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DresnerRobotics
06-26-2008, 02:01 PM
These rules and guidelines are still up for discussion and may be subject to change. If you have any questions or would like to give feedback in on our Rules Thread (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=1928).

All Mechs are subject to final approval by an official before competing, and may be rejected if considered unsafe for human bystanders or not keeping in the spirit of the event. To elaborate, these rules here are intended to keep things balanced and fair, while I'm sure there are little loopholes that can be found for most things, have a sense of honor and respect for your opponents, and don't try to 'gimmick' your way to a win.


If you have questions, please Contact Me ([email protected]).

Updated: 1/30/09-Recent changes will be in bold. Mechs:


True walking robots only. Legs must be servo/actuator driven. This means no cam-driven, wheeled, or treaded configurations.
Your robot may have up to 4 legs. There is a penalty for using more than 2 legs.
Average Mech size is estimated between 10-18" tall. The arena itself has a 4' ceiling. There is no maximum height, bearing in mind the ceiling.

Maximum weight is 5 kg. This includes all batteries, weapons and ammo.
Your Mech may be remotely operated by a pilot or autonomous.
Shields are not allowed.


Weapons:


There are two separate weapon classes, each with different limitations.



Airsoft Weapon Class (http://mech-warfare.com/airsoftclass.aspx) will use Airsoft and Nerf weapons.



Hardcore Weapon Class (http://mech-warfare.com/hardcoreclass.aspx) will use much more powerful weapons such as CO2 powered rifles, micro class rockets, and flamethrowers.



Mechs can be outfitted to participate in either competition class as long as the weapons active abide by the rules of the class.



Auto-aiming, tracking and lock-on systems are allowed. Automatic firing is not allowed. The only exception to this is on a fully autonomous mechs. In this case automatic firing is allowed however there must be a verified remote kill switch, to be demonstrated before participating. I won't have Skynet go live on my watch.


Control:



Pilots may only view the battle through a first person POV camera mounted on their bot.
Pilots may not view the battle directly.
Cameras should be mounted roughly in the center of mass of the robot, where the 'cockpit' would be. The intention is to simulate piloting the Mech, not having cameras on your guns mounted to extensions so you can fire around corners without fear of being shot. This would fall under the 'Gimmick Clause'.
Remote control setup is up to the pilot, though there are multiple methods being discussed on the forums, many of which are free and available to users.


Arena:


The Arena dimensions are 8'x8'x4'. Larger arenas may be used in upcoming years. Expect an updated render of the arena and building placement shortly.

The Arena will be located within an armored fully enclosed 'Battle Bot' cage, with 4-8 mock 'buildings' roughly 2 feet tall placed strategically throughout the arena to provide cover.
'Streets' will be 2' wide, enough to allow bots to traverse down and through the city.
Mechs will start at opposite corners of the arena.
Spectators will be able to watch the entire fight in the arena, and also have a view of each pilot's 'mech cam' displayed on monitors.
Proposed Arena Designs (http://http//mech-warfare.com/register.aspx) are currently being discussed.


Scoring:


Matches are won by reducing your opponent's Mech hit points to 0.
Each Mech has X amount of hitpoints. X is still being decided, 10 is an estimate.
Targets will consist of thin plates mounted to micro switches. Multiple micro switches will probably have to be used in parallel to assure that hits can be registered at any point of impact on the plate.
Your Mech must be equipped with Targets equal to the amount of legs it has. Bipeds require one front target and one rear. Tripods and Quadrapods must have at least one target visible from any horizontal angle (meaning, if an enemy mech is facing you, at least one target must be visible)
Targets must be reasonably mounted on the Mech's main frame and not obscured by any limbs. This means no mounting them on poles sticking off of the Mech. Use common sense when choosing a mounting location, and keep in mind the spirit of the game. The intention is that if you are able to fire upon an opponent, they should be able to return fire given that they are facing you.
The target plates will most likely require a consistent color scheme to provide a basis for vision based tracking and aiming systems.
A knockover will also count as a hit. If you mech is unable to right itself, the match will be paused while the mech is assisted up and penalized an additional point of damage.
Targets will report hits to a Wireless Scoring Slave Unit, which will relay those hits to a Master Scoring Unit hooked up to a scoreboard.
Scoring Units will not register any more than 1 hit per every 1 second.
The Wireless Scoring Slave Unit is being developed and will be made available at cost. It will be plug and play, targets will plug in using .1" spaced 2 wire connectors (think of a servo connection with only 2 wires) It is being developed by Jon Hylands. Here is a brief overview:



"We're going to use this wireless module (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=152), one per robot, plus a master. The robot (slave) modules will have a secondary board (which I will design & build) that has an onboard ATmega168, and it will interface with up to four taget modules. Each target module is basically a micro-switch that shorts out two wires when it is hit. It will be up to the robot builder to build the target modules for their robot. We will come up with standards for the size of the target.

The slave module will require a 3-wire connection to the robot - power (5 volts), ground, and a digital input pin that will be strobed each time a target is hit. This is so that the robot can send that information back to the controlling PC, and the person controlling the robot will know how many hits they have. Each slave module will have a unique ID.

Once per second, the master will interrogate each slave to find out how many hits they have, and the results will be posted on a large screen that the audience can see.

In terms of number of targets per robot, that is up in the air, but my initial thoughts are:

# of targets = # of legs

So a biped would have two targets (front and rear), a tripod would have three, and a quad would have four. One of the targets has to be clearly visible and hittable when the robot is facing an opponent.

I'm going to build two version of the slave module - one as mentioned above for non-Bioloid mechs, and one that is a Bioloid bus device for Bioloid mechs (so the three-wire connection will be a standard Bioloid bus connector).

The slave modules will be available at cost, which will be somewhere around $50.






Airsoft Weapon Class

The Airsoft Weapon Class is standard competition class. Mechs are not likely to be damaged when participating in this class, as weapons are design to score hits rather than cause damage.


Weapons:

Airsoft projectile and Nerf missile type weapons are allowed. No shotgun type weapons.
Basic melee weapons are allowed. Powered and/or rotary melee weapons are not allowed.
Flamethrowers or sharp melee weapons are not allowed. The point is not to physically damage the Mechs.
Rate of Fire- There is no limitation to rate of fire.
Velocity- Maximum of 350fps.
Ammo- Airsoft BBs and Nerf-type 'missiles'



Hardcore Weapon Class

The Hardcore Weapon Class is meant for contestants who wish to use higher power weapon systems. The weapon guidelines for this class are fairly open, however we must obey laws and keep bystander safety in mind. If you plan on participating in this class, be prepared for your Mech to take some damage.



Weapons:


'BB gun' type weapons are allowed. This includes CO2 and spring powered weapons. Gunpowder based weapons are not allowed.
Micro-Class Rockets are allowed. The MicroMaxx (http://www.poncinihobbies.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=QUS5663) type rockets are a good example of what is allowed. Rockets must have less than a .5 second burst and cannot be explosive.
Flamethrowers are allowed, though highly ineffective due to the way that scoring is handled. Consider these weapons mostly for show. Contact an official prior to even considering a flamethrower.
Basic melee weapons are allowed. Powered and/or rotary melee weapons are not allowed.
No Liquid, Chemical or Electricity based weapons.
Rate of Fire- There is no limitation to rate of fire.
Velocity- Maximum of 450fps.

lamont
06-28-2008, 02:41 AM
Pilots may only view the battle through a first person POV camera mounted on their bot.



Clarification request: can we have more than one camera? Any restrictions on placement or facing? If it seems reasonable, maybe we could change the phrasing to be:

"Pilots may only view the battle through cameras mounted on their bot"

Excellent rules though.

DresnerRobotics
06-28-2008, 08:25 AM
Clarification request: can we have more than one camera? Any restrictions on placement or facing? If it seems reasonable, maybe we could change the phrasing to be:

"Pilots may only view the battle through cameras mounted on their bot"

Excellent rules though.

I was thinking about this, and while I don't have an issue with the robots having more than one camera, we may run into technology limitations as far as camera channels go. So, while we can allow more than one camera, we would also require that the pilot create a solution that does not use other standard channels, that would cause interference with other pilot's camera(s).

This came up, because for example, The 2.4ghz Swann camera that Jon has linked seems like a pretty solid choice, however they are limited to only 4 channels. If we have 4 people using those in a single match, all 4 channels would be used up already.

Anybody have any suggestions how a pilot could use more than one camera and not eat up all the channels available?

My suggestion is a simple one- put you camera on a quick pan servo and have preset angles to aim to.

Adrenalynn
06-28-2008, 12:06 PM
IP Cameras. Your limit then is bandwidth.

2.4Ghz video defines only 4 channels.
5.8Ghz video defines 16 channels in the US, 32 in many other regions.
UHF unlicensed defines 2 channels. I think 900Mhz is also two channels.

IP cameras could theoretically have 16.7M channels, but you'd never squeeze 'em down the backbone.

Realistically, figure 4-8 cams should be trivial on 802.11g. More than that and framerate and/or frame quality will have to suffer. I've put 24 on a router at QCIF 10fps before...

DresnerRobotics
06-28-2008, 12:20 PM
IP Cameras. Your limit then is bandwidth.

2.4Ghz video defines only 4 channels.
5.8Ghz video defines 16 channels in the US, 32 in many other regions.
UHF unlicensed defines 2 channels. I think 900Mhz is also two channels.

IP cameras could theoretically have 16.7M channels, but you'd never squeeze 'em down the backbone.

Realistically, figure 4-8 cams should be trivial on 802.11g. More than that and framerate and/or frame quality will have to suffer. I've put 24 on a router at QCIF 10fps before...

I agree with the IP cameras idea, the problem is finding a small wifi camera that's reasonably priced.

Adrenalynn
06-28-2008, 12:42 PM
Design one. :)

GWJax
06-28-2008, 11:15 PM
OK twist my arm, I have been reading all the fourms that was starting up in the original thread. I love it and its a great idea. I've been talking with my wife about this and if I could aford to take flight to CA and she said OK. So I'll start my BiPed Mech design and wepons that 4mem8 and I have been talking about under our breaths which I will not discuss here but it is within the legal limits. Is there a down to earth thread that I have not found yet telling us what everyone should have as of R/C transmitters, Cammeras, MCUs or anything else set in stone. If so please direct me to it so I can design my Mech around it. Oh ya by the way I'm in as long as the cost does not kill me..which I think I can get around that. hehehe

DresnerRobotics
06-28-2008, 11:46 PM
OK twist my arm, I have been reading all the fourms that was starting up in the original thread. I love it and its a great idea. I've been talking with my wife about this and if I could aford to take flight to CA and she said OK. So I'll start my BiPed Mech design and wepons that 4mem8 and I have been talking about under our breaths which I will not discuss here but it is within the legal limits. Is there a down to earth thread that I have not found yet telling us what everyone should have as of R/C transmitters, Cammeras, MCUs or anything else set in stone. If so please direct me to it so I can design my Mech around it. Oh ya by the way I'm in as long as the cost does not kill me..which I think I can get around that. hehehe

Looks like there will also be a east coast event as well.

Not a lot is set in stone, and a lot of what you're asking is up to you.

Control scheme is up to you, I personally plan on controlling via PC over wireless (bluetooth, wifi, not sure yet).

We're still discussing camera options, 2.4ghz is the cheapest/easiest, but we'll likely run into interference and/or limited channels.

MCU is up to you again.

I want this to be as much an engineering competition as it is a combat competition. One of the shortcomings of Battlebots type competitions is the simplicity of it all. You're essentially looking at armored RC cars with basic weapons. I want this to be more advanced, more strategic, and thus the design of the mechs is largely up to the pilots aside from some basic ground rules (no flamethrowers, etc)

Good to have you onboard though :)

GWJax
06-29-2008, 12:22 AM
Thanks Tyberius,
4mem8 has talked alot of good things about you and how understanding and patient you are with him, Its good to see that in people as there are not many of us around that like to help out those in need. So good for you on that note!

Did I hear an East coast event? That would be great. At what location would this be held in or State? So if I read you right, all is fair game as long as its RF controlled right? my wepon systems will include plastic bbs, I think this is in the guide lines for the first year since we don't want to destroy the Mechs. Metal bbs would hurt the covers pretty bad and distroy most of the target pads along with the city. Does any parts have to come from the Trossen store or can we get them anywhere we want to. Let me know when the contest comes to the East so I can get my Mech ready!! Thanks.
Jax

DresnerRobotics
06-29-2008, 12:48 AM
Thanks Tyberius,
4mem8 has talked alot of good things about you and how understanding and patient you are with him, Its good to see that in people as there are not many of us around that like to help out those in need. So good for you on that note!

Did I hear an East coast event? That would be great. At what location would this be held in or State? So if I read you right, all is fair game as long as its RF controlled right? my wepon systems will include plastic bbs, I think this is in the guide lines for the first year since we don't want to destroy the Mechs. Metal bbs would hurt the covers pretty bad and distroy most of the target pads along with the city. Does any parts have to come from the Trossen store or can we get them anywhere we want to. Let me know when the contest comes to the East so I can get my Mech ready!! Thanks.
Jax

I would not be hosting the east coast event, but I believe it would be in New York and Droidworks would be in charge of hosting that one. That said, my plan is to attend both events. I believe he mentioned it might be at a County Fair? So not exactly the same venue as Robogames, but a Mech Wars event nonetheless. No idea on timeframe with that one... my goal is to be 100% ready by Robogames 2009, but I'll still try me absolute best to make the east coast event (which is supposed to be before that)

We're sticking with Airsoft for year 1. Parts can come from wherever, but Trossen has *very* competitive prices so I doubt you'll find things cheaper if they carry them.

4mem8
06-29-2008, 12:50 AM
Gw, Thanks for those kind words, Tyberius has been very helpful in my J5 project and maybe I can help him out sometime. Nice to see you on board GW, Great that you may participate with a mech, I will be keeping an eye on what you come up with, you know me!!

Wingzero01w
06-29-2008, 12:52 AM
Is Trossen going to be carrying all the parts we need to build a mech? Or do we have to still buy it from multiple suppliers?

DresnerRobotics
06-29-2008, 12:58 AM
Is Trossen going to be carrying all the parts we need to build a mech? Or do we have to still buy it from multiple suppliers?

Totally depends on what you're building. We're not laying down construction guidelines really.

I can tell you my Mech is going to be based on the Bioloid system, which I ordered from Trossen- and they also have wireless comm options. I'll also be picking up one of Jon's I/O boards, another item from Trossen.

I think the weapons and camera will be the only two major things I'll need from elsewhere.

DresnerRobotics
06-29-2008, 11:36 AM
Moved wifi camera discussion to Wireless Camera thread (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=1932) to keep things tidy and organized :D

GWJax
06-29-2008, 11:57 AM
no prob 4mem8, I am really looking foward to this Mech War, I just hope I can pull it off in time for the NY and CA games.

4mem8
06-29-2008, 01:12 PM
I know you to well, YOU will pull it off GW.

GWJax
06-29-2008, 01:45 PM
hey just see a mech that I want to build its a tri leg bot, now that a challenge to make it move but very stutdy! hehe plus it has all the wepons I need all in the right places including a gripper for those close encounters from behind, just grab them and toss them down. quick win but exciting..

Wingzero01w
06-29-2008, 04:33 PM
Ah so a competitor to sienna's tripod eh?

DresnerRobotics
06-29-2008, 04:36 PM
hey just see a mech that I want to build its a tri leg bot, now that a challenge to make it move but very stutdy! hehe plus it has all the wepons I need all in the right places including a gripper for those close encounters from behind, just grab them and toss them down. quick win but exciting..

