What do I do?

I don’t know how to handle this. We recently won tournament champs with a ground-cap-only bot (that can also hit low flags, of course) and our alliance was a flywheel bot. I, the team captain, said that we should probably implement either a system that can put caps on posts or a flywheel/puncher/2bc so that we have a chance at our state competition.

Pros of our bot: really fast, flips caps pretty reliably, can be really good on offense or defense
Cons of our bot: can’t score high flags or posts at all, max points we can score is only 17

My main builder disagreed with me and said that we should keep the robot as is; I see where he’s coming from, as we’ve made it to the finals all three tournaments so far, but I feel as if we should add something so we aren’t completely obliterated at states and can boost our skills scores to hopefully be among the top in our state (32nd at the moment, which isn’t the best at all considering we only scored 12 points). How do I convince him without him getting angry? I’ve been in robotics for four years, and he’s been in it for three.

Edit: I should probably show you what the bot looks like. We’re on the center platform :wink:

tell him that pushbots wont remain competetive outside of low level competitions. Regionals are much harder, and worlds is even harder.

Or just build a puncher and attach it while he isn’t looking

Yeah; this is my third time going to states and last year, we lost qfs by 1 and 7 points which was pretty rough. This is his second time, but last year he wasn’t a main builder. I already have experimented with catapults and punchers, because let’s face it, I’m not building a flywheel until everyone agrees. We’ve never been to worlds before, and from what I saw last year, it’s pretty clear how our pushbot will fare against dr4bs and, oh god, 574C’s puncher.

I didn’t take the robot home, which was an oopsie on my part, but it’s all good. I’ll just dedicate 5 pages to me explaining why we should put a ball shooter on our robot. :wink:

You can bet that State will be very competitive, plus the fact that v5 is here and there. If you think it can be better, than it definitely can be better.

Or like DarkMakesRobots said, add on launcher while he’s not looking.

I would recommend adding a puncher. It’s by far the easiest shooting system to build and is thus a good candidate especially when we’re so close to regionals.

Maybe tell your builder that if the new system isn’t ready by regionals you can just take it off. I do think that your right in this situation.

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There’s a lot of support for shooters, but a good cap robot can also do extremely well.
A “dunker” system, probably the easiest once you take the measurements, and with less time to add parts, grabs a (opposite colored) cap in front of the robot, drives into a wall in front of a low post, and literally yeets the cap over top of the robot and onto the post.

Given you probably don’t have time to perfect a decent shooter and intake combo, I would go with caps.

I can’t very clearly see your robot in the video. But from what I can see, it looks like it would be relatively easy to add a centered ball loader with a puncher/plunger. From what it looks like you definitely have the open space to do so. From what I’ve seen in competitions, high scoring caps doesn’t seem to be all that time effective for the points and how easy it is for caps to get knocked off. So, I would probably not recommend building an arm if you are restrained for time.

Contradictorally, I’ve seen drive teams not even think about robots posting caps, and let them get away with it. In a Finals match, a robot put a cap right in front of the other team’s driver station about three quarters of the way through the match, and it stayed there.

Additionally, forcing teams to knock off caps and have a 50/50 chance of it actually landing on their color stops them from shooting, which they are most intending to do with their robots designed to do so, with a descoring bar as an afterthought.

While there is a 50% chance the cap lands on the wrong side, it would be a net gain of 1 point because the high scored caps are 2 points and low scored are 1. I would definitely recommend being able to descore high caps because of the minimal effort needed and the ability to be more versatile, and therefore more desirable in alliances. I mean for the descoring of caps, if you have the available motor, you could just stick a piece of aluminum to a pole and motor and easily descore caps.

I did actually put a descorer on the bot right before that comp, which helped in the matches where we did go against a high-scoring cap bot. I’m just afraid that we’ll be severely outmatched at states due to the simplicity of our robot and the lack of points it brings to the table. I was working on a 2bc just because it, along with a puncher, is really easy to build and if really reliable could be a huge game changer for us. Thank you everyone for the helpful tips! I’ll pass this thread on to my driver so he can see what you guys have said. :smiley:

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@Got_a_Screw_Loose I’m guessing you mean a chain bar without a chain? Lol I’m not very skilled at building so I’m just trying to connect terms

Lol what? … I… guess… I think that’s the right idea. Just a clawbot-style arm of the right height. You, theoretically, could do it with a chain bar, I guess.

Technically, a chain bar without the chain would always have the heavy end pointed down. So calling a “dunker” a “chain-less chain bad” wouldn’t be quite accurate.

Ah, I see what you’re saying now. I do know that a chain bar keeps the thing attached to the end of it parallel to the ground, so I was just thinking that a chain bar without the chain would just be like a clawbot arm. Thanks for the clarification!

Our girls have iterated SOMETHING in between pretty much every competition. We will for states as well. It won’t be anything major for us, but there are changes going on.

I agree that the level of competition at regionals/states is much higher than at the local events. If you don’t offer more to the alliance, you will be left behind.

As others have said, the puncher is pretty easy to make and doesn’t take much time. We use the conveyor pieces as a flipper to intake balls (and flip caps if running reverse), and have a larger conveyor that lifts the balls vertically into the puncher. This took us roughly 2 meetings to put together and make work on the robot. The girls built it pretty modularly and just bolted it to our chassis (picture attached - note the intake flipper is in the retracted/lifted position to fit the 18 inches - it flips down at the start of the match).

Its hard to make out, but your bot looks like a basic square chassis and may be open in the middle. If so, modifying this for a ball intake and mounting of the puncher wouldn’t be hard. If done similar to ours, it would take 3 additional motors, however you could get away with 2 if you made your ball conveyor and flipper run off one motor. intake

Here’s a very crudely drawn picture of our bot.

Black = chassis
Yellow = brain, battery, backup battery
Green = wheels (both sides connected with chain)
Brown = motors
Blue = arm (one at bottom is cap manip, one near top is descorer)
Purple = flag toggler

I hope this helps in some capacity! If need be, I can move the motors more into the middle to allow for ball intake room and a puncher.

The answer is, in my opinion, very simple. We also had only a cap flipper. We successfully got 17 points in skills, and we were fast. We thought we should keep it the way it was.
I was on discord, and someone made everything that should have been obvious but wasn’t into an equation.

Here it is:

2 shooter alliance > any combo

You will still be able to flip caps just as efficiently, and be much stronger as a push bot.

definitely try and put a simple puncher on there, or an arm to cap posts. despite almost every robot having some sort of descoring arm, almost no shooter is willing to go over and descore caps, when they could be toggling flags, so making a lift isn’t all that bad of an idea.

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