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Re: [sfrsa] Annual Robot Games

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  • Joe Miller
    Jeanette, (or John, you didn t specify) Those are gret ideas! People have always brought there bots for show at the games but it would be nice if we officially
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 22, 2000
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      Jeanette, (or John, you didn't specify)

      Those are gret ideas!
      People have always brought there bots for show at the games but it would be
      nice if we officially anounce it. We should discuss incentives. I intend to
      bring my rover.

      Regarding your design: It would good to bring it up at the meeting. As far
      as a show logo Toni Thomson has a design she has submitted and has committed
      seeing it through to the color seperations for T-shirt printing and all that
      other art stuff. Your design is more of a SFRSA logo, which might have
      merit.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Jeanette Eya-Zeissig <jzeissig@...>
      To: <sfrsa@egroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2000 1:13 PM
      Subject: RE: [sfrsa] Annual Robot Games


      > This discussion group has been pretty quiet, so I thought it might
      > liven things up a bit if I posted a couple of suggestions concerning the
      > Annual Robot Games. The first is a logo submission which can be viewed at
      > <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig/images/SFRSA.jpg>. The logo itself is
      > shown, plus a version of what it might look like on a 'droid' model
      > <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig/images/SFRSAmodel.jpg>. ( Homage to
      > Surayama. It's hard to get 'droids to pose these days.)
      > The second suggestion is that I would like to host a walking/legged
      > robot event or exhibition for the Annual Robot Games; or, if there is not
      > enough interest in this category alone, a floor exercise, obstacle
      > course, "Concourse d'Elegance", "petting zoo" or some other event for bots
      > not dedicated to specialized events such as Sumo, etc. The intention is to
      > attract some of the more complex and ghastly machines as well as B.E.A.M.
      > type individual 'bots and swarms. I think we could accommodate commercial
      > types (eg. AIBO, Lynxmotion kit based, etc.) as well as really unique
      > creations. I confess that I enjoy the "Smackdown" mentality of Sumo,
      > Battlebots and other events where the action leads to an obvious winner
      and
      > loser; but my own 'bot is not suitable for these events
      > <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig/Bot.html>, so it is pretty much left out of
      > robot games. It might do well at detecting a threatening commotion and
      > retreating to a safe distance over uncertain terrain (picture the behavior
      > of the family cat placed in a Sumo ring with a 3kg. Sumobot and
      surrounded
      > by noisy spectators.), but it would fail miserably at pushing a heavy,
      > mobile box out of a ring, even if programmed to attempt it. It may be that
      > the less structured type of exhibition that I'm proposing has been tried
      > before and found to be totally boring, so I'm completely open to
      > suggestions. If awards are necessary there could be a "peoples choice"
      > balloting or "ugly 'bot" contest.
      > Finally, I have a well-equipped workshop where I can construct any
      > reasonable exhibition arena and accessory structures, and transportation
      > adequate to get it all to the Exploratorium. I also have a lot of
      > accumulared materials so this could be done on the cheap.
      > So, let's hear what S.F.R.S.A. thinks of this idea. If there's a
      > positive response I'll put out a cattle call on other 'bot discussion
      > groups to see if there are enough potential participants to make it
      > worthwhile
      >
      >
      > <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig>
      >
      > <mailto:jZeissig@...>
      >
      >
      > To see an older version of the 'bot
      <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig/Bot.html>
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > bayarea.com - win a $10,000 kitchen remodel - enter here
      > http://click.egroups.com/1/6204/0/_/13629/_/964555915/
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      >
      > Be sure to visit our web site at http://www.robots.org
      >
      >
    • Joe Miller
      Ya, not many online members like to talk much here, but those that are concerned enough do I guess. I suspect many are listening though which is more
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 23, 2000
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        Ya, not many online members like to talk much here, but those that are
        concerned enough do I guess. I suspect many are listening though which is
        more important. Bring your artwork to the meeting because there a many there
        that still have not subscribed to sfrsa@egroups (including our president)
        Joe

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Jeanette Eya-Zeissig <jzeissig@...>
        To: <sfrsa@egroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 3:45 PM
        Subject: Re: [sfrsa] Annual Robot Games


