still enjoyed ourselves even though we weren’t that great. :wink:

Third, Skyrise, both of our teams combined won 12 awards. My team alone (6430B) won 3 tournaments this year including Florida State! We both made it to worlds again and did very well this time. 6430 (in Technology) was the 6th seed alliance captain and made it to the division semis! 6430B (in Engineering) was picked to be the third team in the 3rd alliance and made it all the way to the division finals!!!

All in all, a great year for both of our teams! :smiley:

Extra: At the beginning of the NbN reveal, on the screen they showed a youtube video of a Skyrise match… It was actually my video!!! My team was freaking out!!!

My video:

Skip to 16 seconds in to see my video: [

Just though that was really cool! :smiley:

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read. Haha :D](

Skyrise has the heaviest emphasis on design, robot quality and autonomous program than any other season. Driver control period’s importance is diminished. Whic is what I like-- after all, a robotics competition should be more about robots and less about human drivers.

I personally think wireframe cubes are the best scoring objects ever, and I cannot think of a better one. Good game design should inspire diversity, and hollowed cube inspired tread hook cycle, side roller and top needle intake, - three major classes of intake in VRC!!! This is unpredecented design diversity, not counting 7797C’s claw, side claw, passive intake and so much more intake versatility.

Skyrise is also the turning point of VEXU. Thanks to the high technical ceiling and wonderful VEXU teams composed of VRC High school legends. I have seen unprecedented mentions of graduating seniors wanting to continue VEX in college here in our forum, and I too who thought Louisville 2015 would end my VRC career started to doubt. 45 seconds of extremely controllable autonomous is really enticing, and the performance of VEXU teams are truly marvelous.

I had a blast in Skyrise. Biggest challenge and intimidation, but also greatest enjoyment and team growth. Thanks GDC for the best closing year for me ever, a game dedicated to extremely task oriented technicians who strive to make the most amazing things happen in the competition, and the competition gives the space for such things to happen.

So many more things I do not even have space to mention, I will stress in a video later, hopefully.

Skyrise is the greatest year so far, in my opinion. Thank you VEX, thank you GDC, thank you Karthik.

Skyrise mattered so much about field tolerances, which sadly threw everyone’s autons off… If the game didn’t require such precision, and wasn’t so heavily decided during autonomous, I think we would have been a lot better off… At least I personally would have been!

I was surprised that there weren’t as many side roller robots. Of course needles and conveyor manipulators worked very well, but we always felt that side rollers required less driver precision while intaking and could be made nearly as precise as a needle when scoring, if the lift had an angle shift or the tray actuated with pneumatics.

Personally, I’m not surprised. We tried out side rollers mid season and it just didn’t work. There were four main issues. First, side rollers use two more motors, and since the cubes were fairly heavy, we decided it was important to have those motors being put to better work. Second, the side roller intake is not actually faster compared to a needle, when you take the pyramid into account. Third, side rollers are harder to align with the goal, even with a tipping tray. We had one for a while and it just never worked quite as smoothly as the needle. Finally, the side rollers just take up more room. If you have side rollers, you must also have a tray, and since the cubes are pretty wide, it means you have less room for bracing and strong sturdy lifters. A needle is vertical, and out of the way of the lifters, leaving plenty of room on a DR4B for big sturdy braces.

Please note, what I’m saying here is that one is intrinsically better than the other. You guys pulled off a reliable, quick, and fast-scoring side roller intake! But when it comes down to it, this year it was easier to build a needle intake that worked just as well.

-Nick H. (8000)

Skyrise was my teams rookie year and it was fantastic. I come from an frc background which up until this point was entirely shooting game based. Having a stacking game in my life was extremely fun. It was awesome to experience something entirely new. I feel auto was a very hard challenge and might have been worth too many points. ( It was hard to come back from missing auto haha). I love the precision of this game and the large challenge of lifting so high. As a rookie team I could not have asked to do better. With multiple torment wins, excellence awards, and SoCal robot skill championship my team had a blast. I will say I am extremely excited for NBN. I recently spoke with Karthik at FRC world Champs and the way he spoke of the dynamic flow of this new game got me really excited. Skyrise was amazing. NBN will be amazing. I cant wait. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the compliment! I agree that a big bonus with needles is that they require no motors and that they take much less horizontal space than other intake styles. However, for most needle robots (excluding 8000A and 2915A) the capacity was limited to 2 cubes, which I didn’t believe would be very competitive at worlds. I think this idea was illustrated very well in the Arts Division, where 8000A nearly cleared the field in several matches due to the robot’s 3 cube capacity.