I would certainly suggest checking out Sienna's Tripod Amy, a tripod is probably the hardest of the 3 different leg configurations to get to walk. You're going to have to be pretty careful about payload too, since balancing is pretty key in it's walking gait.

GWJax
06-30-2008, 02:15 AM
Thanks for the update! I love a challenge though.

4mem8
07-01-2008, 12:54 AM
GW: I'm looking forward to making the carbon body shell armour for you. This is right up my ally and should be a great project from my other ones I have going.

GWJax
07-01-2008, 05:16 PM
Ya I know it is 4mem8, I've seen some of your great work on planes, I can wait to get started on this but as you know I have alot to do right now but we'll pull it off in time I hope. hehehe

jdolecki
07-01-2008, 05:19 PM
Are EMP type wepons allowed?

DresnerRobotics
07-01-2008, 05:21 PM
Are EMP type wepons allowed?

No, sorry.

metaform3d
07-01-2008, 07:21 PM
How about snares, like a net or a bolo?

MSpurk
07-16-2008, 08:55 PM
Tiberius,

I know I've only been on here for a week, and some of you have been working on this idea for way longer, but can you or Jon or Dave or whomever set a date when the ruleset will be locked for no further changes for 2009 Robogames tournament?

It would be great to lock the rules in another month or so with all the major items finalized, such as target size, color, and construction, rate of fire, # of hit points, scoring, legal weapons, etc. I'm currently working on my design, but I'd hate to purchase parts and then find out that is illegal.

Also let me say the ruleset as it stands now is pretty good. I think if you can finalize the major issues regarding the target and the scoring then roll with it. You may also want to explicity state that EMP, entanglement, etc are not allowed. The following link will take you to the ruleset we use for combat robotics. Obviously, this ruleset will not need to be as strict as the combat bots rules these bots are considerably less dangerous to operate. If you scroll to heading #12 it details the types of weapons that are disallowed.
http://www.botleague.net/doc/RFLTechRegs-2008-01.pdf

Thanks,
-Matt-

Gausswave
07-17-2008, 06:32 PM
This sounds totally cool! Got some quandries though. Having been an event organizer for the WAR ( www.westernalliedrobotics.com (http://www.westernalliedrobotics.com) ) events here in Seattle for several years I see lots of oppertunitys for seriously pushing what I'd call the spirit of the comp. I have so many other wise legal but bad ides I'm not sure where to start. Most would be curtailed by limiting weight. The other thing is you should really define what is a walker. A cam driven 4 leg walker could seriously out class your bipeds! Espically if a knock over is worth points.( OTOH that can be mitigated by more points for a quadraped being knocked over.) A rotary flail could also be a runaway weapon. Next best thing to an automatic weapon even if you have nerf balls hanging on the ends to keep it from being damage worthy. Don't get me wrong I get what your trying to do but It seems to me you seriously need to tighten up the rule set other wise you could end up with some really P/O'd contestants that might have to be disqualified.

DresnerRobotics
07-17-2008, 06:40 PM
This sounds totally cool! Got some quandries though. Having been an event organizer for the WAR ( www.westernalliedrobotics.com (http://www.westernalliedrobotics.com) ) events here in Seattle for several years I see lots of oppertunitys for seriously pushing what I'd call the spirit of the comp. I have so many other wise legal but bad ides I'm not sure where to start. Most would be curtailed by limiting weight. The other thing is you should really define what is a walker. A cam driven 4 leg walker could seriously out class your bipeds! Espically if a knock over is worth points.( OTOH that can be mitigated by more points for a quadraped being knocked over.) A rotary flail could also be a runaway weapon. Next best thing to an automatic weapon even if you have nerf balls hanging on the ends to keep it from being damage worthy. Don't get me wrong I get what your trying to do but It seems to me you seriously need to tighten up the rule set other wise you could end up with some really P/O'd contestants that might have to be disqualified.


Nothing is set in stone, in the next month or so I'll be tightening things up. Thing is- with year 1 we don't want the rules too restrictive. I look at it as a 'beta test' year and we'll use what we learn from it to go from there.

Given that there is no real prize for winning this year, I'm hoping people will participate for fun and in the spirit of the game, rather than try to win using cheap tactics.

A-Bot
07-17-2008, 08:42 PM
A cam driven 4 leg walker could seriously out class your bipeds!

As you say this would violate the "spirit" of the rules since a cam-drive would not be a true gait-based walker.


A rotary flail could also be a runaway weapon.

I'm pretty sure there will be a rule forbidding any kind of spinning/inertia weapon. This isn't battlebots.

DresnerRobotics
07-21-2008, 01:46 AM
Rules updated slightly just to reflect a few things that have been discussed. Let me know if you have any questions.

DresnerRobotics
07-21-2008, 11:35 PM
UPDATED RULES AND CLARIFICATION

Couple of topics that have been up for discussion I'm making decisions on.

Weapons:


Rate of Fire- There will be no limitation to rate of fire.
Velocity- Maximum of 300fps.
Ammo- 6mm .20 gram airsoft BBs.
No shotgun type weapons.


We will have a chrono at Robogames to test all robots firing velocity. If you're designing your own weapons I suggest you have them tested before coming to robogames, or have the velocity adjustable. If you are using an unmodified RC Airsoft tank weapon you will be under the 300 fps limit, so no worries there.


Target and Scoring System:


Wireless Scoring Unit is being developed and will be made available at cost. It will be plug and play, targets will plug in using .1" spaced 2 wire connectors (think of a servo connection with only 2 wires)
Wireless Scoring Units will not register any more than 1 hit per every 1 second.
Targets will consist of thin plates mounted to micro switches. Multiple micro switches will probably have to be used in parallel to assure that hits can be registered at any point of impact on the plate.
Your Mech must be equipped with Targets equal to the amount of legs it has. Bipeds require one front target and one rear. Tripods and Quadrapods must have at least one target visible from any horizontal angle (meaning, if an enemy mech is facing you, at least one target must be visible)
Each target must be 4 square inches in total area (2"x2" square for example), and no less than 1" across at any point. If you choose, you may divide a target up into two plates at a 50% surface area penalty. Meaning if you decide you would like two smaller plates making up one target, they must cover 6 square inches. The plates must face the same direction.
Targets must be reasonably mounted on the Mech's main frame and not obscured by any limbs. This means no mounting them on poles sticking off of the Mech.
If you choose to mount your target on an angled surface on your Mech, the 2D projection of the plate as viewed from straight on must be 4 square inches. It cannot be angled back at any more than 45 degrees, and must still trigger a hit if shot from straight on.


I'm open to feedback on these rules as always, but I feel these are pretty fair overall.

sam
07-22-2008, 07:19 AM
I think these rules are perfect for year 1. :happy:

A-Bot
07-22-2008, 07:51 AM
The targets must be mounted above or at roughly the same level as your Mech's camera. This is to prevent people from being able to peak and fire over a low wall without exposing their target plates.
This one seems unnecessary... just don't have any low walls in the arena. I thought all the buildings would be tall.

I think it makes more sense to have the targets around center mass (i.e. on the chassis). Most people are going to have the camera way up on top of the cannon, which means the target will basically be a 'hat'. Not only will this look silly, but it will also be unrealistic as you have to shoot over your opponent's mech to score a hit.

Also, I personally would simplify the target rules... must be 2"x2", must be perpendicular to the floor. Targets should be very standard IMHO.

DresnerRobotics
07-22-2008, 08:36 AM
This one seems unnecessary... just don't have any low walls in the arena. I thought all the buildings would be tall.

I think it makes more sense to have the targets around center mass (i.e. on the chassis). Most people are going to have the camera way up on top of the cannon, which means the target will basically be a 'hat'. Not only will this look silly, but it will also be unrealistic as you have to shoot over your opponent's mech to score a hit.

Also, I personally would simplify the target rules... must be 2"x2", must be perpendicular to the floor. Targets should be very standard IMHO.


Ideally I wanted to have different variations of the arena layout. I really liked metaform's proposed arena which had low walls, really that rule is just in there to prevent exploitive strategies. We'll see though.

The reason for the target rules is to give people flexibility with the design of their Mech. If they have a sloped front on their Mech, I'd rather them still mount it on the front of the torso than somewhere else, hence the 'angling' rule. Bottom line is it has to register hits if shot at directly and has to have a minimum of 4 square inches of visible target plate from straight on view.

ScuD
07-22-2008, 08:38 AM
I have to agree with A-bot on this.

If you're going for a quad with the targets on the legs, where are you going to mount the camera? beneath the body and between the legs? (interesting design though)

Why not have a target on the camera if you really want to cancel this strategy out.

Headshot means 2 points

DresnerRobotics
07-22-2008, 08:45 AM
Actually I'm thinking I'm just going to do away with low walls in the Arenas (at least for year 1), keep things simple and thus negating the need for that rule. It was something we debated for quite awhile and none of us were very happy with. Hadn't thought enough about quads and how they would be setup (which is most likely a turret up top).

Removing that rule.

metaform3d
07-22-2008, 11:24 AM
I kind of thought using walls for cover was an intended part of the strategy. In the video game do the mechs just face each other down, gunslinger-style?

My guess is that in year one the contestants will have a hard enough time getting around at all. It seems doubtful that much strategy will be involved.

A-Bot
07-22-2008, 11:38 AM
I kind of thought using walls for cover was an intended part of the strategy. In the video game do the mechs just face each other down, gunslinger-style?


No, there will be buildings for cover... you just won't be able to see over them. Hit and run, sneak attacks, ambushing should all be possible.

A-Bot
07-22-2008, 11:40 AM
Hadn't thought enough about quads and how they would be setup (which is most likely a turret up top).


Yup, my quad is gonna have a turret up top. Actually, that's the only part of the bot that I've built and coded so far. :)

dcalkins
07-22-2008, 12:18 PM
Each target must be 4 square inches in total area (2"x2" square for example), and no less than 1" across at any point. If you choose, you may divide a target up into two plates at a 50% surface area penalty. Meaning if you decide you would like two smaller plates making up one target, they must cover 6 square inches. The plates must face the same direction.

I really* think that the collective 'we' needs to make plates. I just don't think individually made plates are reliable. Plates should be 100% consistent bot-to-bot.

I also think that the target area is too small. 3x3 makes more sense

JonHylands
07-22-2008, 12:52 PM
I'm going to build some plates, and post some kind of tutorial on how to do it, which will help people who don't know how.

A-Bot
07-22-2008, 01:52 PM
I'm going to build some plates, and post some kind of tutorial on how to do it, which will help people who don't know how.

Do you have a target date?

Just don't slow down Bus Board manufacture for this... mine is still backordered. :p

Sienna
07-22-2008, 07:44 PM
Velocity- Maximum of 300fps. Ammo- 6mm .20 gram airsoft BBs.
Can you please increase that to 340 fps? Most CQB legal guns shoot in the 330 range, and I would hate to further penalize someone who went to the trouble of integrating a bigger mechbox.

Also, can you please not limit the ammo? Instead, chrono the gun with .2s, but allow the builder to use whatever ammo type they choose (plastic based, not paintball or metal).


No shotgun type weapons.
What does this mean? No shower type weapons? If so, why not? You are not having a limit on ROF, so what difference does it make if I shoot 25 rounds in a second or 25 rounds at once?

darkback2
07-22-2008, 08:39 PM
What does this mean? No shower type weapons? If so, why not? You are not having a limit on ROF, so what difference does it make if I shoot 25 rounds in a second or 25 rounds at once?

I think it has to do with expectation of accuracy as a method of making the game more difficult. As in, if you can create a "wall" of pellets, you will probably hit a target, as opposed to a stream of pellets in which case most of those will go to relatively the same place, an without correction, you may or may not hit a target.

My question is, if my robot only has one leg, can it only have one target? "hop hop...bang...hop hop"

DB

JonHylands
07-22-2008, 08:45 PM
Yes, if you can build a one-legged hopper robot that can move around and shoot, we'll let you have only one target...

Sienna
07-22-2008, 08:52 PM
The fields here in MD seem to have standardized on a 335 fps CQB limit. (420 woods with auto / 500 woods semi only 125 ft MED)

JonHylands
07-22-2008, 08:53 PM
From wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airsoft_pellets):

"The pellet velocity of automatic electric guns is determined in large part by the tension of their main spring and so there tends to be a stratification of values. The most common airsoft velocity limits are between 365 to 400 ft/s for AEGs and 450 to 550 ft/s for single shot guns (sniper rifles)."

Adrenalynn
07-22-2008, 08:55 PM
Sorry- I killed my message, decided I didn't want to get into it. My Internet connectivity is down with a twenty four hour estimate to have it back online. No use in getting into it on other subjects at the moment.

A-Bot
07-22-2008, 09:05 PM
Can you please increase that to 340 fps? Most CQB legal guns shoot in the 330 range, and I would hate to further penalize someone who went to the trouble of integrating a bigger mechbox.

I agree, 300 or 350, what's the difference. I'm in favor of having more options without fear of being disqualified. I'm not planning to use anything that heavy though.



What does this mean? No shower type weapons? If so, why not? You are not having a limit on ROF, so what difference does it make if I shoot 25 rounds in a second or 25 rounds at once?

The question is, does it present a balance issue? Like DB said, the argument against using shotguns is that it will be easy to score a target hit without having to aim very precisely. The argument for shotguns is that it takes them a lot more ammo to score a single hit. Those ideas only balance if ammo is in limited supply.

Taking this a step further, what if a mech had a fully automatic cannon and a shotgun? Or two cannons and a shotgun? There needs to be some limit on firepower... think "tonnage". Mechwarrior is balanced somewhat by making bigger mechs move much more slowly; however, in MechWars, the better-equipped mechs won't move any slower, and in fact they will probably move faster. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens year one.

On a related note, if we had shotguns I'm assuming one shot spread would register at most one target hit (Jon said he could put a hit rate limit in the counter).

Adrenalynn
07-22-2008, 09:11 PM
I'm wondering why we don't just make it 3500fps? Why penalize those of us that went to the extra trouble to integrate a 6.5mm PPC, and all the extra trouble of making teflon rounds for it?

A-Bot
07-22-2008, 09:55 PM
I'm wondering why we don't just make it 3500fps? We? I thought you were not building a mech...

Adrenalynn
07-22-2008, 10:32 PM
No comment.

LoDebar
07-23-2008, 12:23 AM
The arena should be built in such a way that people can use them for cover and strategy.

In the original Mechwarrior game, my favorite mech was the mosquito. I used speed and strategy to go after the big heavy weights, and won most of the time. Get hit once and your dead. But use the environment to avoid getting hit.

Make the other guy commit their resources, and then use that decision against them.

One of the goals for this competition should be to make if very attractive to the spectators. Pure fire power is one thing, but speed and strategy is another thing.

Let people build robots that can peak over things. Look under things. Lobb some mortar shells. Shoot under parked cars (are there going to be some parked cars?). Hide behind a building, and come out at trip the other robot. All one robot to punch the other robot. Allow the robot to flip the power switch (or yank out wires) on the other robot. Lets get brutal.

My robot will have some wire cutters in its tool box...........

