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Re: [ORE_bits] Parking for the upcoming Games.

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  • Paul & Andrea Mumby
    Unfortunately there isn t much parking anywhere near arts court that isn t pay... The 2 main lots that should have plenty of room are the rideau center
    Message 1 of 9 , May 1, 2011
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      Unfortunately there isn't much parking anywhere near arts court that isn't pay...

      The 2 main lots that should have plenty of room are the rideau center underground parking, and there is a parking garage right across from arts court on daly ave...

      There is also a very limited amount of parking in the back of arts court. But I highly suspect it will be full (it almost always is) and even then there are only a couple spots available.

      I have heard there are a couple spots along daly ave (street side parking) after the block (you have to go around and get at it from the east side) but I've never had luck parking there.

      - Paul

      On Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 11:40 PM, Richard Cook <rpcook@...> wrote:
      Aaron,

      I have never tried to park in that part of town before.
      How close can we get without paying a fortune?

      --
      Richard Cook


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    • Richard Cook
      ... Thanks Paul. I can afford the parking, I just don t like sticker-shock. I would hate to park at a garage and then find out it is $20. :( Richard
      Message 2 of 9 , May 1, 2011
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        On 11-05-01 12:06 PM, Paul & Andrea Mumby wrote:
        > The 2 main lots that should have plenty of room are the rideau center
        > underground parking, and there is a parking garage right across from
        > arts court on daly ave...
        >
        > - Paul

        Thanks Paul. I can afford the parking, I just don't like sticker-shock.
        I would hate to park at a garage and then find out it is $20. :(

        Richard
      • Jean-Marc LeBlanc
        When you say That gives the robot a chance to calibrate sensors, or whatever. My robot need to be calibrated, but its a manual procedure right now. I need
        Message 3 of 9 , May 2, 2011
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          When you say "That gives the robot a chance to calibrate sensors, or whatever."  My robot need to be calibrated, but its a manual procedure right now.  I need to place it on the white then place it on the black before the start is that ok?

          Jean-Marc Le Blanc
          ---

          "Do you pine for the nice days of Minix-1.1, when men were men and wrote their own device drivers?" Linus Torvalds



          On Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 6:29 PM, Aaron Ramsey <aaron@...> wrote:
           

          On 11-04-30 10:39 AM, Paul & Andrea Mumby wrote:
           

          A couple more questions in regards to the maze solver:

          - Is the size of the start/finish circles defined? and if so how large is it?
          The start and finish circles will be a 10cm diameter circle.
          - When the robots are started, what will the actual start procedure be? Will they be placed centered on the start circle? or in an arbitrary position on the start circle, and will they be at a random facing, or will we be able to determine the facing? (or will they always be facing the "exit" line?) Also if our robots have specific button combinations in order to initialize, will that be possible? or will they need to react from "power on"
          You'll be able to place the robot in any orientation, as long as it is touching the start circle. Starting procedure is up to you. The event judge will start the robot according to the competitors instructions. That gives the robot a chance to calibrate sensors, or whatever. It also means that you don't have to turn the robot off between runs if you don't want to (ie- maze knowledge might be stored in volatile memory in your robot, no flash, and you don't want to power cycle the robot).


          - Will there be an opportunity to run the robot through a test lap on a "test" maze at the event (under the actual lighting conditions, real maze tiles, floor surface, and so on) in order to apply any tuning required for the actual competition day conditions, or will we need to account for variability in the environment within the robot itself?
          Absolutely. Its always a good plan to try and make the robot as robust as possible, but I think you can always expect some tweaking at the event.

          Everyone will have a chance between 9 and 10am (before competition starts) to try out their stuff on smaller practice arenas, as well as during the day while other events are running.

          - How will the maze be constructed? you say it's "tiles" but is it literally removable tiles? if so, what are they made from? And how will they be attached to the "floor" (and will there be potentially be seams). I would like to recreate the maze in my lab in order to test the robot thoroughly and would like to replicate it as close as possible to actual conditions. (things like the line sensor bar catching on the edge of a tile, or other possible exception conditions, I would like to catch, and handle rather than fail.)
          Seams also worries me a bit too. My preference would be to actually have tiles that can be reconfigured on the day of the vent (and have some computer generated maze right at the time of the run), but I don't want mechanical things like the design of the maze to cause an issue.