        > Thanks for the response, Joe. I plan to be at the meeting on Wednesday.
        > (BTW, this is John.) I don't really have much time or ego invested in the
        > Logo thing. I just thought it would be fun to do a robot motif using the
        > Club initials. I knew from previous posts that someone was working on a
        > t-shirt design but hadn't seen anything about it since. This discussion
        > group has been so quiet that I thought it might provoke some responses. I
        > didn't bother to put in any text relating it to the Annual Robot Games,
        > although looking at my original post, it certainly looks as though that's
        > what I was suggesting. So, if anyone in the club wants to use it, tweak
        it
        > into something else, or whatever, it's OK with me.
        >
        > John Zeissig
        >
        >
        >
        > >Jeanette, (or John, you didn't specify)
        > >
        > >Those are gret ideas!
        > >People have always brought there bots for show at the games but it would
        be
        > >nice if we officially anounce it. We should discuss incentives. I intend
        to
        > >bring my rover.
        > >
        > >Regarding your design: It would good to bring it up at the meeting. As
        far
        > >as a show logo Toni Thomson has a design she has submitted and has
        committed
        > >seeing it through to the color seperations for T-shirt printing and all
        that
        > >other art stuff. Your design is more of a SFRSA logo, which might have
        > >merit.
        > >
        >
        > <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig>
        >
        > <mailto:jZeissig@...>
        >
        >
        > To see an older version of the 'bot
        <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig/Bot.html>
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Be sure to visit our web site at http://www.robots.org
        >
        >
      • Joe Miller
        I agree... about everything! We should have a robot show and tell floor exercise open program. Perhaps as a filler between heats. But like I said, we ve always
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 23, 2000
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          I agree... about everything!
          We should have a robot show and tell floor exercise open program. Perhaps as
          a filler between heats. But like I said, we've always done that but not
          officially.
          I'm glad your enthusiastic about making all the fixtures for this event. It
          would be good to establish and document an official format so that when you
          no longer care to present this event in future games that it can be
          recreated easily by someone that has been assigned to it a month before the
          show - it happens (beentheredonethat). Oh ya, and be prepared to provide
          storage this setup in for eternity. So something with a handle and wheels
          would be handy.
          Very good ideas about the customized arena

          A selected clipping from your message:
          > and feedback. Is it unrealistic to attempt a modifiable arena if this is
          > only a one-day event? How many participants should be anticipated?
          Should
          > we try to get an advance estimate by e-mail polling or pre-registration?
          > Auto clubs are doing this now for inter and intra-club race events. Are
          > all the events running sequentially or concurrently? So let's hear from
          > those of you with some experience. I've only attended one robot event:

          Exactly! How many? But few people respond, but will complain if not informed
          with due time.

          I hope I don't come across sarcastic. I don't mean to be. I am just
          communicating my experiences. I too want to improve the event. I am very
          enthusiastic about it. But I have learned that you can't push rope. So I
          have taken the initiative on several items, of as much as I think can handle
          (a known quantity) and will see it through. I think the key is to be
          organized, documented and to have good PR. All this well in advanced of the
          event. Talk is cheap so I try to spend a lot of it at the meetings and this
          listgroup. I put as much spare energy into it as I feel a can afford for my
          own enjoyment and hope that someday others with like passion will join in.


          Joe



          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Jeanette Eya-Zeissig <jzeissig@...>
          To: <sfrsa@egroups.com>
          Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 6:53 PM
          Subject: Re: [sfrsa] Annual Robot Games