Pete

DresnerRobotics
07-23-2008, 12:24 AM
Few adjustments:





Each target must be 9 square inches in total area (3"x3" square for example), and no less than 2" across at any point. If you choose, you may divide a target up into two plates at a 30% surface area penalty. Meaning if you decide you would like two smaller plates making up one target, they must cover 12 square inches between the two. Both plates must face the same direction. (Target area requirement increased from 4 square inches, if Mechs are too easy to hit we can always increase their allowed Hitpoints)



Each target must be 9 square inches in total area (3"x3" square for example), and no less than 2" across at any point. If you choose, you may divide a target up into two plates at a 30% surface area penalty. Meaning if you decide you would like two smaller plates making up one target, they must cover 12 square inches between the two. Both plates must face the same direction. (REMOVED, keeping things simple)



If you choose to mount your target on an angled surface on your Mech, the 2D projection of the plate as viewed from straight on must be 9 square inches. It cannot be angled back at any more than 45 degrees, and must still trigger a hit if shot from straight on. (REMOVED, keeping things simple. Target plates should be mounted reasonably perpendicular from the ground)



Targets must be reasonably mounted on the Mech's main frame and not obscured by any limbs. This means no mounting them on poles sticking off of the Mech. Use common sense when choosing a mounting location, and keep in mind the spirit of the game. (Removed rule regarding target mounting location in regards to camera/turrets)



For the 1st year event, we will be limiting weapons to Airsoft type weapons and Nerf missiles. More potent weapons such as coilguns, CO2 powered pellet/bb cannons, and fuel based micro-rockets will be strongly considered in the future. (adding in nerf missiles, these are safe and I don't see a reason to not allow them)



Velocity- Maximum of 350fps. (up from 300, as standard is around 350-400)



Ammo- Airsoft BBs and Nerf-type 'missiles'

dcalkins
07-23-2008, 12:26 AM
There will be two leagues:

The 'P' league, as described above, with weapons limits, and the 'R' league, in which there are no weapon limits - reall bb's, flame, rockets, whatever.

DresnerRobotics
07-23-2008, 12:38 AM
There will be two leagues:

The 'P' league, as described above, with weapons limits, and the 'R' league, in which there are no weapon limits - reall bb's, flame, rockets, whatever.

I'll post more info on this once we work out a few more details on the 'hardcore' league.

DresnerRobotics
07-23-2008, 01:45 AM
Also added:


All Mechs are subject to final approval by officials before competing, and may be rejected if considered unsafe for human bystanders or not keeping in the spirit of the event.

We're not going to go nuts with this, this isn't meant to rain on anyone's parade. All Mechs competing in this event are required to register with picture and description anyway, this clause just allows us to say no if we feel a bot is going to be dangerous (IE, shooting spinning, flaming razor blades in every direction) or intentionally built to be 'cheap'. This event if supposed to be about having fun, not exploiting the rules to win. If you have questions, just ask.

Gausswave
07-23-2008, 02:56 PM
"I'm pretty sure there will be a rule forbidding any kind of spinning/inertia weapon. This isn't battlebots."

I understnad this isn't battle bots hence the nerf reference to the end of the flail. It was an example of an other wise legal weapon ( at this point ) that isn't trying to skirt the rules.
As for the spirit of the rules they are still a little on the grey side for me to consider building yet. the balance between creative freedom and conformity for competiton's sake needs to be tighter. A quadra ped isn't " humanoid " by any stretch as far as I'm concerned. Really it should be either biped / Humanoid with height and weight restrictions only or a different class all to geather. I could easily design a custom actuator that would be well with in the rules. Put ti ina quadrapaed and totaly run away with ease from any biped. OTOH I don't really have the programming skills to pull a lot of this off yet. What I CAN do is offer an existing arena and place to play here in Seattle. It would be an awsome adititon to Robothon or any of the WAR events I do here in the NW.

I really can't press the weigh issue enough. It helps limit the extremes in so many ways. Ammo, power, height,etc... with out being specifically restrictive.

The other thing is keeep the scoring system simple as possible. More surface area for more legs makes things overly complicated ( scoring plate mounts, addittonal wiring, interpritation of the rules.) espically for the first couple of years. I get the impression the mecs are supposed to be ~ equal. That is better handeled by the nature of the mech design rules than elaborate scoring systems.

Can your bot reuse ammo off the floor?
The current rules make the likely hood of a " knockover weapon " unlikely. I know there needs to be a balance between power and non destructivity.
Would fignitng on you knees be considered a knockdown? Robo ones do this.
Once a mech is down would pounding on it's score plate be legal?
May be a hold down pin for a win?
I like the idead of limiting the score system to only so many points per a given amount if time. Like only 1 point per second? The possablity of shooting some body in the back or the front scoring 10 points for a KO in a second seems really lame to me.

Adrenalynn
07-23-2008, 03:26 PM
Much of what you've suggested (1pt per sec, weight limits) are in there now. Worth rereading if you haven't lately.

DresnerRobotics
07-23-2008, 05:20 PM
"I'm pretty sure there will be a rule forbidding any kind of spinning/inertia weapon. This isn't battlebots."

I understnad this isn't battle bots hence the nerf reference to the end of the flail. It was an example of an other wise legal weapon ( at this point ) that isn't trying to skirt the rules.
As for the spirit of the rules they are still a little on the grey side for me to consider building yet. the balance between creative freedom and conformity for competiton's sake needs to be tighter. A quadra ped isn't " humanoid " by any stretch as far as I'm concerned. Really it should be either biped / Humanoid with height and weight restrictions only or a different class all to geather. I could easily design a custom actuator that would be well with in the rules. Put ti ina quadrapaed and totaly run away with ease from any biped. OTOH I don't really have the programming skills to pull a lot of this off yet. What I CAN do is offer an existing arena and place to play here in Seattle. It would be an awsome adititon to Robothon or any of the WAR events I do here in the NW.

Melee weapons are restricted to simple ones. Blunt objects, hand to hand, etc. As far as humanoids vs quadrapods... I think the target plates = to number of leg rules helps balance it a bit. Quadrapods will be much bigger targets and easier to hit, that is the penalty for having potentially higher mobility and payload. If they end up being far too overpowered against humanoids, we'll look at making adjustments and/or a quadrapod specific class. Lets see how things go for year 1 and go from there. I appreciate the hosting offer, we'll have to talk more about that later.



I really can't press the weigh issue enough. It helps limit the extremes in so many ways. Ammo, power, height,etc... with out being specifically restrictive.

We've added a 5 lb weight limit.


The other thing is keeep the scoring system simple as possible. More surface area for more legs makes things overly complicated ( scoring plate mounts, addittonal wiring, interpritation of the rules.) espically for the first couple of years. I get the impression the mecs are supposed to be ~ equal. That is better handeled by the nature of the mech design rules than elaborate scoring systems.

We're looking at also producing the target plates to keep them standardized, along with the wireless scoring slave units.



Can your bot reuse ammo off the floor?

Honestly if you can make a bot capable of reusing ammo from the floor effectively, knowing that it will likely be inaccurate after being fired, go for it.



The current rules make the likely hood of a " knockover weapon " unlikely. I know there needs to be a balance between power and non destructivity.

I'm aiming for this to be more about projectile based combat than melee combat. Melee combat will probably be a fallback if you run out of ammo, etc. A knockover will be considered a hit.



Would fignitng on you knees be considered a knockdown? Robo ones do this.

Care to elaborate? I don't see a reason to limit walking gaits at this point.


Once a mech is down would pounding on it's score plate be legal?
May be a hold down pin for a win?


I'd like to see it happen before I make a judgment regarding that. Personally I think it'd be pretty cool to see, and we're doing this event with having fun being the primary goal. At least for now, theres no prize for winning, just about having a good time and seeing the event happen.


I like the idead of limiting the score system to only so many points per a given amount if time. Like only 1 point per second? The possablity of shooting some body in the back or the front scoring 10 points for a KO in a second seems really lame to me.

We're implementing a 1 hit per second cap on the scoring units, this simplifies things for programming and will prevent automatic weapon fire from being too powerful.

dcalkins
07-23-2008, 06:59 PM
i think the shortest answer to Rob's questions:

You take hit's based on impacts to the chest/back plates in 1 second cycles. So if a bot falls down and hits it's plate, it's a hit. If you smack the other guy's plate with your bots fists, it's a hit. If you shoot it, it's a hit. If your flame thrower has enough force (ha, ha, ha) to indent teh plate, it's a hit... etc.

Sienna
07-23-2008, 07:54 PM
What was the justification behind the five pound limit?

I am putting together a SES based biped, and my initial glob of parts (some legs, a gun, batts, etc) seems to come out to 4.6lbs. Yet, I don't think I am doing anything really unreasonable or unexpected. (and no, thats with a plastic gun, not a metal mechbox)

Was there justification for that 5lb limit? Or was it arbitrary?

Thanks

Adrenalynn
07-23-2008, 08:01 PM
Out of curiosity, anyone here ever read the FIRST or Science Olympiad rules for robotics?

I ask because I coach the robotics stuff for a school here and I do frequently have to live by those rules. They make this stuff look unimaginably permissive and tame...

The upshot is: read the rules. Build to the rules. Fight the rules = disappointment every time... If your design doesn't fit the rules, then your design needs to be made to fit the rules rather than the other way around.

I mean, why not 50lbs? 500lbs? 5000lbs? 5,000,000,000,000,000lbs?

Why not 400psi? 4000psi? 60,000psi?

Why not 400fps? 4000fps? Four Trillion FPS?

Why don't we mount phalanx cannons to skate boards and go with depleted uranium or at least tungston?

No matter what the limitations, someone that didn't build to the limits is going to have a problem with 'em. We can keep flexing right into the absurd and that will still be a true statement.

A-Bot
07-23-2008, 11:38 PM
I mean, why not 50lbs? 500lbs? 5000lbs? 5,000,000,000,000,000lbs?

Why not 400psi? 4000psi? 60,000psi?

Why not 400fps? 4000fps? Four Trillion FPS?

Why don't we mount phalanx cannons to skate boards and go with depleted uranium or at least tungston?


Sorry, but as you repeat this argument is doesn't get any less tedious or irrelevant. Increases to the limits that people are proposing are on the same order of magnitude and are resulting directly from information gained from mech design activity. We are in these threads to debate the rules, and no one even has a fully operational mech yet. :rolleyes:

Adrenalynn
07-23-2008, 11:57 PM
I'm sorry that you feel that way. To me, it feels like people want infinitely unlimited rules, and then have the rules written around whatever it is they build. I understand that's how creativity works, alas in my experience, it's not how competitions work. All rulesets in competition appear arbitrary because people don't witness the dozens of hours of consideration that went into them.

dcalkins
07-24-2008, 02:31 AM
Sorry, but as you repeat this argument is doesn't get any less tedious or irrelevant.

And yet here you are, repeating YOUR tedious and irrelevant argument, expecting it to carry more weight than anyone else's argment - regardless of their collective experience in running events (no pun intended on the "carry weight" statement, but I'll take the pun anyway.)


and no one even has a fully operational mech yet.

I do. It weighs 1.4 kg, is R/C, has an FM video Tx on it, and shoots a ripping 1 round a second with a 30 round hopper. But I could compete with it this weekend. It's in no way what I want, but it works as per the rules.

Anyone who comments on anyone but themselves, usually makes a fool of themself. And yes, I see the duplicity in that statement.

A-Bot
07-24-2008, 06:04 AM
Right, and the second Hagetaka or MicroRaptor come in an ounce over 5 lbs, the weight limit would move up. Just keepin' it real.

But please, continue to sarcasticaly criticize anyone with legit discussion points... it's really fostering a great community spirit. Dave, after all, it's "your event". And Adrenalyn, we especially appreciate heavy-handed opinions from someone not participating. Again, just keepin' it real.

I'm gonna build the robot I want to build, and I'll equip it as a mech because it will be fun. If it doesn't fit the rules for a particular event, then I'll save a lot of money on airfare. I'm not concerned though; Tyb seems like a reasonable dude. Later.

JonHylands
07-24-2008, 07:57 AM
I agree with A-Bot - the rules for this event are not cast in stone (yet), and this thread is specifically for discussion related to those rules. The point is, we make up the rules, Tyb posts the changes in this thread, and we discuss them. We don't have to agree with everything that everyone says, but at the same time we definitely need to discuss them.

On the weight - given that the stock weight of a bioloid kit is pretty close to 2.0 kg (4.4 lbs), that doesn't leave us a lot of leeway for adding extra servos, guns, targets, ammo, wifi cameras, and all the other stuff we need to make this happen. 5 lb is 2.272 kg, which only leaves us with 272 grams for additions to the stock kit. We've already established that a reasonable payload on top of a stock bioloid is at least 500 grams...

sthmck
07-24-2008, 08:23 AM
I know that weight is something that is discussed when form a rule set for these types of events. Really does it matter though? I mean if I were to make a mech with two airsoft guns, a flame thrower and a missile launcher, then I would have a heavy mech. But the chances are that it would also be an extremly slow mech. While I have never played mech games from readying these threads I have seems to come to the conclusion that a more important factor is strategy. I really dont see how having a 6 pound mech is going to give you to much of an advantage over someone with a four pound mech. Im sure someone will say yeah but if you have a heavier mech then you can just use some better servos and that will cancel out the weight problem. Well that is the truth is you get some really nice servos that have a lot of torque and speed then you will have a faster mech, it will also be bigger than the others. Which means it will have a harder time moving in the arena. Kinda like godzilla... never mind he just crushed what ever was in his way. Anyway I guess what I am trying to say is that we shouldnt get so worked up over the weight thing this year. I mean for goodness sake if there 7 mech there that would be cool enough. Maybe in a few years when someone comes out with an 8 pound monster then we would have some reasons to worry about wieght issues. This year I doubt it will be a problem. That just my 2 cents.

Adrenalynn
07-24-2008, 11:27 AM
And Adrenalyn, we especially appreciate heavy-handed opinions from someone not participating. Again, just keepin' it real.

"Reality" would actually require you to withhold making statements about things you don't *know*.

Maybe you should be signing "Again, just fantasizing"

4mem8
07-24-2008, 01:06 PM
Ok, I know that I won't be at these Mech wars [damn it] but participating in another way, And I know rules are rules that's why we have Tyberius in this position, But to save on arguments all round how about make the weight 5.5lbs to give a bit more lee way to the heavier construction materials like SES against the bioloid plastic parts. Just a thought.

A-Bot
07-24-2008, 01:55 PM
"Reality" would actually require you to withhold making statements about things you don't *know*.

Ok, I was just joshing you because of what you had previously said about your commitment to DefConBots. All kidding aside, it would be great if you were building a mech. :)



Maybe you should be signing "Again, just fantasizing"

*bites tongue* :p

Adrenalynn
07-24-2008, 01:56 PM
See - we agree! :D

DresnerRobotics
07-28-2008, 10:06 PM
Making a fairly large change to the weight limitation. Originally we were basing the 5lb limit on the average weight of most humanoid bots + 2 lbs to account for custom designs + weapons and camera payload. The problem was I had false information on the stock bioloid weight, thinking it was 2lbs as opposed to 2kg. Seeing as though the stock weight of the bioloid was over 4 lbs, obviously this would not leave much room for expansion. The Lynxmotion SES system is fairly heavy as well, and a 5990TG based SES biped would be over 4 lbs before weapons systems as well.

Factoring in custom bots using higher end servos (dx-117, rx-28, rx-64 etc) this did not leave nearly enough room for building high end bots. Now, the highest end heavyweight bots in the Robo-One competitions weigh in at over 4kg. I want to encourage those type of bots to be built for this competition and so as a result, I am raising the weight limit to 5kg.

This should allow us to build our Mechs without having to worry too much about total weight, and focus on what our Mechs are actually capable of carrying. The only bots I expect to come close to this weight limit will be the RX-28 and higher bots, where the majority of that weight will be composed of frame, actuators and batteries anyway.

I'd also like to point out that this increased weight limit introduces more potential for very dangerous bots, given the Hardcore Class ruleset. So that said, I would like to reiterate that ALL Mechs must be approved by a Mech Wars official (Jon Hylands, David Calkins or myself) prior to competition. In fact I would encourage all builders to run their weapons systems by an official before building, so that you don't get half way into building a nano-nuclear missile system only to have us pull the plug.

