Scoring Wallbot

Here is an idea i had, inspired by 1471A’s robot “Apophis”.

The goal of this design is to produce something that may be the holy grail of overpowered vex robots: to produce a “Mathematically Guaranteed” win regardless of alliance partner. It is made up of a wall, with a tethered scoring bot. The wall prevents your opponents from scoring, the scoring bot out scores them. Of course, true mathematically guaranteed wins are impossible, but this design tries to make it as hard as possible for an alliance of two to beat this one robot. The reason I am posting it here is because I probably won’t be able to build it, so here it is.

This idea might be impossible to use in practice, but still. :cool:

Any thoughts?


Pretty cool ! As you said, probably very hard to make but if it could work remiably you could possibly win every match

Aha, you saw what I was getting at. If you did that, no matter which of the zones they manage to get into before the wall opens:

1 robot in the skyrise zone and one in the pyramid zone: they score the full skyrise by passing cubes into the skyrise zone, get 60 points, but can only score 14 on the posts, while you can score more than 26 on the posts, ensuring that you can win even if your opponents win auton.

1 robot in skyrise zone, one in the corner zone with the high posts: they can only score 60 on the skyrise by passing cubes to each other, they would lose. This is assuming the wall is good enough that they can’t pick up cubes on the other side of it.

1 robot in pyramid zone one in the corner zone with the high posts: they score nothing on the skyrise, they would lose.

If two are in one zone, then they can’t do anything that one in that zone couldn’t do, they would lose.

Pretty much, if they can’t cross the wall or pick stuff up from the wall, their chances of winning are pretty slim.

I don’t think they could get across 2 walls before they open into the zone with your skyrise, but if they do, they have 1 cube to score up to 3 points with, and if their ally is in the zone with the pyramid passing them cubes, they can’t do anything with the skyrise, and would lose.

However, this robot would be Very hard to perfect, and my team may not be able to afford to buy all the linear slides, and by the way, the wall has to be reconfigured for red and blue. My team is small, so we may not have time for that. Someone who uses this might want to build two separate walls, one for red and one for blue, and just swap the umbilical cord in between matches. That, of course, would mean buying the parts for two…

Unless as they’re trying to get through one of your expansions broadsides them and they end up pinned to the wall. Then you get called for pinning the second driver control starts.

Still, this could definitely be a workable strategy given nearly a year’s worth of time to fine tune it.

EDIT: as far as dedicated red and blue side versions, I don’t see that being necessary. The field is effectively mirrored, I don’t think you’d have to change anything depending on color assuming you don’t block access to the autoloader.

Good point about pinning. The walls would probably end in lexan domes so that it is easy for them to get out of it.

As far as mirroring the wall, both skyrise starting tiles (I probably amn’t the first one to call it that, but i mean the starting tile with the autoloader next to it) are on the same side of the field. If you want to build the skyrise in autonomous, you have to be on the skyrise starting tile, which means you have to mirror the wall for both colors. If you started on the skyrise starting tile as red and the other starting tile as blue, then you could use the same wall, but it sort of defeats the purpose of an awesome robot to have it’s strategy determined by it’s alliances color.

The weight of the two perpendicular walls that come off of the main wall will probably slow down your expansion speed. Also, how are you going to prevent the side walls from releasing too early? If they extend immediately they are just going to end up smashing into the cube pyramid as the primary wall is extending, jamming the whole thing because the force of the rubber bands can’t push all the cubes.

If you can pull this off, it would be absolutely amazing, but it’s going to be really hard to do it, and, as you said, insanely expensive.

Haven’t worked out many details, but I am thinking pneumatics. The wall would start with charged pneumatic cylinders (without tanks), and would release the pressure to open. The first extension might be slow, but I don’t know the exact limit on how many rubber bands can be used without the thing breaking

Awesome idea, however I really hope nobody can get it working (unless it’s my team) :wink:

You wouldn’t need to mirror the wall sections I don’t believe. If you could have wheels on both top and bottom, you could use one side up for red and the other side for blue, this would just require extra wheels and the cord linking the two robots to be flexible enough to deal with rotating the wall/robot parts.

Don’t worry, I have thought of ways two good scoring bots could beat this design if it was by itself, but with the right ally, this scoring wallbot would have far fewer weaknesses.

