Summer Program Tower Takeover Tournament Help

Hey all,

I’ve been doing a summer program where we had 5 weeks to build a robot for tower takeover. This was supposed to be an “intro” to VRC, and I just want to say that all of y’all have been very helpful with your forum threads, giving us ideas and tips along the way.

The problem is that just yesterday we built a ramshackle DR4B which did not fit on our robot, was too big, and the motors would not lift it at all. We had to disassemble what we’d been working on for three weeks - now all we have is a base.

What do you guys suggest we - a group of 4 newbies - do with about 1 week left until the tournament? All we have at this point is just a base, while the other teams are programming and picking up 3 or 4 cubes.

Any and all help would be appreciated!
Thank you.



I would also advise if you haven’t already to get the drive chassis moving first. Program it, redo the axles so they aren’t overly tight, or whatever you need to get it moving. You can play defense or score cubes by pushing them into the zones once its running. And most scoring mechanisms won’t work without it. So its your priority. Four people is a lot in Vex, so not everyone needs to be working on it, but that should be priority number one if it is not already moving.

While someone is working on that (or it is done), try and build a scoring mechanism that fits on your bot. You know what works and what doesn’t from the previous weeks and mistakes, so just try to make something that scores and if not that’s fine. If you want to try, you could probably build a dr4b much faster than the first one, or you could take whatever manipulator that was going onto the dr4b and just put that on the front of your bot. Or you could try to build something completely different (harder since you dont have previous work on it). Its really up to what you and your team thinks is the best course of judgement.

Good luck.


We had this same issue last year. We built a huge base and spent months trying to get it to work. It never did and we had to build a whole robot in two weeks.
I would suggest making something simple and can play the game. I would suggest a small four bar with a claw that can grab one or two cubes. This should give you the ability to stack a 2-4 cubes, put cubes in the lower towers, and you can play defense with your moving base.
I hope this helps.


Make sure your base works well, then try to build a 4 bar to stack cubes, but if you run out of time or you don’t think you can get it working, then but something at the front of your robot to shove some cubes into the goal zones, thats what some teams did at the 1 week camp where I volunteered at, and play defense.

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could just build a wallbot…

Hi all, thank you so much for your input! It’s been a while now, and our team built a base with a 4bar and a claw.

We have a problem though - the lift is too weak to lift the claw, and the claw goes haywire (how do we control both motors at the same time). What do you suggest we do?

In regards to playing defense, what defensive strategies are allowed in Tower Takeover?

Thank you for all your help!

send the picture and we can help you better.

change the gear ratio of your lift. Use red cartridge of motor if you have. add rubber band to lift/arm.

Which tournament are you going to?

Are you new to the competition? Are you looking to control both motors at the same time using the controller, or autonomous?

You really only need 1 motor for the claw, just use gears to turn it in opposite directions.
As for the lift, someone gave me this advice:
“If it doesn’t lift, keep adding rubber bands until it does”
I dont know if it works, but it’s worth a shot. You could also try using different gear ratios


Yeah, gear ratios and rubber-bands are your best friends. Just make sure not to use too high of a torque ratio (like I guess 1:15 or higher), or the lift will be too slow.

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For defense, u can de-score from the neutral towers (the ones in the middle of the field). You also should be wary of the protected zones (they are there so that you cannot de-score pre- existing stacks of the opposite alliance). If there is a wallbot or a cap-not (a robot that either caps off a tower- like 2W Gateway, or that blocks off a part of the field), they are not so protected by some rules as other robots. So if you break a part of the robot, you will not get in as much trouble as if the robot was a normal robot. You should read the game-manual to see fully what you can and cannot do.

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