JonHylands
07-29-2008, 09:15 AM
One of my plans, if I win the lottery or something silly like that, is to rebuild MicroRaptor using RX-64 servos, so this will be a welcome change...

Adrenalynn
07-29-2008, 10:14 AM
If you would package and sell some of that killer software you've developed, Jon, you could SPONSER the lottery... :P

A-Bot
07-29-2008, 11:47 AM
I want to encourage those type of bots to be built for this competition and so as a result, I am raising the weight limit to 5kg.


Groovy.

4mem8
07-29-2008, 01:06 PM
Good decision Tyberius, I think this will help a lot of Mech builders.

ScuD
07-29-2008, 02:46 PM
Pfew, so I can finally continue working on the all-metal 4-barrel automatic minigun ?

Kickass...

sthmck
08-01-2008, 07:55 AM
Hey Tyb I was just looking at the mech wars site and I saw where it said there is a penalty for having more than two legs. Is the penalty just having more targets or is there something else that I missed?

DresnerRobotics
08-01-2008, 08:52 AM
Hey Tyb I was just looking at the mech wars site and I saw where it said there is a penalty for having more than two legs. Is the penalty just having more targets or is there something else that I missed?

Nope, just more targets.

Electricity
08-01-2008, 11:48 AM
And stern looks for the bipedders..

sthmck
08-02-2008, 07:49 AM
I can handle the stern looks and extra targets.

BauerMECH
08-04-2008, 11:05 PM
Hi Guys! Tyberius, DroidWorks, David, Jon... and the rest of you involved. :-) All I can say is WOW! This is quite an undertaking. How exciting to see it all come about.
A few suggestions to maybe keep in mind... Just suggestions now, you can tell me to shove it if you don’t like ‘em… :-D

Events, especially first-time conceptual ones, will do best if initially kept "bland" as far as the difficulty and flare goes - at least until you can establish how a round will play out to an audience. If you cut down the amount of things that could potentially go wrong (and you can count on things not working as planned), you can ensure a more pleasant experience for everyone. The best thing you can do for something as new as this is to focus on things that are going to turn heads and inspire people to hop on board... air-soft guns, rockets and flame-throwers are a freakin' great start! I mean, holy smokes! What could possibly top that right?

Rules: rules should be kept fairly loose right off the bat (encompassing everyone’s mortal safety of course). When it comes down to it, there isn't going to be too many of us who actually show up ready to fight... say 40% on this thread, maybe. That's not too many robots to populate an event that already has two divisions. As the event begins to produce skilled MechWar veterans, a tighter rule-set will surely be needed not only to make it enjoyable for noobs to try, but to also to help push the technology further along.

Layout: I'd think that two to four obstacles/buildings would more than suffice. Too large of a footprint and it'd take a substantial amount of time for one bot to simply cross the arena, let alone sift though "city blocks" searching for its opponent. For instance, how many of you saw RN-1 soccer? The crowed bought into the novelty of it all, but soon became restless for some action. (If you thought those bots were slow at traversing over that large field from one end to the other, try narrowing the perspective down to what would only be visible on a monitor. I'll tell you, it's tough telling if your bot is making any headway at all. I'd personally try one or the other... a couple extra buildings, or camera vision... not both.)

Remember, humanoids capable of carrying a payload have servos that are current-hungry. You start adding things like cumbersome weaponry, vision systems, sensors, etc, your batteries are going to deplete rapidly. Many of the larger humanoids run well for about 15 minutes before experiencing trouble standing up after a fall. Another reason down-sizing the playing field might be beneficial to the cause.

Weapons: Projectile weapons most likely aren’t going to be consistently accurate. Adding a gyro would help w/ the recoil some, but recovery between shots is still going to be a bit of an issue. You full-auto dreamers out there… good luck :-D For time-frame sake, considering doing away with any large volume of HP’s and ending a round with “first hit wins” or -3 looses? … I don’t know, maybe that’s a bit extreme. This would be something you’d have to experiment with once a couple Mech-bots are able go head-to-head.

Note to those who use Li-Poly packs… They are volatile if exposed to air. Pierce the pack and you could have a fireball on your hands – toasting your bot. Might be a neat effect now that I think about it :-D

Anyway, just wanted to give some feedback… I know I haven’t been around much since RG, but had some catch-up stuff to do. I’ll talk to you guys later… when it’s not so late. Great work guys! I can’t wait for 09!

darkback2
08-04-2008, 11:47 PM
Hey Matt,

Good to hear from you...I had a great time meeting you guys at robogames. In any case, Great ideas for the rules. I was thinking...if it gets too boring, maybe we could have a "halo" round, in which you just have all of the capable bots go at it. Robots that get hit would have to "respawn" a person with a face mask would have to go into the arena and physically get the robot and move it to one of the corners...(I'll volunteer myself) well...seams like it may be fun.

robocarnage and all.

DB (Che)

sam
08-05-2008, 07:14 AM
Yeah, that would be fun. Maybe the robot would just need to walk back to a corner to get his "life back" instead of having someone go in the field and stp the shooting.

I love the comment, lots of information and nicely said! :happy:

4mem8
08-05-2008, 01:23 PM
BauerMech: All good valid points and I am sure that Tyberius has them all under control, But feedback like this is important to everyone who will be involved in this truly amazing event.

billyzelsnack
10-21-2008, 07:11 PM
Maybe this was mentioned already, but...

How about instead of everyone building their own target electronics there is instead a spec for a target's size/weight. So the idea being that everyone can build target mockups at home and at the competition the mockup can be replaced with the real thing. I'd say go so far to say in the spec that the sensor will be attached via velcro ( male side on target. ) The target should also be self-powered.

Doing it this way allows people to concentrate on their mech instead of messing much with targets as well as making the competition more fair since the sensors will be more easily calibrated the same.

DresnerRobotics
10-21-2008, 07:30 PM
I have two things in mind.

First of all, standard target units available to everyone. They would be very basic, 3x3" squares of lexan with a piezo electric sensor on the backside.

The other option would be a custom target made by the builder, with the condition that it's functionality must be validated by a game official previous to competing. The conditions here is that the 2D projected area must be equal to 9 square inches per target. It also can't be designed in a way to prevent hits from scoring (ie: 9 1" squares placed separately). It has to be reasonably whole, meaning you have to have a good reason why you're dividing it, if you must.

The target/scoring unit itself is being developed by Jon Hylands and will essentially be an AVR/Xbee combo with I/O opened up for the piezo electric sensors. These will be available for purchase at cost.

I'm trying to keep building options very flexible for people around year 1, if something becomes a problem at the match, then we can talk about it and adjust accordingly for next competition.

Sienna
10-21-2008, 08:33 PM
What are the rules regarding circuitry between the target plate and the I/O pin to the target system?
For instance, if I have a piezo sensor attached to a target shell, which is wired into the op amp, which is wired into my MCU, which in turn triggers the JH target device, is that valid? (I think it should be, but then again, I play airsoft, where honor means something when calling one's own hits.)

When did the JH target switch from that low cost wireless device to XBee? Also, isn't that going to cause some co-site interference with other 2.4GHz gear used for C&C?

Oh, and I will offer this... John, if you need help developing or writing the interface document, I can help there. Writing interface documentation has been on and off part of my day job.

DresnerRobotics
10-21-2008, 09:28 PM
I'd prefer the target/scoring systems just to be independent with the option of having access to their output (ie: you can read I/O and tell when you take hits). This is for simplicity more than anything.

We switched because the RF units we had werent much cheaper, and the ultra cheap ones we had fell through. There wont be any interference because 2.4ghz/bluetooth isnt affected by Zigbee and vice versa. Total cost of the units is still going to shoot for around $50

Sienna
10-22-2008, 05:19 AM
Um.... Yes, but I (and I am sure a lot of people) where looking into zigbee as the C&C chain. I guess we can but try it, and see, but I still think there might be some interference issues.

lnxfergy
10-22-2008, 06:45 AM
Xbee modules have 16 channels, plus you define a PAN number and device ID numbers. Zigbee/IEEE 802.15.4 is supposed to be very robust - I'd be more worried about the other 2.4Ghz devices floating around at the show...

-Fergs

Adrenalynn
10-22-2008, 11:02 AM
I'm running two modules simultaneously on my 'bot right now, looking at putting a third on it. They're separated by 3" of air on the same plane.

DresnerRobotics
10-22-2008, 11:23 AM
Um.... Yes, but I (and I am sure a lot of people) where looking into zigbee as the C&C chain. I guess we can but try it, and see, but I still think there might be some interference issues.

Read up a bit on Zigbee technology.The entire point of us using it is the fact that it's almost entirely immune from interference from other 2.4ghz devices, and completely immune from other Zigbee units.

We'll publish what network IDs each target unit is using, as long as no one's comm is set to the same ID, we'll be fine. Even if someone showed up with the wrong comm set, it takes all of 30 seconds to change it.

GWJax
10-22-2008, 12:49 PM
Have I missed what color the targets are to be?
Jax

DresnerRobotics
10-22-2008, 01:03 PM
Whatever color of electrical tape we put on them, if needed.

If we arent going to have any autonomous bots, its not an issue though.

Sienna
10-22-2008, 01:50 PM
Oh shoot... I forgot color....

I was so planning on making my canopy a target area... and color just wouldn't work to well with the camera behind it! :P

DresnerRobotics
10-22-2008, 03:23 PM
Oh shoot... I forgot color....

I was so planning on making my canopy a target area... and color just wouldn't work to well with the camera behind it! :P

I honestly wouldn't stress it too much, I doubt anyone is going to show up for year 1 with a functional autonomous combat robot....

(consider that a challenge though)

FryGuy
10-22-2008, 06:56 PM
For the targets, I thought this was interesting.. The defconbots people are doing a competition next year that's got some similar aspects:

http://forum.defcon.org/showthread.php?t=9906

Adrenalynn
10-22-2008, 10:04 PM
Very similar to what ScuD posted, and demo'd a few months ago. Very similar to what has already been standardized on here. :)

billyzelsnack
11-01-2008, 07:35 PM
Do the targets have a defined way they are supposed to look? I want to have autonomous aiming with manual firing and if the targets are not defined that will make it much more difficult to lock on. Maybe we should put into the spec that the targets have a LED at each corner!

Resilient
12-17-2008, 02:58 PM
I had a question regarding weapons.

I see that if a mech is knocked over for 20 seconds, its an automatic loss.

So what about a weapon whose aim is to knock over another mech.

I am thinking like a pair of nerf rockets connected by a string, or carrying a net, with the idea of ensnaring an opponent.

Legal?

DresnerRobotics
12-17-2008, 05:48 PM
Nets are out of the question, I'm trying to keep things simple for year 1. These bots have a hard enough time trying to walk alone, without being obstructed by something binding them up. That and it has the potential to damage the bots/strip gears, etc.

As far as knockover's, we'll probably just keep things casual and allow the match to pause while someone uprights the bot and penalize it by tapping a target plate.

Going to be playing a lot of things by ear, the important thing is to get a bot capable of competing up and running, and show up!

BIGBUG
01-10-2009, 01:52 PM
Wow, it has been a long time.

Remember when I was threatened with expulsion for merely breathing the words "BB" and "Real Damage..." You are welcome!

I read through the (NEWEST) rules on the website and generally skimmed the posts here and two things stick out.

1 - RULE FROM SCORING -The target plates will most likely require a consistent color scheme to provide a basis for vision based tracking and aiming systems.

IDEA - Lets take a hint from the good ole' boys in NASCAR concerning car numbers and say you must have a greatly contrasting color scheme... This way the target plate will stand out to cameras.

2 - RULE FROM MECHS - Ideally your Mech should be between 10-18 inches tall. Keep in mind a humanoid type of robot this size has a maximum payload capacity of around 400-500g using high end servos.

GOOD IDEA - You have got to set maximums and this rule is vague as to a maximum. It tells me ideally but it does not say BUBBA, at 22 inches tall cannot play? How about 48 inches or 7 inches? Lets pick a number and lets play! I am good with 1" to 24"? Anyone?

Lets for instance this one. For instance, I carry myself and BUBBA all the way to Calif. at not small expense only to arrive and be told "nope, you cannot play!" Don't you think that could lead to someone going just a tad postal?

jes1510
01-10-2009, 10:04 PM
The way that I understand it we will be "playing it by ear" for the first year. I seriously doubt if you walk in with a 29" mech that is capable of competing that you will be turned away. I believe this first event will be used as a data gathering event to set the rules for the future. I think that is the reason that some of the rules are intentionally vague. Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

MSpurk
01-11-2009, 08:15 PM
GOOD IDEA - You have got to set maximums and this rule is vague as to a maximum. It tells me ideally but it does not say BUBBA, at 22 inches tall cannot play? How about 48 inches or 7 inches? Lets pick a number and lets play! I am good with 1" to 24"? Anyone?


I'm pretty certain anyone who is capable of building a Mech is capable of reading the rules. As Jes already stated the first year is intended as an exhibition. I would be extremely pleased and amazed if a dozen fully functional mechs show-up year one, so I doubt any Mech will be turned away. Having never been to Robogames I'm guessing here, but I believe we're using the combat ant arena, which is only 4' tall. A 48" tall Mech would be turned away, because it most likely won't fit. A 7" tall bot only need to screw a 1" long bolt into the top of it's head and it's now 8" tall.

Also size here really has no advantage. A big bot may be able to carry more ammo, but would have a more difficult time maneuvering in the confined space. A small bot may be more maneuverable, but still has to be large enough to carry a 3"x3" target plate, and probably can't carry as much ammo. Building to the recommended sizes is the best idea.

-Matt-

DresnerRobotics
01-12-2009, 12:33 AM
Wow, it has been a long time.

Remember when I was threatened with expulsion for merely breathing the words "BB" and "Real Damage..." You are welcome!

I read through the (NEWEST) rules on the website and generally skimmed the posts here and two things stick out.

I can assure you any previous differences we had were more to do with how criticisms and suggestions were presented rather than the content of them. That said, I'm sure we can all just move on :)

We're still sticking with airsoft weapons as the primary class. The 'hardcore' weapon class will not be 'to the death' either, and still not with the intention of damaging the enemy mech, its just to allow higher end weapons and more flash. Its also entirely optional.



1 - RULE FROM SCORING -The target plates will most likely require a consistent color scheme to provide a basis for vision based tracking and aiming systems.

IDEA - Lets take a hint from the good ole' boys in NASCAR concerning car numbers and say you must have a greatly contrasting color scheme... This way the target plate will stand out to cameras.

If you're planning on making any vision based autonomous aiming or navigation, feel free to openly discuss what colors youd like to use. Bring florescent/bright electrical tape, and we'll be more than happy to apply it to the target plates. Its something we can simply play by ear.



2 - RULE FROM MECHS - Ideally your Mech should be between 10-18 inches tall. Keep in mind a humanoid type of robot this size has a maximum payload capacity of around 400-500g using high end servos.

GOOD IDEA - You have got to set maximums and this rule is vague as to a maximum. It tells me ideally but it does not say BUBBA, at 22 inches tall cannot play? How about 48 inches or 7 inches? Lets pick a number and lets play! I am good with 1" to 24"? Anyone?

Lets for instance this one. For instance, I carry myself and BUBBA all the way to Calif. at not small expense only to arrive and be told "nope, you cannot play!" Don't you think that could lead to someone going just a tad postal?