          > For my proposed event at the Robot Games, I think I would like to take on
          > all comers that don't compete in the Sumo, Lego, or other win-lose events.
          > There has been mention of some of the concerns that I brought up in my
          > previous post on the Seattle Robot Society discussion group. I hadn't
          been
          > aware of these when I did the post.
          >
          > The S.R.S. list of events for Robothon 2001 shows a floor exercise event
          > which is just a 10' square enclosed arena with a smooth floor.
          > Participants can launch their 'bots for 5 min. sessions to show what they
          > can do. The emphasis is on autonomous robots, but they are not
          restricting
          > participation to that category. This would certainly be easy to
          implement.
          >
          > I think we could spice this up by providing some portable/adjustable
          > accessories that participants could use to customize the arena. What I
          > have in mind is:
          >
          > a) an adjustable-slope ramp to test climbing ability and traction
          >
          > b) a section of carpet or astroturf
          >
          > c) an adjustable step height staircase
          >
          > d) a gravel/rock/or sand pan
          >
          > e) a shallow water hazard/pan
          >
          > f) a set of moveable block/post obstacles
          >
          > g) a section of corrugated roofing panel
          >
          > h) anything else that a participant wants to lug to the arena as
          > long as
          > they are willing to take it away again upon request. (Tall grass is
          > a wonderfully amusing challenge for my walker, but I can't think of
          > any way to incorporate it in this context.)
          >
          > Most of these are things that I've been meaning to make anyway to
          calibrate
          > 'bot performance when making mechanical or software changes, so it would
          be
          > a good opportunity to quit procrastinating. Some, like the corrugated
          > panel and carpeting, are just junk that I have laying around.
          >
          > The point of this event is to maximize participation. I've gone back and
          > looked over the postings on last year's robot games. I think Cliff
          pointed
          > out that the obstacle course looked hokey because people were throwing
          > shoes and socks in the arena. Stan didn't participate because the rules
          > weren't posted clearly and well in advance. These are points well taken.
          >
          > Although my 'bot was fully functional, and I had planned to attend, I
          > didn't; because when the rules were finally posted, the stair climbing
          > portion of the obstacle course seemed to call for a 2" leg lift, and my
          > 'bot couldn't make it without hours of rework. I figured it would be a
          > DNF. That was a mistake: I should have participated anyway. The point
          is
          > that if you make the rules too precise you exclude participants; hence an
          > adjustable stair climb that can accommodate the legginess of the 'bot. Or
          > no stair climb at all if the 'bot doesn't do stair climbs. I would rather
          > err a little bit on the side of hokiness if we could attract a participant
          > with a 'bot that could wander the arena using dead-reckoning and wind up
          > anywhere near its starting point. On the other hand, we would have some
          > toys handy so the shoes and socks wouldn't be necessary if somebody wanted
          > to show off their 'bot's obstacle avoidance prowess.
          >
          > My biggest worry in all of this is how to ensure that the maximum
          > participation is achieved while simultaneously making sure that all the
          > 'bots get a satisfying workout. This is where I'll really need some help
          > and feedback. Is it unrealistic to attempt a modifiable arena if this is
          > only a one-day event? How many participants should be anticipated?
          Should
          > we try to get an advance estimate by e-mail polling or pre-registration?
          > Auto clubs are doing this now for inter and intra-club race events. Are
          > all the events running sequentially or concurrently? So let's hear from
          > those of you with some experience. I've only attended one robot event:
          > the Japanese Sumo Challenge. This was a straightforward elimination event
          > that only took a couple of hours, including some pre-demonstrations and
          > some exciting 'bot free-for-alls and 'bot-human shoving matches after the
          > main event.
          >
          > Finally, what is the reason I want to do this event? I've been working on
          > my robot for years. I started out with only CMOS logic gates for control
          > and actually achieved some things that could only be accomplished by
          > somebody who didn't know any better. I've had to completely start over
          > when my surplus supplier of linear stepper-motors went out of business:
          > new mechanical design, new electronics, the works. I think I started the
          > whole thing in 1993. Anyway, in all that time, I never saw a real, honest
          > 'bot in the round until I went to a Home-Brew Robotics Society meeting
          > sometime in '98. What I saw there was about as far along as what I was
          > working on at the time. I've seen a few more at S.F.R.S.A. meetings. I
          > saw maybe two dozen 'bots at the Sumo event, and they resembled my 'bot
          > about as much as a bulldozer resembles a cockroach. I was really excited
          > that the Alan Alda TV special was showing a "robo-roach," and was
          > incredulous when it turned out that the damn thing couldn't even stand up,
          > let alone walk. My 'bot could run circles around it. If you listen to
          the
          > news media, you would think that robots are as common as pigeon droppings,
          > but it's not so. Functioning, autonomous robots are very, very, very thin
          > on the ground. My wife and I joke about the family 'bot and the
          > neighborhood 'bot; but really, we don't know any other family or
          > neighborhood that has a 'bot, and I suspect ours is the only one in town.
          > If you have one, you are about 3+ standard deviations out there on some
          > scale that psychometrics has yet to identify. But I know those 'bots are
          > lurking somewhere. Maybe they're all up in Seattle, I don't know. What I
          > do know is that I want to see them in action, and it looks like the
          easiest
          > way to do that is to host this event.
          >
          > John Zeissig
          >
          > <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig>
          >
          > <mailto:jZeissig@...>
          >
          >
          > To see an older version of the 'bot
          <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig/Bot.html>
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Be sure to visit our web site at http://www.robots.org
          >
          >
        • Joe Miller
          Good idea for an open class event. But then an open class event could be so wide that defined tasks may be too limiting. How about award classes for most
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 23, 2000
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            Good idea for an open class event. But then an open class event could be so
            wide that defined tasks may be too limiting. How about award classes for
            most original, best engineered, best stupid-robot-trick, etc, etc.

