Regarding the possibility of perfect scores:
There are 720 square inches of space in the 4-point goal zone.
Each disk is 4.9 square inches. All 45 disks together will take up 220 square inches, if they could be perfectly packed, but they cannot be (since they are circles). With an optimal packing density of 0.9069, they would take 242 square inches. Yes, they could all fit in one zone, with room to spare.
That’s ignoring the projection “shadows” cast by the green bumper obstacles, which chew up a good portion of the goal area, especially in the 4-point zone, which has 4 green bumpers casting shadows on it.
If a robot is parked in the center of the bar and trying to launch all pucks from a single location into the 4-point zone, the directly-reachable area (not in shadow), taking disk clearance into account (area reachable by a disk that doesn’t bounce off a bumper), is only 220 square inches.
In other words, even with perfect packing, there’s not enough room for direct (non-bounce) shots to land there, if they’re all launched from a single location.
This means that, to get a perfect score, either:
–The robot has to move sometimes between bursts of direct shots.
–The robot has to employ banked shots to land some pucks in the shadow areas that aren’t reachable with direct shots.
The 4-point zone is 60 inches long, but a single row of disks would be 112 inches long, if perfectly packed. Thus, a perfect score would require at least two rows of disks in the 4-point zone, which means that you’d need both perfect aim and perfect distance control to prevent knocking the first row disks out when landing the second row of disks.
In any case, if a perfect score is possible, it will require a lot more “on their feet” thinking and acting on the part of the drivers. It seems unlikely that a memorized, highly-choreographed performance will be suitable, unlike any of the games in recent memory.
And this is true even IF the pucks don’t dump out randomly when released (for example, if the dumped pucks are caught perfectly in a robot bin).
Seems like a welcome departure into new territory of robot design and real-time performance.
Nice job, game designers!