First year competition, like others said we're going into this in hopes of learning what works and what doesnt so we can improve it for the following year. It would have to be incredibly extreme circumstances for me to turn someone away, especially after all the time and money put into it. I'm pretty easy going, I even know of someone bringing a hexapod to the competition, and while they cant compete in the ladder competition, I'll certainly allow them to participate in exhibition matches. Bottom line here is we want to have fun and learn from the competition, nobody will be turned away from being an inches too tall or ounces too heavy. The weight limit is massive for a reason, we want people to build what they want.

If your bot can fit in a 8x8x4 arena and comfortably navigate through 2' streets, you'll be fine.

ahweh
01-14-2009, 01:58 PM
I just found out about this from my Robot magazine and think it is great. Though I most likely won't be able to field a bot this year I have some questions pertaining weapons.
Can projectile weapons like electromagnetic cannons, large bore air cannons and pin fired guns be used if the FPS were the under the maximum FPS.
Also thank you for keeping the weight limit at around 11 pounds or 5 Kilograms.

DresnerRobotics
01-14-2009, 02:48 PM
We can't have any gunpowder based weapons in any class. In the airsoft class they have to use airsoft ammo and stay under the max FPS. In the hardcore class, electromagnetic cannons and other weapons/ammo are 100% allowed.

ahweh
01-14-2009, 04:51 PM
By pin fired I did not mean gunpowder fired weapons I mean something like the ball shooter in a pinball game.
Draw back the spring loaded pin with a magnetic coil or a mechanical cam and release it striking the projectile.

DresnerRobotics
01-14-2009, 05:02 PM
Yup, totally allowed. Thats similar to how the electric airsoft tank guns we have work, except I dont think theres an actual pin contact, just uses air pressure instead.

BIGBUG
01-17-2009, 02:47 AM
Tyb,

Sorry it took me so long to get back to this... I will respond to both quotes at one time as it will be tied together.



We're still sticking with airsoft weapons as the primary class. The 'hardcore' weapon class will not be 'to the death' either, and still not with the intention of damaging the enemy mech, its just to allow higher end weapons and more flash. Its also entirely optional.



If you're planning on making any vision based autonomous aiming or navigation, feel free to openly discuss what colors youd like to use. Bring florescent/bright electrical tape, and we'll be more than happy to apply it to the target plates. Its something we can simply play by ear.


"and still not with the intention of damaging the enemy mech" Not to be fecetious here but you do know what damage even a low power BB gun can do right? There will be damage of some sort, intended or otherwise, thus it is the hardcore class for the big boys?

Red, yup Red would be my pick for target plate color in the hardcore class. More specifically, Coke can red...

BUBBA can aquire a stationary coke can at 11 feet and cut it nearly in half in just under 6 seconds. In that 6 seconds, 50 standard crossman BB's are launched at 550fps with an overall hit rate of 83%. No, the weapons system is not set to competition trim rather it is set to Teddyhavefunandbreakcrap trim. BUBBA has two problems that need to be solved before we get to carried away. One, the muzzle pressure knocks him over so he currently gets sandbagged to the floor and two, I have not hit the right number combination to hit a moving target. Me thinks the CMUCAM is too slow..? Ideas? Maybe I am not factoring in something? By the time I get the signal that x color is at center mass camera, process that based on the pan and tilt orientation and then triangulate it to the pan and tilt weapons mount, the target is no longer there... When I am stationary it is easy as if X, Y and Z are this then A, B and C must be this. I don't know a whole lot about the CMUCAM and all I can do with it just yet so I am sure I will find an answer.

BTW, who is bringing a Hardcore?

Oh, another problem... the camera does not see well through a glass 'blast shield' so no fair shooting out my lens lol. Someone told me if I paint or seal the edges of the glass there will be less light refraction problems? Any experts here?

edited to add: If we go with a color for the autonomous/vision guys then that color cannot appear anywhere else within the robots vision.

DresnerRobotics
01-17-2009, 10:36 AM
Right, I should clarify a bit. The hardcore class scoring and whatnot is not intended to be based on damage in any way. It is still going to be scored using the target panels, so hitting the targets to score hits is still the primary intention, and 'battle damage' is just a side effect of using higher power weapons in the hardcore class. I believe I did state in the Hardcore rules that damage is to be expected, but ultimately the point is to score hits, not destroy the Mech.

I'm not familiar enough with the CMUcam to offer you much advice unfortunately. All of my object tracking experience was done with a webcam and Roborealm. It was capable of tracking moving targets, but only so fast. My main issue in that regard was framerate and the speed of Roborealm I believe.

I'm building for both, I plan on having airsoft weapons and lexan armor for the Airsoft class, and carbon fiber armor and c02 powered BBs/micro rockets for the hardcore class. Realistically I don't know if I'll have my Hardcore weapon system finished in time for the 2009 competition though, 2010 for sure.

As far as the camera, I believe you're on the right track. It needs to be mounted right up to a transparent shield (in my case its going to be my target plate) and sealed along the edges for best performance.

Glad to see you building for this! When can we see some of your Mech?


Tyb,

Sorry it took me so long to get back to this... I will respond to both quotes at one time as it will be tied together.

"and still not with the intention of damaging the enemy mech" Not to be fecetious here but you do know what damage even a low power BB gun can do right? There will be damage of some sort, intended or otherwise, thus it is the hardcore class for the big boys?

Red, yup Red would be my pick for target plate color in the hardcore class. More specifically, Coke can red...

BUBBA can aquire a stationary coke can at 11 feet and cut it nearly in half in just under 6 seconds. In that 6 seconds, 50 standard crossman BB's are launched at 550fps with an overall hit rate of 83%. No, the weapons system is not set to competition trim rather it is set to Teddyhavefunandbreakcrap trim. BUBBA has two problems that need to be solved before we get to carried away. One, the muzzle pressure knocks him over so he currently gets sandbagged to the floor and two, I have not hit the right number combination to hit a moving target. Me thinks the CMUCAM is too slow..? Ideas? Maybe I am not factoring in something? By the time I get the signal that x color is at center mass camera, process that based on the pan and tilt orientation and then triangulate it to the pan and tilt weapons mount, the target is no longer there... When I am stationary it is easy as if X, Y and Z are this then A, B and C must be this. I don't know a whole lot about the CMUCAM and all I can do with it just yet so I am sure I will find an answer.

BTW, who is bringing a Hardcore?

Oh, another problem... the camera does not see well through a glass 'blast shield' so no fair shooting out my lens lol. Someone told me if I paint or seal the edges of the glass there will be less light refraction problems? Any experts here?

edited to add: If we go with a color for the autonomous/vision guys then that color cannot appear anywhere else within the robots vision.

BIGBUG
01-17-2009, 02:09 PM
Glad to see you building for this! When can we see some of your Mech?

Actually, I built for this in 2001 lol. I just retrofitted a biped I hacked together in my shop with a new controller and an off the shelf cannon system. Unfortunately, BUBBA was made as a prototype and constructed of mostly light plywood (RC stuff), plastic and common hardware store nuts, bolts and screws. As far as a walker he hardly works at all and that is attributed to the weight and light duty Hitec 311 standard servos. Over the last couple of weeks he has been dissassembled and each 'good' part has been templated for either carbon fiber or aluminum. Not so good parts are being redesigned as we go. A couple of the key joints are getting 1/4 scale hi torque servos.

LOL No, no, no for pics... secret stuff here. Actually I will post pics when he is no longer an embarrassing wooden model painted with red automotive primer...

Sidenote: I did get an email from a friend the other day suggesting maybe a class of wheeled robots could be added to draw a little larger crowd of roboheads. I do not see it as a huge problem but I would not build for it, not my intrest area.

DresnerRobotics
01-17-2009, 02:34 PM
Thats a good suggestion and I've considered both wheeled and hexapod leagues actually, even mixed matches perhaps (with bipeds & quads having some sort of handicap to keep things balanced). I believe Jim from lynxmotion intends to bring a hexapod for exhibition matches, but not for any of the ladder competition.

Biggest problem with wheeled bots right now is the arena size, I think with their enhanced mobility the current 8x8 arena is too small.

For Year One, I intend to keep the leagues and legged requirement as is, but perhaps once we have a larger following and arena we can look into expanding what type of robots can be entered.

My ultimate goal is to have a full-out war scenario with legged Mechs, autonomous turrets for base defense, as well as tanks for fire support, it would be awesome but difficult to balance. Only way I could think of doing it fairly would be to give the tanks only 1-2 HP, with the Mechs having 10-15. Having a full R/C Battletech war scenario would be amazing, complete with bases to attack and defend, support vehicles, etc.

Definitely things to keep in mind, but for the first year we're going to keep things simple.

Adrenalynn
01-17-2009, 04:28 PM
I know video "pretty well" ;)

There are two problems with moving the camera back from the lexan. Problem one is reflection. Problem two is focus. By moving the camera closer the lexan is inside the focal length of the lens and "disappears" - the down side is that is adds some "fuzz" - that's generally acceptable.

My advice is to put foam around the lens and then push the foam up tight against the lexan, then mount your camera with that constant pressure. As the structure moves the foam will expand and contract to maintain a tight seal. medium-high density foam is what you're looking for. That's the way we design armored security cameras. It's even more important when you have IR illuminators behind the lexan with the lens. Without the foam ring, the illuminators will completely blind the camera with their reflection.

"Dialing in" the insulation is a challenge - if the tube is too deep, you get viginetting around the image (the wider the FOV the more you'll have to worry about that), if it's too shallow it's hard to make constant contact with the plastic.

I'll see if I can dig-up an armor-dome and shoot a photo or two.

BIGBUG
01-17-2009, 09:36 PM
I know video "pretty well" ;)

There are two problems with moving the camera back from the lexan. Problem one is reflection. Problem two is focus. By moving the camera closer the lexan is inside the focal length of the lens and "disappears" - the down side is that is adds some "fuzz" - that's generally acceptable.

My advice is to put foam around the lens and then push the foam up tight against the lexan, then mount your camera with that constant pressure. As the structure moves the foam will expand and contract to maintain a tight seal. medium-high density foam is what you're looking for. That's the way we design armored security cameras. It's even more important when you have IR illuminators behind the lexan with the lens. Without the foam ring, the illuminators will completely blind the camera with their reflection.

"Dialing in" the insulation is a challenge - if the tube is too deep, you get viginetting around the image (the wider the FOV the more you'll have to worry about that), if it's too shallow it's hard to make constant contact with the plastic.

I'll see if I can dig-up an armor-dome and shoot a photo or two.

Ad, I think I came up with an accidental, elegant solution... In digging through my junk box I found 2 extra cmucams. I figure if I bring them all I can swap out a cam if it takes a hit. I will place the electronics in a battle box with just a hole for the lens to protrude through.

Got to love the simplicity but the expense might get sucky in a hurry!

DresnerRobotics
01-30-2009, 11:38 AM
A few updates have been posted to the rules, newer changes are in bold. I'm sure you guys will let me know what you think :P

I'm in the process of completely overhauling the site to a new backend and host, as well as updated content and a new look, hence why you haven't seen many updates to the site recently.

These rules and guidelines are still up for discussion and may be subject to change. If you have any questions or would like to give feedback in on our Rules Thread (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=1928).

All Mechs are subject to final approval by an official before competing, and may be rejected if considered unsafe for human bystanders or not keeping in the spirit of the event. To elaborate, these rules here are intended to keep things balanced and fair, while I'm sure there are little loopholes that can be found for most things, have a sense of honor and respect for your opponents, and don't try to 'gimmick' your way to a win.


If you have questions, please Contact Me ([email protected]).

Updated: 1/30/09-Recent changes will be in bold. Mechs:


True walking robots only. Legs must be servo/actuator driven. This means no cam-driven, wheeled, or treaded configurations.
Your robot may have up to 4 legs. There is a penalty for using more than 2 legs.
Average Mech size is estimated between 10-18" tall. The arena itself has a 4' ceiling. There is no maximum height, bearing in mind the ceiling.

Maximum weight is 5 kg. This includes all batteries, weapons and ammo.
Your Mech may be remotely operated by a pilot or autonomous.
Shields are not allowed.


Weapons:


There are two separate weapon classes, each with different limitations.



Airsoft Weapon Class (http://mech-warfare.com/airsoftclass.aspx) will use Airsoft and Nerf weapons.



Hardcore Weapon Class (http://mech-warfare.com/hardcoreclass.aspx) will use much more powerful weapons such as CO2 powered rifles, micro class rockets, and flamethrowers.



Mechs can be outfitted to participate in either competition class as long as the weapons active abide by the rules of the class.



Auto-aiming, tracking and lock-on systems are allowed. Automatic firing is not allowed. The only exception to this is on a fully autonomous mechs. In this case automatic firing is allowed however there must be a verified remote kill switch, to be demonstrated before participating. I won't have Skynet go live on my watch.


Control:



Pilots may only view the battle through a first person POV camera mounted on their bot.
Pilots may not view the battle directly.
Cameras should be mounted roughly in the center of mass of the robot, where the 'cockpit' would be. The intention is to simulate piloting the Mech, not having cameras on your guns mounted to extensions so you can fire around corners without fear of being shot. This would fall under the 'Gimmick Clause'.
Remote control setup is up to the pilot, though there are multiple methods being discussed on the forums, many of which are free and available to users.


Arena:


The Arena dimensions are 8'x8'x4'. Larger arenas may be used in upcoming years. Expect an updated render of the arena and building placement shortly.

The Arena will be located within an armored fully enclosed 'Battle Bot' cage, with 4-8 mock 'buildings' roughly 2 feet tall placed strategically throughout the arena to provide cover.
'Streets' will be 2' wide, enough to allow bots to traverse down and through the city.
Mechs will start at opposite corners of the arena.
Spectators will be able to watch the entire fight in the arena, and also have a view of each pilot's 'mech cam' displayed on monitors.
Proposed Arena Designs (http://http//mech-warfare.com/register.aspx) are currently being discussed.


Scoring:


Matches are won by reducing your opponent's Mech hit points to 0.
Each Mech has X amount of hitpoints. X is still being decided, 10 is an estimate.
Targets will consist of thin plates mounted to micro switches. Multiple micro switches will probably have to be used in parallel to assure that hits can be registered at any point of impact on the plate.
Your Mech must be equipped with Targets equal to the amount of legs it has. Bipeds require one front target and one rear. Tripods and Quadrapods must have at least one target visible from any horizontal angle (meaning, if an enemy mech is facing you, at least one target must be visible)
Targets must be reasonably mounted on the Mech's main frame and not obscured by any limbs. This means no mounting them on poles sticking off of the Mech. Use common sense when choosing a mounting location, and keep in mind the spirit of the game. The intention is that if you are able to fire upon an opponent, they should be able to return fire given that they are facing you.
The target plates will most likely require a consistent color scheme to provide a basis for vision based tracking and aiming systems.
A knockover will also count as a hit. If you mech is unable to right itself, the match will be paused while the mech is assisted up and penalized an additional point of damage.
Targets will report hits to a Wireless Scoring Slave Unit, which will relay those hits to a Master Scoring Unit hooked up to a scoreboard.
Scoring Units will not register any more than 1 hit per every 1 second.
The Wireless Scoring Slave Unit is being developed and will be made available at cost. It will be plug and play, targets will plug in using .1" spaced 2 wire connectors (think of a servo connection with only 2 wires) It is being developed by Jon Hylands. Here is a brief overview:

CogswellCogs
01-30-2009, 02:32 PM
Do we know the target plate dimensions yet ?

DresnerRobotics
01-30-2009, 03:41 PM
3x3", that was discussed in another thread, but should probably be added to the list.

The target boards are on order right now, so once we get those in and the software finalized I'll write up a tutorial on making the target plates out of lexan.

lamont
01-31-2009, 01:21 AM
Hi guys. Sorry no posts in a while, but I've been following a few threads by email.