            Joe

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Paul F. Grayson <pgrayson@...>
            To: <sfrsa@egroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 11:02 PM
            Subject: Re: [sfrsa] Annual Robot Games


            > One way to structure contest rules is to give points for each of the
            > tasks... if a robot can not do a particular task... is misses those
            points,
            > but can still score with the things it can do.
            >
            > Paul F. Grayson - Chief Engineer
            > AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL MAGIC
            > 1892 Pinewood Ave.
            > Traverse City, MI 49684-9022
            > (231) 946-0187, FAX (231) 946-1122
            > pgrayson@...
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: Jeanette Eya-Zeissig <jzeissig@...>
            > To: <sfrsa@egroups.com>
            > Sent: Monday, July 31, 2000 1:53 AM
            > Subject: Re: [sfrsa] Annual Robot Games
            >
            >
            > > For my proposed event at the Robot Games, I think I would like to take
            on
            > > all comers that don't compete in the Sumo, Lego, or other win-lose
            events.
            > > There has been mention of some of the concerns that I brought up in my
            > > previous post on the Seattle Robot Society discussion group. I hadn't
            > been
            > > aware of these when I did the post.
            > >
            > > The S.R.S. list of events for Robothon 2001 shows a floor exercise event
            > > which is just a 10' square enclosed arena with a smooth floor.
            > > Participants can launch their 'bots for 5 min. sessions to show what
            they
            > > can do. The emphasis is on autonomous robots, but they are not
            > restricting
            > > participation to that category. This would certainly be easy to
            > implement.
            > >
            > > I think we could spice this up by providing some portable/adjustable
            > > accessories that participants could use to customize the arena. What I
            > > have in mind is:
            > >
            > > a) an adjustable-slope ramp to test climbing ability and traction
            > >
            > > b) a section of carpet or astroturf
            > >
            > > c) an adjustable step height staircase
            > >
            > > d) a gravel/rock/or sand pan
            > >
            > > e) a shallow water hazard/pan
            > >
            > > f) a set of moveable block/post obstacles
            > >
            > > g) a section of corrugated roofing panel
            > >
            > > h) anything else that a participant wants to lug to the arena as
            > > long as
            > > they are willing to take it away again upon request. (Tall grass is
            > > a wonderfully amusing challenge for my walker, but I can't think of
            > > any way to incorporate it in this context.)
            > >
            > > Most of these are things that I've been meaning to make anyway to
            > calibrate
            > > 'bot performance when making mechanical or software changes, so it would
            > be
            > > a good opportunity to quit procrastinating. Some, like the corrugated
            > > panel and carpeting, are just junk that I have laying around.
            > >
            > > The point of this event is to maximize participation. I've gone back
            and
            > > looked over the postings on last year's robot games. I think Cliff
            > pointed
            > > out that the obstacle course looked hokey because people were throwing
            > > shoes and socks in the arena. Stan didn't participate because the rules
            > > weren't posted clearly and well in advance. These are points well
            taken.
            > >
            > > Although my 'bot was fully functional, and I had planned to attend, I
            > > didn't; because when the rules were finally posted, the stair climbing
            > > portion of the obstacle course seemed to call for a 2" leg lift, and my
            > > 'bot couldn't make it without hours of rework. I figured it would be a
            > > DNF. That was a mistake: I should have participated anyway. The point
            > is
            > > that if you make the rules too precise you exclude participants; hence
            an
            > > adjustable stair climb that can accommodate the legginess of the 'bot.
            Or
            > > no stair climb at all if the 'bot doesn't do stair climbs. I would
            rather
            > > err a little bit on the side of hokiness if we could attract a
            participant
            > > with a 'bot that could wander the arena using dead-reckoning and wind up
            > > anywhere near its starting point. On the other hand, we would have some
            > > toys handy so the shoes and socks wouldn't be necessary if somebody
            wanted
            > > to show off their 'bot's obstacle avoidance prowess.
            > >
            > > My biggest worry in all of this is how to ensure that the maximum
            > > participation is achieved while simultaneously making sure that all the
            > > 'bots get a satisfying workout. This is where I'll really need some
            help
            > > and feedback. Is it unrealistic to attempt a modifiable arena if this
            is
            > > only a one-day event? How many participants should be anticipated?
            > Should
            > > we try to get an advance estimate by e-mail polling or pre-registration?
            > > Auto clubs are doing this now for inter and intra-club race events. Are
            > > all the events running sequentially or concurrently? So let's hear from
            > > those of you with some experience. I've only attended one robot event:
            > > the Japanese Sumo Challenge. This was a straightforward elimination
            event
            > > that only took a couple of hours, including some pre-demonstrations and
            > > some exciting 'bot free-for-alls and 'bot-human shoving matches after
            the
            > > main event.
            > >
            > > Finally, what is the reason I want to do this event? I've been working
            on
            > > my robot for years. I started out with only CMOS logic gates for
            control
            > > and actually achieved some things that could only be accomplished by
            > > somebody who didn't know any better. I've had to completely start over
            > > when my surplus supplier of linear stepper-motors went out of business:
            > > new mechanical design, new electronics, the works. I think I started
            the
            > > whole thing in 1993. Anyway, in all that time, I never saw a real,
            honest
            > > 'bot in the round until I went to a Home-Brew Robotics Society meeting
            > > sometime in '98. What I saw there was about as far along as what I was
            > > working on at the time. I've seen a few more at S.F.R.S.A. meetings. I
            > > saw maybe two dozen 'bots at the Sumo event, and they resembled my 'bot
            > > about as much as a bulldozer resembles a cockroach. I was really
            excited
            > > that the Alan Alda TV special was showing a "robo-roach," and was
            > > incredulous when it turned out that the damn thing couldn't even stand
            up,
            > > let alone walk. My 'bot could run circles around it. If you listen to
            > the
            > > news media, you would think that robots are as common as pigeon
            droppings,
            > > but it's not so. Functioning, autonomous robots are very, very, very
            thin
            > > on the ground. My wife and I joke about the family 'bot and the
            > > neighborhood 'bot; but really, we don't know any other family or
            > > neighborhood that has a 'bot, and I suspect ours is the only one in
            town.
            > > If you have one, you are about 3+ standard deviations out there on some
            > > scale that psychometrics has yet to identify. But I know those 'bots
            are
            > > lurking somewhere. Maybe they're all up in Seattle, I don't know. What
            I
            > > do know is that I want to see them in action, and it looks like the
            > easiest
            > > way to do that is to host this event.
            > >
            > > John Zeissig
            > >
            > > <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig>
            > >
            > > <mailto:jZeissig@...>
            > >
            > >
            > > To see an older version of the 'bot
            > <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig/Bot.html>
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Be sure to visit our web site at http://www.robots.org
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Be sure to visit our web site at http://www.robots.org
            >
            >
          • Jeanette Eya-Zeissig
            Thanks for the response, Joe. I plan to be at the meeting on Wednesday. (BTW, this is John.) I don t really have much time or ego invested in the Logo thing.
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 30, 2000
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              Thanks for the response, Joe. I plan to be at the meeting on Wednesday.
              (BTW, this is John.) I don't really have much time or ego invested in the
              Logo thing. I just thought it would be fun to do a robot motif using the
              Club initials. I knew from previous posts that someone was working on a
              t-shirt design but hadn't seen anything about it since. This discussion
              group has been so quiet that I thought it might provoke some responses. I
              didn't bother to put in any text relating it to the Annual Robot Games,
              although looking at my original post, it certainly looks as though that's
              what I was suggesting. So, if anyone in the club wants to use it, tweak it
              into something else, or whatever, it's OK with me.

