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DresnerRobotics
06-30-2008, 06:00 PM
Okay, few things I want to throw out on the table. First of all, I say we shoot for around a 15'x15' urban style arena environment. Buildings no taller than 3', most will be around 2-2.5'. I'm thinking about 1 square foot for the footprint of them.

I'm open to suggestions on material to be used for the buildings. Matt suggested we could make them wider at the base than the top and make them out of sheet metal, that way we could stack them for easy storage. Foam has also been brought up as an option (I'm talking to Fon Davis about some stuff that is destroyable, crumbles like stone when hit, etc). I originally was going to make them out of thin ply, but I'm thinking its probably a bit too flimsy for transportation and storage.

I'll be posting a render tonight of the proposed arena layout for the Robogames event, going to try to keep it fairly simple though. I'd appreciate feedback on it.

Lastly, we have the safety issue to address.

While a thin mesh net on the crowd facing side would probably suffice, it will probably make visibility difficult. I am going to look at a plexiglass like wall to put up, preferably something that can be broken down for transportation. I can provide storage for all of this stuff locally, but I'd still prefer that it was a managable size. Any input on what we could use to make a high visibility safety wall on the crowd facing side would be much appreciated. I realize this could be a bit spendy, which is why I've launched a Sponsors page on the Mech Wars site here: http://mech-warfare.com/sponsors.aspx

If anyone knows of additional companies that would be interested in helping us get this rolling, I'd appreciate it. I've listed our current sponsors in alphabetical order. These are companies that are providing time, parts, and other various resources and I greatly appreciate all that they have done. We'll try to get some 'billboards' up in the arena with ads to help get them some exposure, maybe they can have their own buildings as well?

Sienna
06-30-2008, 06:33 PM
I would do plywood on all sides, preferably painted 'cityscape' style. The walls would only need to be 36" tall or so, and you can have step stools for little kids. I would then place 4 buildings in the middle of the arena, at (5,5), (5,10), (10,5), and (10,10). These 4 buildings (also the tallest 4) really hide the four support shafts that hold up the ceiling. The ceiling then would be divided up into nine 5' x 5' planes of thin polycarbonate, supported on rails going from the walls to the four support buildings. The setup would then break down into the following:

(9) 5' x 3' wall pieces
(4) 36" 'buildings'
(12) 5' long roof supports
(9) 5' x 5' plates of polycarbonate.
(n) Random buildings

Now, keeping in mind that polycarb is hard to come by in 5' x 5' sections, I would say make the arena 12' x 18', and instead have 4' x 6' sections using the principle above.

Why do I want the walls filled in?
1) Immersion for the operators. Keeps the crowd out of one disadvantaged pilot's view.
2) It will be much easier for the crowd to look down on the action I think then try to view it side on. Plus, if you mandate white BBs and have a black floor, it will be easier to see those as well.

As to the buildings: While foam would be cool, and look great getting hit when it tears off... its going to look hideous later and need to be replaced. Also, the buildings (as much as possible) should allow for loading sand, water, or some other type of 'dead weight' to prevent bots from being able to move them around. (or worse... topple them onto an enemy!)

Electricity
06-30-2008, 06:35 PM
Standard paintball netting should do you just fine, it will reduce visabilty a bit, but nothing to bad (people watch paintball games through them all the time with no problem :). Netting is very easy to set up and store, there are lots of people with movable fields.
As far as buildings go, if you want to go cheap, cardboard would be cool, but the bbs would easily shred the buildings, rendering them less then useful for cover. Solid foam would be enough to stop a bb, and would have the added effect of breaking apart like you said, the down side would of course be the environmental effect, and getting it in the right shapes. Sheet metal (for the non lethal series anyway) seems a little excessive IMO. Sheet rock might be the best of both worlds, strong enough to prevent total destruction, but shreadable enough top be awesome.

Adrenalynn
06-30-2008, 07:21 PM
Sheetrock or even 'crete board are awesome suggestions, Electricity! Thanks for that, and welcome to the TRC!

lamont
06-30-2008, 07:54 PM
Solid foam would be enough to stop a bb, and would have the added effect of breaking apart like you said, the down side would of course be the environmental effect, and getting it in the right shapes.

I went ahead and signed up for the CNC hot wire cutting class at TechShop, so I'll probably crank out some small foam demos of buildings just to prove that it can work as well as to give me an idea how how much they deteriorate when shot.

I'd envisioned CNCing out a whole block at a time, with the various height buildings connected as a block, like rowhouses. Making them various lenghts, we could lay them out as such when seen from the top

XX X XX
XX XX X
XXX X X
X X XXX

such that for a given square arena, a mech has a clear line of sight down the long horizontal block, but the ability to run into that block and duck into a side (vertical) street.

Some buildings would be tall enough to just see over, or see between gaps, but not fire between.

And if they were grouped together in lumps of 1, 2 or 3 buildings as shown by the Xs above, the arena could be reconfigured quickly between rounds to minimize the chance of someone seeing/knowing the arena or just to hide the damage an outer building has taken by moving it into the middle.

I don't know much about the types of foam availible to me for cutting, but I'm sure some of them are more puncture resistant than others, or will crumble differently. They might even have black foam that wouldn't show damage nearly as well and be easier to paint.

JonHylands
06-30-2008, 08:19 PM
There's no reason you couldn't make the building core from foam, and then apply a thin coating on the outside - maybe something like 1/32" polycarb, or drywall as was mentioned before.

dcalkins
06-30-2008, 08:42 PM
My thoughts:

1) since pilots can't view the field directly, they don't have to be right next to it. They could be... 20-40 feet away. So the crowd is between them and the arena. Gives the crowd more room and keeps the drivers honest.

2) safety, safety, safety. If you want to use BB's, it's gotta be enclosed. We could put you in the corner where fire-fighting is:
http://robogames.net/ft-mason/festival-pavilion-2009.pdf
so the corwd can view directly via two sides (the bldg walls being the other two sides. Then have cameras and projectors displaying the action above the "city." Projectors could switch from a city-wide view to bot operator... Or show multiple views at once.

I think the Japanese humanoid builders are gonna eat this up.

DresnerRobotics
06-30-2008, 10:21 PM
My thoughts:

1) since pilots can't view the field directly, they don't have to be right next to it. They could be... 20-40 feet away. So the crowd is between them and the arena. Gives the crowd more room and keeps the drivers honest.

2) safety, safety, safety. If you want to use BB's, it's gotta be enclosed. We could put you in the corner where fire-fighting is:
http://robogames.net/ft-mason/festival-pavilion-2009.pdf
so the corwd can view directly via two sides (the bldg walls being the other two sides. Then have cameras and projectors displaying the action above the "city." Projectors could switch from a city-wide view to bot operator... Or show multiple views at once.

