What do you think about the continued allowance of repositioning during college for Sack Attack?
It makes us sad. College is meant to be technically more difficult - the GDC allowed custom electronics, but we are heavily disincentivised to use it because seven cameras and thousands of lines of code will still be beaten by a human repositioner. One minute autonomous is broken by repositioning, and the college division cannot gain the respect it needs in the academic community while repositioning is still there.
We plead that the GDC reconsider the college rules and remove repositioning. We invite other teams (college and non-college) to give us their thoughts.
It makes me sad too. :(
I agree with all those points and would like to add some of my own. Since I am in the high school division, I do not like repositioning. It is so far the ONE thing I disapprove of in Sack Attack. While I agree the argument could be made that it makes it easier for new teams, I have to say this: VEX does not exist to make things easy for you, it exists to teach you how to do these things, and if you take out so much programming, that is not happening.
I will be fine with whatever the GDC says. However, I implore them to amend the rules at ALL levels.
How many Round Up autonomous modes lasted the entire 60 seconds?
The simple fact is that once something goes wrong in autonomous mode, without repositioning there is nothing that can be done to salvage the rest of the match, and most of the fanciest sensor programs could be beaten by just getting in the way. Repositioning rules have a lot of merit for that reason, especially considering the lack of Isolation this year.
I am also saddened by this rule. I thought after gateway they would remove it.
And thought my team may later change our attitude, we have decided to pretend the rule didn’t exist and go ahead and make a real autonomous with no human repositioning. Though like I said, we may eventually revert to it.
I know this is said a lot but the reason lots of major universities don’t have VEX teams is the lack of academic challenge, and repositioning does a lot to re-enforce this opinion. For teams like AURA, aMess and MNU we have to spend a lot of money to get to worlds and we need fundraising for this and frankly most people at Universities don’t see VEX as a serious academic challenge (me included) and don’t see much point in funding it. AURA is really lucky to have money for parts we have no idea how long this will last…
I get how hard it would be to have no repositioning and I know what happened in Round Up I programmed AURA’s round up robots. In the eliminations we got rammed and it sucked. But now having that experience AURA has grown as a team and I think we would attack a 50% autonomous game quite well. I know this wont be the same for all the college teams but I think its where college needs to go to get any recognition for the schools we are fighting for.
If the VEX college competition is to continue to grow it needs to up the level of academic challenge. The technical level of the robot just must go up and they need to stop being just over power high school robots (or over/under sized this year). In my ideal college VEX game it would be completely autonomous I know vex wont go this far but I defiantly think more reward needs to be put on a good autonomous play in the college game.
I myself was also saddened to hear that repositioning was still legal.
What I really don’t like about it is that it really detracts from the “autonomous”, which means to be independently controlled. There is now not much skill involved in programming your robot for autonomous.
But at least the autonomous bonus is back for High School (thanks GDC, that made me VERY happy).
I really don’t like how university teams are allowed to reposition in “autonomous”. I know it must be hard to programme a whole minutes worth of autonomous, but seriously, these are university students and they can use any sensors they like.
Maybe a balance could be made, for example, in the autonomous you must leave your robot to completely control itself until 30 seconds remaining. Though this could get quite complicated.
George, this idea appeals to me. Probably because it’s exactly the same as what I’d thought of. I have just thought of another possible compromise. The robot can be retrieved once if it has gone off course, but must then be placed inside the starting tile inside a legal starting size. It may then be released, at which point all hands must be off for the remainder of autonomous.
If high school students (+MS) can reposition robots, then a 20 second auto may just be 2 10 second runs between repositioning moments. At the college level, we just do 6 10 second runs. This doesn’t inspire younger students. By making it more genuinely autonomous, the GDC would allow us to continue to strive to win the VRCC while simultaneously inspiring younger students who see what we achieve, and want to learn how to do it.
Here’s another compromise at the HS/MS level: the round starts with 20 seconds of autonomous, where teams cannot reposition their robots. (they can still turn it on if needed, etc.) The normal round then continues, but then another 20 second autonomous period starts after driver control. In this mode, teams can reposition their robot if needed.
I think repositioning is ridiculous period. It’s called autonomous mode for a reason. Maybe allow it in the middle school levels, but I just think we are really giving everyone a crutch by allowing coaches and drivers to move the robot as they wish within their starting tile. I love that we can plug in our batteries or make minor fixes if something has gone horribly wrong, that part should stay.
I just remembered how cool it was in Round Up when a team actually scored a whole stack on the mobile goal - that was a challenge and it was easily preventable, but I don’t see the goal defense being nearly as effective in this year’s game (hopefully). There are so many more scoring opportunities and the robots start much farther apart from one another. I know we will be choosing offensive-minded robots. 357 will never have a wall robot, because there’s just no challenge in making that.
Except one thing. Although I am not middle school I spent three years in the MS division. Middle school shouldnt have repositions either. You are not teaching anything by allowing it. AUTONOMOUS requires PROGRAMMING. REAL LIFE requires PROGRAMMING. REAL LIFE ROBOTS DO NOT NEED MAN HANDLING SKILLS.
Just my thought.
If I’m honest, whenever I see people reposition their robots, I think of FLL. Which hurts me because it feels like vex is lowering their standards and comparing their high school and college students to elementary school age kids.
What I think would be cool however, is if teams received a bonus for not touching their robots in autonomous. Like say however many points you score, they get doubled. That way teams can do repositioning, yet have a real incentive to actually program.
Also, what if at worlds next year (or sooner), some of the college teams got together and mutually decided not to use repositioning? Maybe that’s too idealistic of me, but I think it would be good for the teams. I mean we already have at least 3 or 4 here who it sounds like would want to do that.
I don’t have much to say about Ryan’s other comments, but I think this is demonstrably untrue. The two Gateway wallbots I’ve seen the most of (2W and 575) are as complicated as any other robot on the field. Building 575’s no-motor six-foot expanding wall and single-wheel stacker was a significant design and construction challenge (which did not work well at World Champs, but that isn’t because it was not challenging). 2W struck me as every bit as clever as any twin-wheel sucker I saw, and 575 probably failed because they tried too many new under-tested ideas at once. Neither demonstrated that their design and construction lacked challenge.
On the other hand, a simple pizza box with wheels and two fold out c-channels is a pretty simple thing, but few (none?) of those style of wallbots went very far. This might be Ryan’s real meaning: “We don’t build them because we don’t think building and driving wallbots looks like fun.”
We need to remember that the VEX competition is a worldwide competition that takes place in 22+ countries and has 4800+ teams that compete in it. Not every team is experienced and ‘battle hardened’ by years of competition and experience.
I personally support the manual repositioning in local competitions as it allows teams with limited funds and experience to achieve something. Having said that it may be possible to consider doing what was done for the programming skills at this year’s world viz. make it harder by not allowing repositioning as the teams are the best and know what they are doing.
This is true, I guess I have my own opinions about wall robots in VEX in relation to Gateway. A wall robot in Sack Attack may need to stretch even further, that would absolutely be a challenge to build, but I would still be more impressed with an accurate 30" goal scorer.
Our design philosophy is to play the game offensively. Just as Royal Assault would never build a wall robot in FRC, we won’t do it in VEX either. I’m not knocking the teams that do, it’s just how we operate as a team. What’s the fun in blocking someone from scoring when you could be scoring yourselves? Especially this year with 102 game pieces, plenty of opportunities for scoring.