What does matter in soccer?

So our team is starting to work on soccer robots, so we were wondering what is key to win, is it good electronics, coding skill or luck?

Welcome! Your question may very much be a matter of opinion. One could argue that winning means learning the hard technical skills and the soft skills necessary to have your team engineering an effective solution regardless of how high your team ranks.

RCJ is substantially different from other competitions b/c it doesn’t depend on driver skills, alliance selections, and strategies for yearly game changes. Each year, you have a chance to iterate and demonstrate your growth. In short, one could argue that luck is probably the lowest factor in how high your team ranks at competition.

In terms of scoring the most goals outside of luck, you may want to focus on simple yet reliable robot designs that will allow you to explore different strategies. There are plenty of resources from previous years to help you narrow down options. Remember that every member should have a technical role; be upfront about your strengths and weaknesses. For example, if no one on your team is comfortable with programming, then put someone in charge of learning how and training others (the best way to learn!).

Finally, teams have a very bad habit of waiting to the last minute before completing their robots which leads to a high rate of failure; systems will often work alone but will run into issues when combined. Not to mention that this leads to not enough time fine tuning the algorithms and getting used to how to adjust your robot for different environments. Get something working early, get a good practice field setup, and try to be disciplined in your approach. Realize that on the day of competition the carpet, markings, and lighting will most likely be different than what you practiced on.

Feel free to keep posting questions. Look forward to seeing what your new team develops!

I think key is not to try to build a robot to win, but a robot that works. Keep it simple, make sure it works. Soon you’ll find out that both electronics and coding skills are critical, luck can’t substitute for either.

Welcome to RCJ Soccer. What region are you starting in? If there are active soccer teams near you they can be super helpful (so can teams further away, but meeting up and being able to touch and see the robots is usually easier than doing it online). I agree with Mike and Armin, you can always change and improve stuff when your robot works but particularly for the first year you’ll be doing great if your robot doesn’t break down multiple times a day at the competition.