I think the Japanese humanoid builders are gonna eat this up.

The arena itself is going to be in the realm of 15x15 feet + an area a little bit away for the computers running everything and the pilots to sit, do you think thats doable?

Two sides would be great! And your idea for the projectors is awesome, I've got a fairly high resolution one I can bring along, could project it up on the walls. I planned on having two fairly large TVs with a constant view of each pilot's mech camera as well.

I'm hoping this event will appeal to the humanoid fighters, as it's designed so that a Robo-one type robot could be retrofitted to compete.

dcalkins
06-30-2008, 10:39 PM
The arena itself is going to be in the realm of 15x15 feet + an area a little bit away for the computers running everything and the pilots to sit, do you think thats doable?

That's fine.


Two sides would be great! And your idea for the projectors is awesome, I've got a fairly high resolution one I can bring along, could project it up on the walls. I planned on having two fairly large TVs with a constant view of each pilot's mech camera as well.

You'll need a 5000+ lumins projector. Brightness is more important than resolution. Try it in a bright room - you know how bright Ft. Mason is...


I'm hoping this event will appeal to the humanoid fighters, as it's designed so that a Robo-one type robot could be retrofitted to compete.

Yup. We'll pull a lot of them in.

Adrenalynn
06-30-2008, 10:49 PM
Tyb - I have a 6000 lumen commercial Canon projector. I also have an 8 channel video mixer/fx deck/titler sitting out in the garage (storage unit now, sigh) left over from a past life. In fact, I still have an entire webcasting setup in roadie cases. When you get closer to an event drop me a note about that stuff before you go the rental-route.

DresnerRobotics
06-30-2008, 10:50 PM
You'll need a 5000+ lumins projector. Brightness is more important than resolution. Try it in a bright room - you know how bright Ft. Mason is...


My pocket book just cried out in pain. Wasn't even thinking of how bright it is in there...


Another note- we're going to have to look into anti-glare plexi panels for whatever viewable sides we choose, there is a lot of light in there and it would suck to have a matches visibility limited for the spectators due to glare.

DresnerRobotics
06-30-2008, 11:00 PM
Tyb - I have a 6000 lumen commercial Canon projector. I also have an 8 channel video mixer/fx deck/titler sitting out in the garage (storage unit now, sigh) left over from a past life. In fact, I still have an entire webcasting setup in roadie cases. When you get closer to an event drop me a note about that stuff before you go the rental-route.

So do I need to name my 2nd born after you for the rental fee? :D

Thanks a ton!

Adrenalynn
06-30-2008, 11:18 PM
We'll just figure out bulb-burn or something - in the second year. I don't mind helping you get this off the ground with stuff I have laying around...

dcalkins
06-30-2008, 11:30 PM
as for buildings - TechShop has a foam cutter. Can cut huge blocks of foam, and they have it in stock.

That would be my advice for buildings. Remember - people always forget this - you have to move* this stuff. Often. Lighter is better. The audience won't know the diff. between bldg materials. You will when you move it.

DresnerRobotics
07-01-2008, 12:10 AM
as for buildings - TechShop has a foam cutter. Can cut huge blocks of foam, and they have it in stock.

That would be my advice for buildings. Remember - people always forget this - you have to move* this stuff. Often. Lighter is better. The audience won't know the diff. between bldg materials. You will when you move it.


Fon's suggestion was also to use foam, so definitely something we should consider. Only benefit I see to thin sheet metal in stackable form would be compact storage. I have half of a garage within 20 miles of the event that I can use for storage though, so storage size wont be a huge deal.

I was also thinking, maybe the use some sort of light foam padding on the outer walls would reduce ricochet. We wont be firing above the wall of the arena, so the only real danger is ricochet off the walls and this would certainly help reduce that if we are going the route of an open arena.

As much as I like the idea of having a fully enclosed arena for year 1, we have to keep things reasonable. Thats a lot of cost involved and also a lot of work hauling/storing/setting up. I wouldn't be able to fund/setup all of that by myself.

Adrenalynn
07-01-2008, 12:20 AM
Don't plan on doing it *all* by yourself. I've never seen sportsmen that weren't willing to assist in the setup and teardown of _their_ game. It's required in Autocross racing, a passion of mine.

dcalkins
07-01-2008, 12:29 AM
I'd say use plastic pellets like DefConBots, foam buildings - not from single block (solid), but four thin sheets to form a cube (five with roof.) No need for an arena with the soft pellets.

I bet Fon would help make the buildings - he may even have some for MORAV already.

Adrenalynn
07-01-2008, 12:34 AM
Good call on the thin-walled buildings, David! That will absorb a lot more of the kinetic energy and cut the ricochets down.

DresnerRobotics
07-01-2008, 01:03 AM
I'd say use plastic pellets like DefConBots, foam buildings - not from single block (solid), but four thin sheets to form a cube (five with roof.) No need for an arena with the soft pellets.

I bet Fon would help make the buildings - he may even have some for MORAV already.

We would still need walls of some sort though right? Id hate to have any stray pellets (even if they are airsoft) go into the crowd.

dcalkins
07-01-2008, 01:23 AM
Good point. In DefConBots, guns are always pointed down range. In this, they could just as easily be pointed toward the crowd (or into the contestant pits...)

I certainly have extra polycarb we can use - as with my previous post.

Droid Works
07-01-2008, 08:19 AM
I am working on getting a regular event calender for the east coast arena. Battle bots, r/c tanks, mechs ect. Sorry I haven't been on that much I have been very busy with the 1hv kit, the arena stuff, the IMU thing, ect. I will be on more this weekend and give more info.

Electricity
07-01-2008, 11:30 AM
If you guys are going to be using airsoft guns for the arena, you are going to have to use a full seal arena. Even with lower end guns, a ricochet, especially off another mech could fly into the crowd. Don't let the diminutive size of the pellets fool you, they have more then enough kinetic energy after a bounce to shatter a tooth, or pop an eyeball.
Like I said before, paintball netting is going to be your best bet, its kind of expensive, especially because 300x10 ft is usually the smallest amount you can get commercial (contact a local field about scrap), your looking at 500-1000 bucks for a full roll, but at the 1000 end your getting top of the line 300x18' fire retardant netting. You can also get the netting in different sun shades. I.e. most netting is 50% shade, meaning it blocks 50% of light passing through, but you can get down to about 20% pretty easily. Even at 50%, in a well lit stadium your not going to lose much viewability (new word?) through the net, and with cameras both on the mech, and in the stadium, I don't think it'll be to big a problem.
You could go with clear acrylic, or something like it, the problem again is cost. With a hard surface like that, you are also going to get many more ricochets, and its going to be very very noisy!
Another point I forgot to bring up before is the issue of bbs in the arena, the arena is probably going to have to be thoroughly swept inbetween each round, otherwise there will be so many bbs on the floor the mechs will have trouble walking!