In my mind, side rollers had the potential of combining the capacity of a conveyor and the intake/outtake speed and accuracy of a needle. But, as we saw, many side roller bots did not fully meet this potential, and/or teams opted to use a conveyor or needle style intake.

Additionally, I thought there would be more purely cube-oriented robots. Our strategy revolved around supporting a fast skyrise builder by scoring as many cubes as possible on the posts, because we felt that was an underdeveloped part of the game. But in the end I suppose it did not make a huge difference since teams in the round robin performed well in both aspects of the game.

I liked how autonomous was a decision part of the game since it introduced people to actually programming for the 15 seconds. However, in the eliminations at worlds, losing autonomous basically meant losing the match, so it may needed to have been balanced out a little bit more.

Overall, I loved the game because of the challenges we needed to overcome.

The fact that cubes could be rearranged into hats and diamond shaped objects was fun too :smiley:

Not “everyone’s”, but definitely most.
The challenge was to design a skyrise build mechanism that was quickly adjustable to accommodate the known variation that could occur with each field’s assembly. Also, some tool to assist in line up of the robot to the field was required. Not many teams did this.

It seemed to me that a game of “Skyrise Chicken” evolved late in the season as video reveals of 5, 6 and even 7 Skyrise sections being built in 15 seconds were released by High School teams. Many top teams took the challenge and tried to match this new “standard”. The thing is, there were no reveals of all the times these routines missed. At Worlds, non of these routines were anywhere near 100% reliable. It felt like a reliable “tortoise” would have stood a very good chance of beating these “hares”.

Skyrise was a very difficult game, especially for newcomers, but I have a feeling that the new game may be even more difficult to master. :slight_smile:

Our team learn a lot about “field tolerance” at the worlds. We have never been to a competition where the field tolerance varies as much as we found at the worlds. We were expecting the field variation to be less at the worlds and found the opposite. We have jigs that we brought to the world and they did not work. We build more jigs at the world and they will work for one field and not another. In the two major competition we went to before the worlds the volunteers will re-align the cubes if we found than out of line. At the worlds we were told they would not move the cube even if it is obviously crooked because it is “within tolerance”. I think even the powerhouse team got caught because of “field tolerance”.
Hind sight is 20/20. The manual did say the field can varies by +/- ONE INCH. So in theory the distance between the skyrise loader and the base can varies from 22.5 to 24.5 inches.
I think the problem is most team build their Skyrise building mechanism to toggle back and forth to exactly 23.5 inches and if it’s even half an inch off the autonomous will not work. We saw many teams got caught off guard by this throughout the whole competition.

We did succumbed to the “Skyrise chicken”.
I agree our team may have been more competitive if we stuck with our old simpler skyrise intake and autonomous routine(I know my daughter the builder will not be happy if she hear me say this). My team could have spend more time practicing driving than building a swivel intake that perform brilliant at the practice field but screwed up completely at the competition field.

The lesson learn is in the future to use physical keying as much as possible instead of relying only on programming to perform autonomous.

I thought this was a really good season, most fun since roundup, the only part of the season I don’t like is have to dissemble the robot to get the parts back. Hours of work went into building my triple lift, 1 hour to pull apart and it’s just a pile of aluminium.


On the contrary! There lay the C-channels like the magical oracle bones of your ancestors, predicting the fate of your team’s many foes. And what do these hole-y bones foretell? Some future ball launcher guided entirely by the swirling numerology of the mythical Gyro? An impenetrable chassis girded by steel rail? Some unimaginably powerful device that lifts your alliance into the air on a foam-padded carpet of pneumatically-driven magic? Will you crush your team’s enemies at every turn? Or will you be snakebit and turned to brick by some TRIZ-enchanted Wizardry?

My team did a side roller dr4b and originally had a few problems, but now, we can get 55 points in skills. EVERYTHING comes down to the little things in a build. a needle is also a good way too go. check out our reveal to see the robot.