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Re: [SeattleRobotics] Robomegellan - NOT a FLOP

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  • Doug Kelley
    We ll certainly never try to eliminate any technology from the contest. But, the distance from the start to the destination will increase with time,
    Message 1 of 19 , Oct 2, 2004
      We'll certainly never try to eliminate any technology from the contest.
      But, the distance from the start to the destination will increase with
      time, particularly if bonus cones are attempted and we aren't likely to
      make the surfaces (grass, pavement, gravel, sand, etc.) easier. As
      distance increases, more turns are necessary and terrain becomes more
      difficult, pure dead reckoning will become less attractive.

      Sensor fusion is the way to go. Twenty feet (probably less with
      averaging) will look good at some point. One thing we aren't currently
      intending to do is allow some sort of beacons on the course. Been
      there, done that!

      Doug

      John McIvor wrote:

      >I have been doing a lot of thinking about RoboMagellan this past week.
      >What went wrong, what went right. In considering the use of GPS in the
      >robot, and how it should be integrated into the navigation system, at
      >what point it is more of hindrance than an aid. What is the best
      >tolerance to an ACTUAL point on the earth that a GPS can spit out, what
      >is the tolerance buildup between GPS units? Here's an example from the
      >contest. The endpoint location is described as MM.mmm 3 place fractional
      >minute. Two different people get two other readings a short time later
      >that are off that measured value by .003 and .005 I believe it was, this
      >is a difference of 15 to 25 feet, the entire circular cement area (where
      >the finish was) is about 40 feet across (a tolerance of about 12 degrees
      >over 250 feet). It is easy to picture an error circle about the size of
      >the cement circle. Now that's definitely a doable range to use a camera
      >to locate a bright orange cone. So we can't say that GPS is not a
      >reasonable device to use, but is it the best device? What if the contest
      >area was 100 feet, what about 50 feet ? When would it be no longer
      >viable?
      >
      >What tolerance would you need to maintain using dead reckoning to be on
      >the same scale of accuracy as GPS given the space ( let's say 500 feet
      >as that has been discussed ) ? If you use both dead reckoning and GPS,
      >which would you put as a higher priority? if one has a higher priority
      >why have the other, specifically if dead reckoning had a higher priority
      >than GPS why would you want to pollute your calculations with an
      >absolute measurement that had a looser error tolerance? My thought was
      >to use the GPS to record a running error circle from the calculated
      >location, but I wonder now, if that is not just more likely to induce
      >error than correct it.
      >
      >Can we build our own higher accuracy GPS type devices ? Possibly yes
      >given a local signal beacon system, not likely if we are talking about
      >getting the data from satellites.
      >
      >I believe there is more room for creative solutions to ever increasing
      >accuracy in dead reckoning.
      >
      >Please Please Please, Don't design the contest to force out dead
      >reckoning. If anything keep in mind how we could balance the rules and
      >contest area to allow a more equal ground for either or both combined.
      >In response to a suggestion to make the event more Darpa like, I think
      >the only way to make the event more Darpa like would be to turn it into
      >a money spending contest and I would surely lose in a money spending
      >contest :) so I would vote against that.
      >
      >My robot is currently "resting in pieces" while I am working on
      >building new stuff for it. The fiberglass bumper broke, I presume from
      >crashing into the wall. So that needs to be remade, and I am adding a
      >gear driven optical encoder into the center differential.
      >
      >Thanks again for all the hard work, planning and organizing!
      >
      >...John
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >.
      >
      >
      >
    • Brian Dean
      ... Agreed. But the orange cone is essentially a beacon, especially since you are shooing away people with orange shirts. I personally would feel a lot
      Message 2 of 19 , Oct 2, 2004
        On Sat, Oct 02, 2004 at 08:09:29AM -0700, Doug Kelley wrote:

        > Sensor fusion is the way to go. Twenty feet (probably less with
        > averaging) will look good at some point. One thing we aren't currently
        > intending to do is allow some sort of beacons on the course. Been
        > there, done that!

        Agreed. But the orange cone is essentially a beacon, especially since
        you are shooing away people with orange shirts. I personally would
        feel a lot better if you did not shoo people away who happen to be
        wearing orange shirts - that should just be part of the challenge.