As far as camera's in the stadium, anyone consider a RC blimp with a few onboard cameras? Not only would it be the coolest thing ever, it would give almost any view you want, it could even follow the fighting and pan around the bots as they do battle!
Going back to building types, I think it needs to be decided what aspects your looking for in a building before decide what material to use.
Do you want, durability, ease of storage, destruction, cost ect.
I don't think your going to be able to get all those out of one or two types of materials.
If you want something thats easy to move and store, that will last for ever, go with sheet metal, or something similar. Cost will be a bit higher, and the most you can hope for would be little dings and dents here an there as far as sweet blowing upage.
My vote still goes for sheet rock, or something similar. Sturdy enough to not shread (like Styrofoam, if you want a video of what a stock airsoft gun can do to Styrofoam, just ask, I'm sure I can whip something up) but destructive enough to offer cool effects. Plus, you wouldn't have to worry about storage, just throw it out when your done with it, or break the buildings back down and store them as flat panels.

DresnerRobotics
07-01-2008, 11:41 AM
^ Do you think that ricochet would be as big of a deal if we're not firing above the 3' wall and we're using those Airsoft Tank cannons? Perhaps add a foam padding to the walls to absorb some of the KE as well?

Adrenalynn
07-01-2008, 11:47 AM
The Blimp's a cool idea - I have a high-lift envelop I use to follow the dog around and watch him when I'm traveling. The blimp could easily be made autonomous to follow the action and keep it "in character"

Electricity
07-01-2008, 12:13 PM
^ Do you think that ricochet would be as big of a deal if we're not firing above the 3' wall and we're using those Airsoft Tank cannons? Perhaps add a foam padding to the walls to absorb some of the KE as well?
I still wouldn't risk it. The cannons may not fire very hard, but even just throwing a bb underhand into someone's eye is more then enough to hurt, if not damage something.
The padding isn't a bad idea, but depending on what guns are used, and what foam, it will more then likely be torn up by the bbs. The richochets that I'd be most worried about would be from mech to mech, a bb bouncing off a shoulder plate or something, and hitting a bystander in the eye.
I know this is the first year of this type of competition (I'm glad to play a part in planing it, however small said part may be :) ), but I highly recommend doing it right the first time. If for no other reason then next year we won't have to discuss it all over again!
Now.. One thing you could consider is giving everyone who attends a set of safety glasses..
Before I go any further then this, let me state my opinion on eye protection, as it relates to airsoft.
I DO NOT recommend ANYTHING less then a full face ANSI RATED paintball mask for the use and enjoyment of airsoft guns. Safely glasses DO NOT offer enough coverage even to protect your eyes, there are simply to many angles that a pellet can hit you. Plus, it doesn't protect the rest of your face, at all.
That being said, in this situation it is a bit different, and your just worried about the occasional ricochet, not direct fire. Safety glasses might not be a bad idea as supplemental protection.
On another note, who says the arena has to be square/rectangular, atleast above the playing area. Why not have some sort of 3'wall like was discussed, and then above that have a dome, made from netting, or a pyramid made from some form of hard, clear plastic. It would save on building costs (by eliminating part of each wall, and the roof), and still offer plenty of visibility.
If yous guys are interested, I do have some spare netting, but its in rather small peices (3'x7' maybe?), you could certainly piece them together to form a dome or something and I'm more then happy to donate them.

DresnerRobotics
07-01-2008, 12:21 PM
Yeah unfortunately safety glasses won't do for this, this is going to be hosted at Robogames where we'll have 10-15k people coming through. I'm thinking 3' walls surrounding the arena and then a plexi wall on the audience side thats maybe 6' tall will probably suffice.

The guns themselves start to arc their shot at about 15', so they are not very powerful to begin with, I doubt they will damage any foam padding we add to the walls.

Adrenalynn
07-01-2008, 12:58 PM
You can tell Electricity does this kinda stuff for real. Every shop-keep, every field owner, every responsible player will beat you to death with their ansi ballistic-rated eye protection if you suggest within ear-shot that protection isn't mandatory in my experience.

Protecting the game of Airsoft as long as possible from insane regulation and outright banning requires a certain level of self-policing by the industry itself. It's refreshing to me to see how proactive the sport's leaders have been in that. They really "get it".

dcalkins
07-01-2008, 01:14 PM
Again, we go back to my original offer of setting up my old combat arena walls - four 4-ft panels to a side = 16 foot arena. Each panel is 10 ft tall and holds 1/2" lexan - again, I have surplus. Essentially zero cost. 100% effective.

Thus endeth the discussion.

DresnerRobotics
07-01-2008, 01:26 PM
Again, we go back to my original offer of setting up my old combat arena walls - four 4-ft panels to a side = 16 foot arena. Each panel is 10 ft tall and holds 1/2" lexan - again, I have surplus. Essentially zero cost. 100% effective.

Thus endeth the discussion.

I didn't want to impose the hassle of setting these up/getting them out of storage on you, was looking for something that I could manage and setup mostly by myself.

Adrenalynn
07-01-2008, 01:36 PM
Pssst! Take him up on his amazingly generous offer and run away giggling incoherently. That's my advice for the day. 110% professional, which gets Discovery Networks to point their cameras your way and BOOM. Just like [snap!] that it's big-time. I know I'll be there to help you set up, and I'll drag Jeo along again and another friend or two if I need to. Jeo's a professional master garage door installer. He's handy to have in a setup environment. (He also builds trailers and has a 16' flatbed hauler... ;))

DresnerRobotics
07-01-2008, 01:40 PM
Oh I certainly wasn't declining the offer, I GREATLY appreciate it as it solves a pretty major cost dilemma.

I just know that Dave is a very busy guy during Robogames (I've never seen someone in so many places, with so many Cloves dangling from ones mouth, at once).

Dave if you just want to let me know where they are stored, I can arrange transportation and getting them setup, as to not make your workload any heavier than it already is.

Droid Works
07-01-2008, 01:50 PM
Again, we go back to my original offer of setting up my old combat arena walls - four 4-ft panels to a side = 16 foot arena. Each panel is 10 ft tall and holds 1/2" lexan - again, I have surplus. Essentially zero cost. 100% effective.

Thus endeth the discussion.

That sounds like the same size arena I am getting form dan in NJ. If ty doesn't want it I could sure use it to add on the the one from dan for the NY event.