          Right now I'm leaning towards having the mazes on some kind of pressed wood. I can't recall the name of the wood off the top of my head. Its like an MDF sort of but has a nice white plastic (?) cover on top. You can see it in the video below:

          http://blog.ottawarobotics.org/2011/04/04/line-maze-solver/

          The nice thing about it is that it is super flat and have a nice even white finish. Its heavy though.
          Thanks!

          (Also sorry for all the questions, being as this is my first event, and I haven't been to any of your meetings, a lot of this may be simply be "common knowledge" to the regulars... But just trying to make sure I have a thorough understanding of the criteria).
          Not at all! This is our first time running the events in an official capacity so these questions are helping me nail down the rules. I'm sure that there are others on the mailing list either too shy to ask the same questions or just didn't realize that there was things to clarify.

          Aaron




          - Paul

          On Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM, Aaron Ramsey <aaron@...> wrote:
           
          > Hey, so I'm new to the mailing list. Been involved in robotics in general
          > for some time now as a hobby. I'm a regular member at the local Ottawa Mod
          > Lab meetings, and heavily involved in the 3D Printing Scene.

          Welcome!


          > I only found out about the Ottawa Robotic Games yesterday, and can't
          > resist
          > entering. I've decided to design a 3D Printable robot platform which I'll
          > later release as open source. And enter it in the current games.

          Awesome. I was just down at the Trinity firefighting competition in
          Hartford a few weeks back, and you wouldn't believe the number of printed
          parts and entire robots that were there. One team even had their cupcake
          there just in case they needed to print up some new pieces during the
          competition. This was a dramatic difference from the previous year where
          printed things were much less common.


          > Anyway, I'm most interested in the maze solving challenge. But I'll likely
          > also enter the line follower ones as well provided I have enough time to
          > mod
          > the code to handle those as well.
          >
          > A couple questions for clarification:
          >
          > - For the maze solver what are the max robot dimensions and weight? (or
          > are
          > there any?). I was assuming the same as the line following?

          Right, same dimensions. I'll add a note on the maze solver page.

          The basic idea behind the size limitation is to ensure that the robot
          doesn't skip from one line to another line that isn't connected. The line
          maze rules try to allude to that with this rule : "The robot is considered
          to have left the maze if some part of the body is not directly above the
          line it was traveling along. ".

          Really, it doesn't matter how large the robot is as long as it doesn't
          violate the spirit of the competition. For instance, a robot as large as
          the entire maze, covering both start and finish lines, couldn't be
          considered as solving the maze. Its all good as long as a robot follows a
          continuous line from start to finish.


          > - Does anyone have any pointers (or tips from a previous competition) on a
          > good baseline speed for solving the maze? or baseline travel speed for a
          > line follower? (that I can use as a starting point in my design)

          A Pololu 3pi robot can travel at 1 meter per second. At that speed you are
          basically out of control on the smaller mazes that we are dealing with.
          The line follower designs that the club has been working on over the last
          few months run anywhere between 0.4 and 0.8m/s in stock form, assuming
          that you can find a way to control it at that speed. If you aim for
          0.5m/s, you'd be right on track. If you leave headroom to get up to 1m/s,
          you'll have an extremely competitive robot.

          I'd be surprised if anyone can actually run a maze at even 0.5m/s.


          > - I am planning a design with fairly low ground clearance, but I'm
          > designing
          > the robot from scratch. I want it to be a fairly general use platform,
          > (unfortunately it's going to be 1-2cm to wide for the sumo). Are there any
          > cases that you can see where 2-3mm of ground clearance will be
          > insufficient
          > as far as the ORE events are concerned?

          That won't be a problem. The tallest thing that you will have to deal with
          is electrical tape.


          > - How much time will there be between events? (for example for battery
          > charging)

          Hard to say for sure off the top of my head. Based on my experience at a
          few other competitions, batteries generally aren't an issue. The robots
          only run for a few minutes per run and doesn't generally drag the
          batteries down much. I'd guess that you'd have at least 30 minutes between
          the end of one event and the next event to charge batteries at a minimum
          (assuming last to run in one event and first to run in the next), and
          likely somewhere between 10 to 15 minutes minimum in between runs in the
          same event.


          > - Is it legal during the event for robots which send telemetry, but do not
          > receive outside control (for example for debugging, or visualizing what
          > the
          > robot is doing from a nearby laptop) provided the telemetry is sent
          > wirelessly?

          Absolutely legal!