Looking at the SKYRISE field at the beginning of a match, and your wall in your drawing, I see “52” possible points in the wall-bot trapped area of the opposing alliances. I believe “52” points is going to be more than enough to win most matches.:smiley: (and that’s just trapping 1 bot in that area. All the while the other opposing bot is scoring or playing defense on your tethered-bot.:eek:)

Although it would be very entertaining to watch, it would be far from guaranteed.

SKYRISE sections: 7x4pts=28pts
CUBES: 6x4pts=24pts
TOTAL: 52pts

The scoring bot tethered to the wall will be able to build 7 sections of skyrise in the first 15 seconds of driver control, 8 cubes on the skyrise in less than 25 seconds, and the remaining 13 cubes on six posts in the remaining 1:05.

28(skyrise) +32(skyrise cubes)+26(cubes on posts) +6 (six owned posts)=92 points scored by the scoring bot.

If one robot got into the zone you are in with this design, it would have to be the robot that starts on the skyrise tile. Your tethered scoring bot would score 4 sections in auton, ensuring that you win it if they don’t build their skyrise. They would still have no access to the pyramid of 12 cubes, taking away 24 points of scoring opportunity compared to you. Score


full skyrise, they pass cubes over the wall. 60

They can’t cross into the other section of your space because your starting tile stops them. They score no more points, even though they defense you away from 3 of your cubes and 3 of your posts, you still score 19 on the posts, you win even if you don’t get auton.

This is assuming a good building team had 5+ months to work on it.

Maybe I should stop babbling on about how unbeatable this design is :confused:

You don’t have to have linear slides for your expansion joints. I’d imagine using slides would make it extremely difficult to maintain.

You’re right, there is no fundamental reason why they have to be slides, but here is why I think slides would be suitable for this application.

Slides take up very little volume. Trying to fit a competent scoring bot and a wallbot in one 18x18x18" cube is tough.

Slides are thin. The slide needs to be thin to needle through the pyramid of cubes, and not get stopped by cubes, like a scissor would.

Slides are fast. 1471A’s robot had a 13’ long linear slide wall that opened in 1 second. Achieving speeds like that would be very hard without slides.

If the maintenance of slides could be avoided, feel free to tell how.

Having built multiple linear expansions like these, let me give you some insight.

Linear expansions are always harder than you expect.

They aren’t nearly as strong as you would hope. The only way our robot had a chance of keeping the field blocked was because it had the walls right behind it for support. It will be harder than you think to keep this from getting completely bent up and destroyed every match.

Linear expansions take up a lot more space than you think. You’re probably gonna run out of room for your offense bot.

Linear expansions are much harder to release than you would expect . There is enormous amounts of force at bay, even with the extremely lightweight slides used on apophis. You should be expecting much heavier doubled up slides on a robot that extends into free space like this, thus more rubber bands and more force.

Linear expansions going that far will pin your opponent, plain and simple. They’ll park in front of it acting like they’re scoring just to get Pinned on purpose and I bet they can’t get out.

Tethers are eeeeeeevil.

There are a couple ideas I’m tossing around for this year that can use linear expansions, but this one needs a lot more thinking before it will work - the 18" makes all of my ideas impossible. Good thing I’m in college.

Not trying to be too negative, I just want you to understand how much more difficult linear expansions are than some people think :stuck_out_tongue:

WOW!:eek: Did VEX already release their 1071 Warp drive already? I thought it was still in the prototype stage?!

It’s a good concept, but I just can’t see it working. When you expand, you’re not blocking anyone from anything, just separating. The one this year at worlds worked because the playing fields were so enclosed. This year, with an open field, you won’t be able to do much, not to mention how hard it would be to expand out to the ends of the field, then across the middle. It would be a cool piece of engineering, but I can’t see it being effective in a match, especially with goals being everywhere, and not in two set locations.

The reason this works is because it separates the opponents’ bots from most of the cubes; without access to those cubes it doesn’t matter how many goals they have - there are more cubes accessible to the wallbot team than the opponents’ team, so the wallbot will outscore the opponents.

You bring up some very difficult challenges with this design idea. I only have ideas about how to solve some. The biggest, the pinning problem, is tricky. I was thinking of using lexan bent domes at the end of the two secondary arms, to assist in robots de-pinning themselves from the wallbot, but that would be no where reliable. Teams could easily use autonomous programs that would be hard to judge whether the team was intentionally disqualifying the wallbot or not.