              John Zeissig



              >Jeanette, (or John, you didn't specify)
              >
              >Those are gret ideas!
              >People have always brought there bots for show at the games but it would be
              >nice if we officially anounce it. We should discuss incentives. I intend to
              >bring my rover.
              >
              >Regarding your design: It would good to bring it up at the meeting. As far
              >as a show logo Toni Thomson has a design she has submitted and has committed
              >seeing it through to the color seperations for T-shirt printing and all that
              >other art stuff. Your design is more of a SFRSA logo, which might have
              >merit.
              >

              <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig>

              <mailto:jZeissig@...>


              To see an older version of the 'bot <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig/Bot.html>
            • Jeanette Eya-Zeissig
              For my proposed event at the Robot Games, I think I would like to take on all comers that don t compete in the Sumo, Lego, or other win-lose events. There has
              Message 6 of 11 , Jul 30, 2000
              • 0 Attachment
                For my proposed event at the Robot Games, I think I would like to take on
                all comers that don't compete in the Sumo, Lego, or other win-lose events.
                There has been mention of some of the concerns that I brought up in my
                previous post on the Seattle Robot Society discussion group. I hadn't been
                aware of these when I did the post.

                The S.R.S. list of events for Robothon 2001 shows a floor exercise event
                which is just a 10' square enclosed arena with a smooth floor.
                Participants can launch their 'bots for 5 min. sessions to show what they
                can do. The emphasis is on autonomous robots, but they are not restricting
                participation to that category. This would certainly be easy to implement.