        But also, I do think efforts should be made to keep the course
        relatively clear of people - folks should not be allowed to encircle
        the contestants, I like the golf analogy - there might be several
        folks on the course that are supposed to be there to enforce the rules
        and keep the course clear, etc, but most folks are kept back a bit.
        Perhaps the course personnel and judges could wear one of those
        plastic orange vests so that folks know they are one of the contest
        administrators and are easily identified :-)

        Also, while I haven't seen the latest round of rules being proposed, a
        good rule of thumb is to keep the rules as simple as possible, with
        few, if any exceptions. Generally, if you have exceptions, that's an
        indication of a problem somewhere else - better to fix that problem
        instead of making the exception.

        Also, you should rarely, if ever, have to invoke something that I've
        heard quite a bit during the past few months of discussion regarding
        this contest, and that is "enforcing the spirit of the rules". This
        basically means that the rules don't really mean what they say. It
        should be clear, up front, what the robot designer is required to do
        to get a good score. For example, I remember a discussion a few
        months ago where someone proposed building a robot to get within the
        general vicinity of the cone, and then begin swinging a long arm
        around in order to touch the cone. One of the contest admins
        indicated that that method would not count as it is against the
        "spirit of the rules". But the rules stated that the robot needs to
        navigate to and touch a cone. That's what I'm talking about here.
        The rules should be clear.

        I do see you addressing this type of thing when you said the new rules
        state something to the effect of a robot must fit within a 4'x4'x4'
        cube. That's the kind of rule that is good in the sense that it
        eliminates someone building a 12' pole on their robot that they can
        use to touch cones from a long way away. It does not eliminate a 12'
        telesoping pole, though, and IMO, that should still be allowed, unless
        you specifically state something like the robot must simulataneous
        navigate to within a 4' radius of the cone and then touch the cone.
        That makes it clear what the expectations are, and you don't have to
        resort to enforcing the spirit of the rules, which might not be clear.
        If you ask 10 people what the spirit of the rules are, you'll probably
        get at least 5 differenct answers. But the rules speak for themselves
        and anyone that can read can interpret them.

        And I'll make one last effort - why limit to 50 lbs? You previously
        said for safety reasons, but I think you also said that each
        contestant is responsible for their own robot and any damage it may
        cause. This seems to me that the robot weight should be left as a
        design decision of the builder, and they take responsibilty for it.

        Anyway, there aren't many robot contests that really get me
        interested. This one has some serious potential, in the same way that
        the actual DARPA Grand Challenge which inspired this contest is very
        interesting. The reason is that it doesn't seem too contrived - folks
        need to solve real world problems in order to compete. Solving line
        mazes just don't push the technology forward. But solving real world
        problems does. While drafting the rules, please try hard to retain
        the "real world" aspect, and minimize _any_ allowances that are
        designed to make the goal easier. It is the "real world" aspect, I
        think, that has generated so much interest in this contest in the
        first place.

        -Brian
        --
        Brian Dean
        BDMICRO - ATmega128 Based MAVRIC Controllers
        http://www.bdmicro.com/
      • Doug Kelley
        I wouldn t have as big a problem with orange shirts if the same person stood in the same place for the entire contest. It s not really an obstacle thing; it s
        Message 3 of 19 , Oct 2, 2004
          I wouldn't have as big a problem with orange shirts if the same person
          stood in the same place for the entire contest. It's not really an
          obstacle thing; it's a fairness thing. But, I do like the idea of
          orange shirts for the judges! ;-)

          I think you'll be pleased with the rule changes. Nothing is really
          changed but there are a lot of clarifications to help us with the
          "spirit of the rules" issue you brought up. Robot builders are a clever
          sort and we want to keep the focus of the contest on navigation, not
          simple finding a cone (which I agree is a type of beacon).

          See my previous post about the 50 pound limit; there are several reasons
          other than safety to keep the limit where it is.

          Glad you are motivated to build a Magellan bot!

