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Droid Works
06-17-2008, 11:48 AM
Original Mech Warfare Thread



**Closed due to size, please create individual threads related to specific topics from this point on**

-Tyberius

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 12:56 PM
Official Mech Warfare Site: http://mech-warfare.com

We had some awesome discussions on a new form of robotic competition at Robogames. Think Combat bots meet Humanoid fighting... I present to you Mech Warfare.

I'll give an overview of the rough concept and rules:

Event would take place inside a battle-bot type arena, much like they had at robogames. Would have to be fully enclosed. Anywhere from 8-16 mock 'buildings' roughly 2 feet tall or so would be placed strategically throughout the arena to provide cover. 'Streets' would be wide enough to allow bots to traverse down and through the city. Each bot starts at the opposite side of the arena.

Walking robots only. I was originally thinking bipeds but Eric has his heart set on an AT-AT type bot. I'd say anything up to 4 legs should be allowed, hexapods might have too much of an advantage.

'Pilots' may only view the battle through a POV camera mounted on their bot. Spectators would be able to watch the entire fight in the arena, and also have a view of each pilots 'bot cam' on either side of the arena.

Projectile and melee weapons are allowed. I'm going to say things like flame throwers are outlawed as these bots are going to be walkers and thus not quite as armored as standard combat bots. Things like airsoft type guns, coilguns and rockets (think micro-estes engines) are allowed. I'm thinking at least some sort of auto-tracking/lock on can be allowed.

Each robot has touch sensors on the body, with "X" amount of 'hitpoints'. The object is to essentially hit your opponents chest "X" amount of times or score the most hits before the round ends. A knockover could also count as a hit. We were thinking something like 3-5 hitpoints, which could be displayed on the bot via LED's that light up after each hit is taken. Flash paper could also be used for extra effect.


Currently there are humanoid 'laser tag' contests... but the thing they're lacking is projectiles. Shooting light at eachother isnt nearly as much fun as shooting a coilgun or something visible, or unleashing a barrage of rockets at your enemy.

lnxfergy
06-17-2008, 01:37 PM
Absolutely awesome idea.... I've always wanted a full size mech, but this is a little more practical...

And if you want to make it interactive with the crowd.. arm the buildings and do a raffle or something to pick spectators to shoot from buildings.

-Fergs

Adrenalynn
06-17-2008, 01:48 PM
I didn't think of this when we chatted on Saturday - but is a complicated hitpoint scheme even necessary? One hit from a rocket is going to put the thing down, and something with the configuration of a mech won't be able to right itself. One shot, one kill.

One airsoft probably wouldn't "kill" it, but a barage from a full auto electric airsoft certainly would...

4mem8
06-17-2008, 01:51 PM
I have the head of ED 202 biped in acrylic resin [hollow] and a good size, i might post a pic after digging it out from my pile of bits, That would be neat on a biped frame, damn you all, now I have to spend more $'s after getting J5 he he, Might be hard to justify to the wife though after getting J5.

4mem8
06-17-2008, 01:53 PM
Airsoft would be quite good for this Adrenalynn, Just been talking to tyberious about his idea of Mechwarrior type bipeds, very cool idea, damn living so far away from you guys.

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 02:02 PM
I didn't think of this when we chatted on Saturday - but is a complicated hitpoint scheme even necessary? One hit from a rocket is going to put the thing down, and something with the configuration of a mech won't be able to right itself. One shot, one kill.

One airsoft probably wouldn't "kill" it, but a barage from a full auto electric airsoft certainly would...

Eh, might make the matches go a little too quick. I was thinking 10 minute time limit, or 3 hits to the chest to win... simply because we're trying to simulate mech combat... and what mech takes one hit and falls over dead? :p

Knock over might be considered insta-death though, as some of these bots probably cant right themselves.

With that said, maybe 3 direct hits from the 'small arms fire' (airsoft, coilgun, etc) constitutes a kill, or a knock over from a rocket constitutes a kill.

Adrenalynn
06-17-2008, 02:02 PM
Agreed - airsoft would work well. And be super easy to sense hits in the target zone, ignore hits outside of it.

MYKL
06-17-2008, 02:06 PM
If you could get the pansy assed safety crippled authorities to agree to rocket toting robots I'm there!
Put two cameras on your bot and use those new game goggles glasses so you can have tele-operated stereo vision! Here is an application for one of those light wieght high pressure fiber bottles that are used for paint balls and airsoft. And you can load the gun with bb's instead of plastic pellets.

There are a grouip of guys that already have these guns down and attached to an R/C platform for sanctioned battling. If they can get permission to fill a pond with bb's why couldn't we pelt each others bots within a plastic coccoon?
http://gizmodo.com/386883/maker-faire-remote-controlled-battleships-fighting-with-bb-gun-cannons

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 02:09 PM
They were allowing massive flamethrowers on bots at Robogames, I dont see why glorified bottle rockets (without the bang) wouldnt be allowed. Basically the same as firing a mini model rocket, and it would be inside that big enclosed arena.

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 02:14 PM
Also think about potential for expansion on the event. We can start off simple, basic city (8 buildings, 2 feet tall or so) and 1v1 matches.

In the future... we could do team matches, 2v2, 3v3, more complex city environments, objectives (king of the hill? capture the base, etc)

Adrenalynn
06-17-2008, 02:17 PM
Yeah, we can calculate the force involved and show it's almost infinitely less than a 340lb robot being flung into the side of the box at 30MPH. (And yes, that did happen. Right in front of my face. That's a bit of an experience... ;) )

[edit to add] They also permitted gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. The amount of explosive force contained there is also nearly infinitely larger than a bottle rocket...

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 02:28 PM
Yeah, we can calculate the force involved and show it's almost infinitely less than a 340lb robot being flung into the side of the box at 30MPH. (And yes, that did happen. Right in front of my face. That's a bit of an experience... ;) )

[edit to add] They also permitted gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. The amount of explosive force contained there is also nearly infinitely larger than a bottle rocket...

Excellent point. Really these are minor 'explosives' and much less dangerous than the full sized combat bots. I've been hit with a home made rocket launcher (don't ask) using C class Estes engines and it barely stung... the ones I'm thinking of using are like 1/10th of the size

indy007
06-17-2008, 02:31 PM
You're going to be stuck with balsa armor it sounds like. Anything with even KE to penetrate a metal armor would probably be capable of penetrating a person.

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 02:48 PM
No armor penetration is even necessary with this. The point isn't to destroy the other bots, just simply register hits. We'll be using touch sensors on the chest plate to tell if we hit the bots.

Furthermore, this will be inside an encased armored arena capable of preventing a 320lb bot @ 30mph from crushing a somewhat spooked Adrenalynn :p

Trust me, I wouldn't want to be piloting around my $1500 mech in an arena where it could be potentially destroyed. At most they'll get a few 'battle scars' and thats it.

Adrenalynn
06-17-2008, 02:49 PM
I went out lookin' - been awhile since I've done the rocket-thang.

A Class-A motor has 0.29-0.56lbf/sec of impulse. They make 1/2, 1/4, 1/8A motors as well.

The Quest MicroMaxx II appears to be the smallest motor - AND it's electrically ignited, AND it's cheap!

~$5 buys six motors. $12 buys a ready to launch rocket system. They make 0.30 newton-seconds for .66 second, they're only 6mm x 26mm. With a peak thrust of 3.21 newtons and only 0.45N of average thrust. (source: http://www.nar.org/pdf/Quest/MicroMaxxII.pdf)

Initial mass is 1.2g, mass on exhaustion is 0.5g. If you were standing right at cut-off, it might sting a bit if it hit you...

Wingzero01w
06-17-2008, 02:51 PM
A little off topic, but how exactly do you make these micro rockets? They sound really fun to make...

Adrenalynn
06-17-2008, 02:57 PM
You don't make the motors, you buy them. You can buy or make the rocket yourself. They were letting kids build free A-series, streamer-recovered rockets at the Maker Faire. They'd decorate the tubes and glue the fins on and attach the nose cones, them someone would load-up the motor for 'em, they'd take them to the parking lot, put 'em on the launch pad, then fire them. Lots of fun to watch little kids setting off rockets. :)

Anyway, the upshot is that you buy a handful of motors, a $12 rocket, go find someplace with a safe 50' radius where you can fire something ~120' in the air, and push the button. .. :)

Adrenalynn
06-17-2008, 02:59 PM
There is some risk, here, Tyb. A friend of mine got busted by the ATF for his R/C platform launcher. My original SciOly bot was built around what was left of that platform after the ATF got done "helping" him disassemble it. They get real testy about anything that you can fire horizontally, or so I understand.

indy007
06-17-2008, 03:08 PM
No armor penetration is even necessary with this. The point isn't to destroy the other bots, just simply register hits. We'll be using touch sensors on the chest plate to tell if we hit the bots.

Furthermore, this will be inside an encased armored arena capable of preventing a 320lb bot @ 30mph from crushing a somewhat spooked Adrenalynn :p

Trust me, I wouldn't want to be piloting around my $1500 mech in an arena where it could be potentially destroyed. At most they'll get a few 'battle scars' and thats it.

I like to see things melt :veryhappy: If that's the case though, I would think you'd take far, far more punishing damage from something ferocious like Blendo (I'd rather get hit with a 9mm than hit by that thing). If you're sticking to lower power hand to hand attacks since they're all bipeds & quads with the balance issues anyways, then you can both airsoft bb's and paintball guns (the kinetic energy different is pretty big so you could easily code in various types & levels of damage), and just use safety netting all the way around. You'd hugely slash your setup time and arena costs. Cleanup would be a broom & water hose.

Adrenalynn
06-17-2008, 03:10 PM
I think the goal would be to have it accepted as an event where combat robots compete. Which means "box-friendly". Paintball is universally frowned upon in those environs. Too much cleanup time.

Droid Works
06-17-2008, 03:15 PM
I'm fine with what ever rules you guys decide on. I am going to try to get the arena picked up as soon as possible. I am working on it as we speak.

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 03:27 PM
There is some risk, here, Tyb. A friend of mine got busted by the ATF for his R/C platform launcher. My original SciOly bot was built around what was left of that platform after the ATF got done "helping" him disassemble it. They get real testy about anything that you can fire horizontally, or so I understand.

But they were okay with 12' flames from other bots?

Matt
06-17-2008, 03:30 PM
And to think that I started this community with the idea of advanced robotics in mind... One visit to Robogames and what happens to this place? Rocket robots, that's what. Forgive them father, they know not what they do...

http://rofl.wheresthebeef.co.uk/sad.jpg

:P

Adrenalynn
06-17-2008, 03:30 PM
Yeah, funny that, huh?

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 03:33 PM
It was only a matter of time before we gave our robots weapons :D

Viva la Skynet!

Wingzero01w
06-17-2008, 03:38 PM
What are the minimum/maximum height of these robots?

Adrenalynn
06-17-2008, 03:40 PM
It's even worse: In case you don't hear it, there's a lot of Trossen Endorsed Adult Beverage talking in this thread, too. ;)

Seriously, though, there will be some substantial technical hurdles. I haven't seen anyone note yet that there's a ~1sec delay when you ignite a Frac-A rocket, and a half-plus second to full impulse. Hitting ANYTHING from something over point-blank range won't be easy, and could use some targeting brains.

That said, it's not my gig. I'm likin' the DefCon bots. Fully autonomous target shooting....

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 03:55 PM
What are the minimum/maximum height of these robots?

Nothing set in stone at this point. I'd say we're shooting for something around the size of current humanoid robots. I'd like it to be open enough that people could retrofit their existing humanoids (say Robonovas, Kondo's, etc) with weapons to be able to compete in this.

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 03:58 PM
It's even worse: In case you don't hear it, there's a lot of Trossen Endorsed Adult Beverage talking in this thread, too. ;)

Seriously, though, there will be some substantial technical hurdles. I haven't seen anyone note yet that there's a ~1sec delay when you ignite a Frac-A rocket, and a half-plus second to full impulse. Hitting ANYTHING from something over point-blank range won't be easy, and could use some targeting brains.

That said, it's not my gig. I'm likin' the DefCon bots. Fully autonomous target shooting....

Thats half the fun though, having to lead shots, miss a lot, etc. I don't expect these to be super-accurate bots- at least not at first (think first generation Robo-one and soccer). I just think a competition like this would open up a new genre of robots so to speak, and would love to see how they progress.

MYKL
06-17-2008, 04:00 PM
I picture a salvo pod that works like a miniature nerf mini-gun. You have a few (lets say 8-10) plastic or aluminum 'rockets' (solid versions of the nerf jobs with solid pointy nose cones instead of suckers that are streamlined and balanced) in a pod that fires the little missles one by one using a servo driven manifold that is attached to a pressure supply.

Now I have another project to gum up my mind...

The sensors on the bots could easily register the power of the hits so that a more powerful hit and/or fall would give the opponant more points.

Also, as far as the team based gaming, why not have the building themselves as targets? Make them out of light balsa paint 'em red and blue and give them a point value. The more of the opposing teams building that are destroyed the more points you get. The more of your structures that survive the more points you get... You could have berzerkers and protectors onna team...