I was hoping to clarify this rule addition and explain a bit about what I'm trying:




Cameras should be mounted roughly in the center of mass of the robot, where the 'cockpit' would be. The intention is to simulate piloting the Mech, not having cameras on your guns mounted to extensions so you can fire around corners without fear of being shot. This would fall under the 'Gimmick Clause'.



I've been working with tiny CMOS cameras from sparkfun, the TCM8230MD, which outputs JPEG or RAW frames in a 8 selectable zoom settings and resolutions. My plan was to have multiple cameras facing fore and aft from the center of the bot and one on gun arm or arms as a sight, selectively multiplexing the images to a microcontroller or FPGA onboard. (That way I can control the bandwidth needed for imaging, depending on the battle situation and what I'm looking for from my controlling laptop)

Apologies if this has been done to death in a thread I didn't see, but I wanted to know if my vision system and mounting would be considered a "gimmick." I think being able to see and aim will be key in this competition and thought my adjustable bandwidth and resolution (plus extra-fine aiming capabilities) would be unique.

Obviously I'd like to participate in the spirit of the thing. While not being a gun/camera on a stick, I would possibly be able to use natural cover better than someone with just a single camera in the middle.

Would you allow my setup, or would I be required to not include the sights on the gun?

DresnerRobotics
01-31-2009, 01:58 AM
The rule is mostly intended to keep people from mounting a gun and a camera on an extension, and simply firing around a corner without any fear of being hit. This is something we're just going to have to play by ear and see how it goes. I'm not going to disallow that setup as it doesn't sound like your intention is to just exploit it. Really, for year 1 I can't see myself turning away anyone that spent the time to build a mech and show up to Robogames, but on the same accord it would suck for everyone to be completely frustrated having to fight against them if they had some cheap unbeatable gimmick. You see what I mean?

The bottom line is I want to keep things fair, and balancing a game that hasn't had its first event is incredibly difficult because its all theorycraft at this point. Its meant to be fun, and losing repeatedly due to a cheap gimmick is something I want to avoid. I don't want the game to be based around finding cheap ways to win, or ways to bend the rules, I want it to be about skill and strategy.

Have respect for your opponents and a sense of good sportsmanship, and I think everything should turn out fine.

Firestorm65
01-31-2009, 05:36 PM
Does the power supply have to be purely battery? Off the top of my head, would a hybrid nitro-electric engine be a viable option? Not saying it's a good idea, but is it allowed?

Adrenalynn
01-31-2009, 05:40 PM
Welcome to the forum!

I'd like to see that function on a humanoid. I'd say "go for it" just 'cause I'd wanna see that run.

DresnerRobotics
01-31-2009, 06:37 PM
Only problem I can see with that would be proper ventilation inside the arena, I can check with Dave Calkins though. I personally have no problem with alternate power sources.

Firestorm65
01-31-2009, 06:56 PM
More questions, mostly for hypothetical (I just found out about this competition today and mind is whirling):

Are bb's the only viable ammunition? Could a heavier, lighter, or different shaped shot be used?
Are smokescreens or defensive (blinding) lasers allowed?
Would a ranged grapple be legal, to pull a mech into a knockdown?
Can robots deploy static cover or obstacles or even weapons?

DresnerRobotics
01-31-2009, 07:09 PM
For now, only BBs are allowed. I want ammo with limited penetration, even in the hardcore class, to be used.

I'm still not sure on smokescreens. I would like that to be allowed, given that the smoke used can dissipate pretty quickly. I need to talk to David on this again, it may be a no-no, but then again we're using micro rockets which are bound to produce some smoke.

Blinding lights/lasers are not allowed. Probably something I should add to the rules, but its been discussed before. This falls under the "No Gimmicks" clause.

No grappling projectiles allowed. If you get close enough to my bot to take a swing or grab me, by all means, but nothing ranged.

Static cover and obstacles wont be allowed. Probably the same goes for any weapon (at least for now), as I doubt you could make a small turret autonomous. Its really a matter of being in a 8x8 arena and not wanting to block off the streets with obstructions. There will be buildings for cover.

Firestorm65
01-31-2009, 07:25 PM
Ok then, although I wouldn't say a laser is gimmicky, it would be hard to aim and only has defensive properties on it's own.

A weapon doesn't have to be a turret... say a co2 "mine" to trip, or an r/c turret meant only for a flanking distraction, not expected to hit.

Is a pivoted arm legal? Can I shoot anything while not presenting an easy target, similar to fencing?

Connor
01-31-2009, 07:38 PM
I'm starting to have concerns with only having two target plates (front and back) for standard biped. The reason is, I've been playing out scenarios in my head.. and .. what happens if you out flank your enemy mech or ambush him, you catch him passing you left to right, or right to left, presenting you with a very nice "target" however, no target plate to register the hit. You have to wait till he passes you enough so you get a good angle, which may, or may not happen, or he sees you before your do.. I'm not exactly sure what the answer is at the moment.. but, that's something to look at and think about. The problem with the side target plates with bipeds will be the arms/guns obscuring the plates.

Anyone else have any ideas?

Thanks, Connor

DresnerRobotics
01-31-2009, 07:39 PM
Sure, but a stepup for a laser is going to be an IR LED array, which could blind a camera entirely. Its going to be hard enough to pilot these mechs remotely as is, we don't need it to turn into a blinding match. Focus on firing down your enemy,not preventing him/her from attacking you at all.

For now I'm going to rule no on dropped objects unless there is enough outcry. I like the idea of mines and remote turrets, but I think for now with the 8x8 arena we need as much free space as we can get.

Define pivoted arm. Individual pan/tilt on each arm for aiming purposes? Absolutely allowed. Arms that pivot completely to the side so that your biped can fire sideways while keeping its target plates obscured? No. My reasoning? In a perfect world we would be able to detect a hit anywhere on the mech and use that damage in scoring accordingly, but for simplicity and feasibility we're using target plates which have a limited surface area and angle of exposure. So given that restriction, we need to keep certain rules in place so fights don't become some absurd sideways strafing match where BBs are pinging off of the sides of bipeds (and not scoring damage) while each mech tries to glance a shot off the obscured target panel.

I'll just say this: Start building your bot before worrying about little details like this. Getting a robot built that is capable of competing in this competition is not an easy task by any stretch.

Firestorm65
01-31-2009, 07:44 PM
Is a reactive skin too cost prohibitive? I know it exists, but don't know how developed it is. It might be better, and still make quads a larger target, especially if they can't turn as fast.

DresnerRobotics
01-31-2009, 07:47 PM
Connor I've been thinking about that as well, and the only solution I've come up with thus far would be to have small side target plates mounted on the arms, and possibly an HP increase for Bipeds over Quads.

Realistically quads are an ideal choice for this competition, but since this is "Mech Warfare" I wanted bipeds to be the primary focus, so we need to keep a balance between bipeds and quads to make bipeds more appealing, even with their limited payload and stability.

Firestorm65
01-31-2009, 08:09 PM
Maybe if every surface COULD detect hits?... This is a very rough first stab, but could something similar to this be used? http://www.instructables.com/id/SX8LRHJF3QRH77U/

Going back to my fencing reference, they do use an electronic scoring system, perhaps the same technology could be transferred.

Adrenalynn
01-31-2009, 09:22 PM
Fencing only scores critical hits.

I'm sure the suggestions are well appreciated. For the second event and so on. I don't think that all the time and effort and expense that's gone into designing target boards is going to just get scrapped in favor of changing everything for no real advantage at this late date. That'd be pretty rude to the competitors that have been working on this for months.

Firestorm65
02-01-2009, 02:06 AM
I wasn't trying to suggest that, sorry if it came out wrong...

So to fire at something, you need to face it with your target too? And if he isn't facing you, you wait for them to turn and face you, duel at noon style?

DresnerRobotics
02-01-2009, 07:51 AM
Well, thats just sort of how it works out. Guns are intended to be forward facing along with your camera, and target plates on a biped are mounted on the front and back. Having your guns mounted sideways so that your target plates are exposed in a perpendicular fashion to your enemy is sort of the same as only placing target plates on the side of your mech, leaving your 'front' invulnerable. See what I'm trying to avoid there?

We'll see how it goes. The other option I could see would be adding smaller side target panels to the bipeds and giving them a slight increase in HP. This might be ideal simply because it eliminates the problems that side-facing combat could introduce.

gdubb2
02-01-2009, 11:44 AM
Quads also through another dimension in the thing. As an example, Bheka's guns are on a pan/tilt setup and the camera is on another pan/tilt. They oper in sync with one another. This gives me a 180 deg range of vision and fire, But at the same time I will have 4 target plates.

I propose mounting them on the gun turret, so that where the guns are pointed there is a full on frontal view of a target. If the competitor can sneak up on me there are targets on both sides and the rear. I think this meets the spirit of the game, since the quads have the built in stability advantage.

How does that mounting sound to you Tyb ???

Gary

DresnerRobotics
02-01-2009, 12:00 PM
That sounds just fine Gdubb, that's a fine example of planning for fairness rather than ways to win cheaply. :)

sthmck
02-01-2009, 12:24 PM
Ok so I am wondering about target plates. I am planning on making a carbon Kevlar body. What I am thinking about doing is creating more carbon Kevlar panels that look like armor but are actually the targets. What I was going to do was mount the panels on my Stryker so that there is a small gap between the body and the plate. It will basically be spaced of the body with soft rubber spacers. My idea was that it would help absorb and shock my mech might encounter from vidrations not related to actual hits. I am wondering if this is a lame idea.

DresnerRobotics
02-01-2009, 12:35 PM
Sounds fine to me, I'm going to keep target panel rules pretty relaxed for year 1. Focus is on fun and learning here.

As long as your target area is roughly 3x3" (at least 9 square inches), and it responds to say, at least a 100fps airsoft pellet accordingly, it should be fine. If you're making your own target panels I would like to see your progress and verification you have the system working correctly before you show up to Robogames though. Mostly because you need a working system to compete :P

gdubb2
02-01-2009, 01:06 PM
Hey Sthmck,

I don't think it's a lame idea at all. I've been mulling over the shock mount idea as well due to the normal vibration of just walking around on BB's and such.. I'm thinking maybe velcro. Easily changed, and will absorb quite a bit of shock.

Gary

Testing2000
02-01-2009, 01:21 PM
I think you are trying to evade the rules. An ubobstructed target plate. I'm not taking part in this competition. Perhaps I should be a Tech/Safety Inspector? Where?When?

Sienna
02-01-2009, 02:16 PM
There is a difference between vibration isolation and target obscuration. I would think vibration isolation (rubber/foam/velcro/whathaveyou separating the target plate from the "chassis" would be well within the rules (and possibly encouraged). Not all these mechs walk with "lightness of foot". We wouldn't want false positives making the competition useless. (Incidentally, this is why I started the "minimum energy" thread oh so long ago as a way to establish the baseline of what a target plate needs to respond too.)

I don't think anyone is really talking about obscuring their target plates here.

Firestorm65
02-01-2009, 03:16 PM
Would anything that is meant to absorb or reflect away sonar/lidar/radar be gimmicky?

DresnerRobotics
02-01-2009, 03:36 PM
Electronic interference = disallowed.

Anything past that I don't see a problem with.

Gimmick = "My mech has an array of IR LEDs mounted to it so that if you even try to look in my general direction you're completely blinded", or "I've mounted 2 target plates on the 'front and back' of my bipedal mech, even though the guns and cameras are mounted sideways."

gdubb2
02-01-2009, 03:49 PM
Thanks Sienna.. My mech is not at all lightfooted, and you are 100 % correct. I don't want to cancel out any legimate hits, just don't want to register being clumsy.

Gary

Firestorm65
02-01-2009, 04:07 PM
Can a mech deploy slave bots? For example, launch an extremely small car to act as a scout. It could have it's own target panel w/ 1 hp to be fair. If no, what if it was a micro UAV or balloon, so it is not "dropped"?

Are they any details on color of the area if camoflauge is desired?

Also, I don't like feeling like my idea's are assumed gimmicky (forgive me if this is a mis-communication). I just happen to be looking at this from a defense-first stand-point which seems rather limited in options. Denying a target is not automatically a gimmick. If there are no defenses, first to shoot wins; only one possible strategy.

My personal suggestion is just have a plate on every side and limb (icluding arms) so at least one score area is always visible. Instead of 9 sq in, how about at least 50% (arbitraty number here) area. That most likely leave those already designed around the 9 sq in rule perfectly legal. Quads could simply follow the same rules with each turret as an "arm". HP bonuses may still be needed.

DresnerRobotics
02-01-2009, 04:26 PM
While I highly doubt anyone is going to go this far in Year 1, I wouldn't see a problem with it as long as it did not act as an obstruction. I think most people are worrying about building a functioning mech capable of competing rather than stuff like this though.

Buildings and street will most likely be grey-scale to keep things simple.

I'm not making assumptions here, I'm calling shots. There is a difference. As the founder of this competition I'm telling you what I consider cheap and/or a gimmick, and my decisions are made for the best interest of all players. My thought process behind the rules that I set is fairly transparent and I am open to constructive criticism on any of them (in fact many have been set/modified as a result of discussions here), but try not to feel insulted if I shoot down an idea of yours. I've had people via PM, forum, and email 'testing the waters' of the rules that I set for the past 8 months, and while plenty of it is constructive and has yielded a positive outcome, there are also plenty of suggestions I'm just going to say no to, and I usually have good reasons (which I'm more than happy to share).

I agree with the 'all around' target plates, I'm going to experiment with it a bit before I change the rules though. We need to keep things simple for the builders though.


Can a mech deploy slave bots? For example, launch an extremely small car to act as a scout. It could have it's own target panel w/ 1 hp to be fair. If no, what if it was a micro UAV or balloon, so it is not "dropped"?

Are they any details on color of the area if camoflauge is desired?

Also, I don't like feeling like my idea's are assumed gimmicky (forgive me if this is a mis-communication). I just happen to be looking at this from a defense-first stand-point which seems rather limited in options. Denying a target is not automatically a gimmick. If there are no defenses, first to shoot wins; only one possible strategy.

My personal suggestion is just have a plate on every side and limb (icluding arms) so at least one score area is always visible. Instead of 9 sq in, how about at least 50% (arbitraty number here) area. That most likely leave those already designed around the 9 sq in rule perfectly legal. Quads could simply follow the same rules with each turret as an "arm". HP bonuses may still be needed.

Firestorm65
02-01-2009, 04:36 PM
Is active-noise cancellation considered electronic interference?

All right; I understand the distinction.

DresnerRobotics
02-01-2009, 05:20 PM
Is active-noise cancellation considered electronic interference?

All right; I understand the distinction.


Will it interfere with an opponents ability to hear as well?

Adrenalynn
02-01-2009, 09:41 PM
Got some good video of your 'bot running around and shooting, driven by remote video? What camera are you using? What platform? Power system? What kind of control system interface software? What's it written in?

Seems like there's lots of practical stuff to keep busy with when the competition is only a few months out...

gdubb2
02-01-2009, 09:46 PM
:veryhappy: :veryhappy: Ya gotta love it...

Firestorm65
02-02-2009, 12:18 AM
Definitely going for a fly-by-wire control scheme. Probably use a 360 controller or something. Plan on using the Lynxmotion Scout base with at least the HS-5645 servos. Biggest Li-ion battery I can fit. Still working out which microcontroller and sensors to use. Just because I haven't gotten it all together yet shouldn't mean I can't ask about the limits of what is allowed.

