Robot Categories

Every year since 2006 I have been categorizing robots into groups based on what I expect to see each year. Many of them are not politically correct, but regardless they are true. In most years this info is normally kept between myself and friends but this year while I am blogging away, I thought it would be fun to share.


Jack Bot – Normally the most common robot out there this is a robot that is a jack of all trades, but master of none. In 2012 The jack bot will be ones that have the ability to climb the barrier (if they are lined up perfect), Shoot a basketball (from a few specific spots on the field), and balance the bridge when the circumstances are right. Not a bad robot to have at many regionals, but I still believe in focusing on 1 or 2 things and being the best at them instead of spreading the skill around.


Flying Pig – This is the robot that is designed to pull off an impossible strategy, and since it is an impossible strategy the robot fails. This year the flying pig will be a robot who can score a basket from the other side of the field (like right infront of your human player) with good accuracy. (prove me wrong if you will)


Brick – Bricks don’t move, neither does this robot.


The man – The ultimate robot for any game, The one who diecets the game correctly and is the best robot on the field. When you hear teams reading the schedule in the pits and groaning when they see your team number, you know you have built “the man.” There are a few teams that are capable of this every year, but on any given year you can build that robot. This year the man will be…..ha ha, nobody knows until the game plays out.


The bucket – “there is a hole in your bucket dear Liza, dear Liza” A robot filled with good intentions but unfortunately those good intentions are leaking all over the floor. Alot of times this is a team with a really good idea, but without the resources to pull it off, so they use strange things to make it happen, such as the tote the KOP came in.


LineRobot – Being a lineman, means you like to hit people. Being the LineRobot Means you like to hit robots. All Defense, nothing else. The drivers on these teams are typically the most relaxed at the regional because they get to take out their aggression every match.


Alley-Oop – A robot that is designed for a co-op strategy, and needs a good partner to pull it off. Many times teams will try something so outside the box that they can’t do it themselves, but when they are successful, the world takes notices. In recent memory 469 in 2010 was both the “alley oop”and “the man” all wrapped in one.



Hungry Hippo – Also Known As a horder, this robot’s job is to collect as many game pieces as is legally (or illegally) possible and drive around with them hoping to make the game changing move. In some games it is great to hord game objects, and I believe this is one of them. With 18 balls on the field and the ability for the human players to hold 12 (6 on each side) if you can defensively hold 3 of them, you leave the 3 extras for all other teams to fight over. How many matches will reach a “ball-less state” by about 1 min in?

About: Greg Needel

One thought on “Robot Categories”

  1. You forgot the Box Bot. Usually built by new teams, it’s not much more than a kitbot to drive. At least they refused the temptation to build a Jack Bot. Sometimes can be a good LineBot, but can end up being a Brick. This year, they can be good as the middle bot on the bridge, but only if they can be of some use during the rest of the game.

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