For the strength and space taken up by the linear slide expansions, the scoring bot would use a central 1103-style 4-stage elevator lift, allowing for maximum space beside it for the 17.5" slides. It would have a fold-up 5-cube capacity vertical magazine, taking up minimal horizontal space. The robot would also be narrow. There can sometimes be less than 21" between the skyrise and the wall, so the diagonal dimension already of the chassis would have to be less than that for a normal scoring bot. The chassis would have to have 2.75" clearance on the side to accommodate the double-slide initial expansion. That leaves the robot with 9" sideways space for the vertical magazine (with flip-out roller intake-coming out of where the cubes should be)
and 3" for each of the sides of the base. (all-omni 2.75" wheel tank drive- aligns with something like this alignment device, using omnis to slide into place)

The secondary expansions would be single slides, similar to what was on apophis, except that they would be on hinges from the first slide, starting the match on top of the 3" wide side of the robot.

The force of the elastically loaded slides would be held back by a direct bar going from the front of the slides to the back, on both sides, eliminating almost all of the non-tension force between the slides.

It would be impossible for the tether to be completely annoyance-free, but OYES’s flat polycarbonate tether was a good idea. It layed flat on the ground, preventing robots from becoming entangled with it. (in their words “almost impossible to entangle with”)

Yes, this idea is not at all ready to run with. However, if the pinning issue could be solved, it could become a viable solution to this years game.

Right on. IF it works, as long as your opponents can’t get all the way to your protected area, the one with your side of the pyramid, or get past the wall, they just theoretically can’t get enough cubes to score, or theoretically can’t get enough posts to score them on. However, some very strange robot designs could beat the wall, and find enough cubes/posts to still win (winning auton would help a lot-too).

Why do you need a minibot at all? If your wallbot expands across the field and still has a main immobile block on your starting tile, you could just have an arm with a claw that builds your skyrise, plop some nearby cubes onto it, and allow your partner to handle the rest of the cubes and the goals. It won’t be mathematically unbeatable on its own but in most cases I’ve seen, teams try so hard to be a solo-win defensive robot that they end up making it overly complex and unreliable, and then it can barely even win WITH a good partner. A simple, effective robot is going to be better at winning tournaments than a ridiculously complex one.

Running the math under the assumption that the robot deploys correctly, the barriers formed by the expansion cannot be crossed, and your alliance/your opponents are perfect. Zone A is the area with your opponent’s protected zone, zone B is the middle area, and zone C is the area with your protected area.

Scenario 1: Both opponent robots are in Zone A

7 Skyrise Sections x 4 pts = 28 pts
6 Cubes on Skyrise x 4 pts = 24 pts
Autonomous = 10 pts

62 pts

7 Skyrise Sections x 4 pts = 28 pts
7 Cubes on Skyrise x 4 pts = 28 pts
Easily > 6 pts on Posts

63+ pts, you win even if they get auto

Scenario 2: One opponent robot in Zone A, one opponent robot in Zone B:

7 Skyrise Sections x 4 pts = 28 pts
7 Cubes on Skyrise x 4 pts = 28 pts
11 Cubes on Posts x 2 pts = 23 pts
3 Posts Owned x 1 pt = 3 pts
1 Cube on Floor Goal x 1 pt = 1 pt

82/92 pts (Depending on winner of auto)

7 Skyrise Sections x 4 pts = 28 pts
7 Cubes on Skyrise x 4 pts = 28 pts
14 Cubes on Posts x 2 pts = 28 pts
7 Posts Owned x 1 pt = 7 pts

101/91 pts (Depending on winner of auto)

Whoever gets auto wins. Assuming you got two more cubes than the illustration on your website shows, you win no matter who wins autonomous.

Scenario 3: One opponent in Zone A, one opponent in Zone C:

Honestly, this one you can’t really calculate. Blue would likely start chucking your game objects over the wallbot while you try to score them, but they lose access to the majority of their game objects which are in Zone B. I don’t have any numbers to back this up, but I’m pretty sure you’d be able to get enough scoring objects in your protected zone to be able to build the Skyrise fully but if they dropped a single one of their game objects into Zone A so would they. It would come down to who scored more on the posts and I’m reasonably sure you could win in that situation as your tether bot interferes while your partner scores.

Scenario 4: Any situation in which neither opponent is in Zone A:

They lose because they can’t build their Skyrise and there is a reason the name of this game is VEX Skyrise.

Mathematically this idea is fairly sound, if it was built and worked consistently I could see this idea winning worlds. And honestly, it sounds like it would be a lot more fun to build than a standard efficiency bot.