Adrenalynn
07-01-2008, 01:52 PM
Hey now, you already got yours. :p

Sounds like consistant and perfect West Coast and East Coast venues are shaping-up! :)

Droid Works
07-01-2008, 01:58 PM
Hey now, you already got yours. :p

Sounds like consistant and perfect West Coast and East Coast venues are shaping-up! :)

I hope I didn't come across like I was trying to undercut ty. I just meant if he didn't want it or couldn't get trans for it I would be interested in it.

DresnerRobotics
07-01-2008, 01:58 PM
That sounds like the same size arena I am getting form dan in NJ. If ty doesn't want it I could sure use it to add on the the one from dan for the NY event.

I believe he was just offering them up for use at Robogames (which helps me out a ton), not offering to give them away. Can you even imagine the shipping cross country anyway? :p

Adrenalynn
07-01-2008, 02:09 PM
I hope I didn't come across like I was trying to undercut ty. I just meant if he didn't want it or couldn't get trans for it I would be interested in it.

Naw, sorry - not enough smiley faces, Mea Culpa! :)

dcalkins
07-01-2008, 02:37 PM
Anyone wants the whole Arena, we'll sell it for $10k (full size is 36' x 36' - we'd be using a small portion for this)

Shipping coast to coast would be around $5-7k.

http://robogames.net/photos/crowd-coniglio-DSC_0049.JPG
http://robogames.net/photos/combat_sparks03-2005-beale.jpg
http://robogames.net/photos/combat_sparks02-2005.jpg
http://robogames.net/photos/medals01-2006-mauldin.jpg

It goes off to the fiery furnace in a few weeks. Cost of arena is estimated scrap value.

....

As for sections being used for MechWarrior... I'd just bring the wall modules with the new arena on the same truck. You wouldn't need the floor or anything. Just build the corner, and work outward. 8 wall modules, install the arena in the corner as previously suggested...

Or get a net.

BUt you'd be setting up the protection either way.

DresnerRobotics
07-01-2008, 02:44 PM
Anyone wants the whole Arena, we'll sell it for $10k

Shipping coast to coast would be around $5k.

....

As for sections being used for MechWarrior... I'd just bring the wall modules with the new arena on the same truck. You wouldn't need the floor or anything. Just build the corner, and work outward. 8 wall modules, install the arena in the corner as previously suggested...

Or get a net.

BUt you'd be setting up the protection either way.


Awesome David. Thanks a ton! You really just solved a pretty big obstacle for the planning of this by allowing us to use those for Mech Wars at Robogames. If you can haul em, I can get them setup (I have an even bigger ogre of a brother who will be attending, I'll strap a yolk on him and get him going).

So what did you want my 2nd born named (1st is already pretty partial to hers)?

dcalkins
07-01-2008, 02:55 PM
2nd born should be named "Aloysius RoboGames"

dcalkins
07-01-2008, 03:03 PM
Now that I'm thinking about it... 15x15 playfield is WAY too big for humanoids. You can still use the box and everything, but game play would suck at 15x15. The kung-fu octagon is only 5 feet for a reason... Did you watch kung-fu matches? You can get a whole minute of just two bots trying to reach each other.

I'd scale the field of play down to 6x6, tops. Even through projectiles extend range... it'll be hard to get the bot oriented - even with a T&E (which I suppose in this case would be a P&T) you'll miss more than hit. In the coming months try moving and hitting. You'll find it's much harder than you think.

Also...

I think there should be 3 events:

1) 1:1, ladder based (like robo-one kung-fu)
2) 2:2 or 3:3 team based (kinda like soccer, but still take out the other guys...)
3) 1:1 destroy the city. Each bot has to take out x number of targets in y minutes. Highest score wins (or first one to hit a certain score wins...)

Adrenalynn
07-01-2008, 03:07 PM
Has a nice ring to it.

"Aloysius Lexan RoboGames" sounds better than "Aloysius PolyCarb RoboGames" though, so can he fudge it a bit? ;)

DresnerRobotics
07-01-2008, 03:08 PM
Now that I'm thinking about it... 15x15 playfield is WAY too big for humanoids. You can still use the box and everything, but game play would suck at 15x15. The kung-fu octagon is only 5 feet for a reason... Did you watch kung-fu matches? You can get a whole minute of just two bots trying to reach each other.

I'd scale the field of play down to 6x6, tops. Even through projectiles extend range... it'll be hard to get the bot oriented - even with a T&E (which I suppose in this case would be a P&T) you'll miss more than hit. In the coming months try moving and hitting. You'll find it's much harder than you think.

Also...

I think there should be 3 events:

1) 1:1, ladder based (like robo-one kung-fu)
2) 2:2 or 3:3 team based (kinda like soccer, but still take out the other guys...)
3) 1:1 destroy the city. Each bot has to take out x number of targets in y minutes. Highest score wins (or first one to hit a certain score wins...)

One of the reasons I wanted to keep the arena a bit big was to provide a large 'outer street' around the buildings. I also wanted room in case we wanted to do 2v2 and 3v3 matches, I think a 6x6' arena would be too small for those type of matches, would make it too crowded. We also have to provide enough space in between the buildings so that the mechs can easily move in between them. Another reason I wanted it larger was to provide more viewing room for the crowd.

Maybe 15'x15' is a bit too big, perhaps 10x10 would be better. We can always adjust the size dynamically though, if it turns out to be too big. I just didnt want to start too small and have it end up being crowded, and thus unable to make it any bigger.

Your 3 event ideas are superb. I was thinking of team based matches where one team assaults a base while the other defends as well.

dcalkins
07-01-2008, 03:11 PM
"3 events" comes from history. Kung fu would be over so fast, and people wanted MORE! humanoiid stuff. So we added demonstration, soccer, stairs,etc. The same will be true here.

Electricity
07-01-2008, 04:57 PM
I say keep it at 15x15, just test it first. If it is indeed way to big then just set the mechs closer together, say 10 feet apart in opposite corners. That would give each mech a chance to go where they wanted to. More cat and mousey until they found each other.

JonHylands
07-01-2008, 05:04 PM
I agree that 15 x 15 is a good size - the mechs aren't required to do hand to hand, so a little more space is good. Having lots of freedom in terms of the route you take to get to the enemy can be very strategic, as long as the audience can still see the action...

jdolecki
07-01-2008, 05:33 PM
When deciding the size of the ring i think you need to consider power usage of the Mech. Are some Mech's going to run out of power just trying to get to the other side?

Building height should vary there should be some places were the Mech upper half is exposed. This will allow for Long range shots, and for the people whose Mech can crawl the can get an advantage.

And whats going to happen to the ring/buildings when someones flamethrower goes out of control?

Also are you going to put a top on this ring? Or make the audience were safety glasses. One Errant airsoft pellet to a spectators eye will neve get you back again. cause the promoter will not be able to get insurance.

