Pushbot success?

Hi everyone. I am curious to know how many of you have built/seen a pushbot and how well they have done. My team, 9378S, has gone with a pushbot. In our league rankings, we have won 81% of all of our matches, at a win-loss ratio of 25-6, with no ties. We are second place in the league, only behind a clawbot, better than the 16 other teams in the league, and we will hopefully make it to state finals with an alliance we are trying to make with a really good clawbot. I would like to hear your thoughts on pushbots, as well as any criticism you guys have for them (i know some people dont like pushbots, be honest). thank you!

edit: the win percentages of our 5 other school teams are 72%, 66%, 63%, 59%, and 39%

I watched your earlier video. Let me just say that the competition you are facing is nothing compared to other regions/competitions… even some of the worse ones. If you’re okay being a medium fish in a tiny pond, by all means have fun with a pushbot. I would not recommend it if you want to do your best or even if you want to learn more. A more complex and powerful bot will teach you more.

There are a few decent pushbots in Arizona, well, decent as pushbots go. They get decimated by any decent claw or dumper bot.

My thoughts on pushbots is that to me it depends on the quality of the bot. If you worked hard on it and put some effort into the engineering aspect of it I can then respect that, but if you just try to throw a pushbot together and its just bare bones then that just loses the respect from me.

I have seen a couple of good pushbots, and some aren’t bare bones, some things you can add to one is a transmission to switch from high speed to high torque to get around the field and then push the stars over. That being said here’s a video of what I think is a excellent pushbot. Pushbots for the win - YouTube

That video has certainly influenced many teams in our region (I am also from Omaha), however none of the pushbots are that successful. Even the ones that high hang get dominated by decent claw bots.

That’s happened in Indiana somewhat too. Lots of people see a very successful pushbot like that but they don’t realize that half the reason that pushbot was so succesfull is because of the driving.

Agreed. Not to toot my own horn, but if not for my driving, the pushbot is useless. This applies to all robots, but especially pushbots. The driver makes the robot, especially in pushbots. Remember this: Practice, practice, practice. If you think youre good, youre not good enough.


major* improvement

BINGO! Driving is the key to a pushbot having any success at all. The teams I mentor have decided to go with a pushbot + design. They need to spend more time driving. It can high hang and put driver loads over the fence now, but any success they have will depend on driving skill.

But if you think about it, pushbot are the most efficient at scoring stars, if made extremely well and the driver is extremely good. They are also the easiest type of bot to control(in my opinion). However, a team of 2 pushbots will probably not win. That being said, if a pushbot of the highest caliber teamed up with a decent cube scoring robot could easily take the win.

However, a push-bot paired with a decent cube robot will lose to two robots capable of tossing stars and cubes, very quickly, into the far zone as most of the best robots are capable of doing (at least in our state).

Pushbots stress me because they’re constantly pushing under the fence. However, they only get into near zone, so overall they don’t pose that much of a stress. Besides, you can go through a lot of trouble corralling 7 stars under the fence, but they’re all bunched up and I can score them all against the middle section of fence where they’re harder to push in 5 seconds.

I respectfully disagree that a push-bots are the most efficient at scoring stars. We have many robots that can pick up 5 or more stars and throw them into the far zone much faster than a push-bot can stuff stars under the fence into the near zone.

When I said they were the most efficient at scoring stars I meant that that’s what they specifically do best not that they’re better than anyone else. I’m sorry if I worded that awkwardly.

Honestly, I thought push bots swept at local competition. However, depending where you are, push bots may not do well at state. They are efficient at getting stars under and sometimes cubes depending on the bot. But, as @536Mentor stated:

It all depends on where you are from and what teams you are going to see at your State competitions. If we aren’t looking at it in one specific state, we could make a prediction and say that push bots will do moderately well at State Competitions (Or already have for the State Comps that have already happened). As for qualifying for Worlds, that seems, to me ate least, a long shot for push bots, unless you can make friends with someone who can score cubes effectively as well as help clean up the stars that the push bot cannot get immediately.