          Doug

          Brian Dean wrote:

          >On Sat, Oct 02, 2004 at 08:09:29AM -0700, Doug Kelley wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          >>Sensor fusion is the way to go. Twenty feet (probably less with
          >>averaging) will look good at some point. One thing we aren't currently
          >>intending to do is allow some sort of beacons on the course. Been
          >>there, done that!
          >>
          >>
          >
          >Agreed. But the orange cone is essentially a beacon, especially since
          >you are shooing away people with orange shirts. I personally would
          >feel a lot better if you did not shoo people away who happen to be
          >wearing orange shirts - that should just be part of the challenge.
          >
          >But also, I do think efforts should be made to keep the course
          >relatively clear of people - folks should not be allowed to encircle
          >the contestants, I like the golf analogy - there might be several
          >folks on the course that are supposed to be there to enforce the rules
          >and keep the course clear, etc, but most folks are kept back a bit.
          >Perhaps the course personnel and judges could wear one of those
          >plastic orange vests so that folks know they are one of the contest
          >administrators and are easily identified :-)
          >
          >Also, while I haven't seen the latest round of rules being proposed, a
          >good rule of thumb is to keep the rules as simple as possible, with
          >few, if any exceptions. Generally, if you have exceptions, that's an
          >indication of a problem somewhere else - better to fix that problem
          >instead of making the exception.
          >
          >Also, you should rarely, if ever, have to invoke something that I've
          >heard quite a bit during the past few months of discussion regarding
          >this contest, and that is "enforcing the spirit of the rules". This
          >basically means that the rules don't really mean what they say. It
          >should be clear, up front, what the robot designer is required to do
          >to get a good score. For example, I remember a discussion a few
          >months ago where someone proposed building a robot to get within the
          >general vicinity of the cone, and then begin swinging a long arm
          >around in order to touch the cone. One of the contest admins
          >indicated that that method would not count as it is against the
          >"spirit of the rules". But the rules stated that the robot needs to
          >navigate to and touch a cone. That's what I'm talking about here.
          >The rules should be clear.
          >
          >I do see you addressing this type of thing when you said the new rules
          >state something to the effect of a robot must fit within a 4'x4'x4'
          >cube. That's the kind of rule that is good in the sense that it
          >eliminates someone building a 12' pole on their robot that they can
          >use to touch cones from a long way away. It does not eliminate a 12'
          >telesoping pole, though, and IMO, that should still be allowed, unless
          >you specifically state something like the robot must simulataneous
          >navigate to within a 4' radius of the cone and then touch the cone.
          >That makes it clear what the expectations are, and you don't have to
          >resort to enforcing the spirit of the rules, which might not be clear.
          >If you ask 10 people what the spirit of the rules are, you'll probably
          >get at least 5 differenct answers. But the rules speak for themselves
          >and anyone that can read can interpret them.
          >
          >And I'll make one last effort - why limit to 50 lbs? You previously
          >said for safety reasons, but I think you also said that each
          >contestant is responsible for their own robot and any damage it may
          >cause. This seems to me that the robot weight should be left as a
          >design decision of the builder, and they take responsibilty for it.
          >
          >Anyway, there aren't many robot contests that really get me
          >interested. This one has some serious potential, in the same way that
          >the actual DARPA Grand Challenge which inspired this contest is very
          >interesting. The reason is that it doesn't seem too contrived - folks
          >need to solve real world problems in order to compete. Solving line
          >mazes just don't push the technology forward. But solving real world
          >problems does. While drafting the rules, please try hard to retain
          >the "real world" aspect, and minimize _any_ allowances that are
          >designed to make the goal easier. It is the "real world" aspect, I
          >think, that has generated so much interest in this contest in the
          >first place.
          >
          >-Brian
          >
          >
        • Michael
          I haven t chimed in yet as much of what I have heard sounds good. I am a little bit concerned about the distance increasing. As everyone knows, LevelHeaded
          Message 4 of 19 , Oct 2, 2004
            I haven't chimed in yet as much of what I have heard sounds good. I
            am a little bit concerned about the distance increasing. As
            everyone knows, LevelHeaded is based on a small chasis, my battery
            carry capacitity is limited, and thus my distance is limited. The
            current distances should be no problem, but by increasing the
            distances over time you have and are specifically effecting a core
            design and this could require significant expense to upgrade.

            You can achieve similiar goals by just selecting a challenging
            path. I do applaud the selection of the finish cone this time
            around, the obstacles around it were complex (pillars, garbage cans,
            light poles, and a significant number of overhangs created by park
            benches). Complex enough to catch all entrants that got near.

            Further, what about the thought that there be at least one other
            cone you must hit, and thus eliminating the straight shot approach.