          > I think that's it for now.
          >
          > Any other pointers/tips for a first timer would be appreciated! (I've
          > built
          > other robots before, but never competed in this type of competition
          > before,
          > and never done a line follower before, although the principal seems fairly
          > straightforward).
          >
          > - Paul
          >

          I think the biggest tip is to start building early and test everything
          like crazy, particularly in varying light conditions. Many people build in
          their basement and then have to deal with much brighter lighting
          conditions on the day of the event. Depending on the line sensors you use,
          this can really throw off the robot.

          The second biggest tip (and one that I almost never follow myself) is to
          keep things simple. A simple robot is easier to build, debug and run.
          Things that are complicated tend to fail in completely unexpected ways.
          <grin>

          Aaron




        • Aaron Ramsey
          Absolutely allowed. As long as calibration doesn t include teaching the robot the course. ;-) The idea is to give the robots as much opportunity to succeed as
          Message 4 of 9 , May 2, 2011
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            Absolutely allowed. As long as calibration doesn't include teaching the robot the course. ;-)

            The idea is to give the robots as much opportunity to succeed as possible. 

            Aaron 

            On 2011-05-02, at 9:00 AM, Jean-Marc LeBlanc <jeanmarc.leblanc@...> wrote:

             

            When you say "That gives the robot a chance to calibrate sensors, or whatever."  My robot need to be calibrated, but its a manual procedure right now.  I need to place it on the white then place it on the black before the start is that ok?

            Jean-Marc Le Blanc
            ---

            "Do you pine for the nice days of Minix-1.1, when men were men and wrote their own device drivers?" Linus Torvalds



            On Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 6:29 PM, Aaron Ramsey <aaron@...> wrote:
             

            On 11-04-30 10:39 AM, Paul & Andrea Mumby wrote:
             

            A couple more questions in regards to the maze solver:

            - Is the size of the start/finish circles defined? and if so how large is it?
            The start and finish circles will be a 10cm diameter circle.
            - When the robots are started, what will the actual start procedure be? Will they be placed centered on the start circle? or in an arbitrary position on the start circle, and will they be at a random facing, or will we be able to determine the facing? (or will they always be facing the "exit" line?) Also if our robots have specific button combinations in order to initialize, will that be possible? or will they need to react from "power on"
            You'll be able to place the robot in any orientation, as long as it is touching the start circle. Starting procedure is up to you. The event judge will start the robot according to the competitors instructions. That gives the robot a chance to calibrate sensors, or whatever. It also means that you don't have to turn the robot off between runs if you don't want to (ie- maze knowledge might be stored in volatile memory in your robot, no flash, and you don't want to power cycle the robot).


            - Will there be an opportunity to run the robot through a test lap on a "test" maze at the event (under the actual lighting conditions, real maze tiles, floor surface, and so on) in order to apply any tuning required for the actual competition day conditions, or will we need to account for variability in the environment within the robot itself?
            Absolutely. Its always a good plan to try and make the robot as robust as possible, but I think you can always expect some tweaking at the event.

            Everyone will have a chance between 9 and 10am (before competition starts) to try out their stuff on smaller practice arenas, as well as during the day while other events are running.

            - How will the maze be constructed? you say it's "tiles" but is it literally removable tiles? if so, what are they made from? And how will they be attached to the "floor" (and will there be potentially be seams). I would like to recreate the maze in my lab in order to test the robot thoroughly and would like to replicate it as close as possible to actual conditions. (things like the line sensor bar catching on the edge of a tile, or other possible exception conditions, I would like to catch, and handle rather than fail.)
            Seams also worries me a bit too. My preference would be to actually have tiles that can be reconfigured on the day of the vent (and have some computer generated maze right at the time of the run), but I don't want mechanical things like the design of the maze to cause an issue.

            Right now I'm leaning towards having the mazes on some kind of pressed wood. I can't recall the name of the wood off the top of my head. Its like an MDF sort of but has a nice white plastic (?) cover on top. You can see it in the video below:

            http://blog.ottawarobotics.org/2011/04/04/line-maze-solver/

            The nice thing about it is that it is super flat and have a nice even white finish. Its heavy though.
            Thanks!

            (Also sorry for all the questions, being as this is my first event, and I haven't been to any of your meetings, a lot of this may be simply be "common knowledge" to the regulars... But just trying to make sure I have a thorough understanding of the criteria).
            Not at all! This is our first time running the events in an official capacity so these questions are helping me nail down the rules. I'm sure that there are others on the mailing list either too shy to ask the same questions or just didn't realize that there was things to clarify.

