Which robot would you rather build?

Would you rather build a push-bot with a cata and elevation, or a intake robot with no catapult and no elevation. Just curious to see what you guys would say! I would rather have a push cata bot.

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In my opinion, it would definitely be a push-bot with a cata and elevation over an intake bot with no cata and no elevation. Even if the question was about a robot with an intake and elevation vs. a robot with a cata I’m still probably leaning toward the cata. Of course, this could vary a lot based on a multitude of factors such as what tier the robot elevates to and how fast the cata fires.

To specify the scenario, a more even scenario would be: An intaking robot with a C-tier elevation vs. a robot with a cata which fires about 1 triball a second. It still depends on a lot of different factors such as whether this is a local competition or a signature event. At a signature event, higher quality robots are expected and most of these would have a catapult, and then I would probably prefer the intaking + elevating robot which would be compatible with more robots, while at a local event, there might be more push bots in which case I would definitely prefer the catapult. With that said, even at a signature event a catapult push bot would still be a capable offensive zone robot through pushing. For match play, these robots are both pretty good but I would definitely give the edge to the cata bot. If that’s not enough, I would definitely choose the catapult because of skills. Skills with an intake can be decent (9364C at MOA), but I would definitely prefer the catapult.


We are building both of those into one. :sunglasses:


Yep, that’s definitely the right choice for more experienced teams. However, less experienced teams often try to build every mechanism for a game and end up having nothing (my team last year). My point above essentially boils down to the message that for any less experienced team, it’s probably best to just build a launcher and not worry about the other things until later. Just as a random design (and don’t take this as serious advice; I’m only basing this on what I’ve seen online) If I had 12 hours to build and code a robot I’d probably build a basic 4-bar lift and then use the “flywheel on a stick” to launch. This is simple and effective.


We are also building both of those into one. I just wanted to know if you guys had to pick one of the options, which one would you pick.
What if the cata bot was small enough to fit under the goal and de-score?


We are building a flywheel and a cata blocker and flaps no intake

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my robot has wings a slapper and a good tier climb but we tried an intake and it didn’t work for us. so we took it off and made a climb out of it. and it worked really good at are first comp.

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From what I’ve seen in this game, the meta has moved away from descoring. In fact, a cata on a robot small enough to descore is probably going to get blocked even by standard-sized robots, and would be worse overall. I don’t think that descoring is even an advantage either way. Opponents game strategy will just turn to “Oh, they can descore. Let’s not double zone” and that’s that. Obviously this has its exceptions, but I just don’t see the viability and it’s definitely not worth it.


That is so true. We made a flat catapult bot for our first tournament this year, and we only really de-scored from the goal once out of 6 matches. The fact that we de-scored did make us win the first match, but then, like you said, teams just never double zoned and we couldn’t de-score.

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Ah I see your point.
If I was to choose one over the other I’d choose catapult with elevation. We had an only intake robot at our last competition, and it just couldn’t compete compared to a robot with a catapult.

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Well, 9364H (hailstorm) did win haunted, which was one of the most meta-defining tournaments yet. You are correct that people are moving away from descoring bots, but they should not be counted out.


Then again, Haunted was still an event that was a bit earlier in the year, and I think people were still experimenting a lot with their designs. I think if it were some competition such as Mecha then de-scoring robots wouldn’t do as well as they did in Haunted (unless of course the driver and code is insane).

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Where did you get this? 5203G and 19589A won Haunted. 9364H made it to the finals, but they did not win.

Even then, when you look at Hailstorm’s elimination matches:

R16 2-1: Hailstorm descored a grand total of 0 triballs and went under the goal a grand total of 0 times.

QF 1-1: Again, Hailstorm descored a grand total of 0 triballs and went under the goal a grand total of 0 times.

SF 1-1: Wow! What a new situation! Hailstorm descored a grand total of 0 triballs and went under the goal a grand total of 0 times. Starting to see a trend here?

F1: Ima just copy and paste this again because that’s what happened: Hailstorm descored a grand total of 0 triballs and went under the goal a grand total of 0 times.

F2: Yup, you know the drill. Hailstorm descored a grand total of 0 triballs and went under the goal a grand total of 0 times.

Hailstorm finished 5-4 as the 29th seed during qualifications. This could be attributed to them not being compatible with other robots, and more specifically offensive zone robots. 2 offensive zone robots are significantly less likely to win than 2 robots with good catapults. I’m not saying that you can’t have a good catapult if you’re able to descore, but you’re very limited and you would need a very high arcing catapult to even get over a robot without a blocker.

