Skills Challenges

Hey I’ve enjoyed A LOT the rules and the field for the skills challenge, what do u think?

where are the skills challenges for clean sweep? have they been posted yet?

It’s here: . Just scroll down a couple of pages.

I think the skills challenge is looking pretty solid. I didnt expect to be given more preloaded balls then normal, so thats a huge plus. Also, I think the skills challenge will kind of pressure teams to make a seperate robot just for them. This year very vew teams utilized that rule.

Actually, this year teams are only allowed one robot. See this newly posted FAQ for more details.

As I’m interpreting this, I think if you’re feeling pressured to make multiple robots, consider making a modular robot.

It’s not clear to me what would prevent you from having multiple drive trains and tool arms and simply swapping them out, plugging into the controller the motors that are on the modules and using jumpers to tell the controller what modules are connected.

I’m not sure what that would mean as far as inspection would be concerned, but I’m not sure what the rules are around modular robots anyway.

I think you have to get re-inspected if you make major changes (like changing an arm or drive train), though it would be very difficult to be on time for every match, do the skills challenge, make changes, and get inspected… Its doable, but wouldn’t you rather make a robot that is good at the skills challenge and the regular game?

I have a sneaking feeling that this will be dominated by Dumpers and conveyers. Clamp robots, catapults and most other robots won’t be able to compete with the mass amounts of balls being dumped over. Then with the increased amounts of balls they just wont be able to keep up with the the conveyer and dump robots. But you never know, there may be some genius’ that make some amazing robot.

It all depends on design. Dumpers and conveyors both have the problem of size control, aka how they go from the small to medium (only a minimal span if youre counting from the medium’s diameter) and then to large (again, the change from the large’s diameter versus the football’s length is minimal, but in an entirely different direction as before). It’s going to be very hard to design something that is that flexible, not to mention accurate (esp. in the case of goal scoring).

As for catapults and launchers, personally I don’t know why people are preoccupied with that idea. Its inaccurate, hard to properly design, and pointless since you can just drop them instead of building up energy to launch the balls.

Clamps and claws are again based on design. The good thing this year is that we can’t use the VEXplorer claw since it doesnt fit any of the balls. Although I used it last year, I’ll admit, too many teams took that route as the easy way and found out that there’s a lot more you need to do to make the claw work, aka a strong arm mechanism. At least this year there will have to be a lot more innovation for a clam/claw method.

One thing I truly, truly hope is that I don’t go to a competition and see that everyone, I mean EVERYONE, has the same design after one or two teams early on in the season have a good run with it. I saw some great modifications last year with the belt design, but now that it’s obsolete this year I hope some can make a design of their own. Adds more variety, innovation, and excitement (I’d hate to say it, but malfunctions and field failures are part of the competition. If everyone does the same thing, you don’t have that chance to learn, and it earns you very little beyond a few wins).

When it comes to the Skills Challenges, there is NO REASON to make more than one robot or module. If you’re any good, make one good one. Make it flexible and all-purpose where you can use it anywhere. Modules are good for design, testing, and repairs (my robots are always removable in modules for repair purposes), but my opinion is that everyone should come with one final design that works everywhere, and constantly switching shows you’re just playing things by luck.

Just my two cents.

cant you just place the large ball into the robot’s “dumper”?
you wont need to pick it up
agree about the part with the design “copyrighting”
last year, the first season had a few conveyor belts, and then BOOM the second season had a parade of belts.
lets hope there would be a variety of “good” designs this year
kind of like rock-paper-scissors type of thing

You could, but what if you drop it? It happens, and you just scored on youself. The best design is one that can recover from mistakes like that.

Yeah, well I think this year is partly aimed to allow for more design options and less copying/reusing from previous years (especially due to having three game pieces of different sizes that you need to pick up, unlike previous years where there was one sized game piece and a bonus object you can simply ram into). Also I hope this year pushes people to not just build things and if it doesnt work build more, but rather design beforehand and consider outside influences such as human mechanics, etc. I have a whole pile of rejected designs that I didnt build just because of throwing together an idea one day and figuring its flaws the next.

watching the clean sweep nz release videos. Most people will be using dumpers and conveyers, although their designs will be different. Of the 8 robots 5 were dumpers, 1 was a conveyer (homeschool) 1 scooper (worked very well) and homeschools second robot was broken. But for all the dumper designs each one was different. The main problem is intake, not so much keeping them once picked up by the conveyer but actuy starting the picking up. The balls seem to be very picky . But overall expect lots of different designs.

Actualy, one of our robots was a catapult. It kept getting stuck though.
We had just put extra cable ties on our other robot that didn’t work but they stopped the intake working properly, and then in our second game when we had taken the cable ties off, there was a firmware problem. We got it working afterwards though.

Was this in the NZ Clean Sweep release? Do you have three? Because I thought you were using the conveyer, and the one other robot that didn’t work (in game three i think, if you youtube new zeland vex and look at the RAR hosted ones).

Well I was watching the videos too, well intake solutions may evolve from competition to competition, but in clean sweep if you look well you just can’t take many balls in a row. My team got an idea that doesn’t need many depth, but it’s still an experience.:smiley:

At first, I thought to myself, “Where are these “videos” that everyone speaks of?”

And then I hit up youtube and I find these videos. And I must say, that the robots that were successful were nothing like I imagined they would be. :smiley: It was more that the quick picker-uppers and the quick dumpers seemed to prevail over holding a greater number of balls (although there weren’t any robots that were going for primarily that)

And then I saw the zip ties…WHAT IN THE WORLD!!! These zip ties are nice and rather rigid, and LONG. I was under the intention that the official VEX zip ties were not that … “good”. Does someone, ANYONE have official specs on these VEX zip ties? Like length, material type, etc.

OH yeah, and I was rather shocked that no one went for the green balls in the troughs. But it’s only the release bots, I’m really looking forward to the NZ scrimmage now.

There are the small 4" ties that come with some of the kits and the double-top-secret 11" ties here: You’ll have to scroll down nearly to the bottom of the page.

Ah…so those are the little devils that I saw everyone using…interesting.

Yes, we have three robots.

I havn’t watched the videos, but you might have seen the catapult put in when the big cage dumper didn’t work in the last game.

We are currently redesining the cage robot (still a similer design though).