DresnerRobotics
07-01-2008, 05:46 PM
When deciding the size of the ring i think you need to consider power usage of the Mech. Are some Mech's going to run out of power just trying to get to the other side?

Building height should vary there should be some places were the Mech upper half is exposed. This will allow for Long range shots, and for the people whose Mech can crawl the can get an advantage.

And whats going to happen to the ring/buildings when someones flamethrower goes out of control?

Also are you going to put a top on this ring? Or make the audience were safety glasses. One Errant airsoft pellet to a spectators eye will neve get you back again. cause the promoter will not be able to get insurance.

I would hope most humanoids can operate for 10-15 minutes, which is what we're shooting for at maximum on thse matches. Good suggestions on the varying height. Use of flamethrowers is pretty much restricted, I originally ruled them out entirely, might be okay for people just using them for show... still to be discussed.

We're using a 10' battlebots type plexi wall, and the weapons were using have fairly low KE projectiles, I seriously doubt any ammo will be able to make it over that wall (given we wont be firing up at all) and come back down with enough force to hurt anyone (if it were ever able to even reach them, which I highly doubt)

The user dcalkins here is David Calkins, organizer and founder of Robogames, and he's signing off on the use of airsoft given that we are placing a tall safety barrier up to protect spectators.

JonHylands
07-01-2008, 05:47 PM
Like I suggested before, we should have a net as the roof. Suspend it from the middle, so we can have a camera up there, inside the net, pointing down.

Most bipeds can run for 15-20 minutes on a single charge, so that shouldn't be a problem...

DresnerRobotics
07-02-2008, 02:09 AM
Quick render I threw together of a potential simple arena layout:

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/arena1.jpg

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/arena3.jpg

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/arena2.jpg

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/arena4.jpg

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/arena5.jpg



Let me know what you think, I just free handed these to get an idea of what we're looking at. (And no, I didn't scale my environment textures, was feeling lazy)

Wingzero01w
07-02-2008, 02:13 AM
A few more buildings, and put some walls around the arena that go from a building to the Boundaries. Basically so the mech can't just go around the outside quickly and come from behind.

dcalkins
07-02-2008, 02:28 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I'm the only one here with actual humanoid expereince...

A layout like that, and you're going to have many, many rounds with no contact between bots. I don't think y'all realize how slow these guys are, how apt they are to fall over, and how hard it is going to be driving them with POV cameras.

You're going to quickly find out the difference between a computer sim and real humanoids.

The arena LOOKS great! It's just that I don't think you realize how tough this is. Watch some of the kung-fu videos on youtube from this year's Robogames. You'll see non-contact for extended periods of time, across a small, 5 foot platform with no buildings....

Wingzero01w
07-02-2008, 02:33 AM
But won't that just increase the people to strive for a better walking gait in the challenge? Even though were restricting shuffle, doesn't mean we can't have fast foward/turning gaits. With extensive trial and error, a nice gait can be done. Plus we still have a tiny bit less then a full year to do it... Though since i have almost no humanoid experience... i guess i really can't talk about making something better on something I've never had.

A-Bot
07-02-2008, 09:14 AM
But won't that just increase the people to strive for a better walking gait in the challenge? Even though were restricting shuffle, doesn't mean we can't have fast foward/turning gaits. With extensive trial and error, a nice gait can be done. Plus we still have a tiny bit less then a full year to do it... Though since i have almost no humanoid experience... i guess i really can't talk about making something better on something I've never had.

I'm also not that impressed with the kung-fu humanoids (some are nice though). I believe that this community can build capable bipeds.

Wingzero01w
07-02-2008, 09:16 AM
I also believe its possible. Just have lots of trial & error along with a lot of focus and concentration, you'll have it eventually.

Adrenalynn
07-02-2008, 10:09 AM
I think you'll find a few people in here with humanoid experience. At least one medaled at RoboGames...

I agree though that humanoids tend towards being ungodly slow and have this tendancy to like to fall on their faces rather than move forward, backward, turn, or stand stock bone still. ;)

I still have a suspicion that limiting the number of joints substantially, and getting their CG down, one could create a pretty quick 'bot. Especially a quad.

Adrenalynn
07-02-2008, 10:10 AM
Tyb - have a look at Eric's times in the running race, and get some input on scale from him too. I filmed his *outstanding* run, and still had time to set the camera down and have a soda. ;)

DresnerRobotics
07-02-2008, 10:37 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I'm the only one here with actual humanoid expereince...

A layout like that, and you're going to have many, many rounds with no contact between bots. I don't think y'all realize how slow these guys are, how apt they are to fall over, and how hard it is going to be driving them with POV cameras.

You're going to quickly find out the difference between a computer sim and real humanoids.

The arena LOOKS great! It's just that I don't think you realize how tough this is. Watch some of the kung-fu videos on youtube from this year's Robogames. You'll see non-contact for extended periods of time, across a small, 5 foot platform with no buildings....


David- good points all around (and its nice to have someone who is experienced keep us grounded), my only thoughts is that since we're using primarily ranged weaponry rather than melee attacks like the robo-one type competitions, we only need to be within 5-10 feet to engage our opponents. I think you're right though, we may need to trim down the size of the arena and I planned on making it so that I could adjust and reconfigure the arena as we go, start them closer together, etc... but I'd rather have too much space than not enough, hence why I figure we'd start off with 15x15.

In an arena the size of the humanoid ones, there wouldnt be much room to maneuver, there wouldnt be much room to add cover... and I fear it would turn into a boring 'exchange fire and not move until someone wins' type match.

Wing- no restriction on walking gaits, was just something that was brought up in discussion. Walking gaits on humanoids are pretty slow all around, but that fits the bill for 'mechwarrior style combat' where the mechs are not sliding around on jumpjets at 200km/h and shooting laserbeams out of their eyes. They're more like big hulking walking tanks.

Wingzero01w
07-02-2008, 10:59 AM
Adrenalynn- I want to see his video's too, do you have a link?

metaform3d
07-02-2008, 11:45 AM
I'm also not that impressed with the kung-fu humanoids (some are nice though). I believe that this community can build capable bipeds.The fact that it hasn't been done well yet, despite the advantage that it would give in Robo-One competitions, should be a clue to how hard it actually is.

DresnerRobotics
07-02-2008, 11:47 AM
The fact that it hasn't been done well yet, despite the advantage that it would give in Robo-One competitions, should be a clue to how hard it actually is.

Personally I'll shoot for slow and stable over the quick and almost manic shuffle used in those competitions though. Different walking gait class entirely for this type of competition, stability will be key, not quickness.

A-Bot
07-02-2008, 01:30 PM
The fact that it hasn't been done well yet, despite the advantage that it would give in Robo-One competitions, should be a clue to how hard it actually is.

