The 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition Game: Recycle Rush is very different from the games we have played in recent history. Praise and criticism aside this is the game we are going to be playing this year, so let’s take a little time to discuss the different robot archetypes we may expect to be playing with and “against” this season.
The Brave Little Toaster “BLT”
This is basically your “box on wheels” robot, often represented in the older game animations as the lovable little Dozer robot seen playing defense and pushing game pieces around all match. This year with traditional defense out of play, here’s what we can expect Dozer to be doing with his 2:30:
- Getting himself and a game piece into the Auto Zone
- Pushing 1 Tote Stacks into scoring position
- Re-positioning existing Stacks
- Clearing the field of Litter
The Recycling Specialist “RS”
This guy can do everything that the “BLT” can do along with:
- Position Recycling Bins to receive Litter
- Control and place Recycling Bins onto stacks
- Retrieve Recycling bins from the center of the field (1-4)
The Stacker Specialist “SS”
As the name implies, this robot is specifically designing to be a stacking specialist along with the basic functionality of the “BLT”:
- Pick up Totes from the Human Player
- Pick up Totes from the Landfill
- Stack Totes Rapidly and Place them in scoring position
The Recycling Hybrid “RH”
This robot is an “RS” with the ability to:
- Retrieve Totes in specific orientations
- Place Totes/Create Small Stacks
- Complete Co-op Stacking
The Stacker Hybrid “SH”
This will arguably be the most popular design option this year based on what we have seen so far with Robot In 3 Days (RI3D). A bottom stack with gripper capable of grabbing a vertical Recycling Container is well within the capabilities of most teams and a number of relatively successful designs have been posted on the internet. This robot is an “SS” with added functionality to:
- Retrieve Recycling Containers in specific orientations
- Place Recycling Containers on low stacks
The Jack of All Trades “JT”
This is the do it all robot. While this may be the most “functional” robot a team can design, the majority of teams who head down this path will find that they will not be the best at any one task. As the saying goes “A Jack of All Trades is a master of none”. Their will be exceptions to this rule, as there is every year but they will be far and few between.
We thought we would take a little time to also discuss some of the scoring potential with this years game. Below is a graphic that’s been making is way around the web and we think its an excellent quick reference for what scoring combos are worth. It’s clear that during Qualification rounds that working with the other alliance is a direct way to significantly impact the match score.
Our friends from FRC20 sent over their scoring analysis for teams to take a look at. We see major potential in a number of strategy options, this game is more complex then some of our previous games and the new robot size rules certainly mean were in for some interesting concepts to make their way to the playing field.
We hope that every team has taken the time to really read over the game rules but more importantly the Tournament section to see how the changes in the Ranking System and the Elimination Tournament may effect your teams overall design strategy. It may be noted that the robot that will allow you to rank the highest, may not be the best robot it win in eliminations. Teams that work really well together and robots that specialize in specific tasks this year will be at a premium.
Content/Analysis Provided By: Justin Foss (Mentor FRC558) and Carl Springli (FRC20)
Special thanks to Andrew Base (FRC3572) for building a full size Dozer (Plowie), posting the picture up on CD and keeping the memory alive. Also thanks to Thomas Clark (FRC237) for the Periodic Table of the Stacks graphic.