Strategy/importance of parking on the platform

I think it’s important that robots have the ability to park in case they need to, however I think for the most part that parking is not worth it for a few reasons.

First of all, parking on the platform means that you have less room to score goals on the platform, which are worth more points. Also, parking on the platform takes time, time which you could be spending doing to some massive point swinging instead. moving a neutral goal from an opponent’s home zone to your home zone is a greater net point swing than parking is.

My plan is to lift goals onto the platform from the side during the first part of the last 30 seconds, and then spend the time I save by not parking doing something else, like elevating more goals, stealing goals, scoring extra rings, or playing defense on an opponent

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If i guess right, the polycarbonate would definitely bend from force and stay bent if a robot were to apply pressure on it. Even if it doesn’t bend on the first try, it might bend after many robots try to park like that over the course of the year. I don’t exactly know if the platform would pull out and flip over though. Something to take note of is that the platform is, i believe, mounted to the wall too. Correct me if i’m wrong.

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Right over the joint there is a solid plastic panel (maybe 4in by 2in? Edit: measuring the CAD file makes it ~3in by ~9in) in direct contact with the polycarbonate, so if you are able to place your lifter arm right there (directly on top of the hinge) reliably, it should be secure enough. You would have to make sure the arm does not slide while you are lifting yourself up, because the side panel would not be strong enough to prevent your robot from sliding off the side (possibly breaking the polycarbonate in the process). With a light enough robot with a center of mass as far forward as possible and a good deal of time, this idea could work, but I personally doubt the reliability of such a system, and I don’t think the benefits would outweigh the downsides. That being said, I think a system like this could work, so go for it if you want.

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Hanging anywhere on the side panel will not work unless your bot has the weight of like two c-channels. The piece of plastic in the middle of the side guards is just a tiny piece that goes over the polycarb so that section has almost the same amount of give as the rest of the side guard.

Even if someone were to design some magical hang mechanism that holds on to the platform no matter how much it bends, I still think remaining elevated would be impossible because the platform hinge and platform base does not count as being part of the platform, so if a hanging bot uses them for leverage or touches them, they won’t count as being elevated.

So to be able to successfully hang, one would have to somehow securely grasp onto the platform without actually grasping it (G16), do it a bit off to the side as to not be in the way of the platform base, and somehow keep the platform balanced when an entire hanging robot is weighing down one of the sides.

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Does this mean they are field elements?

Field Element – The foam field tiles, field perimeter, white tape, Platforms, and all supporting structures or accessories (such as driver station posts, field monitors, etc).

Platform and supporting structures are field elements, per the game manual definition.

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Early season I think parking will be important, since it’s an extra 30 points. Later season is where it gets more interesting.

The most crucial aspect of parking on your platform is that (barring some exceptions) you will be consuming space that would have accommodated a goal, and removing your robot’s ground abilities. If you leave mobile goals on the ground in the last 30 seconds, and you are trying to elevate your robot, chances are your opponents will have a decent shot at grabbing some of your mobile goals.

So assuming that you have a choice between elevating a goal or a robot, you choose robot, you have the potential to loose your mobile goal. Instead of scoring 40 points from an elevated goal, if you park and the opposing alliance steals the goal (in this scenario an alliance mogo), you get 30 points. If it is a neutral mogo that gets stolen, you get 10 points, or even -10 points if your opponent elevates it. If you manage to elevate a robot and keep the mogo in your zone, you’ll get 50 points. All of this versus a nice solid (almost unchangeable) 40 points from an elevated mogo.

Given the probable difficulties of keeping control of mobile goals, especially at the end of a match, I expect parking to only gain traction with robots that can park while holding several goals. I anticipate some popularity with these types of robots, giving me hope that we may not have a super strong-meta this season.

I think that at Worlds, teams will start trying to get those 50 points from an elevated robot and a mogo in your zone. Perhaps making use of the platform to hide mogos around or under it, further complicating efforts to steal them.

TL;DR Probably don’t park.

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This is not including the points you lose from the goal not being in your zone any more, meaning it would be -20 to you and +20 for your opponents, making the +30 from parking a net -10; furthermore, if they elevate the goal they just stole it is -30 from parking. So the only goal you could maybe leave on the ground is an alliance goal, which if they take from you, would make parking +10 assuming they do nothing else.