Your Opinions on the Types of Bots We Have Seen this Season

We are in the final month of the Vex Starstruck season. We have all made and used different robots to find what works best and what doesn’t work all that well. Just for fun, I’d like this thread to talk about your opinions on all of the types of bots we have seen or used this season. Bots like n-bars, pushbots, pronged intake dumpers, ect.

I think it’s kinda cool to observe how a lot of teams evolved from design to design. Most of teams started out as pronged intake dumpers and slowly changed to claws (front and back) dumpers. At the beginning of the season, there were a significant amount of teams that tried out catapults and some of them had great success but nowadays, most teams are convinced that front/back claw dumpers are more competitive in my opinion.

I’m really happy about how many different types of design unlike last year where we only had 2-3 main designs this year we have many different designs we have Cataputs,dumpster, forward claws, backwards claws, competive pushbots, geared claws, pneumatic claws, we have even seen a hybrid between a catapult and dumper claws.

I would say that this year also only has a few feasible designs. You can either have a claw dumping in the front, or one that throws over the back. The only other design that has been competitive this year would be a defensive wall bot. Last year, push bots were just as good as they can be this year, and I would not call that competitive. It is true that their are many different specific ways of accomplishing a competitive robot, but this is true every year. The last two years have seen little diversity in my opinion. I hope that next years game offers a more diverse assortment of robots like the one we saw in Skyrise.

Tbf, last year you had slip gear+single fly wheels, slip gears, side roller intake lifter onlys omni drive diuble flywheel single flywheel short range punchers and catapults, so no design convergence is just as bad as last year



I do think it is important for a game to allow creativity between designs and not just have 3 types of bots to choose from.

I enjoyed seeing the meta evolve. Hopefully next year there won’t be a set ‘meta’.

I must admit, watching all these robot reveals this year has been quite boring due to the fact they all look the same.

I would very strongly disagree with a few of your points. First, I’ve yet to see a competitive wallbot. The closest (and by far the best wallbot) I’ve seen would be 46644C, which didn’t make it past (UK) national quarterfinals as a third pick, going 39/40 in qualifications. And this year, a pushbot is far more effective than it was last year. This year, a pushbot has the same scoring capability as a front dumper. Last year, flywheels were 10 times more efficient (300+ scores rather than 30 points in the low goal).

Although wall bot is never the way I would go, I have seen them win matches against decent claw robots. When paired correctly they can be a great alliance partner.
As far as push bots go, against any decent team this year, or any year, a push bot stands no chance. This feeds into my overall point that there are few feasible designs.

I would consider a push bot a feasible design. I have seen and even built a competitive push bot that have stood a chance. I don’t believe we will see many push bots at worlds (hopefully we do!).

You can easily say the same about push bots.

Case in point: 62’s pushbot that went to finals at a Socal regional.

Also having built a pushbot and competed with it, I think if a pushbot were really perfected it could go toe to toe with some world level robots. I think it could go 4-6 at worlds, maybe 6-4 if it got lucky.

IMO, a dumper or a d-bot or a side-roller bot or a simple claw that was “well-built” could go 4-6 at worlds. That isn’t much of an accomplishment. A great team like 62 could probably build just about anything and do decent.




Obviously pushbots weren’t the best design this year, I think there’s been enough debate over that. Having built, developed, and competed a pushbot this season was really surprising. Even though a lot of people basically said it was a stupid design, I think it did pretty darn well for how simple and easy it was to build, program, and use.
Case in point:
My team’s robot made it to California states. We got to 8th place, better than most of the well-known competitive teams in California. Granted, we did lose in quarterfinals, but making it to 6th seed alliance captain is no easy feat in a place as competitive as California. Personally, I really didn’t care what we got there, even making it to states proved my point that a well-built pushbot doesn’t suck. I find it kind of ironic how so many people told us that our pushbot, and pushbots in general would fail miserably this year, but then ate their words when they saw how well pushbots did on the competitive scene. I think that allowing pushbots to be a viable design for competitive play introduces a lot more variety (or at least, potential for variety) among robots, and makes it easier on teams that are new or inexperienced to do decently against more experienced or well-funded teams.

Looking at pushbots strategically, they do so well because with the right bumper shape and power behind it, they can easily push through a lot of starts under the fence in a relatively short amount of time. Sure, it’s not as fast as some clawbots can cycle and grab stars, but when stars start to clump up, clawbots, and especially dumpers, start having problems. The main parts of a successful pushbots were a good bumper, lightweight, and speed. The best pushbots managed to find some decent medium between those three.

That being said, I still would have liked to build a clawbot just for fun. Unfortunately, our robotics club doesn’t have enough funding and parts to spontaneously build another robot or two (hence why we went with a pushbot).

That’s not really true at all.
Gateway has the entire thread on meta-gaming and it has the most varied game plays and strategies involved. And even the timing of lifting up the gates made a difference.

Anyway, toss up has Bucky ball and beach ball - 2 scoring game elements.
Star struck has stars and cubes - 2 elements.

And by the way, I do see front claw dumpers making a splash in worlds.

I disagree with that we were a pronged intake dump bot and as the 7th ranked alliance we made it all the way to the finals in our state for middle school. We had also a sideroller bot that would just dominate tournaments and with us, them, and another dump bot at one of our mixed tournaments as the 12th alliance we took our the sixth and third ranked alliances. So not just clawbots are competitive.

NTX finals 1-3. Very certainly a competitive match. This was also the third final, meaning that this dumpbot was top 2 on the alliance (i.e. not a third pick that got carried)

Everyone has talked about all the dumber types so I won’t really mention them, but a design everyone is sleeping on is the side rollers. We do not use it (we have a pretty standard back dumber) team 1575D did at the Virginia state championships and had very good success. They were the first pick by the finalist alliance. They were able to pick up more objects than any team I have seen this far. They scored them quickly as well. I do think the back dumper is the best design, but I also think that side rollers can be very competitive.

the majority of this years robots are technically really modified/made from scratch claw bots. We use one. The Singapore front dumpers/blockers seem to be extremely effective, though we have seen a way to get around them with back dumpers, first hand.

Honestly, it depends on the region the teams come from.

During the OPEN, the Chinese teams had 8 bar lift while most of the other teams had C-Channel 2 bar lift or something simple.

Universally, hanging slowly died off starting in the middle of the season. I kept the hanging mechanism on my robot because of its versatility. (Butterfly, Anti-Tip, Block)

The start of the season was mostly centered around scoopers (most likely due to theoretical load), but because of the awkward nature of the game pieces it worked around to claws.