                I think we could spice this up by providing some portable/adjustable
                accessories that participants could use to customize the arena. What I
                have in mind is:

                a) an adjustable-slope ramp to test climbing ability and traction

                b) a section of carpet or astroturf

                c) an adjustable step height staircase

                d) a gravel/rock/or sand pan

                e) a shallow water hazard/pan

                f) a set of moveable block/post obstacles

                g) a section of corrugated roofing panel

                h) anything else that a participant wants to lug to the arena as
                long as
                they are willing to take it away again upon request. (Tall grass is
                a wonderfully amusing challenge for my walker, but I can't think of
                any way to incorporate it in this context.)

                Most of these are things that I've been meaning to make anyway to calibrate
                'bot performance when making mechanical or software changes, so it would be
                a good opportunity to quit procrastinating. Some, like the corrugated
                panel and carpeting, are just junk that I have laying around.

                The point of this event is to maximize participation. I've gone back and
                looked over the postings on last year's robot games. I think Cliff pointed
                out that the obstacle course looked hokey because people were throwing
                shoes and socks in the arena. Stan didn't participate because the rules
                weren't posted clearly and well in advance. These are points well taken.

                Although my 'bot was fully functional, and I had planned to attend, I
                didn't; because when the rules were finally posted, the stair climbing
                portion of the obstacle course seemed to call for a 2" leg lift, and my
                'bot couldn't make it without hours of rework. I figured it would be a
                DNF. That was a mistake: I should have participated anyway. The point is
                that if you make the rules too precise you exclude participants; hence an
                adjustable stair climb that can accommodate the legginess of the 'bot. Or
                no stair climb at all if the 'bot doesn't do stair climbs. I would rather
                err a little bit on the side of hokiness if we could attract a participant
                with a 'bot that could wander the arena using dead-reckoning and wind up
                anywhere near its starting point. On the other hand, we would have some
                toys handy so the shoes and socks wouldn't be necessary if somebody wanted
                to show off their 'bot's obstacle avoidance prowess.

                My biggest worry in all of this is how to ensure that the maximum
                participation is achieved while simultaneously making sure that all the
                'bots get a satisfying workout. This is where I'll really need some help
                and feedback. Is it unrealistic to attempt a modifiable arena if this is
                only a one-day event? How many participants should be anticipated? Should
                we try to get an advance estimate by e-mail polling or pre-registration?
                Auto clubs are doing this now for inter and intra-club race events. Are
                all the events running sequentially or concurrently? So let's hear from
                those of you with some experience. I've only attended one robot event:
                the Japanese Sumo Challenge. This was a straightforward elimination event
                that only took a couple of hours, including some pre-demonstrations and
                some exciting 'bot free-for-alls and 'bot-human shoving matches after the
                main event.

                Finally, what is the reason I want to do this event? I've been working on
                my robot for years. I started out with only CMOS logic gates for control
                and actually achieved some things that could only be accomplished by
                somebody who didn't know any better. I've had to completely start over
                when my surplus supplier of linear stepper-motors went out of business:
                new mechanical design, new electronics, the works. I think I started the
                whole thing in 1993. Anyway, in all that time, I never saw a real, honest
                'bot in the round until I went to a Home-Brew Robotics Society meeting
                sometime in '98. What I saw there was about as far along as what I was
                working on at the time. I've seen a few more at S.F.R.S.A. meetings. I
                saw maybe two dozen 'bots at the Sumo event, and they resembled my 'bot
                about as much as a bulldozer resembles a cockroach. I was really excited
                that the Alan Alda TV special was showing a "robo-roach," and was
                incredulous when it turned out that the damn thing couldn't even stand up,
                let alone walk. My 'bot could run circles around it. If you listen to the
                news media, you would think that robots are as common as pigeon droppings,
                but it's not so. Functioning, autonomous robots are very, very, very thin
                on the ground. My wife and I joke about the family 'bot and the
                neighborhood 'bot; but really, we don't know any other family or
                neighborhood that has a 'bot, and I suspect ours is the only one in town.
                If you have one, you are about 3+ standard deviations out there on some
                scale that psychometrics has yet to identify. But I know those 'bots are
                lurking somewhere. Maybe they're all up in Seattle, I don't know. What I
                do know is that I want to see them in action, and it looks like the easiest
                way to do that is to host this event.