^_^

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 04:29 PM
Also, as far as the team based gaming, why not have the building themselves as targets? Make them out of light balsa paint 'em red and blue and give them a point value. The more of the opposing teams building that are destroyed the more points you get. The more of your structures that survive the more points you get... You could have berzerkers and protectors onna team...

^_^

This.

Excellent idea on the team based dynamics. I just think theres a lot of potential for various types of gameplay and strategy with a competition like this.

My machinist is standing by ready for me to send the dxf's for custom aluminum AX-12 brackets, just need to really get to work in cad and get this thing designed. I'm definitely going for a 'Vulture' type mech.

MYKL
06-17-2008, 04:47 PM
I'll have to look up the name when I'm not sneaking at work but there is a company that makes PDF printouts of modern and mideval citys and props for table top RPGs that would be perfect scale for this.

Is your machinist willing to produce anyones parts and how is the price?

^_^

Wingzero01w
06-17-2008, 05:14 PM
Wow this idea is really cool... much better than laser tag.

Is this the type of projectiles that your talking about? http://www.robots-dreams.com/2008/05/i-sobot-robot-d.html
http://www.robots-dreams.com/2008/05/surprising-i-so.html

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 05:21 PM
Wow this idea is really cool... much better than laser tag.

Is this the type of projectiles that your talking about? http://www.robots-dreams.com/2008/05/i-sobot-robot-d.html

Ummm... think less toyish and more rockets like this: YouTube - Model Rocket Car using Estes Rocket MotorsBut a good amount smaller. Like this size: http://www.poncinihobbies.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=QUS5663

Edit, here's a model rocket made of one of the engine's were considering: YouTube - Ball Point Pen Rocket

It's a bit longer than our rockets will be, I'm thinking we'll just add a cone to the end of the engine along with some stabilizers.

Sienna
06-17-2008, 05:27 PM
Rockets... eesh..

I don't know about you, but I would rather not subject several thousand dollars of servos and electronics to rocket attacks.

I would vote for BB or Airsoft, with a maximum velocity limitation.

Of course, if it was my competition, I wouldn't allow 'pilots'. Autonomous only, off-board processing is allowed, register your frequencies (for non freq-hopping gear) at the door.

Wingzero01w
06-17-2008, 05:27 PM
Wow thats some fire power for a humanoid.

MYKL
06-17-2008, 05:34 PM
I agree with your rocket sentiments. Have you ever looked at the little metal plates that come with those estes kits after a few launches? The exhaust from the motors makes nasty burns... on everything...

Autono-Roomba-mechs?

The man-machine interface is what this is all about.

Right?

The idea of pilot view screens for the audience would be lost if the 'bot was pilotless... Maybe your drones couild be NPCs for extra points/hazard.

ooops
06-17-2008, 05:36 PM
See I knew if I kept hanging out here you guys would get me distracted!
Sounds cool I could get behind rocket fired anything!
Are you ready to R-U-M-B-L-E?

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 05:41 PM
Rockets... eesh..

I don't know about you, but I would rather not subject several thousand dollars of servos and electronics to rocket attacks.

I would vote for BB or Airsoft, with a maximum velocity limitation.

Of course, if it was my competition, I wouldn't allow 'pilots'. Autonomous only, off-board processing is allowed, register your frequencies (for non freq-hopping gear) at the door.

The rockets really dont do much damage... I've been hit with a full sized one in the ribs (again, don't ask, I was a very stupid teenager with very stupid teenage friends) and the size we're talking about using is a toy in comparison.

On top of that, these bots are going to be a bit more armored than your average humanoid. I'm thinking very thing aluminum plating so that no wires are exposed and servo exposure is minimal. Ideally one of these bots could take a direct hit from 3-4 rockets at a time and just get knocked over without causing any real damage.

BBs/Airsoft are still going to be the primary weapon, rockets are not required and even if a bot does carry them, I can't imagine it having more that say 8-10 micro rockets onboard.

Sienna
06-17-2008, 06:16 PM
Autono-Roomba-mechs?

The man-machine interface is what this is all about.

Right?

The idea of pilot view screens for the audience would be lost if the 'bot was pilotless... Maybe your drones couild be NPCs for extra points/hazard.

It all depends on what each person's goals are for robots. I look at the humanoid fight videos, and I yawn when I see people at remote controls. To me (and maybe I am crazy) remote control isn't very exciting. Don't get me wrong, I love mechanics, so that aspect gets me interested, especially how much stress they put on the leg servos in those 'combat crouches', but the remote control part doesn't get to me.

And I don't know that it would eliminate 'pilot' screens. I imagine most of the robot finding would rely on vision of some sort, which could be put up on the screens just as easily.

Anyway, it could easily be solved just like how all the other robot competitions do it... have two 'leagues'. One for 'manned' things, one for 'unmanned' things.

Wingzero01w
06-17-2008, 06:26 PM
anybody know an online source where i can get some of these micro rocket supplies?

And is this type of competition for humanoid robots only? Or can quads enter also?

DresnerRobotics
06-17-2008, 06:38 PM
Nothing is set in stone at this time, just brainstorming. I was thinking bipeds and quadrapods would be allowed, hexapods probably have too much of an advantage.

And I'll link you to the rockets under the condition that I assume zero responsibility for you hurting yourself :P These are still dangerous, and we would only be using them under protected and controlled environments:

http://www.a2zhobbies.com/Quest/Ready_to_Fly_Rockets/QUE-5663.html

4mem8
06-17-2008, 07:17 PM
Man. I go to work for 4 hrs and log on at work to find that there are 5 pages on this subject, Is there interest or what, After talking to Tyberious early this morning it's amasing how much interest there is, These are all cool sugestions guys and I am all ears, I am going to dig out my 14" model of ED202 tonight and look at the head section and see if it can be used for this idea, also check out the stance and leg positions.
Good post Tyberious.

metaform3d
06-17-2008, 08:12 PM
I wasn't too excited about the idea when it was discussed at the bar, but I'm starting to like the concept. When I was a kid we'd build cities and then play Godzilla and destroy them, so the idea of getting points through collateral damage is very appealing. Also much more fun for the audience than counting hits. It's got a pretty high barrier to entry so it has to be both very cool and open to relatively low-capability contestants.

Cool as they would be, I would have to see a proof of concept to think that rockets would work. They are good for bipeds in that they have no recoil, unlike projectiles, but they are bound to scorch the mech and I'd be afraid the KE could do serious damage. I think anyone who had sunk thousands of dollars and months of work into a robo-one would think twice about exposing it to that kind of uncertainty.

An alternative would be to call for airstrikes. You'd have gimbaled compressed-air Nerf cannons inside the arena, and if one of the mechs manages to laser-paint an enemy for a few seconds they could get a short barrage. It would be a heck of a lot easier than mounting rocket launchers or airguns on already unstable and underpowered walkers. There would also be a level of certainty about the forces involved that regular people could feel comfortable risking their beloved bipeds.

JonHylands
06-17-2008, 09:01 PM
I like this whole thing - I came up with something like this when I was first designing MicroRaptor, called "Hunter". The concept is to use a camera on a pan&tilt head, with VR goggles that have an IMU so the robot's head moves with yours.

It would also be interesting to incorporate other senses into the robots, like stereo audio, so you could hear the direction of sounds.

I can see a lot of autonomy entering into this, from balance & recovery to ducking behind cover. Eventually, someone like Sienna (or me) will do a full-blown autonomous robot to compete against the manned bots, and hopefully that will spur on an entire new class of autonomous competition.

How would a biped like MicroRaptor, with a long head and tail, be scored against in a competition like this? I guess I would need to have a contact patch on both the head and the sides of the body.

The other thing that would add a lot of interest to this would be to have a multi-level playing field, perhaps with simple elevators or lifts. Having raised "sniper posts" could really change the dynamics of the game.

- Jon

Wingzero01w
06-17-2008, 09:07 PM
I like this whole thing - I came up with something like this when I was first designing MicroRaptor, called "Hunter". The concept is to use a camera on a pan&tilt head, with VR goggles that have an IMU so the robot's head moves with yours.

It would also be interesting to incorporate other senses into the robots, like stereo audio, so you could hear the direction of sounds.

I can see a lot of autonomy entering into this, from balance & recovery to ducking behind cover. Eventually, someone like Sienna (or me) will do a full-blown autonomous robot to compete against the manned bots, and hopefully that will spur on an entire new class of autonomous competition.

How would a biped like MicroRaptor, with a long head and tail, be scored against in a competition like this? I guess I would need to have a contact patch on both the head and the sides of the body.

The other thing that would add a lot of interest to this would be to have a multi-level playing field, perhaps with simple elevators or lifts. Having raised "sniper posts" could really change the dynamics of the game.

- Jon

Thats a really neat idea... wow... you just made the competition sound even more fun and exciting.

BTW, how is microraptor progressing?

JonHylands
06-17-2008, 09:11 PM
I've been too busy for the past month to do anything on MicroRaptor... Too much to do, not nearly enough time to do it in.

My MicroRaptor progress is typically updated on my blog (http://www.huv.com/blog/).

- Jon

trey3670
06-17-2008, 10:11 PM
ok I like the airsoft idea,but use paintballs,they come in that caliber,as for rockets you can probably mount a paintball to the end of one a the micros. this way it gives you positive proof of hit and opens up the idea of grenades,mines etc..

Adrenalynn
06-17-2008, 11:23 PM
Use Paintballs = Be uninvited from any "civilized" event.

Wingzero01w
06-17-2008, 11:43 PM
Use Paintballs = Be uninvited from any "civilized" event.

Whats that supposed to mean?

Adrenalynn
06-18-2008, 12:51 AM
Large events have to move fast. If it can't be swept-up with a pushbroom, it's banned.

Paint = Nasty Mess = Nasty Cleanup = Large amounts of time + Manpower = High Costs for event organizers.

Wingzero01w
06-18-2008, 12:55 AM
Oh, for a second i thought you implied that the sport was bad, sorry for assuming that :o. Usually paintball cleans up with water, then you broom it, but its true if used in large amounts it could be a pain to clean- especially for events like robogames.

4mem8
06-18-2008, 01:32 AM
Why not do as the R/C tanks do, Each tank has a focused strong TX IR beam and an IR receiver, ! hit it slows slightly,2 hits slows a bit more 3 hits reduces power by 50% 4, 75% and 5 hits stops the tank and smoke pours out, This could be final or the biped could restart after a pre timed period. Tanks have realistic sound effects , no reason why the sound effects could not include rocket sounds and gattling gun sound effects through an amplifier.

DresnerRobotics
06-18-2008, 01:55 AM
Why not do as the R/C tanks do, Each tank has a focused strong TX IR beam and an IR receiver, ! hit it slows slightly,2 hits slows a bit more 3 hits reduces power by 50% 4, 75% and 5 hits stops the tank and smoke pours out, This could be final or the biped could restart after a pre timed period. Tanks have realistic sound effects , no reason why the sound effects could not include rocket sounds and gattling gun sound effects through an amplifier.

Couple of reasons I'm shying away from lasers or IR entirely.

Its already been done. There are humanoid competitions that use lasers... and firing 'light' at other bots isnt nearly as exciting as firing projectiles. Something the crowd can see, something that makes a noise on impact, etc they will respond to more so than light weapons. Watching bots fire invisible beams is harder for the crowd to follow and see whats going on too.

Lastly, I have a long standing obsession with mechwarrior, and while they did have lasers and such, they were also largely armed with physical weaponry. I like the idea of inertia and physical hits, I think it adds to the show of it all. I also like the idea of physical weapons being able to actually knock over other bots, adds a bit more danger and flare to it. Having a 'mech' thats slightly dented, battle scarred, etc is pretty awesome :D

Adrenalynn
06-18-2008, 02:09 AM
Like I said - this isn't really my "style" - BUT: I'm totally in agreement with you. There's a reason combat robots don't go around firing invisible beams of light at each other. They pick each other up and throw each other into lexan walls. And the crowd goes wild EVERY time.

4mem8
06-18-2008, 04:19 AM
Point taken and it was only a suggestion guys. I also like your idea's of physical weapons and knocking over other bots, I can see the exhilaration in this concept. What other weapons do you plan on other than rockets and airsoft pellets? Would you consider pyrotechnics for ground effects?

My ED209 Head, Would look cool on a biped.

http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/1299/emailpict0043bj3.jpg

MYKL
06-18-2008, 09:15 AM
I wasn't trying to play down the importance of autonomy Sienna and Jon. I just see autonomous functioning in a bot more like any other part of a machine. It makes the machine perfoem better. You have a robot that walks for instance. We don't tell every actuator what it needs to do every time we give the bot an instruction. The bot autonomously walks, grabs, pulverizes... whatever. The pilot is there to enjoy the ride and to give the bot on-the-spot instruction. The more user-friendly the autonomy of a bot makes it, the more able to respond to pilot and environment, the better. I can see the delight in creating something that chooses its own course but IMHO it is a lot more fun to be riding the warhorse, guiding its instincts and power, than to be watching it.

We should have a version where the combatants would be limited to non-projectile weapons too. Mayhap the city-model could be a bit more detailed and the mech feet could be limited in size so that the players (and they're bots) would have to use more finesse when cavorting about and fomenting mayhem.

You know if your unleashing a bot-load of bb's on an opponant they're and you also are gonna have to think about walking on balls...

