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Re: [sfrsa] Annual Robot Games

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  • 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 1 of 11 , Jul 23 11:26 AM
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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 2 of 11 , Jul 23 12:12 PM
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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 3 of 11 , Jul 23 9:23 PM
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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
          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 4 of 11 , Jul 30 6:53 PM
          • 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 5 of 11 , Jul 30 11:02 PM
            • 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 6 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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