Robot Design Viability

Seeing how this year has many more viable robots than last year, I was wondering about the viability of all designs. My team was inspired by House Cats at our previous comp to make a slingshot design, but I wonder if that will help us succeed because it’s slower than a flywheel. Do you guys think that the design aspect for awards is enough to outway the risk of failing to outplay other teams in matches?

imo, I personally wouldnt do it. But depends on team to team and state to state

Are you referring to Design Award?
If you are, then Design Award is mainly based on the Design Engineering Notebook (DEN). It is not concern with whether it is a design that will help you to win a tournament or not.

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We did finish the design and it does work. I probably should have mentioned that in the initial post. At the moment, we are looking to finalize before states and practice at 2 more competitions. I saw one of you mention the design award, which is, in fact, a big part of our decision. Our thought process is that having a different and original design would lead to our design process feeling original and stand out compared to others in our state (notably 2011 and 98992 teams who made the same design as their highschool counterparts). This want to stand out is what influenced our decision and that’s why I was wondering on outside opinion.

Here’s the judging rubrics for DEN - https://kb.roboticseducation.org/hc/en-us/articles/4461349729047-Judging-Resource-Engineering-Notebook-Rubric

if you notice, there is no mention of having a different and original design.

It likely isn’t. Page 46 of the Judges guide specifies that the design award is given based on the quality of engineering notebook, and the quality of the team management. Having a unique design wouldn’t tip the scales in your favor very much, especially if it is at the cost of being less competitive.

Some “unique aspect” of your robot could influence the judges towards one of the other judged awards, such as “Innovate” or “Create”. Check out the wording/requirement in the judges guide, and if you think you’re a candidate, be sure to emphasize these points during your interview with the judges.