Autonomous balancing to the rescue?

^_^

JonHylands
06-18-2008, 09:48 AM
Actually, I think better designed feet would help more with the "BBs on the ground" problem. A foot shaped like an "X", about the same size as the flat feet, with the ends of the "X" curved down, would be better for walking on top of BBs.

Might cause problems with the "shuffle-walk" that most bipeds seem to employ, though. The plan for MicroRaptor was to eventually have feet like that anyways, because they would be much better for walking outdoors on uneven ground. With a pressure sensor on each of the four tips, assuming the ankle is flexible enough, it should be doable to make a compliant foot.

- Jon

MYKL
06-18-2008, 10:16 AM
That would work perfectly!

I think the designers should be rewarded for spending the time to make they're entry into an realistic mecha-typ bot too. Be it a Rapter, an Armored Core, a Big Dog or a Patlabor.

^_^

Droid Works
06-18-2008, 01:41 PM
I think I may buy a robovie and make an Atlas. Its already has a heavy aluminum frame all I would have to do is add armor and guns and make it look like an Atlas.
http://www.roboporium.com/Affiliates/Droidworks/robovie-m_v3_DW.html

4mem8
06-18-2008, 02:06 PM
Very nice bot, A lot of $'s though. $3,990

Wingzero01w
06-18-2008, 02:21 PM
I think I may buy a robovie and make an Atlas. Its already has a heavy aluminum frame all I would have to do is add armor and guns and make it look like an Atlas.
http://www.roboporium.com/Affiliates/Droidworks/robovie-m_v3_DW.html

Whats an atlas?

DresnerRobotics
06-18-2008, 02:23 PM
Whats an atlas?

Know your mechwarrior! :p

Atlas:
http://mechwarrior.mytopix.com/img/a/atlas-0.jpg


And on that note, my first mech for this will be based on the Vulture:

http://img380.imageshack.us/img380/4219/vulturelakeyw3.jpg

Wingzero01w
06-18-2008, 02:44 PM
:eek::eek::eek::eek: I see, so this is what our robotic overlords will look like :robotsurprised:

JonHylands
06-18-2008, 02:58 PM
Regarding the Vulture, and other Mecha-styled bipeds - there has been a lot of concern about how to make them walk, given the wide stance of their feet/hips, and small amount of mass above the COG to counter-balance it (as is often used with humanoids).

I devised a method for MicroRaptor walking that I haven't seen anywhere else on a biped, and it seems incredibly obvious to me.

See this page (http://www.bioloid.info/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=MicroRaptor+Walking) for details...

http://www.bioloid.info/tiki/show_image.php?name=MicroRaptor-Walking.PNG

Your biped has to have relatively long legs in order for this technique to work, but you can end up with almost no body sway.

- Jon

MYKL
06-18-2008, 03:28 PM
This looks a bit like where I'm going with my 'Supernova'. I've added not only hip rotation but DOF's that allows them to tilt side to side and forward and back. I know... I know... I'll post piccies by this weeks end.

Truthfully I'd lost some impetus for the project because the current humanoid contests look more like ice-hockey matches between nursing home patients than wrestling or boxing. I'd like to see the 'cities' the have some terrain that makes shufflers and skaters a thing of the past. Now that we're discussing this new set of perameters I am looking forward to upgrading my bot.

I'd like to suggest another perameter to this game. How about a giving the mechs free reign to use anything they can pick up as a weapon? If you can pick it up you can hurl it or beat the other guy and or his structures down with it...

^_^

Wingzero01w
06-18-2008, 03:40 PM
Good point MYKL, the current way of humanoid wrestling is rather boring and slow and its just basically watching bots shuffle all over the place until the find a way to line up with the other bot and hopefully land a hit. Im not saying this is the way all humanoid fights go, but the majority of them end up this way.

LinuxGuy
06-18-2008, 03:46 PM
And on that note, my first mech for this will be based on the Vulture:

http://img380.imageshack.us/img380/4219/vulturelakeyw3.jpg
That looks real close to an ED-209 model.. It shouldn't be too difficult to make in a reasonable scale. How big are these mechs supposed to be?

8-Dale

JonHylands
06-18-2008, 03:46 PM
I'd like to suggest another perameter to this game. How about a giving the mechs free reign to use anything they can pick up as a weapon? If you can pick it up you can hurl it or beat the other guy and or his structures down with it...

I think that sounds reasonable.

Question for you - how do you envision aiming? For MicroRaptor, which has no arms, I would mount the main weapon (airsoft, or something similar) on the head, beside the camera. Thus the main camera would be close to the same axis as the barrel of the weapon, and aiming would be fairly simple.

Another question - most airsoft guns are big - much bigger than is easily handled by a standard biped. I've never taken one apart, but you would presumably need at least a semi-auto, with some kind of magazine feed, to be useful.

I was originally thinking of demoing MicroRaptor in a firefighting competition, with a turbine-like blower mounted on his back, and a tube from there up to his "mouth", so he could blow out the candle flame. Perhaps something similar, using high velocity air flow, with a solenoid controlled valve that opens to shoot a BB, and a gravity fed magazine.

- Jon

LinuxGuy
06-18-2008, 03:48 PM
Your biped has to have relatively long legs in order for this technique to work, but you can end up with almost no body sway.
This is actually a more Human type of walk. I was trying to get a more Human style walk for my BRAT, and I was making progress, but then stuff happened, and I gave up on the BRAT, at least for now.

In fact, if you look at the 6DOF biped legs I designed with SES, the legs are quite long, as well as allowing a full crouch. That is due to the Matt Baur style double jointed design. I just took double jointing to higher level with three double joints per leg. I'd really like to build this one and may go ahead and design arms for it also. Notice how I have the body - there would be two 6V @ 1600 mAH batteries powering it. There would be one in each side facing U channel.

8-Dale

Adrenalynn
06-18-2008, 04:03 PM
Dale -

That front window represents head to nearly waist height of a man sitting, as I remember from dating this guy that was obsessed with Mech Warrior...

MYKL
06-18-2008, 04:24 PM
I think that sounds reasonable.

Question for you - how do you envision aiming? For MicroRaptor, which has no arms, I would mount the main weapon (airsoft, or something similar) on the head, beside the camera. Thus the main camera would be close to the same axis as the barrel of the weapon, and aiming would be fairly simple.

Another question - most airsoft guns are big - much bigger than is easily handled by a standard biped. I've never taken one apart, but you would presumably need at least a semi-auto, with some kind of magazine feed, to be useful.

I was originally thinking of demoing MicroRaptor in a firefighting competition, with a turbine-like blower mounted on his back, and a tube from there up to his "mouth", so he could blow out the candle flame. Perhaps something similar, using high velocity air flow, with a solenoid controlled valve that opens to shoot a BB, and a gravity fed magazine.

- Jon

I was thinking about the same thing. Mounting a cheap laser pointer and/or placing some crosshairs in the FOV and also using the camera to aim. If I'm looking at you, you ARE a target...

I don't think anyone will actually be able to use a gun assembly. I think we'll have to build our own like you are planning. Look at the assemblies on the BB shooting batlleships...

Also the newest issue MAKE magazine has avery informative article on makeing an R/C buggy into a telepresence machine! It list all the tools we'd need to deck out a bot...

^_^

Adrenalynn
06-18-2008, 04:38 PM
I'd probably start by disassembling one of these: http://www.hobbydrift.com/124-scale-rc-battle-airsoft-gun-tank-leopard-i.html

Wingzero01w
06-18-2008, 04:47 PM
Ouch... $50 for an airsoft gun...

JonHylands
06-18-2008, 05:01 PM
Or you could just order this (http://www.matotoys.com/canada/product_info.php?products_id=59)...

Update - I just ordered one (which comes with two units) - I'll let you know how it looks and works once I get it...

- Jon

Droid Works
06-18-2008, 05:02 PM
Very nice bot, A lot of $'s though. $3,990
Its $2990, but even still that is a hefty price. But I figure it has the heavy aluminum frame and a good controller and servos. If you were to build one from scratch it would probably be about the same or more. I just don't have the time to start from scratch.

YouTube - Full Motion Robotic Movement at CEATEC

DresnerRobotics
06-18-2008, 05:06 PM
I'm onsite at a client so I can't make this too long...

Dale- I'm planning on something around the range of 15" or so tall.

Jon- good points on the walking gait issues with wider stance bots, definitely something I'm keeping in mind. I'm hoping the gait will not be the stereotypical shuffle that we're seeing a lot of lately. I'm all for a slower more balanced gait where COG is shifted slowly and the bot is completely up on one leg while taking steps. I realize this would have to be a pretty slow gait, but thats sort of intended.


I was also planning on having a laser sight on each arm to assist on the aiming of the BB guns. I'll be custom making my own weapons, never planned on using an airsoft gun- just sort of used it as an example. I was actually thinking metal BBs and using the 'home made coilgun' method that I've seen implemented on a robonova and a Robosapien. I'll try to dig up the videos later.

Mykl- I'm all for melee weapons being an option. Hell, I think if you run out of ammo out there, you should be expecting to try to use cover to charge your opponent, and hope you can knock him down before he shoots the hell out of you. If youre willing to give up a gun for a melee weapon on your bot, more power to you.

MYKL
06-18-2008, 05:09 PM
http://www.westernwarshipcombat.com/images/stories/twins.jpg

Yeah I'll whip out my warhammer when this is empty...

^_^

Wingzero01w
06-18-2008, 05:12 PM
Is that a coilgun?

Adrenalynn
06-18-2008, 05:13 PM
Or you could just order this (http://www.matotoys.com/canada/product_info.php?products_id=59)...

Update - I just ordered one (which comes with two units) - I'll let you know how it looks and works once I get it...

- Jon

Another great find! Just what I needed for an unrelated project. I ordered a couple sets, cheap enough to throw away if they don't work out. I'm hoping to mate 'em up to a custom stirred hopper and a custom loooong barrel...

Thanks again!

DresnerRobotics
06-18-2008, 05:17 PM
Another great find! Just what I needed for an unrelated project. I ordered a couple sets, cheap enough to throw away if they don't work out. I'm hoping to mate 'em up to a custom stirred hopper and a custom loooong barrel...

Thanks again!


What Adrenalynn is saying is she's secretly building a mech, even though she won't admit to stooping to our level :p

JonHylands
06-18-2008, 05:20 PM
Jon- good points on the walking gait issues with wider stance bots, definitely something I'm keeping in mind. I'm hoping the gait will not be the stereotypical shuffle that we're seeing a lot of lately. I'm all for a slower more balanced gait where COG is shifted slowly and the bot is completely up on one leg while taking steps. I realize this would have to be a pretty slow gait, but thats sort of intended.


I don't see any reason why it would have to be a slow gait. MicroRaptor has a single step of about five inches, which is way more than any of the shuffle bots can hope to achieve.

Here's a (really) early video I took last year of my first MicroRaptor prototype walking with this kind of gait:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOsNJCwrm6Y

- Jon

Adrenalynn
06-18-2008, 05:22 PM
What Adrenalynn is saying is she's secretly building a mech, even though she won't admit to stooping to our level :p

Naw, no secret - I'm just thinking about how I'd go about winning at DefConBots if I were so inclined....

Adrenalynn
06-18-2008, 05:29 PM
Of course, right after I buy them, I find the much better brand (more than 2x the FPS) right here in the US for less money. Sigh. ;)

http://www.toyeast.com/v3/pdtdetail.asp?pdt_id=A09000290

Droid Works
06-18-2008, 05:34 PM
YouTube - Robovie-X Shooting2???2?

JonHylands
06-18-2008, 05:38 PM
That one you found is nice, but at 500 grams, is definitely too heavy for these kind of bipeds to carry around...

- Jon

TechMech
06-18-2008, 09:11 PM
Mechwarrior style match would be awesome . I loved playing the Activision Mechwarrior games back in the day. I wish they still made them :genmad: My favorite mech :tongue:
http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/479931/images/bm_madcat.gif
http://www.armorcast.com/battletech/MadCatFront.html

JonHylands
06-18-2008, 09:36 PM
Okay, so I finally got MicroRaptor together again with my own servos, and got the PCB mounted with the 3-cell LiPo battery installed, and took a picture...

I wish I could attach the image like everyone else seems to do, but every time I try that, I get "Upload failed" in the manage attachments dialog.

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/3/2/0/microraptor-17-mid.jpg

Here's a bigger version (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/3/2/0/microraptor-17.jpg)...

So, with a slightly different head (with my Swann wireless camera, and an airsoft gun), along with a few sensor pads, I should have a pretty nice Mech Wars biped. Oh, and I'll have to make new feet, but that shouldn't be too hard...

Now, as far as remote control - probably just a standard Logitech joystick hooked up to my laptop will do it. The control connection between the laptop and MicroRaptor is a BlueSMiRF, which should provide lots of bandwidth for sending control input to the Hammer onboard.

The on-board six-axis IMU, and the foot pressure sensors, should help maintain a decent sense of balance while walking around and peeking around corners.

- Jon

DresnerRobotics
06-18-2008, 09:58 PM
Jon's going to out-do us all before we even get ours built lol

Thats something I've been meaning to get planned, control- I also wanted to use a joystick for control. You think Hammer >> Bluesmirf will be the easiest method? I was just planning on interfacing the CM-5 to a bluesmirf or something along those lines... but I've also been wanting to try out the hammer.

