Re-Positioning During Autonomous

I wouldnt say that is true. Many teams choose to reposition so that they can have options for autonomous. I know that my team used repositioning to our advantage in gateway, and the main reason for that wasnt so that we didnt have to turn, it was so that we could make decisions on what to do during autnomous. I know that this can be advantageous, depending on the autonomous routine, but it also wastes time, so it really is only advantageous in the match autonomous, and not in programming skills where every second counts and there are no other robots to make you want to change what the robot is doing.

For the High School and Middle School challenges, I personally do not think that repositioning is at all a problem. For “beginner” teams, they might have one run that drives out to do something simple, then slightly more advanced teams might decide to come back to the tile and try to do something else, however, even more advanced teams will realize that in order to take full advantage of the short 15 seconds you get, they will try to eliminate repositioning as much as possible. I believe that it adds to strategy, and is perfectly fine in the High School and Middle School competitions.

I am rather disappointed that teams convinced VEX to eliminate repositioning in the College Challenge (or now VEX U). A whole minute of autonomous allows for a lot, but even the most thought-out and successful routine can be very easily thrown off by a defensive opponent. I like the idea of “forcing” VEX U teams to create awesome autonomous routines, but if repositioning were allowed, teams that could manage to get their robot back to the tile could continue trying to be offensive, rather than their robot trying to score, but instead driving into an opponent robot or getting thrown off course, possibly then accidentally breaking the plane of their opponents’ starting tile, which could cause a DQ for the team.

Just my thoughts,


This makes me question how much of College Gateway you actually watched. You can watch some here. What worked was many runs of about 5-10 seconds, because no robot had to go more than about 4 feet from its starting tile in autonomous. That killed the programming aspect of the competition entirely. It felt dirty. It wasn’t VEX, and to be perfectly honest it kind of sapped our enthusiasm for the competition.

And no, you can’t make a programmed routine that beats a repositioned one for a minute with other robots on the field. MESS, who were two time world champs and probably the most experienced team at the competition, came with programmed routines and custom sensors that probably represented hundreds of hours of work. They threw it all out on the first day because they simply had to reposition to have any hope of winning. MESS are a team who pride themselves on winning through excellence in engineering rather than through exploiting the rules or using tactics they consider less than honorable, so that was a big step for them. If the all-time strongest team in the College Challege uses a repositioning autonomous they wrote after arriving at worlds over a programmed one they spent weeks (or maybe months) preparing, I think you can safely say that repositioning is the only viable option.

Take it from someone who was there, college repositioning was a disastrous experiment. VEX made the right decision.

well gateway was more bias to the repositioning (in college) because of how the field was set up
it wouldnt be half as bad in toss up

1103’s Round Up programming skills was an amazing routine, but I think the VEX GDC saw too many teams not attempting autonomous routines. The solution was re-positioning. If re-positioning is taken away, many robots will have unsuccessful routines, if any. But there will be teams motivated enough to make programming skills fully hands-off.

I was not on a VEX team during Gateway, although I did attend some tournaments, and watched YouTube videos :p.
I don’t know about the match auto’s, but the programming skills autos on YouTube looked sort of lame :(.

Sack Attack:
I really like the rule that the robot may not touch any gray tile after being positioned. This fixed most of the issues re-positioning introduced in Gateway (in my opinion).
Some teams do not have the funds for sensors, or the autonomous programming skill to effectively use sensors, so re-positioning is helpful.
But coming back to the starting tile is usually a time waster.
3018’s highest scoring Sack Attack 15-sec autonomous (and programming skills) did not have had time for re-positioning, and didn’t need it because of sensors and running itself into walls/troughs.

I think re-positioning can be a good way to correct accumulated error, although effective sensor use easily wins out. I think a bonus for hands-free autonomous would be cool, but it might be hard for 1 ref to watch 4 teams.

I guess it goes without saying that I’m not a fan of the re-positioning rule, but it is what it is, my plan will be to encourage students to learn enough programming and pretend it does not exist so that it becomes obsolete.

