Pushbot - Is it really worth it?

Dear awesome VEX forum people,

It seems like a lot of people are fascinated by how a simple robot like a pushbot can accomplish so much in this competition. I am thinking of building one, considering that it actually doesn’t take as much time to build a high-quality pushbot than it would take our team to build robots with a catapult, scissors, etc. However, my teammate says that the pushbot is not worth sacrificing time that we could spend on improving our current robot.

What are some reasons that you chose to build or not build a pushbot? What do you think are their benefits/limitations?

I think that the thing that makes a pushbot such a good robot this year is how easy it is to build. Consider Cam’s robot. He probably built it in 1 or 2 days, practiced driving for 1 or 2 days, and he was a finalist after 2-4 days of rebuilding and practice. Pushbots have limits though, and you aren’t going to have a high skills score or high scoring auton with this type of robot, so if either of these things are important to you, you may want to keep your current design.

They can’t do cubes, they can’t hang, and in my opinion, they won’t be able to keep up with some of the higher capacity and better built robots out there.

However, on the flip side of things they are faster, less likely to overheat if you dedicate all the motors to the drive, smaller (which means better maneuverability, most times), and it will be alot simpler; which means fewer things to take care of and fewer things that can go wrong.

EDIT: Just saw Michael got to it before me :stuck_out_tongue:
He makes a good point.

Considering a pushbot’s size and weight, a high hang with 2 motors should be easier than with a full sized robot.

Or you could always create a transmission to get a ten motor lift >:D

But now you’re adding extra complexity and thus defeating the main purpose of a pushbot :stuck_out_tongue:
Oh the ruthless cycle of life/Vex :slight_smile:

If Derick (5327C) built a pushbot it would probably have some extreme transmission like this. :stuck_out_tongue:

Weeeeeeeeeeeeellllll you don’t need that on just a pushbot :3

I mean, pushbot with a claw sounds pretty op to me, just hold stars on the other side of the fence evil laugh

You guys make a good point; a simple pushbot with a 2 motor hang would actually result in a pretty efficient robot.

Also, just thought of this, I guess the biggest thing about pushbots are that while they can’t score high, they are probably the best at clearing out stars on the field. This would at least really increase the possibility of winning… hopefully? :confused: I guess the programming & skills challenge will be the main concern.

@blank0921 how would you deal with cubes though, thoes are alot of points and add up quickly to give you a handicap

See this video at about time = 1:55

Sorry bud, but the bots in that video were sadly really bad, i see not one high elevation and almost no lifting iver the fence

He wasn’t saying that the robots are good, just that a pushbot is capable of pushing cubes under the fence.

That competition was from June when teams were just figuring the game out and have gotten extremely better since then. One of our other teams have been using a pushbot with a basic high lift and did very well at earlier competitions but are starting to lag behind now that the area is getting better. Here’s a competition from a little over a month ago with them being the pushbot on red.

yeha, i was merely commenting on the fact that the robots are awful in this video, i realize this was one of the first tournaments, and that they have gotten better but still jeez, pushbots are 100% driver skill essentially, if you get a good driver you get a good pushbot, ok driver ok pushbot, etc etc

What hangeth from yonder red post?

That is not necessarily true, in my humble opinion. I’ve seen some intriguing features on pushbots that allow them to push extra hard without stalling, for example when they go against the orange bag-cubes and their front ends ride up on the bag. I can easily imagine a pushbot could do some interesting things in skills or autonomous, too. Too often, I see teenagers try to build the ultimate robots (and fail) without first trying to harness the deceptively simple-looking superpowers of a pushbot (to win).