To determine if a push bot is “successful” or not is all in a matter of opinion. Once my team qualified for out State Comp with a push bot, I thought that that was enough to call it “successful”. Others might not be satisfied with one win at a local comp. They might want to see a push bot do more before deeming it “successful”.

I think people are too critical on the Pushbot design. After working with them for a while I think there is a very real possibility of a Pushbot, or some hybrid type, easily making it into the dome. The cycle rate of an optimized pusher can outcycle any good robot I know, if cubes are not on the field. Right now, the biggest issue for Pushbots are getting stopped with cubes, and if they find a way to somehow get around them, I think they can be a real contender. With all of this being said, the reason why I tried a Pushbot in the first place was because I saw all of these benefits. However, like Ben mentioned below, now I have another design due to focusing on skills. If skills were not in the question, I would really look into adding a 1 motor claw and 1 motor elastic-assisted arm on for cubes. Keep in mind the video linked above of my Pushbot had about 2hrs of time put into it, max. Multiply that by 10 and you could have a really deadly robot. I would really like to see some amazing pushers.

As for the validity of this, i’m happy to redo that same scrimmage on camera tomorrow, if you want to bring your robot to school :slight_smile:

As of now, claws can hold 8-9 stars max, give or take. Suppose you could guarantee n stars would be in the near zone on the other side. How many stars would you need to guarantee a win?

Assuming every other object far zones, and the opponents win auto and hang, your opponents get 2(24-n)+4+16+12.

48-2n+32 = n > 3n = 80 > n = 27 stars.

So that’s not possible. But what if your partner could push all the other object into the near zone? Opponents get 24-n+8+12+4 points.

48-n = n > n = 24 stars to tie. It’s possible, at least. What if, in addition to pushing all the objects into the near zone, your partner does a single dump at the last second?

A claw could hold 2 cubes, and 2 stars. Assuming these near zone, the score is 24-n-2+8-4+12+4 = n+4+2 > 42-n=n+6 > n = 18 stars to tie.

A pushbot with a claw on the front can guarantee the stars in the claw will be scored in the near zone. Paired with a competitive clawbot with a fairly large capacity, a pushbot can guarantee victory if it has a claw that can hold 18 stars.

Ways to make this feasible? Possibly extend the claw into the far zone once it has gathered enough stars. Also, winning auto makes the requirement to tie 10 stars, which is certainly possible even with a current claw. And, this assumes that your opponents can high hang, which many have seen as unnecessary this season. Without a hang, the requirement goes down to 6 stars, which is very easily possible. Moreover, we assume that all the objects from the final dump near zone, which is unlikely. If it all far zones (which is again unlikely), the pushbot only needs to hold 8 stars even with losing auto.

Game-breaking strategy? Possibly. Have I made some egregious error in my train of thought? I certainly hope so.

@puzzler7 you bring up a good point. The only problem with oushboys is that the scoring is variable. The capacity is the amount of stars you have in front of you, which changes a lot. If everything is perfectly lined up, our robot can probably get around 8 to 11 stars under the fence. Again, if everything is lined up. In a competition situation, the most we have ever gotten under the femce was 5 stars at once. We allied with a high capacity clawbot at our league, and were teamed with one at a tournament, and that team works well. Our alliance partner, preferably a high capacity clawbot, gets the cubes and some stars while we focus on quickly pushing stars back under the fence. It’s a strategy mainly based on distraction; most teams in qualifiers have never worked with each other, so they end up doing their own thing and both end up going for the same objects, while we are amassing a horde of stars that no robot could possibly pick up on the near zone. This was our strategy, but I think I’ve come up with something better. I hope.

I’m sorry, I don’t think I explained what I was thinking. If you put a 9-star capacity claw on a pushbot, then it can hold 9 stars, and push them under the fence. Once the stars are under the fence, the pushbot can just sit there. No other robot will be able to pry open the claw, especially with a pneumatic lock or a PID loop, meaning that those stars are permanently scored in the opposite near zone. With enough capacity, a pushbot-claw could theoretically guarantee a win.