As far as ANC, it would attempt to reduce the amplitude of any noise I could hear (including say ultrasonic pointed at me). That would reduce the effectiveness of rangefinders if they pointed at me. Also would make me quieter if the other pilot has a microphone on their mech.

DresnerRobotics
02-02-2009, 12:23 AM
I would say as long as it doesn't wreak havoc on another mech pilot's ability to hear, or interfere with ultrasonic sensors even when not pointed at you, it should be fine.

Firestorm65
02-02-2009, 12:33 AM
So if it cancels a range-finder that IS pointed at me, it's okay?

DresnerRobotics
02-02-2009, 12:40 AM
Would you be able to verify that it has no other adverse effects on ultrasonic sensors? No residual interference?

You'd still show up as an anomaly on the MechDAR system, and would be tagged as a possible enemy.

Firestorm65
02-02-2009, 12:43 AM
So MechDAR would pick up an "infinite" (no return) range as an enemy? I think I NEED one of those now.

And yes, it should only cancel what it can hear, and ultrasound sensors are focused by design. The interference pattern at an angle would hurt my brain to compute anyway.

DresnerRobotics
02-02-2009, 12:51 AM
One of the goals of MechDAR is to detect anomalies in its map. If it knows that there is supposed to be a wall at a specific distance, and you were to step into that area and return a null value, it will know that something has changed drastically from it's previous scan and mark it as a danger zone, ie: enemy.

Firestorm65
02-02-2009, 12:59 AM
Quite powerful indeed. What would happen if I canceled it the first time and then moved? Then you have an anomaly where I was and where I am now.

DresnerRobotics
02-02-2009, 01:08 AM
It'd probably still be enough to at least detect you initially. It's not meant to fully track enemies like a real radar system, but Fergs is trying to get it to at least have a directional warning of potential enemies.

Firestorm65
02-02-2009, 01:12 AM
Was there an official verdict on smokescreens yet? (If you can't tell, I have a very stealth-based idea in my head)

DresnerRobotics
02-02-2009, 01:14 AM
David's a busy guy, I'll get in touch with him later this week most likely. I don't think it'll be an issue, but they would need to dissipate asap.

Connor
02-02-2009, 01:15 AM
Definitely going for a fly-by-wire control scheme. Probably use a 360 controller or something. Plan on using the Lynxmotion Scout base with at least the HS-5645 servos. Biggest Li-ion battery I can fit. Still working out which microcontroller and sensors to use. Just because I haven't gotten it all together yet shouldn't mean I can't ask about the limits of what is allowed.

As far as ANC, it would attempt to reduce the amplitude of any noise I could hear (including say ultrasonic pointed at me). That would reduce the effectiveness of rangefinders if they pointed at me. Also would make me quieter if the other pilot has a microphone on their mech.


ANC wouldn't do much to affect MechDAR because it uses IR as well. So, you would have to be invisable too. :)

Thanks, Connor

DresnerRobotics
02-02-2009, 01:22 AM
HAR, didn't even think about that. I'm far too distracted/tired writing this article tonight :p


ANC wouldn't do much to affect MechDAR because it uses IR as well. So, you would have to be invisable too. :)

Thanks, Connor

Firestorm65
02-02-2009, 06:16 AM
IR filter... all over everything. Same "infinite" reading.

Adrenalynn
02-02-2009, 11:45 AM
I'm gonna put a multi-gigawatt (pronounced "jiga") laser on mine so I can just vaporize the whole playing field. I win. I'm gonna need a slab and containment housing onsite, btw, for my nuclear reactor. Jump on that, would you please, Tybs?

Firestorm65
02-02-2009, 11:48 AM
Actually, that's a fun idea (not the reactor, that's just funny). Anyone consider moving the POWER (wirelessly, not tethered) off the mech along w/ the brain? Legal? (No way I'd do this, but I'll ask anyway)

jes1510
02-02-2009, 11:57 AM
Actually, that's a fun idea (not the reactor, that's just funny). Anyone consider moving the POWER (wirelessly, not tethered) off the mech along w/ the brain? Legal? (No way I'd do this, but I'll ask anyway)

Wait, What? Are you talking about a mech with no batteries?

Let me attempt to spell it out:
Read the rules and if you have to ask if something is legal then it probably isn't.

Before considering the ultra cool mega stealth bot make one that will actually walk under your control and do what you want it to do. You are going to find that to be much tougher than anticipated.

Firestorm65
02-02-2009, 12:22 PM
I was joking at this point. The tech does exist, but it would require pinpoint lasers mounted on the roof of the stadium or massive background radiation.

Note to self, sarcasm does NOT translate well in text.

On the other hand, IR filters and ANC are two well understood technologies that can be separately developed from the platform, which is good for working in a group. Please stop discrediting ideas by making assumptions about what I can or cannot have time to do.

DresnerRobotics
02-02-2009, 12:29 PM
Stating that you're working on a university team would also probably shed more light on your situation ;)

With as many people as we've had show up super excited to build for this competition, ask a ton of questions, then drop off the face of the planet, you'll have to excuse some people here being skeptical when someone speaks of very high expectations and goals on their project before they've started building. It's human nature to be skeptical, and yes, sarcasm is hard to pull off over text.

Firestorm65
02-02-2009, 12:39 PM
I don't know if the team will be officially endorsed by the university yet or just people who "just so happen to be from the same university", so I didn't want to make a deal about it. But yes, I have loftier goals, particularly multiple disparate systems, because I am working in a group. Also, I just showed up because I finally got my first "ROBOT" magazine and saw the article.

DresnerRobotics
02-02-2009, 12:46 PM
My point being is that planning for a project team is a bit different than what the individual builders here are doing, hence the skepticism when not all facts are known.

My apologies if we come across bluntly, we're just trying to convey the depth of what this project entails.

Firestorm65
02-02-2009, 02:45 PM
Also, I may have come up arrogant, seeing "getting it moving" as trivial when I can talk to a professor who has done research in robotic biped locomotion. Sorry for that.

DresnerRobotics
02-02-2009, 03:16 PM
No worries man! We're glad to have you on board :)


Also, I may have come up arrogant, seeing "getting it moving" as trivial when I can talk to a professor who has done research in robotic biped locomotion. Sorry for that.

Firestorm65
02-04-2009, 04:08 PM
A knockdown is a point right? So does that mean a hit that leads to a knockdown is two "hits"? Are robots still vulnerable while on the ground?

Adrenalynn
02-04-2009, 04:23 PM
I believe there's a timer that would prevent a two-hit issue. The original goal was to help prevent "spray-and-pray" where the gun with the highest rate of fire wins.

DresnerRobotics
02-04-2009, 04:53 PM
A hit is a hit, there's going to be a 1 second timer on the hits being registered. But if you fall with enough force to trigger another hit (and after 1 second of the hit) then it will register another hit, giving your enemy the potential for double damage on a knockdown.

If you're unable to right yourself and the match must be paused (this is something we're going to do for at least the first year) then you will be penalized a third for having to be manually stood back up.

Firestorm65
02-04-2009, 04:58 PM
If you are able to right yourself but it takes longer than 1 second, could the other mech continues to wail away at your target?

DresnerRobotics
02-04-2009, 05:26 PM
I guess that depends upon your personal code of honor :D

Some Mechwarriors (from the massive amount of lore backing Battletech) wouldn't fire upon a retreating or fallen enemy.

It's your call.

Firestorm65
02-04-2009, 05:44 PM
It seems like it would be better to stay down. If they have something capable of knocking you over, they can just hit you as you stand up, and now you are down 4 HP and still on the ground. Also, could the mech's fire back from the ground?

DresnerRobotics
02-04-2009, 06:19 PM
Given that I've stated clearly I don't want this to turn into a 'I'm playing in a way that you can't fight back' competition, do you think laying on the ground with your target concealed and firing back would be okay?

If you're making a reasonable attempt to stand back up, and firing whilst you do so, sure.

Again, most of this stuff is common sense and won't be an issue as long as everyone maintains a sense of good sportsmanship and respect for their opponents. I'm making it abundantly clear that I want everyone involved in this competition to be more about participating and having a good time than trying to cheap their way to a win. Not saying you are, but some questions can be answered by simply asking yourself "could this be exploited and/or considered cheap?" If so then its probably not going to be allowed.

I guess everyone just needs to work on not falling down, or hope their opponent is honorable enough to not fire while you're down. :)

We may also double everyone's HP to try to see if we like that better, we're going to be flexible on year 1.

Firestorm65
02-04-2009, 07:00 PM
I wouldn't say firing from the ground until your opponent backs off is unsportsmanlike at all. Especially if they aren't waiting. How were they going to hit the back plate if your facing them anyway?

DresnerRobotics
02-04-2009, 07:05 PM
What stops me from laying down (read "falling down gracefully") each time I see you and firing at you? You'd have a tough time hitting my target plate, especially if I wasn't flat on the ground. How are you goint to hit my front plate if its concealed laying on the ground?

gdubb2
02-04-2009, 07:23 PM
What would stop that kind of activity would be someone like me walking up and sitting on his butt until he gave in. :veryhappy: Ya can't shoot at someone thats sitting on you.

There will always be someone that has no concept of sportsmanship. They are easy to spot and usually easy to eliminate...

Gary

DresnerRobotics
02-04-2009, 07:33 PM
Point being is that not making a reasonable attempt to get back up and firing upon your enemy while laying down, is the same as trying to fight sideways to conceal your targets. If you're trying to get up and firing back, absolutely fine. There's a pretty big difference between defending yourself and exploiting your position. A good sport will know the difference.

Firestorm65
02-04-2009, 07:38 PM
I think it's just as unsportsmanlike as shooting a down opponent (not talking about PURPOSELY going to ground). If there is no rule about that, why should the target not be allowed to shoot back to gain a chance to get back up safely?

DresnerRobotics
02-04-2009, 07:52 PM
Because if Mech battles were a reality, shooting a downed opponent would be extremely advantageous, where in Mech Warfare due to the limited area that a Mech can take 'damage', it puts the downed Mech in an advantageous position by concealing their target plates. Someone firing on a downed enemy isn't going to get *that* much of an advantage due to the angle of said target plates. We're looking at 10-20HP per mech, so if you get hit 1-2 extra times due to falling thats all the more reason to build a more balanced bot next time.

I think focus would be better spent building a Mech that doesn't fall down rather than talking about all of the possible penalties and disadvantages if/when it does.

My ruling on this is if you are making a reasonable attempt to stand up, by all means defend yourself, but do not exploit the fact that your target plates are not well exposed.

If anyone has a reason to disagree with me on this aside from "I don't want to get shot more if I fall down" by all means speak up.

Firestorm65
02-04-2009, 07:57 PM
Ok, but I still think sportsmanlike is too vague, so trying to define it. You almost seem to be saying if it is advantageous for you, it is unsportsmanlike.

DresnerRobotics
02-04-2009, 08:05 PM
There is a big difference between deciding to fire on a downed enemy and exploiting game mechanics so that you can turn your fall into an advantageous position.

If we could score hits anywhere on the mech this would not be a problem, but due to that limitation this is going to be the way it is.

I'm done debating this issue.

Firestorm65
02-04-2009, 08:11 PM
I agree it is settled clearly. All I was trying to say is I am trying to think of hypothetical situations and discuss them now with the sole purpose of clearing up the gray area. I'm not asking these questions to mold a "cheap" strategy for myself.

Connor
02-04-2009, 08:25 PM
I agree it is settled clearly. All I was trying to say is I am trying to think of hypothetical situations and discuss them now with the sole purpose of clearing up the gray area. I'm not asking these questions to mold a "cheap" strategy for myself.

The other thing to remember is, this is year ONE. Much is to be learned and discovered during this year.. and even more so over up coming years.. It will evolve as more people think of new things and strategies and the technology improves. A few years from now, we may find a way in which we can detect hits from every aspect of the mech.. Maybe someone invents something for this which can be used for other things.. However, playing too many "what-if" games up front can hamper current development.. I say we go with what we got, let the staff make finial tweaks over the next few weeks as they test the hardware.. and the go all out in June and have fun.. After that, we'll review each match.. talk about what worked and what didn't.. and how we can improve it for 2010!


Thanks, Connor

Firestorm65
02-04-2009, 08:29 PM
Ok, I can accept that.

Btw, the technology to detect hits everywhere does exist: reactive skin. You would have to layer it on top of everything though, don't know how complicated that would be. Not this year, but looking forward.

Sienna
02-10-2009, 05:54 AM
Did we ever come to a consensus on the minimum and maximim kinetic energy an airsoft canon is allowed to have?

Firestorm65
02-10-2009, 09:14 AM
I think it was 100 fps... could be wrong here.

Adrenalynn
02-10-2009, 04:15 PM
I doubt it. Hard to find an airsoft gun that is that wimpy...

Beyond that - "100fps" isn't a legitimate way of expressing kinetic energy.

"100fps" a measure of velocity. Would you rather be shot with a 6mm ball of crumpled up tissue traveling at 100fps, or a 6mm ball of depleted uranium traveling at 100fps? ;)

jes1510
02-10-2009, 04:34 PM
Can I pick the fluffy bunny at 100fps?

DresnerRobotics
02-10-2009, 05:52 PM
I would say 12g ammo at 100fps will be the minimum. That's guestimating. Max is dependent upon the weapon class, and posted on each respective section.

Adrenalynn
02-10-2009, 06:12 PM
I'm planning on shooting .20g polished competition pellets at 140-160fps. I saw you list a minimum - in non-hardcore - do you have a max? I didn't see one?

Even the tank guns fire up to 120fps with a .20g polished pellet in a tight-bore barrel. Disassemble, lube them, replace the motor with an 18k RPM motor, and run them at 9.6v and they'll get up over 200fps on a good shot.

Sienna
02-10-2009, 06:39 PM
I am a strong believer that the rules need to state limits in Joules rather then fps, just to make it unambiguous.

Ok, so for Minimum energy (below which a target plate might ignore you), we have:
.12g @ 100fps = .055742 J
= .20g @ 54.77fps
= .25g @ 48.99fps
= .28g @ 46.29fps

So, I see the website says "350fps" maximum airsoft round. It doesn't specify what weight that is however.
.12g @ 350fps = .682 J
.20g @ 350fps = 1.138 J
.25g @ 350fps = 1.423 J
.28g @ 350fps = 1.593 J

In a very old thread, I suggested a 1 J limit for the upper end.
423 ft/s @ 0.12g
328 ft/s @ 0.20g
291 ft/s @ 0.25g
265 ft/s @ 0.30g
Just FYI, 1J is around the field limit for both close quarter fields I play at. One field is [email protected], the other is [email protected] So, I have gotten hit by 1J BBs many times... It hurts, and it can leave a bruise (or bleed if you are stupid and forget your gloves...), but its nothing permanent. And yes, I have been hit point blank.

Connor
02-10-2009, 09:10 PM
I'm planning on shooting .20g polished competition pellets at 140-160fps. I saw you list a minimum - in non-hardcore - do you have a max? I didn't see one?

Even the tank guns fire up to 120fps with a .20g polished pellet in a tight-bore barrel. Disassemble, lube them, replace the motor with an 18k RPM motor, and run them at 9.6v and they'll get up over 200fps on a good shot.

How does a faster motor increase fps? The motor just cocks the spring does it not? Wouldn't you have to change out the spring for a stiffer one?

Thanks, Connor

Adrenalynn
02-10-2009, 10:35 PM
If you pull it back faster it snaps forward faster. It's not a ton, but it increases FPS by about 20 in my guns.

Firestorm65
02-10-2009, 11:40 PM
The problem with the 1 J measurement is the far more important thing, impulse, is not kept constant. A more massive projectile traveling slower with the same energy has a greater impulse, which in this case would be the ability to tip.