            Michael


            --- In SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com, Doug Kelley <yahoo@k...>
            wrote:
            > We'll certainly never try to eliminate any technology from the
            contest.
            > But, the distance from the start to the destination will increase
            with
            > time, particularly if bonus cones are attempted and we aren't
            likely to
            > make the surfaces (grass, pavement, gravel, sand, etc.) easier.
            As
            > distance increases, more turns are necessary and terrain becomes
            more
            > difficult, pure dead reckoning will become less attractive.
            >
            > Sensor fusion is the way to go. Twenty feet (probably less with
            > averaging) will look good at some point. One thing we aren't
            currently
            > intending to do is allow some sort of beacons on the course. Been
            > there, done that!
            >
            > Doug
            >
            > John McIvor wrote:
            >
            > >I have been doing a lot of thinking about RoboMagellan this past
            week.
            > >What went wrong, what went right. In considering the use of GPS
            in the
            > >robot, and how it should be integrated into the navigation
            system, at
            > >what point it is more of hindrance than an aid. What is the best
            > >tolerance to an ACTUAL point on the earth that a GPS can spit
            out, what
            > >is the tolerance buildup between GPS units? Here's an example
            from the
            > >contest. The endpoint location is described as MM.mmm 3 place
            fractional
            > >minute. Two different people get two other readings a short time
            later
            > >that are off that measured value by .003 and .005 I believe it
            was, this
            > >is a difference of 15 to 25 feet, the entire circular cement area
            (where
            > >the finish was) is about 40 feet across (a tolerance of about 12
            degrees
            > >over 250 feet). It is easy to picture an error circle about the
            size of
            > >the cement circle. Now that's definitely a doable range to use a
            camera
            > >to locate a bright orange cone. So we can't say that GPS is not a
            > >reasonable device to use, but is it the best device? What if the
            contest
            > >area was 100 feet, what about 50 feet ? When would it be no longer
            > >viable?
            > >
            > >What tolerance would you need to maintain using dead reckoning to
            be on
            > >the same scale of accuracy as GPS given the space ( let's say 500
            feet
            > >as that has been discussed ) ? If you use both dead reckoning
            and GPS,
            > >which would you put as a higher priority? if one has a higher
            priority
            > >why have the other, specifically if dead reckoning had a higher
            priority
            > >than GPS why would you want to pollute your calculations with an
            > >absolute measurement that had a looser error tolerance? My
            thought was
            > >to use the GPS to record a running error circle from the
            calculated
            > >location, but I wonder now, if that is not just more likely to
            induce
            > >error than correct it.
            > >
            > >Can we build our own higher accuracy GPS type devices ? Possibly
            yes
            > >given a local signal beacon system, not likely if we are talking
            about
            > >getting the data from satellites.
            > >
            > >I believe there is more room for creative solutions to ever
            increasing
            > >accuracy in dead reckoning.
            > >
            > >Please Please Please, Don't design the contest to force out dead
            > >reckoning. If anything keep in mind how we could balance the
            rules and
            > >contest area to allow a more equal ground for either or both
            combined.
            > >In response to a suggestion to make the event more Darpa like, I
            think
            > >the only way to make the event more Darpa like would be to turn
            it into
            > >a money spending contest and I would surely lose in a money
            spending
            > >contest :) so I would vote against that.
            > >
            > >My robot is currently "resting in pieces" while I am working on
            > >building new stuff for it. The fiberglass bumper broke, I presume
            from
            > >crashing into the wall. So that needs to be remade, and I am
            adding a
            > >gear driven optical encoder into the center differential.
            > >
            > >Thanks again for all the hard work, planning and organizing!
            > >
            > >...John
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
            > >Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >.
            > >
            > >
            > >
          • Ted Larson
            I think this suggestion is a fantastic one! In fact, I thought that this would be the case originally, and was surprised that ALL the cones were considered
            Message 5 of 19 , Oct 2, 2004
              I think this suggestion is a fantastic one! In fact, I thought that this
              would be the case originally, and was surprised that ALL the cones were
              considered bonuses except for one, and that you really only needed to touch
              only one cone to complete the course. I think there should be several cones
              on the basic course, with a couple of others considered bonuses.

              So...I 2nd this suggestion.