            Aaron




            - Paul

            On Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM, Aaron Ramsey <aaron@...> wrote:
             
            > Hey, so I'm new to the mailing list. Been involved in robotics in general
            > for some time now as a hobby. I'm a regular member at the local Ottawa Mod
            > Lab meetings, and heavily involved in the 3D Printing Scene.

            Welcome!


            > I only found out about the Ottawa Robotic Games yesterday, and can't
            > resist
            > entering. I've decided to design a 3D Printable robot platform which I'll
            > later release as open source. And enter it in the current games.

            Awesome. I was just down at the Trinity firefighting competition in
            Hartford a few weeks back, and you wouldn't believe the number of printed
            parts and entire robots that were there. One team even had their cupcake
            there just in case they needed to print up some new pieces during the
            competition. This was a dramatic difference from the previous year where
            printed things were much less common.


            > Anyway, I'm most interested in the maze solving challenge. But I'll likely
            > also enter the line follower ones as well provided I have enough time to
            > mod
            > the code to handle those as well.
            >
            > A couple questions for clarification:
            >
            > - For the maze solver what are the max robot dimensions and weight? (or
            > are
            > there any?). I was assuming the same as the line following?

            Right, same dimensions. I'll add a note on the maze solver page.

            The basic idea behind the size limitation is to ensure that the robot
            doesn't skip from one line to another line that isn't connected. The line
            maze rules try to allude to that with this rule : "The robot is considered
            to have left the maze if some part of the body is not directly above the
            line it was traveling along. ".

            Really, it doesn't matter how large the robot is as long as it doesn't
            violate the spirit of the competition. For instance, a robot as large as
            the entire maze, covering both start and finish lines, couldn't be
            considered as solving the maze. Its all good as long as a robot follows a
            continuous line from start to finish.


            > - Does anyone have any pointers (or tips from a previous competition) on a
            > good baseline speed for solving the maze? or baseline travel speed for a
            > line follower? (that I can use as a starting point in my design)

            A Pololu 3pi robot can travel at 1 meter per second. At that speed you are
            basically out of control on the smaller mazes that we are dealing with.
            The line follower designs that the club has been working on over the last
            few months run anywhere between 0.4 and 0.8m/s in stock form, assuming
            that you can find a way to control it at that speed. If you aim for
            0.5m/s, you'd be right on track. If you leave headroom to get up to 1m/s,
            you'll have an extremely competitive robot.

            I'd be surprised if anyone can actually run a maze at even 0.5m/s.


            > - I am planning a design with fairly low ground clearance, but I'm
            > designing
            > the robot from scratch. I want it to be a fairly general use platform,
            > (unfortunately it's going to be 1-2cm to wide for the sumo). Are there any
            > cases that you can see where 2-3mm of ground clearance will be
            > insufficient
            > as far as the ORE events are concerned?

            That won't be a problem. The tallest thing that you will have to deal with
            is electrical tape.


            > - How much time will there be between events? (for example for battery
            > charging)

            Hard to say for sure off the top of my head. Based on my experience at a
            few other competitions, batteries generally aren't an issue. The robots
            only run for a few minutes per run and doesn't generally drag the
            batteries down much. I'd guess that you'd have at least 30 minutes between
            the end of one event and the next event to charge batteries at a minimum
            (assuming last to run in one event and first to run in the next), and
            likely somewhere between 10 to 15 minutes minimum in between runs in the
            same event.


            > - Is it legal during the event for robots which send telemetry, but do not
            > receive outside control (for example for debugging, or visualizing what
            > the
            > robot is doing from a nearby laptop) provided the telemetry is sent
            > wirelessly?

            Absolutely legal!


            > I think that's it for now.
            >
            > Any other pointers/tips for a first timer would be appreciated! (I've
            > built
            > other robots before, but never competed in this type of competition
            > before,
            > and never done a line follower before, although the principal seems fairly
            > straightforward).
            >
            > - Paul
            >

            I think the biggest tip is to start building early and test everything
            like crazy, particularly in varying light conditions. Many people build in
            their basement and then have to deal with much brighter lighting
            conditions on the day of the event. Depending on the line sensors you use,
            this can really throw off the robot.

            The second biggest tip (and one that I almost never follow myself) is to
            keep things simple. A simple robot is easier to build, debug and run.
            Things that are complicated tend to fail in completely unexpected ways.
            <grin>

            Aaron




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