Perhaps we can all collaborate and get a universal control scheme worked out. I think AX-12's are the way to go and I'm going to have a good amount of extra alum brackets for the AX-12's available for anyone interested in this project at cost.

JonHylands
06-18-2008, 10:55 PM
CM-5 doesn't have the horsepower to do the kinds of things I want to do.

Besides, I'm kinda partial to coding in Smalltalk, and that just isn't going to happen on anything less than a full-blown 32 bit micro...

- Jon

sthmck
06-18-2008, 11:36 PM
First of all this whole idea kind of reminds me of medabots.
I am trying to figure out what all is going on. So what I have gathered so far is:

Robots with between two and four legs (sienna's tripod would make a very stable weapon system) that are about the size of robonovas and other humanoid robot kits
Fighting inside a combat robot arena
Obstacles set up for cover (city)
Projectiles (airsoft guns, rockets ect.)
Two classes (remote control and autonomous)

OK I think that is what I have figured out so far.
I have a few questions about some things, and I bet I get at least three different answers. First how is a winner determined? I read a point system where three hits means you are done. Also if a bot gets knocked over it may automatically be out.
About the first way. Where exactly is the target that the robot is shooting at? I think it can be easily defined for a biped, but what about robots with three and four legs? Where is the target area on these robots? Also it seems like four and three legged robots would be pretty hard to knock down, and I think that I saw a video of a brat getting up from a prone position. Isnít a brat basically a mech style robot?
Oh as far as the rockets go. You have to have rockets. That will make it way more exciting. I donít think it would be that hard to protect a bot against a rocket hit. Its not like its going to have an explosive warhead on it or anything.
This could turn out to be an awesome competition.

LinuxGuy
06-18-2008, 11:52 PM
Thats something I've been meaning to get planned, control- I also wanted to use a joystick for control. You think Hammer >> Bluesmirf will be the easiest method? I was just planning on interfacing the CM-5 to a bluesmirf or something along those lines... but I've also been wanting to try out the hammer.
I have Hammer plus a Bluetooth DIP Module with RP-SMA (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8469), but the Roving Networks Bluetooth DIP Module (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8550) should work equally well, maybe even better. These are serial modules you just connect up to a 3.3V TTL serial port. Since Hammer is a 3.3V controller, you don't need any level shifting.

I prefer the modules that have the RP-SMA antenna connector so I can attach a separate antenna. I already have my Bluetooth DIP Module with RP-SMA (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8469) with a Large 2.4GHz Duck Antenna RP-SMA (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=558) and Honeywell HMC6352 Compass Module (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=7915) compass modules wired up to Hammer. :veryhappy: Both are 3.3V parts. :veryhappy:

The BlueSmirf modules should also work well, but will take up more space.

8-Dale

DresnerRobotics
06-19-2008, 01:02 AM
First of all this whole idea kind of reminds me of medabots.
I am trying to figure out what all is going on. So what I have gathered so far is:

Robots with between two and four legs (sienna's tripod would make a very stable weapon system) that are about the size of robonovas and other humanoid robot kits
Fighting inside a combat robot arena
Obstacles set up for cover (city)
Projectiles (airsoft guns, rockets ect.)
Two classes (remote control and autonomous)

Basically the jist of it. Everything is still open for discussion, I was just throwing out ideas of what I had in mind. I have the feeling if we get this going by the time next robogames rolls around we'll have a decent amount of people involved, so we can try our best to come to an agreement on all rules and standards.


OK I think that is what I have figured out so far.
I have a few questions about some things, and I bet I get at least three different answers. First how is a winner determined? I read a point system where three hits means you are done. Also if a bot gets knocked over it may automatically be out.
About the first way. Where exactly is the target that the robot is shooting at? I think it can be easily defined for a biped, but what about robots with three and four legs? Where is the target area on these robots? Also it seems like four and three legged robots would be pretty hard to knock down, and I think that I saw a video of a brat getting up from a prone position. Isnít a brat basically a mech style robot?
Oh as far as the rockets go. You have to have rockets. That will make it way more exciting. I donít think it would be that hard to protect a bot against a rocket hit. Its not like its going to have an explosive warhead on it or anything.
This could turn out to be an awesome competition.

The points system would probably be solid, I think 1 hit kills will make the matches a little too fast paced. The fact that you can make a mistake and get hit, yet still recover and win the match is going to add some excitement to it. You bring up a good point about bipeds vs other multi-leg robots in terms of stability.

Perhaps it could be like this- a knockover is considered a hit unless you are incapable of righting yourself. Could be something to think about- you'll probably want your bot to be able to right itself in case you accidentally fall over anyway. So bipeds have the disadvantage of being easier to fall and get knocked over to score additional hits... that gives multi-legged bots an advantage. To even up this advantage perhaps multileg bots would be required to have touch sensors on part of their legs as well?

Bipeds- smaller target areas but prone to knockdowns.

Multilegs- larger target areas but much more stable.

Gives advantages and disadvantages to each class type.


I agree on the rockets thing. I think even if they are inaccurate, firing 3-4 at a time could have a 'shotgun' effect and you might be able to score hits just by chance. They wont be exploding (im talking single stage rockets, they fire for all of 2-3 seconds and then fizzle) and they wont have much force to do any real damage to the bots.

Adrenalynn
06-19-2008, 01:12 AM
Side Note: The micros and frac-A's provide impulse for less than a second..

Wingzero01w
06-19-2008, 01:14 AM
I think in this type a competition siennas tripod would be very effective.

4mem8
06-19-2008, 01:22 AM
Adrenalynn: I have also ordered some of those turrets, I know i cannot participate in these games with you guys so I am going to experiment with different weapon systems on my J5 like two of these turrets on each arm minus the hands, clip on weapon system to the elbow. Also of note if you are thinking of a 50 x 50ft arena and you are going to use those est missiles they produce a lot of smoke so you are going to need an extraction system to get rid of the smoke, does the arena have a roof? if so extraction would be easy, If not you have the problem of smoke rising and over spilling into the crowd, and also the mechs would be hard to see if a lot o smoke lies in the bottom of the arena. Just a thought.

DresnerRobotics
06-19-2008, 01:32 AM
Would make the laser sights look that much cooler though :D

And yeah, I suppose some sort of ventilation might be necessary.

Wingzero01w
06-19-2008, 01:46 AM
Oh... where are these events going to be held?

darkback2
06-19-2008, 01:53 AM
I'm not so sure that the paintball idea is such a bad one. It might be expensive and time consuming from a robotics stand point, but from a paintball standpoint there is nothing wrong with it. It would mean using either a different venue ( paintball tournament), or using an outdoor area during a robotics venue. I posted a thread about starting a competition...robots vs people playing a capture the flag style game. the robots would be automated and fire paintballs at the people. The people would have to disable the robots (shooting them, or getting close enough to turn them off) or out smart them in an effort to capture a flag stored in the middle of a robot base. The robots would be fully autonomous, and I say that only because that would force the "evolution" of the robots over the years. It wouldn't be too hard to set up an area out doors, even at a venue like robogames where this could take place using inflatable shields spread out in a parking lot or other area.

I know that isn't exactly what you guys are talking about now, but it would be fun.

Db

4mem8
06-19-2008, 02:29 AM
Yeah, That would be cool , Lasers in smoke, I have a green 35mw Laser and It is awesome at night, But NOT good for people.

Adrenalynn
06-19-2008, 02:31 AM
They already permit gas-powered bots (as I mentioned earlier) - so certified ventilation and scrubbing is already mandatory

4mem8
06-19-2008, 06:25 AM
Here are some specs on those airsoft tanks barrels. VSTANK PRO M1A2 ABRAMS

With a maximum range of 25 metres, and a capacity of 40 pellets, it powers out plastic BB's at a rate of 1p/s it even has a powerful red warning light next to the barrel that illuminates just before it fires. It's powered by 8xAA Powerful enough to knock over coke cans.barrel size 32.5cm x 4.5cm x 8cm

Sienna
06-19-2008, 06:27 AM
How about just score based on number of hits? Its simple to score! (however, not as simple to detect a hit)

For every metal or plastic hit (airsoft / bb) etc, the attacking bot scores 1 point. (No points scored for bots that are out of commission - e.g., fallen over and can't get up). For harder ammunition, like rockets, score hits higher, like say 4 points.

I think it will be fairly self balancing. A bot with a full automatic bb gun device will be able to score hits fast, but it will be corresponding heavy / big / both, thus making it easier for other bots to score against it.

And to anyone who has not played with those tank turret airsoft launchers... they fire rather slowly. The two that I have fire about one round every two seconds or so.

Perhaps on the hit detection side... Is there any way we can come up with some sort of layered 'film' or something, that when impacted allows current to flow? Maybe then we could mandate that the film be applied to all exterior surfaces of the bot greater then some number of square inches in surface area (say, film must be applied to all surfaces 1 sq. in. or larger)

JonHylands
06-19-2008, 07:24 AM
I think we need two target zones - one is above the camera, so that if you're looking at an opponent, and they are looking at you, you both have fair "headshots". The second zone would be the chest and back, or equivalent on non-humanoid bots.

In terms of what the target is made of, and how it works, we'll have to experiment. Perhaps we can come up with a standard package that Trossen can carry, with the sensor and a digital output/LED.

- Jon

MYKL
06-19-2008, 08:55 AM
There are plenty of pressure sensitive semi-conductive tapes that are use as sensors and potentiometers. Making the sensors look like some kind of plating would add some realism to the game.

I am electrically challenged so I would have to be given a nice through instruction sheet on how to impliment your hit counter.

50 X 50 might be a bit large for our bot that are actually walking end not shuffling. Why should it be any bigger than it is for the shuffle-bot wrestle dances?

If we make the structures industrial we'll aviod any phycological problems and industrial sets would just be cool to set up.

I'm trying to come up with some more robot friendly versions of projectile weaponry balancing weight, power and accuracy. I think a bot could throw something harder than some of those guns can hit. I personally favour shielding, finesse and a warhammer... I'd like to have a one shot type game finisher shot though, just for fun. I can't deny that the smoke and fire from one of those little rockets is very attractive.

^_^

DresnerRobotics
06-19-2008, 09:23 AM
50 X 50 might be a bit large for our bot that are actually walking end not shuffling. Why should it be any bigger than it is for the shuffle-bot wrestle dances?

They use a table that's like 6-8' in diameter, that would be WAY too small for what we're talking about here. We don't have to start each bot in the exact corner of the Battlebot arena, but the larger environment provides more space for spectators to watch, more complex building layouts, and gives our contestants a challenge in having to hunt down their enemy. I don't think a small point blank arena will be nearly as challenging nor exciting.

JonHylands
06-19-2008, 09:29 AM
I still don't understand why you think proper walking will be slower than shuffling. Personally, I think a bot that can walk properly can be much faster than any kind of shuffle bot, if you spend enough time tuning it and have some closed-loop feedback.

- Jon

DresnerRobotics
06-19-2008, 10:17 AM
I still don't understand why you think proper walking will be slower than shuffling. Personally, I think a bot that can walk properly can be much faster than any kind of shuffle bot, if you spend enough time tuning it and have some closed-loop feedback.

- Jon

Just my initial impressions based upon what I've seen. I'll take your word and experience on it though! I'm not a fan of the shuffle walk, I don't consider it a real walking gait for humanoids so I'll be working towards a real biped walking gait much like you've implemented on your Microraptor (which is great btw)

MYKL
06-19-2008, 11:33 AM
We've seen videos of Jon's gaits and I've been impresed by those and by some done by Crabfu. The truth is though that at compition levels multipedal robots are still racing in feet rather than yards.

I am looking forward to seeing the walking bots overtake and surpass the shuffle bots.

Wingzero01w
06-19-2008, 12:51 PM
Is there any standard robot kits anybody can think of that can be a good base for a robot on this level of competition? Im thinking robotbuilder/bioloid at the moment... But i would like to hear everybody elses opinions.

4mem8
06-19-2008, 01:32 PM
Bioloid is a good start, If I could afford one this probably would be it, But just bought a J5 this is going to keep me busy for a while. I can still test weapons on it though. he he.

Wingzero01w
06-19-2008, 01:44 PM
Meh the bioloid is a little out of my reach at the moment, If i went that route id probably end up buying a servo at a time and possibly buying some of crustcrawlers smart servo brackets.

DresnerRobotics
06-19-2008, 02:01 PM
Keep in mind with something like this we're probably not going to be using the standard onboard controllers. I doubt the CM-5 is capable of what I'm looking at doing.

I'm going the bioloid route, but will probably use a different onboard controller with more i/o options for control of the weapons systems.

JonHylands
06-19-2008, 02:26 PM
For those of you thinking about using a Bioloid for this, you don't need to worry about the controller having any I/O to deal with the weapon systems. The whole point of using a bus-based system is devices and sensors go on the bus.

I will either build a custom board for controlling the weapon systems, or just use one of my Bioloid I/O boards. My I/O board (which you can buy from Trossen (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/m/huv-robotics.aspx)), has six analog inputs, four digital I/O ports, and can control two standard DC motors via PWM. And, of course, its just another bus device, like the servos and the IMU...

