Why turrets?

I have seen so many teams this year who have turrets on their robots for some reason. And 99% of these robots with turrets would be just as or more effective without one.

What exactly is the trade-off here? What benefits do turrets have and what negative effects do they have?

Turrets allow robots to aim at the goal regardless of robot orientation, which can be useful in certain situations.

Turrets also require a ton of resources to execute well, and provide extra points of failure during competition. Turrets require extra thought when building otherwise simple intake systems, and require quite a bit of programming to perform effectively.

Unless you have incredible programming resources, teams would usually be better suited to turning with their drivetrain to face the goal.

All that being said, turrets are a unique challenge, and students can learn a lot from them. Similarly, if you’re already a team in that top 1% of teams, and you want that extra edge, teams like 987, 254, and 179 have proven already this year and in years past that turrets can make impressive robots even more impressive.

Just think hard about the decision to add those extra degrees of freedom to your robot. Do they really add benefits, or do they add more headache than help?

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