              - Ted


              -----Original Message-----
              From: Michael [mailto:BotMaster@...]
              Sent: Saturday, October 02, 2004 10:48 AM
              To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Robomegellan - NOT a FLOP



              ......
              Further, what about the thought that there be at least one other cone you
              must hit, and thus eliminating the straight shot approach.

              .......
            • raymond melton
              Someone recently posted a url here that linked to a little birdy robot walker. I (foolishly) deleted the eletter that had the url. It looked for all the
              Message 6 of 19 , Oct 3, 2004
                Someone recently posted a url here that linked to a
                little birdy robot walker. I (foolishly) deleted the
                eletter that had the url. It looked for all the world
                like a robotic Malard duck, though the colors were off
                a bit. Does anyone recall this, and have the url?

                Regards, Ray.




                __________________________________
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              • dan michaels
                ... There s one shown here .... may not be what you re after ... http://vakuumtv.c3.hu/collection/robottortenet/robot.html - dan michaels www.oricomtech.com
                Message 7 of 19 , Oct 3, 2004
                  --- In SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com, raymond melton
                  <rtmelton@y...> wrote:
                  > Someone recently posted a url here that linked to a
                  > little birdy robot walker. I (foolishly) deleted the
                  > eletter that had the url. It looked for all the world
                  > like a robotic Malard duck, though the colors were off
                  > a bit. Does anyone recall this, and have the url?
                  >
                  > Regards, Ray.


                  There's one shown here .... may not be what you're after ...

                  http://vakuumtv.c3.hu/collection/robottortenet/robot.html


                  - dan michaels
                  www.oricomtech.com
                  =========================
                • Ted Larson
                  Was it this guy? http://kaduhi.com/weird-7/ It kinda looks like a bird. = Ted ... From: dan michaels [mailto:dan@oricomtech.com] Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2004
                  Message 8 of 19 , Oct 3, 2004
                    Was it this guy?
                    http://kaduhi.com/weird-7/

                    It kinda looks like a bird.

                    = Ted


                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: dan michaels [mailto:dan@...]
                    Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2004 4:55 PM
                    To: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [SeattleRobotics] Re: little birdy robot



                    --- In SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com, raymond melton <rtmelton@y...>
                    wrote:
                    > Someone recently posted a url here that linked to a little birdy robot
                    > walker. I (foolishly) deleted the eletter that had the url. It
                    > looked for all the world like a robotic Malard duck, though the colors
                    > were off a bit. Does anyone recall this, and have the url?
                    >
                    > Regards, Ray.


                    There's one shown here .... may not be what you're after ...

                    http://vakuumtv.c3.hu/collection/robottortenet/robot.html


                    - dan michaels
                    www.oricomtech.com
                    =========================







                    Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org Yahoo! Groups Links
                  • dan michaels
                    ... That s great! He, he. Much better than the one I found. Looks like 2-servo legs, one for femur, one for tibia, should walk good. Better than toddler.
                    Message 9 of 19 , Oct 3, 2004
                      --- In SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com, Ted Larson <ted@l...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Was it this guy?
                      > http://kaduhi.com/weird-7/
                      >
                      > It kinda looks like a bird.
                      >
                      > = Ted
                      >


                      That's great! He, he. Much better than the one I found. Looks like
                      2-servo legs, one for femur, one for tibia, should walk good. Better
                      than toddler.
                    • Tom Capon
                      I think this one came up recently (looking through my emails) http://www.ai.mit.edu/people/chunks/chunks.html It is an absolutely incredible robotic dinosaur
                      Message 10 of 19 , Oct 4, 2004
                        I think this one came up recently (looking through my emails)

                        http://www.ai.mit.edu/people/chunks/chunks.html

                        It is an absolutely incredible robotic dinosaur that walks on two legs, balances with a tail, has quite a number of degrees of freedom in each leg, and has a mock-skeletal dinosaur head on it.

                        dan michaels <dan@...> wrote:


                        --- In SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com, Ted Larson wrote:
                        >
                        > Was it this guy?
                        > http://kaduhi.com/weird-7/
                        >
                        > It kinda looks like a bird.
                        >
                        > = Ted
                        >


                        That's great! He, he. Much better than the one I found. Looks like
                        2-servo legs, one for femur, one for tibia, should walk good. Better
                        than toddler.









                        Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
                        Yahoo! Groups Links









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