- Jon

DresnerRobotics
06-19-2008, 02:28 PM
For those of you thinking about using a Bioloid for this, you don't need to worry about the controller having any I/O to deal with the weapon systems. The whole point of using a bus-based system is devices and sensors go on the bus.

I will either build a custom board for controlling the weapon systems, or just use one of my Bioloid I/O boards. My I/O board (which you can buy from Trossen (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/m/huv-robotics.aspx)), has six analog inputs, four digital I/O ports, and can control two standard DC motors via PWM. And, of course, its just another bus device, like the servos and the IMU...

- Jon

Crap I totally forgot about your I/O boards! You think the CM-5 would make a decent controller as technically it will just be relaying commands from the PC?

JonHylands
06-19-2008, 02:48 PM
The only problem with the CM-5 is the speed that it talks to the PC. Fastest you can make it run is at 115,200, which is fast enough to do open loop control, but not for doing closed loop control, unless you're doing the closed-loop on the CM-5, which isn't going to be pretty.

That's what the Hammer is going to be ideal for - its small, fast, and has a lot of memory. I'm going to do all the walking and balancing onboard, and leave the PC for higher-level command and control functions.

- Jon

DresnerRobotics
06-19-2008, 06:59 PM
So.. I pitched this to David Calkins (organizer of Robogames) and he thinks its a great idea.

Couple of stipulations if we're going to host this at Robogames though-

He said we have to use airsoft pellets (so I'm guessing that means no rockets, damn)

We also can't set up the city in the combat arena, too much going on there and it would take too much time to assemble/disassemble.

We would need 4+ people registered to compete in order for him to host it as well.


So with that said- perhaps first year can just be a smaller arena using airsoft type pellets. We could safety shield it with a simple net in that case, which would be a lot cheaper than building our own arena. Gives us a more realistic goal given our time frame, as I have the impression that getting a safe rocket system developed might take a good amount of time, where the majority of my time is going to be spent getting it walking stable and working out a joystick control setup.

I'm still going to develop a rocket system, perhaps the Robogames can be a bit more neutered version of the full blown concept, which we could do eventually once we have our own arena to work with.

metaform3d
06-19-2008, 07:36 PM
That sounds very reasonable. Any idea like this requires bootstrapping -- a few core people need to actually demonstrate the concept before other people will get excited about the idea and start to get creative. A few different venues with the small arena and you may find that you'll need a bigger one just because of the what the contestants come up with.

I've been thinking about the buildings. I have some airsoft guns and they don't carry much KE, so anything that could be knocked over by a few airsoft pellets would be torn apart by the wind of someone moving nearby. I would suggest making the building out of flat pieces of form core and placing explicit targets around the base. Some number of hits on the target and the building would be blown apart by a mechanism in the arena. Mechs knocked over by falling debris would take damage.

Robots could use the standing building for cover, but the other team could knock the buildings down on top of them by shooting the demolition target, although breaking cover to shoot at the target would itself be a risk. Fallen buildings could also serve as cover. Using foam-core means that robots wouldn't really be damaged, and the stuff would tend to lie flat and be less of an obstacle for current generation bipeds. You could also have some pieces be L-shaped so they would make walls when they fell.

Wingzero01w
06-19-2008, 07:38 PM
Good job Tyberius. Nice work on starting a new event in robotics. Im trying to get money together to get some kind of kit to work on my own robot. I think im gonna put a hexapod on hold, this is more interesting :).

trey3670
06-19-2008, 11:17 PM
man I am already picturing someone hacking a steel battalion controller for this.......

DresnerRobotics
06-19-2008, 11:36 PM
Of course, right after I buy them, I find the much better brand (more than 2x the FPS) right here in the US for less money. Sigh. ;)

http://www.toyeast.com/v3/pdtdetail.asp?pdt_id=A09000290


I'm not sure why these are so heavy, I think it's that they contain the tilt motor for up/down aiming in the end of it. But seriously, 500g? That doesn't seem right.

I'm wondering how hackable these are... if I could salvage just the firing mechanism and shave off a decent amount weight by removing the tilt motor and anything else in excess they might be usable... at $15 a pop it might be worth picking up a pair just to see.

Seeing as though we're going to have to build our own arena area, I'm also reconsidering the mini-paintball idea....



man I am already picturing someone hacking a steel battalion controller for this.......

While those controllers were a cool concept.. sort of overkill for this type of thing. A 4 axis joystick would be perfect, they have throttle for forward/back, tilt left/right for turning, tilt forward/back for up/down aiming on the torso and twist for torso rotation. Trigger could be primary firing and the aux buttons up top for rockets (in the future)

DresnerRobotics
06-19-2008, 11:38 PM
Few shots of a 3d render of a Vulture, which is what I'm going to be basing my mech on:

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/vulture_mech_iso.png

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/vulture_mech_side.png

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/vulture_mech_front.png

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/vulture_mech_rear.png


Thinking the upper body chassis is going to be pretty lightweight as I don't want this guy too top heavy... possibly add some LiPos to the 'calves' to counterbalance.

darkback2
06-20-2008, 01:12 AM
Awesome drawing tyberious.

Quick question. Why would this battle be limited to mechs and huminoids? Is it a size thing? A weight thing? I figure if you look at a battle field you have all sorts of weapons. You have infantry, tanks, even guys riding motorcycles with snipers rifles..(ok...I made the last one up...they carry M-16s.) The point is, and I know this is a thread about mechs, why not allow an autonomous hexapod with an airsoft cannon mounted on its back. Or even a wheeled rover gun thingy. I figure as long as the robot meets a weight class specific to its model type...walkers would be allowed a little bit more weight than wheeled robots...or wheeled robots would take fewer hits to disable...or have to be more autonomous...or something...Then why discriminate. Don't hate...its not a family value.

Actually...I have a brat which is mosty what Vivians arm was made using, but I am more interested in a hexapod, but I still want to play. :p

DB

4mem8
06-20-2008, 01:29 AM
I was thinking when I get my airsoft barrels I may have a look at compressed air to give them more of a punch, with the right valve I am sure this can be done, definitely worth a try for the price that they are.
Nice rendering Tyberius of your mech.

DresnerRobotics
06-20-2008, 05:54 AM
Can't lay claim to the mech render, I found it in the Google 3 warehouse, I just loaded it and snapped a few shots.

Darkback- Bipeds an quadrapeds are naturally going to be slower and less stable, if we open up the competition to rovers and hexapods, bipeds/quads will become completely obsolete. Even with a really restricted weight requirement, it would just make for smaller rovers, which would be that much harder to hit.

The mobility of a rover compared to that of a biped really is on a different level at this point in technology, simply wouldnt be fair. Same reason my J5 competing in the humanoid fighting competitions wouldn't fly, I could simply ram them to death (which is a valid strat if youre out of ammo)

Sienna
06-20-2008, 06:49 AM
I'm not sure why these are so heavy, I think it's that they contain the tilt motor for up/down aiming in the end of it. But seriously, 500g? That doesn't seem right.

I'm wondering how hackable these are... if I could salvage just the firing mechanism and shave off a decent amount weight by removing the tilt motor and anything else in excess they might be usable... at $15 a pop it might be worth picking up a pair just to see.

Actually having (and completely stripped) one of these tanks, I can say for sure that the item pictured does NOT have the tilt motor built in. Also, the accuracy of that model sucks... Shooting down the hallway I had bullets going every which way (+/- 20 degrees or so of where the barrel is pointed)

In order to be most effective, I think we will have to make our own airsoft canons. (which, if you think about it, can be a good thing. For instance, you can split the firing tube, and the compression mechanism, and join the two with rubber tubing, allowing a small servo to be able to aim the tube with very low inertia.)

JonHylands
06-20-2008, 07:40 AM
In order to be most effective, I think we will have to make our own airsoft canons. (which, if you think about it, can be a good thing. For instance, you can split the firing tube, and the compression mechanism, and join the two with rubber tubing, allowing a small servo to be able to aim the tube with very low inertia.)

I agree. I bought the cheap ones so I could take them apart, and see how the firing mechanism works. I still like the idea of having a ducted fan with a high-velocity hose running up to the "barrel", which is just mounted on the head. I'm not sure how I'll do the trigger yet, or how I'll do the magazine, but I will (or someone else will) figure something out.

- Jon

Adrenalynn
06-20-2008, 11:38 AM
Depends a lot on the airsoft gun, and the pellets chosen too, Meta.

I've got an airsoft gun that will cut clothing and leave welts at nearly 500' (with 28g ammo). Even my little spring handguns will punch a hole in an empty soda can and leave a dent on the back side from 25'.

Don't know yet what those little tank guns do, though...

DresnerRobotics
06-20-2008, 11:43 AM
Actually having (and completely stripped) one of these tanks, I can say for sure that the item pictured does NOT have the tilt motor built in. Also, the accuracy of that model sucks... Shooting down the hallway I had bullets going every which way (+/- 20 degrees or so of where the barrel is pointed)

In order to be most effective, I think we will have to make our own airsoft canons. (which, if you think about it, can be a good thing. For instance, you can split the firing tube, and the compression mechanism, and join the two with rubber tubing, allowing a small servo to be able to aim the tube with very low inertia.)

Do you know if they were the same model? I'm wondering if these ones might be any better.

Those who ordered the $15 ones will definitely have to give us feedback on weight and 'hackability' (I'm looking at you Adrenalynn and 4mem8 :p )

Adrenalynn
06-20-2008, 11:58 AM
I ordered both the ones that Jon linked to and the ones that I linked to. Four of the first (two sets), and two of the second.

MYKL
06-20-2008, 12:19 PM
While fan powered guns sound interesting and rocket assisted missiles sound exhilerating I believe that spring powered and maybe motor powered ammo will prove to be the most efficient for our mecha because of size-wieght-power issues.

I didn't quite finish my undercarriage for my entry into this game so have no pictures to post again. There are a few more brackets and some spring loaded linkages to work out. Oh, and the hands. I'm gonna use this platform to test my hands.

Some of you have been talking about 3 and four legs and when Tiberius(sp?) mentioned his J5 I had a mindstorm about making a Centaurmech. Lots of room for weapons and gadgets on a very stable platform...

^_^

DresnerRobotics
06-20-2008, 12:24 PM
^ Bigger target too :D

DresnerRobotics
06-20-2008, 12:29 PM
http://www.westernwarshipcombat.com/images/stories/twins.jpg

Yeah I'll whip out my warhammer when this is empty...

^_^


Wait a second, what the hell is this? :D

MYKL
06-20-2008, 12:39 PM
Look up the website from the pictures properties. The battleships unload tons of BB's on each other through those turrets. The turrets do turn and they're altitude is adjustable.
It looks a lot heavier that what Jon and Adrenyllyn are looking at but it also punches nice hole in balsawood hulls.

A Centaurmech with two rapidfire rotating turrets on its back. A large target with big guns. Prolly shoot its own head off...

Have a great weeks end! I'm off and don't have a connection at home.

^_^

JonHylands
06-20-2008, 12:40 PM
While fan powered guns sound interesting and rocket assisted missiles sound exhilerating I believe that spring powered and maybe motor powered ammo will prove to be the most efficient for our mecha because of size-wieght-power issues.

That may be true for humanoids, but for other configuration bipeds, there are other concerns. On MicroRaptor, weight distribution is far more important than overall weight. I can't put a 200 gram gun assembly on his head, but I can easily put a 200 or even 400 gram gun assembly on his back, as long as the actual shooting mechanism is on his head.

I may end up with a simple spring powered launcher - I really don't know at this point.

- Jon

DresnerRobotics
06-20-2008, 12:45 PM
My money is on one of the two airsoft mechanisms you and Adrenalynn found, I might have to order some up just to play with as well. Even if they're inaccurate, I'd like something to start off with and borrow ideas from.

I was discussing this with someone else and they brought up the point that we could vary the amount of Hitpoints based on the weight/mobility of the bot. Maybe slower, heavier bots could have a few more HP to compensate for being slower as lighter ones would have the advantage of mobility. Might have to penalize 4 legged bots somehow though as they're naturally going to be heavier and more stable. I dunno- just something to think about.

MYKL
06-20-2008, 12:54 PM
I'm thinking of spring powered myself. A salvo of 6-12 fairly robust spring loaded missiles would be interesting against a finely balanced biped. And some strategically loaded baby powder might add some fun realism to the launch.

My biped looks like it'll load a scale. Some of the Hexes and Quads I've seen look to be quite trim. The lighter Bipeds seem to shuffle along at a good clip and the heavier walkers (including bipedal versions) should have no trouble out powering one of those. It seems like it will depend on a pilots abilty to use his/her bots strengths and skillfully work with their weaknesses that will decide how proficiently any mecha will perform.

^_^

Adrenalynn
06-20-2008, 01:12 PM
Wasn't that kinda the point to Mech Wars? I'm remembering back to my boyfriend's obsession with it and my inability to care about it beyond faking it reasonably well, but it seemed like the point was that you had all these mech choices: speed, agility, armor, how fast the lasers heated up, how many rockets it carried, [...], and the real challenge was to choose a mech that fit your style AND the target objective.

Am I misremembering?