This is not to throw shade on Hailstorm. They did extremely well and are a phenomenal team. This is just to say that the correlation does not equal causation and that Hailstorm reaching the finals can’t be largely attributed to them being able to descore.

So respectfully,

this is cap.


Oh wait, you might be right.

Than what is it attributed to? They have no catapult, a so-so manipulation mech, and did not have lovely alliance partners at haunted. If you say it is attributed to their excellent driver, you would only be partially correct.

Think about the saying, the threat is greater than the execution. Teams throughout the season have doublezoned for many reasons. The threat of hailstones descoring ability discouraged teams from utilizing this strategy. I think that bot may be one of the best I’ve seen yet.

That’s just my 2 cents, you are entitled to your opinion.


I just want to preface this by saying that I completely agree and that their bot is truly phenomenal.

Like you said, their driver, but in addition, they fit exceptionally well with their alliance partner. This isn’t always going to happen—also a bit of luck (9364C tipping over) + some excellent game strategy.

Here are the pros and cons of being able to descore:


  • You can descore if the other team is double-zoning
  • You can keep other teams from double-zoning


  • You won’t have space for a suitable launching mechanism
  • You won’t have an excellent skills score for the reason above
  • Even if you did have a launching mechanism, it would have to have an insanely high arc to be viable against robot blockers
  • You have limited compatibility (you can only really win with robots that have at least semi-decent launching mechanisms)

I’m not saying that a robot that descores can’t be viable with the right alliance partner, but the severe lack of compatibility really limits their capacity to win awards like excellence which require you to be in the top 30% of skills, auton skills, and the qualification rankings, of which Hailstorm accomplished none of.

I just looked through the matches again and:

R16 2-1: The blue alliance (Hailstorm’s opponents) double-zoned for a significant portion of the match

QF 1-1: The red alliance (Hailstorm’s opponents) did not double zone, but this was an extremely small sample size as 9364C tipped over in the middle of the match.

SF 1-1: Hailstorm’s opponents did double zone near the end of the match

F 1: Hailstorm’s opponents didn’t actually double zone in this match despite trying to. When they tried to go under, 8829C (Hailstorm’s alliance partner) pushed them back, and when they tried to go over, Hailstorm themselves pushed them back. The so-called threat wasn’t scary enough to deter them from attempting to double-zone in this match.

F 2: No double zoning from Gremlin and Hope

Basically, what you can infer from this is that the “threat being greater than the execution,” Hailstorm didn’t necessarily follow through with the execution, invalidating the threat.

Also, double zoning doesn’t pose any significant advantage. Keeping one robot to try and get some of the triballs in the opponent’s offensive zone and move them to your offensive might even be a better strategy than double-zoning. At the very least, neither one of those strategies is significantly better than the other.

I also might have been over-exaggerating in my last post when I said that descoring robots should be completely counted out, but I just don’t see the continued competitive viability.
But as you said,

I’d go with the catapult because that’s exactly what I made minus climbing and not designed to push but is good at it somehow.

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Can I ask what made you decide to use treads over wheels? From what I’ve seen, there’s almost no feasible scenario where it would be better to use treads over wheels. I’m interested in hearing about different perspectives tho.

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Good point.

Another factor is that the over under goals are terribly difficult to descore from, which does back your point that this design is questionable at best. I thought at first that we would see teams use their wings to descore, or even design wings that can descore easily. I still think that will be a factor in the late season. Maybe a rapid horizontal expansion…


I was thinking the same thing when initially designing my robot, but then I realized just how small 9 inches was on a robot

I know this violates every building principle in the book about designing an even, balanced robot but what if teams built 1 big wing as opposed to two tiny ones? The added benefit would be the ability to descore. You would obviously need to have locking wings to counteract the incredible amount of resistance that the goals present, but it’s just an idea…


I don’t fully remember but I do know that a group member suggested it to us saying how it turns the sharpest and could get over the pole in the center. I wanted them for being able to control every wheel with only two motors. It does turn sharp and obviously turn all the gears but they fall off by the slightest bump. I don’t recommend using them unless you want them to come off by your opponent for them to get stuck them have no use for driving. Which we are getting fixed. But yeah the treads are our biggest weakness. I will say though they have good handling. It’s very rigid.