Sure it's hard, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't give it our best shot. I'm not starting with a humanoid walker, but I'll get there, and it won't suck.

dcalkins
07-02-2008, 01:40 PM
The fact that it hasn't been done well yet, despite the advantage that it would give in Robo-One competitions, should be a clue to how hard it actually is.Sure it's hard, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't give it our best shot. I'm not starting with a humanoid walker, but I'll get there, and it won't suck.

I think that Stuart's point wasn't that people shouldn't give it their best shot, but that they should know that it's a LOT harder than it seems. Robo-One builders have been at it for around 8 years, and they still have issues walking a straight line and not falling down.

Robots have no proprioception. Which is why they fall down so readily and you do not. The Ax-12's actually allow for it, but I've never known anyone to program for it. Mostly because it's very, very, very arduous.

Again, everyone should give it their best shot, and I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of cool robots.

Just keep in mind that it ain't easy kids. I will say that patience and perseverence are far more important than intelligence.

DresnerRobotics
07-02-2008, 02:07 PM
Robots have no proprioception. Which is why they fall down so readily and you do not. The Ax-12's actually allow for it, but I've never known anyone to program for it. Mostly because it's very, very, very arduous.


You should talk to Jon Hylands in that regard, he's doing some amazing work in regards to the walking gait of his MicroRaptor.

JonHylands
07-02-2008, 02:20 PM
I have a couple extra pieces on MicroRaptor that help in that regard. One is a six-axis IMU, and the other is four FSR pressure sensors on each foot.

Over the next few months, as I get my walking software ramped back up again, I will start using the data from these sensors to help MicroRaptor stay upright.

DresnerRobotics
07-02-2008, 02:43 PM
Quick render I threw together of a potential simple arena layout:

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/arena1.jpg

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/arena3.jpg

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/arena2.jpg

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/arena4.jpg

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/arena5.jpg



Let me know what you think, I just free handed these to get an idea of what we're looking at. (And no, I didn't scale my environment textures, was feeling lazy)



Could I please get some additional feedback on this layout? Its just a rough draft but I figured putting something out there and getting input to adjust it is better than just going in blind.

Also keep in mind we should be able to change things up at the event if we get bored of one layout, but I'd at least like to get an 'official' layout design if we do any 1v1 ladder tourneys.

dcalkins
07-02-2008, 02:46 PM
I have a couple extra pieces on MicroRaptor that help in that regard. One is a six-axis IMU, and the other is four FSR pressure sensors on each foot.

Over the next few months, as I get my walking software ramped back up again, I will start using the data from these sensors to help MicroRaptor stay upright.

Good that you're using IMU's. Not enough people do (though that's Kinesthetics, not proprioception.)

dcalkins
07-02-2008, 02:48 PM
I'd say limit it to two buildings with a 24" footprint, and the paths between each should be at least 18".

Not trying to be a killjoy, just working off experience.

A-Bot
07-02-2008, 02:49 PM
I like it. It's symmetrical, but it's a little more than just a grid. Something completely asymmetrical would be cool too, but harder to navigate. Spacing looks ok, but I'm not sure how accurate the scale is in proportion to your mech model. Quads are gonna need more space than your biped.

A-Bot
07-02-2008, 02:53 PM
Also, I like the idea of a bigger arena. More opportunity for tactics. This isn't Short Attention Span Theater.

DresnerRobotics
07-02-2008, 02:57 PM
I'd say limit it to two buildings with a 24" footprint, and the paths between each should be at least 18".

Not trying to be a killjoy, just working off experience.


That wouldnt leave much room for 2v2 matches though would it?

I was planning on having 2' in between any building or wall, the render isn't to exact scale or anything, I just guestimated it.



Also, I like the idea of a bigger arena. More opportunity for tactics. This isn't Short Attention Span Theater.

We also have to keep in mind these bots will be slow, we dont want to spend 5 minutes finding eachother each match. Gotta keep a balance between size for tactics and strategy... and realistically being able to find eachother and fight before the batteries wear out.

I planned on trying to keep the arena symmetrical as to not give either pilot an advantage.

A-Bot
07-02-2008, 04:11 PM
I was planning on having 2' in between any building or wall, the render isn't to exact scale or anything, I just guestimated it.


Having 2' alleviates any concerns I had.



We also have to keep in mind these bots will be slow, we dont want to spend 5 minutes finding eachother each match. Gotta keep a balance between size for tactics and strategy... and realistically being able to find eachother and fight before the batteries wear out.


Couple things...

First, the airsoft cannons will have enough range to fire clear across the arena, and there will be plenty of open lanes.

Second, walking bots are getting faster. Who cares that the Robonova and similar bots are slower than molasses in January. These guys have some pretty fast bipeds: http://www.farrellrobotics.com/. And quads figure to be mobile. Let's not penalize people who make fast bots by confining them in an area where they can't use their mobility. ;)



I planned on trying to keep the arena symmetrical as to not give either pilot an advantage.

Word.

Adrenalynn
07-02-2008, 04:19 PM
Why not just put wheels on that shufflebot?

A-Bot
07-02-2008, 04:41 PM
Why not just put wheels on that shufflebot?

Zog is the most mobile hobby-grade full humanoid I've seen from a USA-based builder, so I would not be dissin' it. It looks like the feet are lifting up to me, but not real far. Just because it's not marching doesn't mean it's shuffling... there are relative extremes.

DresnerRobotics
07-02-2008, 04:51 PM
I would say Zog would be the exception to what I consider shufflebots, simply because that bot can nearly do jumping jacks it is so agile. DX-117s are perdy.

So who wants to donate a dozen 117s to me for the cause? :D

Adrenalynn
07-02-2008, 05:25 PM
Zog is the most mobile hobby-grade full humanoid I've seen from a USA-based builder, so I would not be dissin' it. It looks like the feet are lifting up to me, but not real far. Just because it's not marching doesn't mean it's shuffling... there are relative extremes.

Ok. Looks like a shufflebot to me, though. I think we'll just need to agree to disagree on this one. I'm not sure how well it'd do stepping over the entry bar that was proposed.

DresnerRobotics
07-02-2008, 05:35 PM
Ok. Looks like a shufflebot to me, though. I think we'll just need to agree to disagree on this one. I'm not sure how well it'd do stepping over the entry bar that was proposed.

It could nearly do a backflip over it, that's easily a $4-5k bot. Fully capable of a 'true' walking gait, the way it shuffles has to do with the fighting style it uses to keep a low COG.

DresnerRobotics
07-02-2008, 06:27 PM
In regards to my first post and looking for any potential sponsors of the event (or players)...