JonHylands
06-20-2008, 01:37 PM
Here's a picture of the camera I will probably use. You can get it from lots of places - its called the Swann Blackhawk camera.

http://www.huv.com/SwannCamera-01.jpg

http://www.huv.com/SwannCamera-02.jpg

Nice thing about this camera is the built-in lithium ion battery means no cables required, at all. Plus you get to choose which of 4 channels the camera transmits on...

- Jon

Adrenalynn
06-20-2008, 01:42 PM
Have you tried it? If not, make sure you can return it.

My experience with Swann is REALLY crummy optics, and pretty bad light sensitivity.

My experience with 2.4Ghz is that it's great - until it starts moving.

For R/C ground vehicles, planes, and blimps, I've found that 900mhz just does a lot better job with moving objects in an environment where multipath is a big concern. If you only need one channel, UHF is even better.

JonHylands
06-20-2008, 01:57 PM
I've had this one for quite a while, so returning it isn't an option. It certainly isn't as good a quality as some, but it has a built-in battery, and its really really light (about 33 grams), so I'm pretty happy with it.

- Jon

DresnerRobotics
06-20-2008, 02:05 PM
Wasn't that kinda the point to Mech Wars? I'm remembering back to my boyfriend's obsession with it and my inability to care about it beyond faking it reasonably well, but it seemed like the point was that you had all these mech choices: speed, agility, armor, how fast the lasers heated up, how many rockets it carried, [...], and the real challenge was to choose a mech that fit your style AND the target objective.

Am I misremembering?

Yup, this is correct. You must've listened to more of it than you ever wanted to :P

I'm hoping this competition will eventually bring a variety of different types of robots depending on how you want to play. It seems that combat robots are all composed of 2-3 basic design principles and that is it.

I've always preferred a light-medium weight mech in Mechwarrior, with mobility and hit and run capability as an emphasis over sheer firepower, and I'm hoping to capture something similar with my design.

If this really takes off maybe in 5 years we can add jumpjets :D

Adrenalynn
06-20-2008, 02:15 PM
Ah yes, when you use the "keywords", it all starts coming back to me.

Hazards of dating geeks.

DresnerRobotics
06-20-2008, 03:02 PM
Another point I should bring up, each Mech should probably have a defining color scheme. Have any base color you want, but some basic 'standout' stripes, emblems, highlights, or accent color should be clearly visible to keep everyone on the same page as far as tracking/aiming systems go.

For example- I'm probably going to go with a darker grey/black color scheme, but have yellow highlights and accents as well. So anyone running a tracking program to assist with aiming would need to set theirs to track yellow when fighting against me.

I'm working on something in roborealm to add an auto aim function for when im running & gunning, but I still need to have a manual override for aiming when needed... oof, so much work to be done, but I'm loving it.

Adrenalynn
06-20-2008, 03:10 PM
"Clan colors" ? :-P

sthmck
06-20-2008, 03:18 PM
What is the reason for not being allowed to use rockets? Does it have anything to do with the flames and stuff? Because that is a little strange considering the flame throwers that they use. Anyway the reason that I ask is because you could probably make something like a mini potato gun, with say lighter fluid and a little aluminum tube. It would be pretty light weight and probably sound cool. I guess you would just have to make sure you don't catch your bot on fire.

sthmck
06-20-2008, 03:20 PM
Also does anyone have any experience with lynxmotion's scout? That looks like it might be a decent platform to start with.

DresnerRobotics
06-20-2008, 03:27 PM
What is the reason for not being allowed to use rockets? Does it have anything to do with the flames and stuff? Because that is a little strange considering the flame throwers that they use. Anyway the reason that I ask is because you could probably make something like a mini potato gun, with say lighter fluid and a little aluminum tube. It would be pretty light weight and probably sound cool. I guess you would just have to make sure you don't catch your bot on fire.

Mostly safety reasons. As it was said earlier, we're bootstrapping this concept, getting some people involved and hopefully enough that it will spark even more interest. First year at robogames we're lucky to have a spot to set everything up and have David host it... but I do not have the funds to build an enclosed arena, so we're going to be dealing with a mostly open display, perhaps a safety net up to prevent stray shots from going into the crowd.

So yeah, for first year I say we stick with airsoft and keep things simple and safe. If this does end up taking off and we can get some sort of sponsorship to fund a smallish arena, then we can talk about more dangerous weapons.


Also does anyone have any experience with lynxmotion's scout? That looks like it might be a decent platform to start with.

This would be a decent platform to start with, however I already have an SES based bot and wanted to go Bioloid for my next project. Bang for buck the bioloid servos are a much better deal. You're looking at 1200+ for the scout with decent servos, or $860ish for the bioloid kit with AX-12s.


"Clan colors" ? :-PYou totally did more than feign interest, nerd :P

JonHylands
06-20-2008, 03:29 PM
Even with airsoft guns, we're definitely going to have to have a safety net - you can easily take out an eye with one of those...

sthmck
06-20-2008, 03:52 PM
yeah I once had a line of little welts on my back from where my brother lit me up with an automatic airsoft gun.

4mem8
06-21-2008, 07:12 AM
Will let you all know when I get them next week, If they are no good I will try to hack them and see what I can get out of them.

DresnerRobotics
06-22-2008, 12:59 AM
Something I'd like feedback on.

I'm thinking that we should put loose guidelines on walking gaits. Nothing super restrictive by any means, but what I don't personally like with a lot of humanoids is the 'shuffle walk'.

I think for this particular competition your walker should have a true walking gait, not the slide-shuffle that many humanoids in robo-one type competitions employ.

Thoughts?

Adrenalynn
06-22-2008, 01:11 AM
Personally, I'd leave it alone. Build a better bot and spank the shufflers. Teach 'em that shuffle is dumb in the School Of Hard Knocks. :)

JonHylands
06-22-2008, 04:54 AM
I agree - I'd put a real walker up against a shuffle bot any day...

Sienna
06-22-2008, 09:54 AM
You could just make the entire surface of the arena out of asphalt or sandpaper or some other high friction material. That would stop the shufflers in their tracks :D

Adrenalynn
06-22-2008, 11:01 AM
Why not have more targets shuffling around? Adds to your bodycount. ;)

DresnerRobotics
06-22-2008, 11:17 AM
Why not have more targets shuffling around? Adds to your bodycount. ;)

Takes away from me reliving my childhood fantasies of Mechwarrior :p

Adrenalynn
06-22-2008, 11:19 AM
If you ever saw me trying to play it, that'd be one of the memories you had. . . Shuffling around randomly, well and truly lost, unable to raise some basic level of caring about the aforementioned conditions. That describes my MW experiences.

DresnerRobotics
06-22-2008, 11:47 AM
And I was one of those punkass kids with the light weight mech with no rear armor, loaded up with a boatload of small lasers that I fired all at once and nearly made my reactor go critical every time, jumpjetting at your cockpit trying to smash it with the foot of my mech. :D

(Yeah, I was (am?) totally obsessed)

sthmck
06-22-2008, 12:48 PM
Hey I was just wondering if besides being cool is there any reason to use a coil gun instead of spring powered airsoft gun? From what I have seen a coil gun would just be heavier and use more power. Don't get me wrong I think it would be a pretty cool weapon I'm just not seeing any advantages.

4mem8
06-22-2008, 02:21 PM
If fabricated right the coil gun would pack more of a punch than the airsoft system, unless you could use compressed air for the airsoft system which I will look at.

Sienna
06-22-2008, 02:34 PM
However, for the first year, you are looking at being limited to plastic bullets....

However, if you find a way to launch plastic bullets from a coil gun, you have a patentable invention!

Wingzero01w
06-22-2008, 02:35 PM
You could get 12 gram CO2 cartridges as an air source for airsoft guns. There not to big either but you get a decent amount of shots.

Heres a link to them: http://www.ansgear.com/Crosman_12_Gram_Co2_p/12gco2.htm

sthmck
06-22-2008, 04:36 PM
I wonder how many shots you could get out of each cylinder. I was wondering if instead of saying so many shots is a kill. Why just give points for each shot that activates the sensor, and then the bot that has scored the most hits at the end of a five or three minute match is the winner. Also if a robot falls over and cant right itself in so many seconds then it is considered dead and automatically loses. Has anyone found a good way to sense a hit?

Adrenalynn
06-22-2008, 05:02 PM
Think inverse sabot, Sienna.

sthmck
06-22-2008, 05:12 PM
However, for the first year, you are looking at being limited to plastic bullets....

However, if you find a way to launch plastic bullets from a coil gun, you have a patentable invention!

forget plastic. Chocolate coated steel bb's. No one will ever know.

Adrenalynn
06-22-2008, 05:27 PM
Chocolate Sabot makes the medicine go down easier?

sthmck
06-22-2008, 05:43 PM
Yeah i guess, but I just figured it would make a win taste just a little better.

Droid Works
06-22-2008, 05:49 PM
You could get 12 gram CO2 cartridges as an air source for airsoft guns. There not to big either but you get a decent amount of shots.

Heres a link to them: http://www.ansgear.com/Crosman_12_Gram_Co2_p/12gco2.htm

That is the weapon system I am going with. 2 12gram co2 and 2 guns. I still haven't figured out how I will do the rockets yet. Most likely I will use bottle rockets with an electronic egnition.

Adrenalynn
06-22-2008, 05:58 PM
Those micro-rockets I linked earlier are about the size of a bottle rocket, have more thrust, and are already electronic ignition. And cheap.

Wingzero01w
06-22-2008, 06:04 PM
The 12 gram co2 is really light and cheap ($0.69 to be exact), thats what im going to use for a weapons system, i just need a regulator and trigger (activation) method for it though. Anybody got a way to do this?

Sienna
06-22-2008, 06:40 PM
Why not just buy one of the el-cheapo guns from walmart, and put a servo on the trigger mechanism?

Droid Works
06-22-2008, 06:54 PM
Why not just buy one of the el-cheapo guns from walmart, and put a servo on the trigger mechanism?
The size, it has to be small enough of a gun to fit on the arms without restricting motion. 2 12gram Co2 carts should fit nicely on the bots back.

4mem8
06-22-2008, 07:29 PM
As I said the air system is the way to go, Just figuiring a way to attach it to a trigger mechanism, But 12g is no weight to carry and you get 50 shots. Even though I will not be able to do a biped yet, J5 will be a good test bed for the weapons system. Keep the idea's coming guys.

Adrenalynn
06-22-2008, 08:31 PM
I agree with Sienna. Disassemble a gun, put a servo on the trigger mechanism. Buying an electric solonoid that can hold back that kinda pressure tends to be pretty prohibitively expensive. That's the one part that destroys a lot of good project ideas.

DresnerRobotics
06-22-2008, 09:02 PM
Those micro-rockets I linked earlier are about the size of a bottle rocket, have more thrust, and are already electronic ignition. And cheap.

And they don't explode... which is a good thing.

Wingzero01w
06-22-2008, 09:35 PM
Ok, you take a 12 gram co2 cartridge, then you put one of these to change the output pressure to 450 or below: http://www.ansgear.com/Custom_Products_Short_Regulator_With_Gauge_Port_p/cpregulatorshortyes.htm
^very small

Then you get a QEV, a custom bolt, an electronic board to activate the gun on command <- you can flash the boards and make your own programs for it if you know how and make it a decent controller, and a firing chamber and your set.

Adrenalynn
06-22-2008, 10:08 PM
A regulator is fine and dandy. Where are you getting your electronic solonoid from?

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 12:29 AM
Grant Imahara suggests we research how the R/C Battleship weapon systems are setup, might be some commercially available CO2/BB units out there, or at least the guts to them. :)

Wingzero01w
06-23-2008, 12:38 AM
Adrenalynn: Im going to savage an electric solenoid from my old paintball gun.

Tyberius: Who's Grant Imahara?

And...

What kind of servos or robot kits is everybody going to use as a basis for their bot? Carrying all these weapons and armor is going to be taxing on a servos torque.

4mem8
06-23-2008, 12:41 AM
Great idea Tyberius, That sounds really cool, Love to see one of those systems.

4mem8
06-23-2008, 03:44 AM
Here is a neat concept for firing a cannon or missile. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=397646


maybe this could work. http://www.hobbytron.com/AirsoftRCElectricHumveeHummerBattleVehicle.html



(http://jcmservices.net/page10.htm)

4mem8
06-23-2008, 07:10 AM
Found this also:
http://img357.imageshack.us/img357/7377/li21203nu0.jpg

http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/5237/pn35975tp7.jpg

MYKL
06-23-2008, 09:09 AM
Grant Imahara suggests we research how the R/C Battleship weapon systems are setup, might be some commercially available CO2/BB units out there, or at least the guts to them. :)


Found this also:
http://img357.imageshack.us/img357/7377/li21203nu0.jpg

http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/5237/pn35975tp7.jpg






http://www.westernwarshipcombat.com/images/stories/twins.jpg

Yeah I'll whip out my warhammer when this is empty...

^_^

This is from an R/C battleship and if you look closely it resembles that drawing a bit...

I think this system would be fine for a heavier mech. I still like the idea of using powerful springs for lighter versions.

^_^

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 09:37 AM
Tyberius: Who's Grant Imahara?


Google son! Google!

sthmck
06-23-2008, 12:59 PM
just finished up a rough mech design, and by rough I mean really rough. I will post a pic in a little bit.

