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Re: [sfrsa] Annual Robot Games

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  • 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 1 of 11 , Jul 23 9:23 PM
      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
      ... 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 2 of 11 , Aug 2, 2000
        >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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