                John Zeissig

                <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig>

                <mailto:jZeissig@...>


                To see an older version of the 'bot <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig/Bot.html>
              • Paul F. Grayson
                One way to structure contest rules is to give points for each of the tasks... if a robot can not do a particular task... is misses those points, but can still
                Message 7 of 11 , Jul 30, 2000
                • 0 Attachment
                  One way to structure contest rules is to give points for each of the
                  tasks... if a robot can not do a particular task... is misses those points,
                  but can still score with the things it can do.

                  Paul F. Grayson - Chief Engineer
                  AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL MAGIC
                  1892 Pinewood Ave.
                  Traverse City, MI 49684-9022
                  (231) 946-0187, FAX (231) 946-1122
                  pgrayson@...
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Jeanette Eya-Zeissig <jzeissig@...>
                  To: <sfrsa@egroups.com>
                  Sent: Monday, July 31, 2000 1:53 AM
                  Subject: Re: [sfrsa] Annual Robot Games


                  > For my proposed event at the Robot Games, I think I would like to take on
                  > all comers that don't compete in the Sumo, Lego, or other win-lose events.
                  > There has been mention of some of the concerns that I brought up in my
                  > previous post on the Seattle Robot Society discussion group. I hadn't
                  been
                  > aware of these when I did the post.
                  >
                  > The S.R.S. list of events for Robothon 2001 shows a floor exercise event
                  > which is just a 10' square enclosed arena with a smooth floor.
                  > Participants can launch their 'bots for 5 min. sessions to show what they
                  > can do. The emphasis is on autonomous robots, but they are not
                  restricting
                  > participation to that category. This would certainly be easy to
                  implement.
                  >
                  > I think we could spice this up by providing some portable/adjustable
                  > accessories that participants could use to customize the arena. What I
                  > have in mind is:
                  >
                  > a) an adjustable-slope ramp to test climbing ability and traction
                  >
                  > b) a section of carpet or astroturf
                  >
                  > c) an adjustable step height staircase
                  >
                  > d) a gravel/rock/or sand pan
                  >
                  > e) a shallow water hazard/pan
                  >
                  > f) a set of moveable block/post obstacles
                  >
                  > g) a section of corrugated roofing panel
                  >
                  > h) anything else that a participant wants to lug to the arena as
                  > long as
                  > they are willing to take it away again upon request. (Tall grass is
                  > a wonderfully amusing challenge for my walker, but I can't think of
                  > any way to incorporate it in this context.)
                  >
                  > Most of these are things that I've been meaning to make anyway to
                  calibrate
                  > 'bot performance when making mechanical or software changes, so it would
                  be
                  > a good opportunity to quit procrastinating. Some, like the corrugated
                  > panel and carpeting, are just junk that I have laying around.
                  >
                  > The point of this event is to maximize participation. I've gone back and
                  > looked over the postings on last year's robot games. I think Cliff
                  pointed
                  > out that the obstacle course looked hokey because people were throwing
                  > shoes and socks in the arena. Stan didn't participate because the rules
                  > weren't posted clearly and well in advance. These are points well taken.
                  >
                  > Although my 'bot was fully functional, and I had planned to attend, I
                  > didn't; because when the rules were finally posted, the stair climbing
                  > portion of the obstacle course seemed to call for a 2" leg lift, and my
                  > 'bot couldn't make it without hours of rework. I figured it would be a
                  > DNF. That was a mistake: I should have participated anyway. The point
                  is
                  > that if you make the rules too precise you exclude participants; hence an
                  > adjustable stair climb that can accommodate the legginess of the 'bot. Or
                  > no stair climb at all if the 'bot doesn't do stair climbs. I would rather
                  > err a little bit on the side of hokiness if we could attract a participant
                  > with a 'bot that could wander the arena using dead-reckoning and wind up
                  > anywhere near its starting point. On the other hand, we would have some
                  > toys handy so the shoes and socks wouldn't be necessary if somebody wanted
                  > to show off their 'bot's obstacle avoidance prowess.
                  >
                  > My biggest worry in all of this is how to ensure that the maximum
                  > participation is achieved while simultaneously making sure that all the
                  > 'bots get a satisfying workout. This is where I'll really need some help
                  > and feedback. Is it unrealistic to attempt a modifiable arena if this is
                  > only a one-day event? How many participants should be anticipated?
                  Should
                  > we try to get an advance estimate by e-mail polling or pre-registration?
                  > Auto clubs are doing this now for inter and intra-club race events. Are
                  > all the events running sequentially or concurrently? So let's hear from