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 01:07 PM
What kind of servos or robot kits is everybody going to use as a basis for their bot? Carrying all these weapons and armor is going to be taxing on a servos torque.

I'm planning on starting off with AX-12's and a fairly lightweight mech. Armor isnt really going to add much weight as I plan on using thin plastic.

Eventually I'll rebuild a larger mech using DX-117s.

sthmck
06-23-2008, 01:24 PM
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l310/smck280/mech.jpg

sthmck
06-23-2008, 01:26 PM
uhm yeah the big gun is only half a joke. I might actually try that.

4mem8
06-23-2008, 01:28 PM
DX 117 servos in action, Home made brackets by the look of it.


http://www.farrellrobotics.com/DX117bots/Pictures/resting_pose.jpg

http://www.farrellrobotics.com/DX117bots/Pictures/punch%20low2.jpg

http://www.farrellrobotics.com/DX117bots/Pictures/punch%20low.jpg

http://www.farrellrobotics.com/DX117bots/Pictures/side%20kick-.jpg

http://www.farrellrobotics.com/DX117bots/Pictures/holding.jpg

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 01:34 PM
^ Yup, those are Farrell Robotics Robo-One style bots. Great servos and bot designs =)

MYKL
06-23-2008, 03:06 PM
Have any of you owned/played Armored Core?

I've never played Mechwarrior...

I should check it out I guess.

As of now my 'bot will look like a cross between a Landmate from Masamune Shirows' Appleseed and Ironmonger from Ironman...

A heavyweight biped. Have you any progress pictures of your reverse leg type Tyberius?

^_^

Wingzero01w
06-23-2008, 03:19 PM
I've played armored core, and it is the funnest game in my opinion. Im basing my robot off of one of my custom mechs on the game.
Do you have any pics of your bot yet?

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 03:23 PM
I was a massive mechwarrior fan, played 2-4 and all the xpacs for it. Even played it in a competitive league for quite some time.

I've also played every single Armored Core game released in the US (even the crappy PSP version lol)

MYKL- Any pics to show of your current work?

I'll have some to share by this weekend.



Also- I'd like a bit more feedback on my walking gait restriction idea. I was posing that we outlaw shuffle gaits and only allow true walking gaits, for the 'purity of the sport' and such.

MYKL
06-23-2008, 03:25 PM
I've played armored core, and it is the funnest game in my opinion. Im basing my mech off of one of my custom mech.

It is a lot of fun. I really enjoy the Arena, Core creation and some of the scenarios. I picture this kind of thing when I think of what is being proposed here.

Is your bot about power or speed? Offense or Defence? Or have you found a balence of some sort?

Tyberius, (I was typing my post while you were posting)

So should I load up some old mechwarrrior games and try 'em out for fun? I do not have net access at home so will just be playing the computer.
I'll post pictures tomorrow of my 3D model. I have a few brackets in the shoulders I need to update and I need to add all of the hardware holes in the new brackets I've done but you'll be able to get an Idea of my overall configuration.

I whole heartedly agree that true wlaking gaits should be encouraged. I like the idea that the arena itself will favour such. IF you enter a shuffle-bot it'll be hampered by texture and/or obsticles. Why keep the 'bots out? Like Adrenylynn mentioned they wold be prime targets on a map designed for walk-mecha...

^_^

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 03:49 PM
Yes, but I'd just as soon say no shuffling rather than have someone show up and not be able to participate/get frustrated due to the terrain.

I'd suggest picking up Mechwarrior 3 and 4, both had a pretty enjoyable single player campaign, but I recommend playing them with a 4 axis joystick for maximum effect.

Wingzero01w
06-23-2008, 04:00 PM
Oh my mech was a speed type, only had one gun and two moonblades. Insanely fast though.

metaform3d
06-23-2008, 04:04 PM
You could easily require that all bots need to be able to step over a 1cm obstacle to qualify. That said I tend to agree with the idea that the terrain will define the challenge. Define the combat arena with some smooth areas, some rough areas, and areas where there will be debris from fallen structures. Surely you're not afraid that shufflebots will be able to defeat true walkers?

MYKL
06-23-2008, 04:10 PM
I also agree with Tyberius. Lets keep it simple. The highgt step requirement would be a good guidline.

I am positive that if I had a bot that was capable of a true walking gait it could tote a shiznet load more weight about if I reduced it to a shuffle for that purpose.

Could your Core make sustained flights then Wingzer? You musta had an nice generator and cooling system.

I enjoy being the tank in these type games (Armored Core, COH, EQII and DAoH). In fact in any RP type game I usually end up as a meat shield 'cause I like bashin' heads with nuthin' but what I can grab.

Heh.

Having a bit of intellect behind the helmet catches most opponants short... MwahhahahHA *Cough*

^_^

Adrenalynn
06-23-2008, 04:28 PM
Any time you put down artificial limitations one will tend to stifle creativity and inventiveness. You also get into the whole policing issue of "what exactly is a shuffle" and "that's 1.012cm! Waaaah!"

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 04:40 PM
You could easily require that all bots need to be able to step over a 1cm obstacle to qualify. That said I tend to agree with the idea that the terrain will define the challenge. Define the combat arena with some smooth areas, some rough areas, and areas where there will be debris from fallen structures. Surely you're not afraid that shufflebots will be able to defeat true walkers?

Nope, not afraid at all, I can't imagine trying to 'run and gun' using a shufflebot. They just aren't very 'mech-like' in their movements, sort of ruins the immersion I'm going for.

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 04:42 PM
Any time you put down artificial limitations one will tend to stifle creativity and inventiveness. You also get into the whole policing issue of "what exactly is a shuffle" and "that's 1.012cm! Waaaah!"


Good point. I guess people will see that with this type of competition where stability will be of great benefit, and that will naturally weed out any shufflers.

Wingzero01w
06-23-2008, 04:42 PM
Ha, yeah my mech can stay in the air forever. (this is in AC4)

And i agree, their should be a prerequisite for the competition.

Adrenalynn
06-23-2008, 05:01 PM
Rule Number One: Darwin Rulezerz U
Rule Number Two: See Rule #1
Rule Number Three: There is no rule number three
Rule Number Four Is Right Out.

[with apologies to Monty Python]

Sienna
06-23-2008, 05:40 PM
I am favoring just using natural terrains. I mean, in year 1, the 'arena' is going to be the same place as a battlebot fight right, and we know the floors on the battlebot surface are not nice and skiddy.
(honestly, I think anyone in the humanoid fights who just puts rubber under their feet is going to win...)

In outyears, I would love to see sand, dirt, gravel, and other natural terrains present.

I would really love to see for mechs what the RC Tank people do:
YouTube - RC World War II Tank Battle, Episode I
YouTube - RC World War II Tank Battle, Episode III

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 05:48 PM
I am favoring just using natural terrains. I mean, in year 1, the 'arena' is going to be the same place as a battlebot fight right, and we know the floors on the battlebot surface are not nice and skiddy.
(honestly, I think anyone in the humanoid fights who just puts rubber under their feet is going to win...)

In outyears, I would love to see sand, dirt, gravel, and other natural terrains present.

I would really love to see for mechs what the RC Tank people do:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=-LcMuI3eUAYhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ir3pXeZF4E


This is exactly what I have in mind for the future. Year 1- we will not be using the battlebot arena. We're going to be constructing our own arena with a net on the crowd facing side. I'm going to try to keep things simple and leave the terrain pretty even and plain, with roughly a dozen or so buildings for cover. In the future I'd love to see 'outdoor' type arena settings though.

sthmck
06-23-2008, 07:08 PM
How do you think the format of this event will be held? Do you guy see it being something like robo-one, where every six months there is a big event? Then maybe as the sport progresses there can be smaller regional events to qualify? I'm just thinking that this is the kinda thing that could become pretty popular. Obviously it would take some skill to be competitive, and people who have been doing it since the beginning will have an advantage of experience. I guess what I am asking is does anyone consider this to be a competition that could become more popular than robo-one?

4mem8
06-23-2008, 07:12 PM
You got the right idea Tyberius, Start small, get it right, progress on after that. The natural look, looks great and the ultimate goal.
I receivevd my 4 tank turrets today AND they are definately NOT 500g each as stated on the web site, they weigh 11g each four 44grams, so very light weight. Will post pics tonight after work.

lamont
06-23-2008, 07:24 PM
man I am already picturing someone hacking a steel battalion controller for this.......

Oh man, I knew I held on to that damn controller for a reason. I actually have the original one and hauled it into my new place when I moved two weeks ago. I just planned on taking it apart for the buttons and foot pedals, but leaving it intact as a controller would work great.

Somewhat sad that the controller would weigh about 4x as much as the tiny mech.

Wingzero01w
06-23-2008, 07:51 PM
Wait so to control these robots, will it be through tele-presence by the robots vision or will it be control through sky view? (looking directly at the robots and guiding them)

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 07:56 PM
Wait so to control these robots, will it be through tele-presence by the robots vision or will it be control through sky view? (looking directly at the robots and guiding them)

My first post in this thread outlines the rough rules we have set.

Mechs will be piloted from a first person view only. If you think about it, it would be pretty hard to aim from an external view anyway... and limiting it to first person telepresence will add to the 'mech experience' and challenge anyway.

Wingzero01w
06-23-2008, 08:01 PM
Sorry, i didn't know if it was completely official yet, that's why i double checked.

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 08:12 PM
^ No apologies necessary! Those guidelines are the outline we'll probably stick with, unless someone comes up with a good point as to why its a bad idea and presents a better one.

Post from my J5 thread:


So i guess CO2 based guns are now pretty much obsolete for the mech battles?

Not obsolete, these airsoft guns may just provide a pretty solid starting point for a weapons system. Robogames 2009 is in a year, it may seem like a long time but we still have to develop:

1. 4 mechs capable of competing.
2. A viable control/telepresence scheme.
3. A damage scoring system.
4. A basic city environment to compete in.

Having a ready to go weapons system might be what we need for year 1, and we can look at more complex weapon systems (rockets, co2 powered rifles, etc).

sthmck
06-23-2008, 08:26 PM
hey tyberius has anyone suggested anything for a damage scoring system yet?

Wingzero01w
06-23-2008, 08:32 PM
have 3 areas to hit, head, limbs, and body. Max score is 10. Head counts as 5, limbs count as 2, and body counts as 1. And touch sensors send a signal to a head computer that the target has been hit in a certain area.

Sienna
06-23-2008, 08:43 PM
What defines 'head', 'limbs', and 'body'?

And no, I am not asking rhetorically. If you are going to be assigning damage values to each area, are you now requiring that all bot designs have those areas?

For instance, on Amy (my tripod), what constitutes the head? And what constitutes the limbs?

For things with lots of limbs for instance, how are you going to quantify how much coverage the hit sensors need to have?

I honestly think damage sensing and scoring will be the hardest part of this challenge to solve.

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 08:43 PM
have 3 areas to hit, head, limbs, and body. Max score is 10. Head counts as 5, limbs count as 2, and body counts as 1. And touch sensors send a signal to a head computer that the target has been hit in a certain area.

That's a pretty solid idea right there... but what about mechs that dont have a 'head'?

My mech will not have any sort of identifiable head, just a small cockpit that is integrated into the torso. Likewise- the arms will be pretty small overall, especially from a front-facing position. That would give me an unfair advantage.

Perhaps only put sensors on the legs and torso- since all mechs will have those two components.

sthmck
06-23-2008, 08:43 PM
What about doing the fight over a time limit? Like three minutes, the reason I suggest this is because if someone has a really fast gun they could possibly bet two quick head shots in a matter of seconds and the match would be over. If you timed it you could just add up the total hits at the end of the match, and the mech that has recieved the lowest amount of hits wins. Is that a dumb idea?

Sienna
06-23-2008, 08:45 PM
What about doing the fight over a time limit? Like three minutes, the reason I suggest this is because if someone has a really fast gun they could possibly bet two quick head shots in a matter of seconds and the match would be over. If you timed it you could just add up the total hits at the end of the match, and the mech that has recieved the lowest amount of hits wins. Is that a dumb idea?
Or the mech with the highest number of hits against opponents wins.

Or the mech with the best hit to hurt ratio wins.

Or something! But yes, I am much in favor of timed matches.

sthmck
06-23-2008, 08:51 PM
Or the mech with the highest number of hits against opponents wins.



Yeah I think that is what I was trying to say.

Will these be one on one fights or will there be multiple mechs?

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 08:53 PM
What defines 'head', 'limbs', and 'body'?

And no, I am not asking rhetorically. If you are going to be assigning damage values to each area, are you now requiring that all bot designs have those areas?

For instance, on Amy (my tripod), what constitutes the head? And what constitutes the limbs?

For things with lots of limbs for instance, how are you going to quantify how much coverage the hit sensors need to have?

I honestly think damage sensing and scoring will be the hardest part of this challenge to solve.

Our mechs are all going to be pretty different designs in terms of size of legs, amount of legs, size of torso and legs, etc.

I'd say the most fair way of doing it would be to lay down rules that could be flexible to mech design.

'Sensors' are probably going to be something simple like an armor plate mounted on a contact switch. Torso would require a total of say, 4 square inches of sensor plates required. Legs would also require 4 square inches of sensor plating.

