Quad_Carrier robot concept for Roundup

And now for a Roundup Robot that is completely different:
Perhaps this concept sketch of Quad_Carrier will inspire some HS or College team.

Short description:
Robot carries up to 4 goals to defend them from being descored.

Long version:
Patent-application/Engineering Notebook description follows:

Problem statement:
Dec 2010 competitions show lots of descoring,
with tubes sequestered, or thrown under ladder;
What might be a unique design/strategy to do well in this environment?
(a unique design helps to pick up auxilliary awards)

Previously proposed solutions:

  • emphasis hanging to gain more points non-refundable
  • be able to retrieve tubes from under the ladder
  • advanced driving strategy, don’t put all your tubes on at once
  • pick up and carry goals to one place and guard them
  • carry scored goals and place them under ladder to defend them.

This proposed solution:

  • Carry the goals around with you to keep them from being descored.

See sketch posted here:

The Strategic Game plan,
the functional requirements to execute that game plan,
the robot design description to meet those requirements,
and my progress so far will be posted later.

I like the idea, but if it is just a platform, it probably won’t be able to carry more than forty pounds and still move fast enough to prevent the other team from catching up and descoring/scoring on it.

Of course there are a few ways to prevent this. One way would be a giant “lid” on a rack and pinion in the middle that could cap the goals and raise when your teammate was trying to score on them.

On a somewhat related note, I love following how the strategies for this game have evolved and progressed.

1: score tubes
2: descore tubes
3: Carry goals to prevent descoring

At the beginning of the year, when people were debating whether or not goals could be descored, very few people would have envisioned this being an option.

I’m guessing that you would be better off trying to put all the moveables into one spot where they could be guarded and/or use some of them to create a fence that keeps less beefy robots from reaching the others and/or hide some under the ladder.

However, I’m not optimistic that the effort would be worth the time and trouble.


we also came up with the idea on the plane ride back from worlds
but it was one of those “what if…” “ahahahaha that would be funny!” ideas…
a more plausible idea as suggested above is to PUSH the goals all to one corner where you can “poppy guard” the only downside is that you must have a slow torqued up drive and you will kill your batteries :frowning:

Not nessecerally, our robot can easily push around goalposts. And yet, it has a speed of 2.79 fps:D, although I do agree it uses up batteries quickly. But with the new batteries we’ve got more than enough juice to last through a match or two.

Thanks all for your comments. I’ll respond to them below todays design update, which is …
The Strategic driving plan using the QC (Quad Carrier) concept:
[INDENT]score the nearest wall goal,
moves to pick up nearest stack of own tubes at store them on the QC corner posts
moves to pick up the nearest 4 (college) goals
While moving and after, the center turntabled manipulator acts to

  • moves opponents tubes from carried goals to the QC corner posts,
  • and moves our stored tubes from the corner posts to the carried goals.[/INDENT]
    [INDENT]Finish tasks described in autonomous
    Park in front of ladder or wall goal.
    Continue sorting tubes on carried goals while parked.[/INDENT]

In proto-drive-frame testing shows that it moves slower once carrying the 4th goal. Fortunately, the game plan does not require driving far with 4 goals.

It is not just a platform. The circle in the middle is a turntable with a manipulator, so there is no need for interactive teamwork. My tubes are kept safe from other robots by a polycarb guard arc that blocks access to all goal tips, except the one facing my own manipulator. The driving plan described above is greedy-passive-aggressive: ie carry/control 4 of the mobile goals. If opponents are aggressive-aggressive and are willing to risk entangling me by reaching into my 18" cube, I can use defensive rotation (unless I am trying to align on the next goal).

Interesting that we came to opposite conclusions from the same data.
Can you elaborate on your train of thought?
Mine thought is to defend all scored goals by carrying them with me. If opponents score the goals before I get there, I’ll carry it away and de/rescore as I go on to the next. The inital preload and first stack of 4 are enough to own the local wall, and the 4 goals I carry.
As for weight, Prototyping shows that the weight is just another engineering tradeoff that can be designed for by using lots of wheels and axle bearings.
Max weight at any time is one of R, R+13, R+26, R+39, up to a maximum of R+52 pounds. I have added up any spreadsheets of R component weights yet.

And a similar idea from murdomeek:

I’ll admit that funny/implausible is part of my attraction to this idea, in addition to the engineering challenges.
It is basic to the QC concept to never leave a goal unattended and descore-able.
I’d rather pull a heavy cargo on wheels, than PUSH it along the ground.
Initial prototyping show 1:1 drive for X holo is probably sufficient with 8 wheels and 12 bearings, but they may need more torque yet for reliability.

Dean’s battery tests show that the new 3000mAH batteries will last multiple matches, even at a 12A rate. And of course, the point of gearing for torque on the wheel motors would be to use less current, not more.

Next post will be a list of functional requirements to meet the driving plan shown at the top.

Functional requirements for Robot to meet the QC strategic driving plan:
A Move around on field, while carrying up to 4 goals as cargo.
B Pick up and carry a goal, up to total 4 goals
C Storage for spare tubes on robot, accessible by manipulator.
D Manipulator can pickup tubes and stacks from floor, or goals.
E Manipulator can pickup/sort tubes on carried (goals and storage)
F Reliable method to score nearest starting wall goal
G Prevent other robots from accessing our carried goals.
H Be able to put down the goals being carried
I Be able to push down on tips of goals to lift our robot body 8" high
J Be able to touch ladder with ziptie or whatever to qualify for low hang

H,I are just dreams at this point.

A. has been prototyped successfully, but it took a couple iterations. Video will be posted ‘soon’.

B2 Carrying has been prototyped. B1 picking up is worrisome.

My plans to accomplish D&E require a complex implementation with good craftsmanship. we’ll see…