                  > those of you with some experience. I've only attended one robot event:
                  > the Japanese Sumo Challenge. This was a straightforward elimination event
                  > that only took a couple of hours, including some pre-demonstrations and
                  > some exciting 'bot free-for-alls and 'bot-human shoving matches after the
                  > main event.
                  >
                  > Finally, what is the reason I want to do this event? I've been working on
                  > my robot for years. I started out with only CMOS logic gates for control
                  > and actually achieved some things that could only be accomplished by
                  > somebody who didn't know any better. I've had to completely start over
                  > when my surplus supplier of linear stepper-motors went out of business:
                  > new mechanical design, new electronics, the works. I think I started the
                  > whole thing in 1993. Anyway, in all that time, I never saw a real, honest
                  > 'bot in the round until I went to a Home-Brew Robotics Society meeting
                  > sometime in '98. What I saw there was about as far along as what I was
                  > working on at the time. I've seen a few more at S.F.R.S.A. meetings. I
                  > saw maybe two dozen 'bots at the Sumo event, and they resembled my 'bot
                  > about as much as a bulldozer resembles a cockroach. I was really excited
                  > that the Alan Alda TV special was showing a "robo-roach," and was
                  > incredulous when it turned out that the damn thing couldn't even stand up,
                  > let alone walk. My 'bot could run circles around it. If you listen to
                  the
                  > news media, you would think that robots are as common as pigeon droppings,
                  > but it's not so. Functioning, autonomous robots are very, very, very thin
                  > on the ground. My wife and I joke about the family 'bot and the
                  > neighborhood 'bot; but really, we don't know any other family or
                  > neighborhood that has a 'bot, and I suspect ours is the only one in town.
                  > If you have one, you are about 3+ standard deviations out there on some
                  > scale that psychometrics has yet to identify. But I know those 'bots are
                  > lurking somewhere. Maybe they're all up in Seattle, I don't know. What I
                  > do know is that I want to see them in action, and it looks like the
                  easiest
                  > way to do that is to host this event.
                  >
                  > John Zeissig
                  >
                  > <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig>
                  >
                  > <mailto:jZeissig@...>
                  >
                  >
                  > To see an older version of the 'bot
                  <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig/Bot.html>
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Be sure to visit our web site at http://www.robots.org
                  >
                  >
                • Jeanette Eya-Zeissig
                  ... I think what Paul is getting at here is an event like the decathlon in which the overall winner frequently does not come in first in any of the sub-events,
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 2, 2000
                  • 0 Attachment
                    >Good idea for an open class event. But then an open class event could be so
                    >wide that defined tasks may be too limiting. How about award classes for
                    >most original, best engineered, best stupid-robot-trick, etc, etc.
                    >
                    >Joe
                    >
                    >----- Original Message -----
                    >From: Paul F. Grayson <pgrayson@...>
                    >To: <sfrsa@egroups.com>
                    >Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 11:02 PM
                    >Subject: Re: [sfrsa] Annual Robot Games
                    >
                    >
                    >> One way to structure contest rules is to give points for each of the
                    >> tasks... if a robot can not do a particular task... is misses those
                    >points,
                    >> but can still score with the things it can do.
                    >>
                    >> Paul F. Grayson - Chief Engineer
                    >> AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL MAGIC
                    >> 1892 Pinewood Ave.
                    >> Traverse City, MI 49684-9022
                    >> (231) 946-0187, FAX (231) 946-1122
                    >> pgrayson@...
                    >> ----- Original Message -----
                    >> From: Jeanette Eya-Zeissig <jzeissig@...>
                    >> To: <sfrsa@egroups.com>
                    >> Sent: Monday, July 31, 2000 1:53 AM
                    >> Subject: Re: [sfrsa] Annual Robot Games

                    I think what Paul is getting at here is an event like the decathlon
                    in which the overall winner frequently does not come in first in any of the
                    sub-events, but manages to win the overall competition by dint of stellar
                    performances in a few sub-events or consistently mediochre to good results
                    across the board. This consideration was behind my remark that I should
                    have participated in last year's games in spite of my fear that
                    Fuzzknuckles (my 'bot) would fail the stair-climb. I like this idea, and,
                    with the addition of adjustability on some of the apparatus to appease
                    nervous nellies like my previous self, it could go pretty much like the
                    obstacle courses of the past. "Charm" awards should be given regardless of
                    the final details of the event. How does that sound?

                    John Zeissig

                    <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig>

                    <mailto:jZeissig@...>


                    To see an older version of the 'bot <http://home.att.net/~jZeissig/Bot.html>
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