The website got a bit of a facelift. Thanks to SN96 here for the help.

http://mech-warfare.com

Adrenalynn
07-02-2008, 06:36 PM
Rather pretty update!

Wingzero01w
07-02-2008, 07:23 PM
IMHO I think Dr. Giy is the best with walking gaits. Good example to go by.

Check his manoi pf-01 out:

YouTube - MANOI PF01 8Man version

metaform3d
07-02-2008, 07:39 PM
I've tried to stay out of these discussions since I'm not sure I'm "getting" the concept, but here's an idea for what it's worth. I mocked up a quick idea for an urban assault scenario.

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/7/0/5/arena_thumb.jpg (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=513&c=3)

This represents a city intersection, with smooth asphalt streets as the base level. The green areas around buildings are raised slightly, presenting a challenge for any bot not able to clear it. Opposing mechs would start on the back street behind the tall buildings on opposites sides of the arena. They could move left or right to take up positions to fire on the other mech with the lower buildings providing partial cover. The structures in the corners I imagined as wrecked parking garages with ramps to sniping positions.

JonHylands
07-02-2008, 07:47 PM
metaform3D - I like that kind of setup. Very interesting, and could make for some good matches. I especially like the grass idea. Its not a requirement, but any bot that can get up onto it has a distinct advantage...

DresnerRobotics
07-02-2008, 08:42 PM
Meta... holy crap man that's fricken awesome. You can tell what you do for a living :P

I love it! My only concern would be the ramps, that will surely thwart any bot without dynamic balancing, setting the bar even higher or giving a major advantage to those with more work into theirs (maybe thats a good thing though?)

Sienna
07-02-2008, 08:47 PM
I love that concept arena!

Adrenalynn
07-02-2008, 08:54 PM
I think that has to be entirely the idea, Tybs - and that's as it should be.

Meta - AWESOME concept arena!

metaform3d
07-02-2008, 10:00 PM
I love it! My only concern would be the ramps, that will surely thwart any bot without dynamic balancing, setting the bar even higher or giving a major advantage to those with more work into theirs (maybe thats a good thing though?)Thanks -- glad to hear it!

Agreed ramps make it more difficult, but they would also give a big "high ground" advantage to the mech that could handle them. In a team match, especially, the team that could get a mech into the catbird seat would have a much better ability to control the battlefield. I didn't capture it in the model, but I was thinking you'd have two identical ramps at right angles with a known grade. That way builders could program gaits specifically for climbing.

A-Bot
07-02-2008, 11:03 PM
One thing I wanted to mention about the arena... just need to make sure the target colors are not used anywhere. This is critical if we are allowing autonomous control, which we should. My feeling is the arena should be neutral - grays, black, white. Thoughts?

DresnerRobotics
07-02-2008, 11:16 PM
One thing I wanted to mention about the arena... just need to make sure the target colors are not used anywhere. This is critical if we are allowing autonomous control, which we should. My feeling is the arena should be neutral - grays, black, white. Thoughts?

Agreed, one of the reasons I wanted to stick with an urban environment, easy to stick to a specific color scheme.

Floors are dark grey, structures could be black and light grey.

dcalkins
07-02-2008, 11:25 PM
You going to dictate robot colors, too?

DresnerRobotics
07-02-2008, 11:56 PM
You going to dictate robot colors, too?

To leave the competition open to autonomous bots it was being proposed that the target plates we were using fall within a selection of pre-determined colors. Could be a matter of just slapping a sticker on it.

LoDebar
07-12-2008, 10:54 PM
I finally got around to reading this thread.

Here are my comments. Make the buildings out of a foam like material that is cheap. Let the buildings be a consumable in the contest. Let the bots damage/destroy the buildings. I figure at some point in the future the building would become more realistic with floors and such that get exposed during combat.

I like a layout such that a robot can choose at least two different directions to attack their opponent from behind. Don't choose a layout that has a main center road that the robot has to enter. This will set up a strategy of how fast a robot can get into the path, and just snipe the other robot away.

To add a little more realism, the pathways between buildings should be more like real pathways between buildings. Uniform in width. May even want to paint a road scheme on the ground.

Pete

A-Bot
07-13-2008, 07:27 AM
To leave the competition open to autonomous bots it was being proposed that the target plates we were using fall within a selection of pre-determined colors. Could be a matter of just slapping a sticker on it.

I've been thinking about colored targets, and the problem for autonomous bots is that we'd have to make sure nothing else is the color of the targets. If we choose red as the target color, then no one can paint their bot red, which could be an issue. If all goes as planned, I will strongly consider painting my mech a non-boring color.

Maybe the target design for autonomous recognition could be something more specific, such as a colored circle on a white background. Just something to think about.

JonHylands
07-13-2008, 08:40 AM
The easiest thing to do for now, would be to have 3 or 4 standard colors for targets. Red, blue, green, orange, yellow, whatever.

Then we just choose for each bot a target color that contrasts well with the bot.

DresnerRobotics
07-13-2008, 09:06 AM
The easiest thing to do for now, would be to have 3 or 4 standard colors for targets. Red, blue, green, orange, yellow, whatever.

Then we just choose for each bot a target color that contrasts well with the bot.

Exactly. Arena will likely be grayscale anyway.

Adrenalynn
07-13-2008, 09:52 AM
How about pulsing IR? If the pulse is a rare but known series it doesn't matter what is what color.

ScuD
07-13-2008, 10:22 AM
Don't know too much about robot vision, but for those using camera's i'd think pulsed IR would be harder to detect than a colour? given the low frame-rate and difficulties to synch to the pulse.

Would be a lot easier to detect using opto-transistors though.

Love the battlefield layour as well, and i agree that varying terrain levels would provide more experienced builders with another challenge.

Adrenalynn
07-13-2008, 10:26 AM
Naw, single colors are almost impossible to detect with a high reliance from a camera. You need super unique multi-color stripes or unique shapes + color if you don't want to be shooting people out in the audience. Just ask Tybs what the reliability of a single color is at RoboGames. J5 was getting quite cranky as the day wore on and the lighting changed.

ScuD
07-13-2008, 10:47 AM
In that case I don't see why there would be a need to have the environment grayscaled and/or put limits on the bots colours.

What did you mean with the pulsed IR? just beacon-like transmitters on the targets?

Adrenalynn
07-13-2008, 11:19 AM
Yup. Beacons. Personally, I don't really care if it's coded. If it blinks in the IR, I'll shoot it, and that includes the tourist with the disallowed camera flash range finder. ;)

ScuD
07-13-2008, 11:41 AM
I think there'll be a lot of autonomous bot shooting themselves with the wide range of IR sensors used :veryhappy:

Then again you'd just have to take that into consideration.