Also, I know fps is not a measure of KE; I just ended up glossing over the assumption of standard, plastic bbs and used the measurement based on that. Sorry for not being clearer.

Adrenalynn
02-11-2009, 12:18 AM
Yeah, the problem is that there's no "standard plastic bb". There's a boatload of commercial weights.

Firestorm65
02-11-2009, 12:39 AM
I didn't realize that, I thought all the tubs at sportsmart were the same size airsoft bullet... obviously I don't own one of these types of guns.

DresnerRobotics
02-11-2009, 12:51 AM
I am a strong believer that the rules need to state limits in Joules rather then fps, just to make it unambiguous.

Ok, so for Minimum energy (below which a target plate might ignore you), we have:
.12g @ 100fps = .055742 J
= .20g @ 54.77fps
= .25g @ 48.99fps
= .28g @ 46.29fps

So, I see the website says "350fps" maximum airsoft round. It doesn't specify what weight that is however.
.12g @ 350fps = .682 J
.20g @ 350fps = 1.138 J
.25g @ 350fps = 1.423 J
.28g @ 350fps = 1.593 J

In a very old thread, I suggested a 1 J limit for the upper end.
423 ft/s @ 0.12g
328 ft/s @ 0.20g
291 ft/s @ 0.25g
265 ft/s @ 0.30g
Just FYI, 1J is around the field limit for both close quarter fields I play at. One field is [email protected], the other is [email protected] So, I have gotten hit by 1J BBs many times... It hurts, and it can leave a bruise (or bleed if you are stupid and forget your gloves...), but its nothing permanent. And yes, I have been hit point blank.

Excellent post all around, + Rep. I agree with you, I think 1J is fine, maybe higher for the hardcore class. I'll do a bit of number crunching and get the rules updated.

Firestorm65
02-11-2009, 01:13 AM
Do Nerf rockets conform to the 1J rule as well?

Adrenalynn
02-11-2009, 03:30 AM
I didn't realize that, I thought all the tubs at sportsmart were the same size airsoft bullet... obviously I don't own one of these types of guns.

They're all 6mm, but they range in weight from .12g up to .6g+ [rare "sniper" ammo] I wouldn't shoot anything lighter than .20g even in the little "tank guns".

Firestorm65
03-04-2009, 12:43 PM
Small deployable robots that stay out of the way of the opponent, cannot attack, and have no target plate are allowed, correct? Also, smokescreens were legal correct? New question, are solid metal 6mm airsoft rounds legal as long as they conform to the 1J limit?

DresnerRobotics
03-04-2009, 01:47 PM
No metal rounds in airsoft class. Airsoft ammo only.

Smokescreens I don't really see a problem with as long as they are TINY and easily/quickly dispersed.

Scout bots I'm not sure on tbh, I don't really see a problem with them aside from them getting in the way. I think they should not be invulnerable though, and I don't know if our target system will be prepped for more than 2 players for year 1. Lets talk more about that notion in year 2.

Firestorm65
03-04-2009, 02:26 PM
My brief research found .88g 6mm AIRSOFT rounds are made of metal for density. .43g 6mm airsoft rounds are a plastic/metal mix. Are these legal at 1J? The material shouldn't have that large of an impact (no pun intended) on the destructiveness of the weapon with a set energy limit.

Ok. Is 3-5 seconds max of opaqucity quick?

So scouts are legal? They will be programmed or human controlled to stay at least 6"+ away from any obstacle, be it wall, camera, or mech. They will have no offensive weaponry and only serve as extended "eyes and ears", similar to modern military tactics. The best reason we want it is it gets more members involved in every match. Total weight would still be under 5kg and it would all start attached to the main bot off the ground. It also creates more mechanical design oppertunities, important to our particular goals of a team project. If you want us to put a seperate kill switch attached to a target board, that would keep them off your system and still not be invulnerable.

Adrenalynn
03-04-2009, 03:05 PM
> So scouts are legal?

Tyberius>> "Lets talk more about that notion in year 2"

Grand Robot Master
04-15-2009, 09:45 PM
:oI had a question.
you know how the have that "no gimmick clause" with the cameras being attached to guns?
I have plans for a mech similar to the tripods in war of the worlds, or more like a strider from half life 2.
big, tall, mine will have 4 legs radiating out from a round base and a servo controlled camera in the center under
the belly of the robot. would it be fair to have guns attached to this?
i just made my account today and i'm new to this all:)

Adrenalynn
04-15-2009, 09:57 PM
Welcome to the forum!

Can the camera and guns reach out around something and shoot someone that can't then hit your target plate themselves? If yes: Gimmick. If no: probably ok.

Grand Robot Master
04-15-2009, 10:04 PM
Thanks!

there was also something mentioned about autonomous sentry guns, at least in the ROBOT magazine article. what about those?

Adrenalynn
04-15-2009, 10:24 PM
Not this year.

FryGuy
04-16-2009, 01:30 AM
Thanks!

there was also something mentioned about autonomous sentry guns, at least in the ROBOT magazine article. what about those?

That is a separate event. See details here: http://robogames.net/rules/shooting-gallery.php

Adrenalynn
04-16-2009, 02:31 AM
Yeah, although Tybs did talk about autonomous sentry guns in Mech Wars at a future date - and was, I believe, part of the article.

Grand Robot Master
04-16-2009, 10:25 PM
I know this year is sort of experimental in a way, but does anyone have any idea how big the changes will be for next year?
will there be "Scenario" type stuff instead of the one on one thing?
if so I think i have some pretty good ideas for that.

jes1510
04-16-2009, 11:23 PM
Let's wait until after the competition to start making plans for the next one. Tyb may decide everything was perfect and wont want to change a thing or the whole shebang could go up in flames.

tuzzer
04-18-2009, 10:03 AM
Are we allow to mount the camera on a servo? So it's kind of like you can turn head while still walking straight.

What does it mean by "Basic melee weapons are allowed. Powered and/or rotary melee weapons are not allowed"? Am I allow to put a sword or bat on the bot and have it swinging. Is it allowed as long as it's not a complete rotation?

Grand Robot Master
04-18-2009, 09:51 PM
How a bout a flail?
i know its impractical, but it looks cool! Could that be considered a full rotation melee?
What about other "soft" weapons, like threshing devices of some kind?

also, why no hexapods?

Adrenalynn
04-18-2009, 11:10 PM
Are we allow to mount the camera on a servo? So it's kind of like you can turn head while still walking straight.

What does it mean by "Basic melee weapons are allowed. Powered and/or rotary melee weapons are not allowed"? Am I allow to put a sword or bat on the bot and have it swinging. Is it allowed as long as it's not a complete rotation?


A. Yes. As long as it can't look and shoot around corners where the other guy can't see/hit you.

B. You might be looking for a "BattleBots"-type event. This is a mech warrior event. They didn't run around bashing people with baseball bats - you shot at each other with rockets, machine guns, and lasers... Check out the MechWars franchise video games and, I believe, RPG.

Adrenalynn
04-18-2009, 11:11 PM
How a bout a flail?
i know its impractical, but it looks cool! Could that be considered a full rotation melee?
What about other "soft" weapons, like threshing devices of some kind?

also, why no hexapods?


See answer above. We can point you towards the full-on battlebots events if that's what you're looking for.

lnxfergy
04-18-2009, 11:29 PM
also, why no hexapods?

Hexapods are insanely stable, too much of an advantage over a quad or biped. Also, there weren't any hex's in the original game (and actually very few quads...)

-Fergs

nagmier
04-19-2009, 02:33 AM
Ok I was cruising the mech-warfare site and noticed in the resources section mention of rockets!, now when I first came about wanting to play in robotics I thought that would be rather neat. My Question, the hobby store link is down but the spec sheet talks about micro maxx engines and after looking at the manufactures website this might be interesting to play with in a project soon. My question is since this is on the list has anyone chosen them? and\or used them before and if so how are you controlling the launch? I'm thinking something like a phidgets relay controller??? sending the 9v to the "electric" fuse? I'm actually a bit surprised to see it on the list as available choices wish I could come out to play :D

Grand Robot Master
04-19-2009, 02:19 PM
Hexapods are insanely stable, too much of an advantage over a quad or biped. Also, there weren't any hex's in the original game (and actually very few quads...)

-Fergs
What game are you talking about?
Battletech/mechwarrior?
In Chrome Hounds there were lots of quads

Connor
04-19-2009, 02:32 PM
What game are you talking about?
Battletech/mechwarrior?
In Chrome Hounds there were lots of quads

The original Battletech RPG from FASA and Mechwarrior I, II, and III Video/PC games. Not very many quads in them at all.

Thanks, Connor

darkback2
04-20-2009, 12:37 PM
Hey Nagmier, I'm currently trying to get a rocket system running...first try was an epic failure as the rockets failed to launch, and set the plastic tubes I was using on fire. Not to self...use metal tubes for the second launch platform.

As for controlling them, the relay controller seams like a good choice, except then you will have to find a way to control it remotely. I have a PC mounted on my mechs, so something like that would work for me...but probably not for someone else.

The battle switch is also an option. Works in the same way.

Ok...

DB


Ok I was cruising the mech-warfare site and noticed in the resources section mention of rockets!, now when I first came about wanting to play in robotics I thought that would be rather neat. My Question, the hobby store link is down but the spec sheet talks about micro maxx engines and after looking at the manufactures website this might be interesting to play with in a project soon. My question is since this is on the list has anyone chosen them? and\or used them before and if so how are you controlling the launch? I'm thinking something like a phidgets relay controller??? sending the 9v to the "electric" fuse? I'm actually a bit surprised to see it on the list as available choices wish I could come out to play :D

nagmier
04-20-2009, 04:15 PM
Hey Nagmier, I'm currently trying to get a rocket system running...first try was an epic failure as the rockets failed to launch, and set the plastic tubes I was using on fire. Not to self...use metal tubes for the second launch platform.

As for controlling them, the relay controller seams like a good choice, except then you will have to find a way to control it remotely. I have a PC mounted on my mechs, so something like that would work for me...but probably not for someone else.

The battle switch is also an option. Works in the same way.

Ok...

DB


My rover is going to be built around a netbook for brains so the PC aspect is perfect... Thats what I was looking for

societyofrobots
07-11-2009, 09:55 PM
I agree with the 'all around' target plates, I'm going to experiment with it a bit before I change the rules though. We need to keep things simple for the builders though.
I have an issue that's related to this.

I'm finishing up the CAD design to my mech. The problem is that standing tall, its 9". The rotating head at the top is only 2" high. The hip section is 2 inches high and barely 3" wide. Since the targets are 3"x3", my bot looks like a square target with legs sticking out of it. And since my bot is semi-autonomous, the front target board is difficult to position without it blocking all my sensors (kinda hard to mount sonar on a 2x3 area with a 3x3 plate on it).

So I propose the option of, for say a biped, either 2 normal size target plates, or 4 half size target plates (two 2.11"x2.11" plates, equal in surface area to a single 3"x3" plate). It doesn't change the rules, its entirely optional, and supports mounting targets around the bot.



Was there an official verdict on smokescreens yet? (If you can't tell, I have a very stealth-based idea in my head)
I don't see a reason it can't be allowed. Harmless theatrics, really. I'd do it myself, given a smokescreen device can be mounted on my tiny bot and still put out enough smoke . . .

lnxfergy
07-11-2009, 10:02 PM
I'm finishing up the CAD design to my mech. The problem is that standing tall, its 9". The rotating head at the top is only 2" high. The hip section is 2 inches high and barely 3" wide. Since the targets are 3"x3", my bot looks like a square target with legs sticking out of it. And since my bot is semi-autonomous, the front target board is difficult to position without it blocking all my sensors (kinda hard to mount sonar on a 2x3 area with a 3x3 plate on it).

An old proverb, from other competitions I've competed in, comes to mind: "Build your bot to suit the rules of the competition, rather than having us make the rules suit your bot."

-Fergs

societyofrobots
07-11-2009, 10:18 PM
hehe, called me out on that one =P

Found this:

Sounds fine to me, I'm going to keep target panel rules pretty relaxed for year 1. Focus is on fun and learning here.

As long as your target area is roughly 3x3" (at least 9 square inches), and it responds to say, at least a 100fps airsoft pellet accordingly, it should be fine. If you're making your own target panels I would like to see your progress and verification you have the system working correctly before you show up to Robogames though.

I was more of thinking small robot = smaller servos = more affordable robot (making it more affordable to compete), rules to encourage autonomous bots, and allowing robots to be hit at all sides (flanking makes sense, no?).

Since I feel its within the spirit of the game and Tyberius approved, I'm just going to go ahead and do this. If someone doesn't like it, just call me out and I'll honorably throw the round. I'm in it for fun and learning =)

lnxfergy
07-11-2009, 10:27 PM
I was more of thinking small robot = smaller servos = more affordable robot (making it more affordable to compete), rules to encourage autonomous bots, and allowing robots to be hit at all sides (flanking makes sense, no?).

Since I feel its within the spirit of the game and Tyberius approved, I'm just going to go ahead and do this. If someone doesn't like it, just call me out and I'll honorably throw the round. I'm in it for fun and learning =)

Smaller servos are cheaper, to a limit. You're talking micro servo territory now though -- which typically cost more for the amount of load they can carry. The minimum load for mech gear is pretty well set I think... I guess removing the trendnet for an autonomous bot might help.. but still.

Also, don't go quite crazy on sensors yet. We're also looking at switching from piezo to actual force sensors since they are more reliably (so far in bench testing). That would dictate staying with available size, we're waiting on costs for 3"x3", they shouldn't be much more expensive per unit than the 1.5"x1.5", but in your case, you'd have to use 8 1.5x1.5 ($8 each) which would get quite expensive.

-Fergs

societyofrobots
07-11-2009, 11:00 PM
Smaller servos are cheaper, to a limit. You're talking micro servo territory now though -- which typically cost more for the amount of load they can carry. The minimum load for mech gear is pretty well set I think... I guess removing the trendnet for an autonomous bot might help.. but still.

Yeap, I'm using *all* micro-servos on 6 DOF legs. Only one of them is digital, the rest analogue. I'm waiting until I can prove it works before revealing pics of it =P



Also, don't go quite crazy on sensors yet. We're also looking at switching from piezo to actual force sensors since they are more reliably (so far in bench testing). That would dictate staying with available size, we're waiting on costs for 3"x3", they shouldn't be much more expensive per unit than the 1.5"x1.5", but in your case, you'd have to use 8 1.5x1.5 ($8 each) which would get quite expensive.

I'm just planning out the locations/weight/financial budget for the sensors right now, as I figured there'd be changes to them. No reason to make a purchase until next year. Any particular force sensor you're looking at?

Adrenalynn
07-11-2009, 11:32 PM
Fergs - are we building a standard target plate for next year anyway? Given how unreliable they were outside of known designs.

DresnerRobotics
07-12-2009, 12:10 AM
Fergs - are we building a standard target plate for next year anyway? Given how unreliable they were outside of known designs.

Yes.

Anyone who bought them last year is going to get a standardized set for free as well.

We're likely going with a force pressure sensor, which will be 3x3". I'm all for innovation and building smaller/budget bots, but we need to establish a repeatable standard on the target plates, and that is going to mean that they're all the same size and built/designed by competition officials.

Sorry John, but the quote there was directed towards Year 1 competitors since it was our learning year.

societyofrobots
07-12-2009, 08:29 AM
Understood. Walking target plate for me it is =P

Still, something to keep in mind for when we are ready to place targets around a bot!

Adrenalynn
07-29-2009, 12:43 PM
Unstickied and Locked.

New draft discussion here: http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=3445