Starstruck Design Convergence

In the past 3+ VRC seasons, the games have all had relatively simple game objects and game play. Because of this, as well as many other factors, the resulting designs ended up being relatively similar. In skyrise, it was mostly either the dr4b or scissor lift that dominated. Nbn game style definitely favored the single flywheel with the famous 10bps bar shot. I didn’t compete in the years before that but seeing the reveals, the tossup robots were very similar (6 bar lifts) and even the sack attack robots had the same idea’s. The year long season, the openness of designs in the community, and the relative ease of replication have made are almost a part of the learning in Vex.

So my question is, what are your speculations on how designs will converge in the upcoming season? Do you think that at world’s we will be seeing 100+ robots that all have the same design concept?

In my opinion, this year will have much less design convergence than previous Vex games. With the very unique game objects and playing styles, I think there will be a broad range of unique ways to play the game and still be successful. Evidently, there will be attempts at wall bots, and there will be climbers and fielders and such, but this game makes it more difficult to do everything. I’m guessing that at worlds, people will have found a couple different ways of manipulating the game objects but there will still be some extreme unique designs that will popup and they might be the ones that ultimately win.

Anyways, that’s just my opinion. What do you guys think will happen this year? Compared to previous years?

I think that this year will be similar to tossup, in that that top 100 teams will have virtually the same designs. This game doesn’t allow for much freedom with design, as there is no perfect way to launch or intake the stars, though there are some distinctively advantageous methods that will be prominent.

I don’t believe there will be less design convergence. Unless everybody stops sharing ideas at a global level on something such as this forum i think design convergence will be there. When someone sees a good or simple design that works, they will use it, it’s just in our nature to use others ideas

Depends on how you look at it. In NbN all the very top-tier robots basically had flywheels, in Starstruck I think that there can be multiple fundamental design concepts that will all work very effectively. For example, I think that there are going to be teams that will pull off catapults very well, and others that could also pull off dumpers very well. The weird geometry of the game objects does rule out a lot of go-to design ideas, which is what VEX is going for IMO.

I think there will still be plenty of design convergence, if anything, I feel there will be more than previous years. In the beginning their might be unique robots, but as the season goes on, the convergence will increase.

It seems that this comes up each year and each time people think there will be less design convergence. Then, design convergence happens anyways.

I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing, but if people really want design convergence to be less prominent the only way to do that is to stop sharing pictures/videos on these forums. (which is a double edge sword, because I can say these forums have helped my teams greatly when they were less experienced).

The Singapore robot in three days is a good example. Their robot was excellent for an early year robot, but because it was on the forums replicas of those robots were all over the place. Not trying to say that was good or bad…just that it was the case.

I agree, I myself took a lot of designs in my first year from here, but than again i’ve posted back for other people, I agree that if design convergence is an unwanted thing this year than the best way to avoid that is not posting, but the good teams will still copy others ideas, at least regionally.

I like that we have a community here that shares ideas and it is really useful in building a good robot. I also don’t like everybody having the same robot.

The overarching design might converge, but IMO, it’s the little things, the small innovations that truly make a robot stand out. Green Egg, team 44, in Tossup may have a robot similar to many others, but they had a unique hanging mechanism, ratchet system, ball tray, raised chassis, transmission, etc. but still stayed extremely light. Sure, they had a six bar, an omni chassis, double rollers, but they still stood out for all the extras.

Honestly, no. I don’t think so… There should be a total of 4 types:
-Catapult Shooters
-Party bot (Two robots connected by wire)

I’m thinking of resurrecting my old “triangle” chassis as it sort of matches the shape of the game pieces, let’s see how many of these will be at worlds next year :).

Omg yes.

Innovation Award candidate!!!

Wait, never mind… Clones never win Innovation Award…

(pretty sure Knuth has all the software algorithm innovation awards…)

(wait wait… @jpearman, I don’t mean to imply to say you clone cool ideas…, just suggesting we might see a gazillion copies of your design…)

The team I mentor took this design and used a variation during the toss-up season. No innovation awards though ! This year there is no 12" height restriction so it can be improved upon.

That is a very interesting chassis design. Never would have thought of something like that!

Very cool. Do you mind sharing the advantages of using this drive?

Toss-up had two challenges, drive over a “bump” and under a bar. This was really just an idea to try and solve those two problems. The geometry just worked out nicely without cutting the standard parts.


Honestly, I don’t think that would be too efficient on a flat playing field, due to its weight just for the drive, and the amount of space it uses. Why not just make an H-Drive with a large opening? But, due to its shape, I think it could actually be a good catapult robot.

Who knows, perhaps weight is an advantage. So to clarify, this was a concept from Toss-Up, but it was a “fun” design and sometimes we need to deviate from the conventional ideas just because we can.

Hm… That makes sense… I do like the creativity you put into the design of the drivetrain :). It’s different, and I like it. Maybe we should build one of those to match our teams’ logo(As a triangle)