2020 TDU Offseason Challenge

Last Edited November 13, 2020

Welcome to the 2020 Offseason Challenge designed for TDU's offseason in anticipation of next season's game.

Offseason activities help our team stay engaged and also learn new skills when it comes to developing our robots for the competition. Although this was designed with only the members of TDU in mind feel free to adapt and change it to your needs should you want to use it.


Steamworks Ball

This offseason your challenge is to quickly build a robot to pick up as many of the 5 inch (127mm) Steamworks balls from the 2017 competition and deliver them back to your alliance.

There will be a single alliance of two robots working together to score as many points as possible.

Both robots start on the same 2020 initiation line and pick up balls from the other end of the field as well as the balls in the 2020 starting positions in the trench and under the Rendezvous point.

To test your driving skills there will also be an additional two robots playing defence during teleop between the two Initiation lines but not within the Rendezvous zone. These will be driven by the team not currently competing on the field.

Normal FRC game timings will be used, where the first 15 seconds will be autonomous and the final 2 minutes 15 second teleoperated.


The 2020 FRC competition field will be used. Robots start on the initiation line. Balls start in the two Rendezvous points.

The Scoring zone is centered against the far alliance wall is a 1m by 2m zone bordered by timber edges 35mm high and 70mm wide around the three open sides.

The 2020 game Target and Loading zones are not used in this game.

Field Modifications


A match is played by a single alliance of two teams (instead of the usual six) working together to score the most points by transporting balls from the two Rendezvous points and into the Scoring zone at the far end of the field.

The robots get an additional point for every lap they do of the generator.

The remaining team will be driving two defence robots, but won't get any points from the match. They can only slow down scoring of points by the other two teams.


In the last 30 seconds robots can get additional points by doing laps of the generator. Each lap has the same value as scoring four balls during teleop.

Point Values

Moving off initiation line10N/AN/A
Ball scored1044
Generator lapN/A116

Each team will get to play six matches, three with each of the two other teams as alliance partners, and three as defense. The total number of points scored within a match will be credited to both teams of the alliance. The team with the highest average score is the overall winner.

Teams will be cycled through the matches, playing in position 1, position 2 or defense from the other end of the field.

There will be nine matches in total, with each team playing six scoring matches and three defense matches.


Penalties by the scoring teams will be added to the score of the defence team, and penalties by the team playing defense will be credited to the alliance they are playing against.

Deliberately pushing balls10
Pinning (as defined in the 2020 game manual)10
Shooting, launching or flinging balls in the air4 per ball
Defense robot moving during auto100
Defense robot contacting a robot in the rendezvous zone or either sector40


You have 9 weeks to build, practice, test and evolve your robot.


A cut down version of this year's code with the team's framework will be made available to help get the software underway given the short time-frame. It will still require a lot of effort to develop the subsystems, sequences and autonomous routines.


  • Most importantly, build time is the greatest restriction. There is just over a month to build, test and practice, requiring a very fast build, like what would be done for prototyping.
  • Balls must be contained within a robot for transportation back to your alliance. Balls may not be bulldozed back.
  • Only parts that were legal in the 2020 FRC competition can be used.
  • You have at your disposal a kit base (including PDP, Roborio etc), prototyping wood and a variety of motors/gearboxes etc.
  • As there are multiple teams building with the same resources, please be frugal with motors etc.
  • There is no limit to the number of balls that a robot can hold.
  • The robot perimeter is limited to the maximum kit bot dimensions plus two sides that can extend out 300mm.
  • Robots are limited to 700mm high so that they fit under the control panel.


  • Pick a cool name for your team.

  • Look at the robots developed for the 2017 game (including TDUs) for inspiration for ball pickups and holding.

  • Time is tight. While you can CAD your robot, it is strongly suggested that paper sketches will be sufficient. Time is better spent practicing and evolving your design than trying to get it correct the first time around.

  • Work out how often your subteam is going to meet by considering availability of the students and mentors.

  • Consider how many useful hours there are between now and the competition and what you can do between now and then.

  • Plan how you are going to use your time, including:

    • drivebase assembly
    • intake prototyping
    • intake testing
    • intake reworking
    • holding tank
    • dump mechanism
    • software
    • autonomous
    • lots of driver training
  • Track your progress against the plan and work out what you need to cut from your schedule.

  • Successful teams spend a lot of time driving and refining their robots. Plan to spend the last few weeks driving and refining your robot.

  • As autonomous can take substantial time to get right, don't leave it till the end.

  • Consider mechanisms with multiple purposes. For example the intake could also be used to hold the balls in and dump them in the scoring zone.