My current favorite way for robot re-alignment is to drive into the field perimeter :slight_smile:

Gateway was the first year for repositioning, and the rule was far too lenient that year (you could reposition the robot in any way so long as it was touching the starting tile), plus the field setup was such that it was the most practical way to execute a routine. In Sack Attack and Toss Up, the repositioning rule was changed at all levels: it was banned in college, and in HS/MS, you now have to bring the robot fully onto the tile and keep it that way until it drives away on its own, which makes repositioning harder and more time-consuming than it was in Gateway. In addition, the field layouts in Toss Up and Sack Attack have goals and objects further away from the tile, and from each other, so lumbering back to the tile takes away from your routine a lot more in these games than it did in Gateway. Notice that almost every successful autonomous run in Gateway used repositioning; almost every successful autonomous run in Sack Attack did not.

I can see Jordan’s point about defensive routines. Because making a good, hands-free 60-second offensive routine is very time-consuming, a lot of Sack Attack VexU teams, many of which could have had amazing auton runs, used simple “drive-forward-and-block” codes, from which a person learns less than they would from an offensive run that used repositioning. Sure, a defensive auton is a smart gameplay tactic, but it is a cheap way to win, and is about as educationally valuable as having no autonomous code at all.

You, sir, are my idol.

Hey that’s our favorite I2C/cortex reset process! Does wonders for autonomous. :slight_smile:

LOL, we were thinking about putting bumper switches on the sides and basically doing a “Drunken Sailor” alignment routine to compensate for any wheel slip or gyro drift.

I just want to bring your first point into question here:

Aren’t all the rules eventually abused because of <G1> being used as a scapegoat? If you want the rules to not be abused, they should be well written and descriptive, not lenient. I find that many game rules are broken, and are often broken with intent but due to the vagueness of some of them and the difficult job that the referees face (shout out to all the referees), sometimes it can become frustrating. Another example of this is pinnings/trappings/blockings. I knew last year some teams which has robots that wouldn’t be even able to take one sack. They came on the field for the sole purpose of ramming and blocking other robots. There needs to be a harder focus on the actual task at hand, rather than blocking, or even the re positioning. If you didn’t place your robot perfectly, its your fault. That’s life, and you can only sometimes have one shot at things.

if your full sized competition robot is having a hard time getting blocked by a drive train robot, the issue is not them…
and usually these robots are made by teams who are NOT capable of making a scoring manipulator

unless you have extreme wallbots/blockers (2w and wasabi), good competition robots can drive around the blocker/humper robot and play as usual

may be different this year as there are only 2 goals

Nonono, it wasn’t just a drivetrain robot. It was a drivtrain robot with 8 393s which were capable of turning an axle into a drillbit. Here’s a picture:

I’m curious which game rules you believe to be broken, and your reasoning. I moved this into a new thread:

The GDC (who takes a careful look at every rule) does not believe anything is broken. I’m curious for the other side of the argument.

I’ve learned (or at least, have had confirmed) a few things reading this discussion:

  1. Both simple and complex strategies and programs can be employed and deployed using a repositioning rule.
  2. It’s certainly impressive seeing a robot complete tasks all by itself for 15 seconds (or longer in skills matches), but it’s also very impressive to see humans interact with robots during the same time period, selecting different autonomous routines based on a changing environment (other robots and/or game objects moving).
  3. The GDC has a growing and formidable challenge each year - as the “high end” continues to get “higher” while VRC also becomes more and more accessible to the “novice”.

Dude, that’s a completely legal strategy. We read the rules, and follow them to the letter of the law. If you can turn a game into 1v0, your partner wins. Even 1v1 can lead to your partner winning.

Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean the strategy should be illegal.

Doesn’t that render each year’s competition tasks useless and turn it into a robot fighting match?

No. We’re not doing any sort of robot fighting. We’re not going to beat your robot down at all. We’re going to find a way to win within the rules without doing an ounce of damage to your robot. That means no pinning, trapping or ramming that will do damage to the opposing teams. If we DO break your robot, tip you over, or entangle you in any fashion then we have a problem and we’ll pay handsomely for it.

But before that, it’s just well done defense. And if you try to prevent people from blocking goals then we’ve got an entirely boring game.

EDIT: This is entirely off-topic, and you and I are already having this conversation in a different topic. Can we agree to just have it there?

Personally I love the strategy of having to deal with wallbots.
If that isn’t enough go look up how far a wallbot went at worlds. The finals was 6 hard core efficiency robots.(5 of which were from Bots n Stuff :D)