Placement for example: Torsos must have front/back sensors, if you dont have a front/back persay, try your best to place the sensor plates in a fair manner on 2 sides opposite of eachother.

Plate distribution for legs would be dependent upon amount of legs.

Common sense can dictate where is fair for placement and where isnt.

Wingzero01w
06-23-2008, 08:54 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Then maybe instead of "head" there should be a "weak spot" that gives the 5 points that is on the bot.

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 09:00 PM
Will these be one on one fights or will there be multiple mechs?

To start with we'd probably want to stick with 1v1s.

I have no problem with time limits on the games, I was planning on implementing something like this.

I do have a problem with fights being ranked on 'most hits wins'

My reasoning behind this is because I think using cover and strategically firing at eachother should be encouraged, if we have 'most hits in x minutes wins' it encourages fighting out in the open an simply exchanging fire at eachother, and whoever can fire faster wins. We might as well eliminate most the obstacle in that case. It also leaves people open to simple eat bullets, charge the enemy and knock them over for a quick win.

By placing a limit on how much damage you can take in a match, it promotes strategic defense using cover and gives you a bit more 'consequence' for being to openly offensive and just charging. If you want to charge someone you have to weigh in the danger of taking damage, etc.

Wingzero01w
06-23-2008, 09:03 PM
Yup tyberius thats what i had in mind. Just spraying pellets all over the place at a high rate of fire almost kills the strategy part of this competition.

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 09:04 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Then maybe instead of "head" there should be a "weak spot" that gives the 5 points that is on the bot.


Maybe the rear torso? In Mechwarrior the rear torso was traditionally one of the weakest spots on a mech.

Wingzero01w
06-23-2008, 09:11 PM
Now for hand to hand combat (if mech runs outta ammo), how is this going to be solved? Since this competition includes bipeds, tripods, and quadrapods its going to be kind of unfair. Bipeds are going to have the hardest time knocking a tripod or quadropod over since they have more stability and probably bigger.

Should there also be a maximum amount of ammo a bot can hold?

DresnerRobotics
06-23-2008, 09:34 PM
Now for hand to hand combat (if mech runs outta ammo), how is this going to be solved? Since this competition includes bipeds, tripods, and quadrapods its going to be kind of unfair. Bipeds are going to have the hardest time knocking a tripod or quadropod over since they have more stability and probably bigger.

Should there also be a maximum amount of ammo a bot can hold?

We could certainly add ammo limits in the future. But lets keep in mind this is year 1- I don't want to weigh it down with too many restrictions. A lot of rules and adjustments are going to come from actually playing in the competition, and we'll have a better idea of how the gameplay will go. Going to be a lot easier than pure speculation.

As far as melee weapons... I don't expect a humanoid to be able to be able to knock over a 3 or 4 legged mech. Because they will have the stability advantage there will have to be some sort of penalty when it comes to melee damage, perhaps they take three points of damage instead of one? That said- also keep in mind most multi-leg mechs wont have melee weapon capability.

4mem8
06-24-2008, 12:05 AM
All good valid points here, Strategy is a must for a scenario like this, and much more fun.

Wingzero01w
06-24-2008, 12:07 AM
Do you have the pics of the airsoft gun yet 4mem8?

metaform3d
06-24-2008, 03:05 AM
Game design is a lot of fun, but it's a tricky balancing act. For this type of contest you need rules that are totally objective -- builders have to know exactly what kinds of tradeoffs they are making during the design process. They can't spend a year building a $1K mech and then come to the contest only to find out that the judges are going to give them a big handicap. Weight, for example, is objective; "shuffling" vs "walking" is not.

The latter issue can be handled using the design of the arena, but again that has to be objectively specified. Like those used for sumo or combots the arena has to be something that any builder could build or simulate in whole or in part. If you use sand, for example, make sure you specify the grit, weight and depth so that people can test their designs and practice their strategy.

For determining the area of hit sensors on a bot you can devise a formula. You can take inputs like the weight of the mech, the number of legs, the area of the support polygon in a rest pose, the relative height of the COG, and anything else you can think of; combine these with a numeric formula to get the sensitive surface area that the mech has to expose. The various measurements translate into square centimeters of hit sensors based on whatever incentives you want to encourage. You could even allow the builder to break that down into armor and weak spots, where weak spots count as 4x the damage as armor, but it counts as double the area of armor.

The sensitive area of the mech has to be the outer hull. That is, the sensitive part cannot be in any way behind some other part of the bot. If any part of the sensor cannot be hit by a BB moving in a straight line without hitting some other part of the bot first then that part of the sensor would be disqualified. This is entirely objective and easy to judge.

What is the plan in terms of damage-sensors? Do you have a standard for the force required to register a hit?

darkback2
06-24-2008, 04:18 AM
Wait...back up...Bipeds tripeds and quadropeds? Why stop there? Why not a johnny five? My reason for asking is that while yes, it is easier to build a wheeled robot than a walker, why not just penalize a person for using a wheeled robot over a walker? Why not say...wheels mean 3 hits and your out? Or wheels means you can only carry six rounds...or wheels mean no hand to hand combat?

My point is the mech games I've played...not many had some wheeled tank thingys as well. I'm not still stuck on the vivian thing, but I am thinking that people...a lot of people have already gone down a path robot wise. I think you would get a much greater level of participation if you opened it up. Especially since the real expense is in developing an video system, gun, and weapons system.

Oh...and if you are letting tripods in...then coffee bot is going to kick everyones a$$.

DB

trey3670
06-24-2008, 05:15 AM
for some reason I cant get an image to load here,but in my images on my profile there are a coupla shots of a bioloid standing next to a static madcat model,doable I think

Wingzero01w
06-24-2008, 05:22 AM
I think its because rovers have too much terrain advantage. The purpose of the competition is to have your bot get over these obstacles as a challenge to get to the other opponent. Most rovers can easily go over slopes, hills, and other land terrains, while the casual biped might just get runover attempting to step over something.

4mem8
06-24-2008, 06:25 AM
Here are some weapons that I have to use or hack.

http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/2223/emailpict0073ml9.jpg

Damn, Adrenalynn they forgot to send the bb's so can't check it for you at present.


http://img503.imageshack.us/img503/8797/emailpict0074aa1.jpg

USB rocket launcher

http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/7296/emailpict0075ne8.jpg

Hackable

DresnerRobotics
06-24-2008, 09:21 AM
4mem8, could you link where you got the smaller barreled guns and also the larger barreled ones.

DB- the reason I'm excluding wheeled/treaded bots (and keep in mind, I already have a very capable treaded bot that would only need some armor to be good to go) is that not only do they have a massive terrain and mobility advantage, but this is 'Mech Wars'. I don't see wheeled bots fitting in well with the overall feel of this. They already have RC tank competitions, we're trying to do something a bit different here.

DresnerRobotics
06-24-2008, 09:30 AM
Game design is a lot of fun, but it's a tricky balancing act. For this type of contest you need rules that are totally objective -- builders have to know exactly what kinds of tradeoffs they are making during the design process. They can't spend a year building a $1K mech and then come to the contest only to find out that the judges are going to give them a big handicap. Weight, for example, is objective; "shuffling" vs "walking" is not.

The latter issue can be handled using the design of the arena, but again that has to be objectively specified. Like those used for sumo or combots the arena has to be something that any builder could build or simulate in whole or in part. If you use sand, for example, make sure you specify the grit, weight and depth so that people can test their designs and practice their strategy.

For determining the area of hit sensors on a bot you can devise a formula. You can take inputs like the weight of the mech, the number of legs, the area of the support polygon in a rest pose, the relative height of the COG, and anything else you can think of; combine these with a numeric formula to get the sensitive surface area that the mech has to expose. The various measurements translate into square centimeters of hit sensors based on whatever incentives you want to encourage. You could even allow the builder to break that down into armor and weak spots, where weak spots count as 4x the damage as armor, but it counts as double the area of armor.

The sensitive area of the mech has to be the outer hull. That is, the sensitive part cannot be in any way behind some other part of the bot. If any part of the sensor cannot be hit by a BB moving in a straight line without hitting some other part of the bot first then that part of the sensor would be disqualified. This is entirely objective and easy to judge.

What is the plan in terms of damage-sensors? Do you have a standard for the force required to register a hit?

I completely agree, and a formula to calculate how much area should be covered by sensors is something we'll have to look at... in the future. I'm thinking for year 1 lets try to keep things fairly simple, we'll lay down some ground rules but try not to be too restrictive. We want people to participate and furthermore want people to show up and have fun, so I can't see judges ever crippling someone with a handicap to the point where it wouldn't be fun. Maybe slight handicaps just for balance reasons.

As far as damage sensors, I'll know more when the airsoft guns get here. I'm not thinking much force needed though, enough to trigger from a direct hit from an airsoft gun.

Again- most of this is just going to be by the seat of our pants for year 1. We get the event going, we get people to participate, we get a good amount of games in and we use that as a learning experience to figure out what needs to change in terms of rules. What worked and what didnt, what was fair and what wasn't, etc.

sthmck
06-24-2008, 11:55 AM
So who is making the arena for robogames?

DresnerRobotics
06-24-2008, 12:01 PM
For year 1, we don't exactly need a full blown arena. I'm looking at waste height walls to surround it and some sort of safety net on the crowd going side. Buildings themselves can be cheap, probably just make a bunch of varying size buildings from sheet metal and airbrush them to look like buildings. I'll be trying to get this organized and built.

Droidworks is also working on an enclosed arena, but that will be on the east coast and thus not available for use in Robogames 09. We can do separate events using that, maybe designate a weekend for a bunch of us to fly out there and participate, get a bunch of video footage and use it to promote the competition.

Again, this is year 1, we're going to try to keep things simple and within reason.


BTW- I'm working on getting an official site together for this so that we have something to point people to for info. Still trying to decide on the domain name though,

sthmck
06-24-2008, 12:21 PM
NAMFA north american mech fighter alliance. lol

Droid Works
06-24-2008, 12:33 PM
I found a great way to broadcast video from our Mechs. I took a vex cam from the vexplorer kit and mounted it on my bioloid and it worked great. I wasn't to crazy about the size so I disassemble it and the electronics inside are small enough to fit inside a custom head. And the video quality is halfway decent.

DresnerRobotics
06-24-2008, 12:34 PM
I found a great way to broadcast video from our Mechs. I took a vex cam from the vexplorer kit and mounted it on my bioloid and it worked great. I wasn't to crazy about the size so I disassemble it and the electronics inside are small enough to fit inside a custom head. And the video quality is halfway decent.

I'm looking at picking up one of these: http://www.helihobby.com/html/micro_video_camera.html

Droid Works
06-24-2008, 01:02 PM
Very nice, But for the same price you get the leftover parts with the vex kit. I know I'm a cheap skate...lol

4mem8
06-24-2008, 01:05 PM
Hey Tyberius, Here;s the link: http://www.toyeast.com/v3/catproductlist.asp?cat_id=1571&clvl=4 (http://www.toyeast.com/v3/catproductlist.asp?cat_id=1571&clvl=4)

Damn, They forgot to send the BB's with the barrels. See if I can use 6mm ball bearings.

Droid Works
06-24-2008, 01:07 PM
Hey Tyberius, Here;s the link: http://www.toyeast.com/v3/catproductlist.asp?cat_id=1571&clvl=4 (http://www.toyeast.com/v3/catproductlist.asp?cat_id=1571&clvl=4)

Damn, They forgot to send the BB's with the barrels. See if I can use 6mm ball bearings.

Awesome link!! Let us know how those guns works out, range power ect. They look like they may be perfect for what we are doing.

4mem8
06-24-2008, 01:14 PM
Droid works: Did you see the pics I sent on the previous post. 4 barrels, Also the USb rocket launcher!!

DresnerRobotics
06-24-2008, 01:15 PM
Hey Tyberius, Here;s the link: http://www.toyeast.com/v3/catproductlist.asp?cat_id=1571&clvl=4 (http://www.toyeast.com/v3/catproductlist.asp?cat_id=1571&clvl=4)

Damn, They forgot to send the BB's with the barrels. See if I can use 6mm ball bearings.


Your pictures show two different sizes though?

MYKL
06-24-2008, 01:18 PM
How about American Mech Fighting.

AMF

I stated earlier that MAKE magazine has an in depth article this month about fitting an R/C vehicle with wireless telepresence.

Here: http://makezine.com/14/bajabuggy/

Here is a tiny picture of where I'm currently at with my design:

http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd108/DrageSjel/sn1-step.jpg
It is missing shoulder brackets, wiring, control boards, batteries, suspension springs, smaller feet, all the fastening hardware and exterior body covers.

The hands are just simple place markers for where my hand assemblies will go.

^_^

4mem8
06-24-2008, 01:18 PM
Yes they do, I ordered two types as I did not know how long the barrels were, They also do a 200mm long version, these are 275mm and 300mm They look pretty cool with one of each either side.

DresnerRobotics
06-24-2008, 01:23 PM
Yes they do, I ordered two types as I did not know how long the barrels were, They also do a 200mm long version, these are 275mm and 300mm They look pretty cool with one of each either side.

When you have a chance, could you post direct links to each size? I'm not seeing a length measurement there...