Meh, each method has its flaws

Adrenalynn
07-13-2008, 11:46 AM
If the bot is capable of shooting itself and/or does, I think the designer should be forced to wear all the targets and stand naked in the middle of the ring until all 'bots are out of ammo.:p:p:p

Seriously, though, I haven't seen a single-color solution that is worth anything using general purpose cameras.

I have a thresholding system that works pretty well given a filtered camera, but that's not going to be useful for navigation - or for audience enjoyment.

ScuD
07-13-2008, 12:57 PM
So basically you just wanna see naked people get hurt... :p

At this point i'm already in over my head with weapon design and I haven't even started building the mech yet, let alone covering anything regarding stability control, so I'm not even gonna think about autonomous yet:o

JonHylands
07-13-2008, 03:57 PM
Seriously, though, I haven't seen a single-color solution that is worth anything using general purpose cameras.

RoboRealm seems to be pretty usable, if the color and camera are tuned ahead of time. I realize that lighting and shadows and such can play havoc with that in the real world, but it will be something worth experimenting with...

Thinking about flashing LEDs, we could have an IR LED in the center of the target that flashes, half a second on, half a second off. I don't think there are any standard IR sensors that work that way.

Adrenalynn
07-13-2008, 04:24 PM
I was pretty particularly referring to the exact venue we're discussion (although it's not alone in its lighting complications). At the Robogames venue the lighting changed drastically throughout the day and the vision system had to be retuned almost constantly. The nearly hundred year old glass incredibly discolored the environment as the sun position changed. The white balance, what there was of it, changed every few minutes, as did the saturation.

A half second flashing LED would be more than adequate for reliable target identification, at least in 1:1 play. And it's the simplest circuit I can think of, being trivial with electronics 101 discreet components that are basically free. I'm all for that!

ScuD
07-13-2008, 04:56 PM
Half a sec on/ half a sec off would give meager modulation and reduce range with simple opto-transistors.

You could use a not much used frequency and make a discrete filter (or abuse a PLL) for the receiver part though.

Should be feasible

dcalkins
07-14-2008, 12:31 AM
Practical experince - not to be a downer, just been down this road before as realtes to blob tracking (which is what a "red, blue, green, orange, yellow, whatever" colored building is.)

What happens when there's a person watching the event who is wearing a "red, blue, green, orange, yellow, whatever" colored t-shirt - who is equidistant from the autonomous robot and the target building or target robot?

Again, I'm not trying to be discouraging, but trying to relay real-world circumstances that inexperienced programmers don't tend to take into account when they start this train of study?

You just have to train for real-world circumstances...

Adrenalynn
07-14-2008, 12:48 AM
That's exactly the point I was getting at. Other than the idiot with the unauthorized flash (and some expensive autofocus systems) - there's not frequently going to be an IR source pointing at it and flashing a known beacon.

DresnerRobotics
07-14-2008, 12:55 AM
Good point there guys.

I'm thinking we could produce a very small beacon for this exact purpose, perhaps flash it at 30hz or some predetermined frequency... or even just do 1 second on and 1 off second. I'd just as soon make only 3-4 of these units, self contained, and attach them on a per match basis. I don't want to burden Jon with any additional complexity to the targeting units as he's already doing so much.

My only concern is it might be a bit bright for a camera to pick up (as most are sensitive to infrared, right?).

Adrenalynn
07-14-2008, 01:05 AM
Most consumer cameras, unmodified, are insensitive in the IR. They have a filter blocking IR so that skintones will look more natural. Generally they need to be modified.

Detecting IR is trivial without a camera. The sensitivity is just dollars. If you're willing to throw $80 into a tuned sensor and filter, you're going to detect it around corners from the bounce...

The circuit to flash an LED can be built for a couple dollars at radioshack, cheaper online. I'd just use a 555/556 and call it a day, nothing fancy, all discreet.

I like Jon's suggestion of 500ms on/off. 1s is too long. Honestly, if I see it ramp up or down, I'm shooting first and apologizing later. 500ms is a lifetime in autonomy.

DresnerRobotics
07-14-2008, 01:36 AM
Yup, I was thinking the same 555 circuit with perhaps a little button battery. Could make them little Robot Pins that say "Shoot me"

Adrenalynn
07-14-2008, 02:03 AM
"Shoot me" - that's awesome!

darkback2
07-14-2008, 02:23 AM
you guys need help. How hard is it to make these darn mech things RC, and you want to make them autonomous? I'll be happy if lisa can hold a freeking gun and limp around the arena. Heck...if she can just limp around...forget the gun...I'll be happy. Autonimous. (pulls out what little hair I have left, and then goes to work on the hair on chin.)

DB

JonHylands
07-14-2008, 07:11 AM
you guys need help. How hard is it to make these darn mech things RC, and you want to make them autonomous? I'll be happy if lisa can hold a freeking gun and limp around the arena. Heck...if she can just limp around...forget the gun...I'll be happy. Autonimous. (pulls out what little hair I have left, and then goes to work on the hair on chin.)

DB

Well, I don't think the general consensus is to make these things autonomous any time soon.

I doubt MicroRaptor will be autonomous in year one, at least not as far as it can compete in this competition. It is something that I'm aiming for, because of course autonomy and AI is the whole reason I got into robotics in the first place.

A-Bot
07-14-2008, 07:28 AM
I doubt MicroRaptor will be autonomous in year one, at least not as far as it can compete in this competition. It is something that I'm aiming for, because of course autonomy and AI is the whole reason I got into robotics in the first place.

My hope is that year two we end up with two competitions- automomous and piloted, with dual-entry allowed. I'm also skeptical that anyone (me included) will really pull off a viable autonomous competitor.

A-Bot
07-14-2008, 07:30 AM
On a related note, if we do end up with autonomous-only rules, I would strongly favor requiring that the bot be completely sef-contained - no help from a remote pc.

JonHylands
07-14-2008, 08:14 AM
On a related note, if we do end up with autonomous-only rules, I would strongly favor requiring that the bot be completely sef-contained - no help from a remote pc.

That will make it an order of magnitude more difficult, since we won't (without spending $5K on servos) be able to have an onboard PC capable of running something like RoboRealm.

Adrenalynn
07-14-2008, 10:46 AM
On a related note, if we do end-up with human controlled remote controlled toys, I would strongly favor requiring that an ice-pick be inserted into the frontal lobe of the human controlling the "robot", and that it be jiggled frantically back and forth throughout the contest...

I disagree, Jon, I think it's many orders of magnitude (A) and (B) will do nothing but destroy any possibility of autonomy in robots weighing less than several hundred pounds for at least a decade, and destroy the ultimate future of all real autonomy in robotics. I think the ice pick solution should put things on a more even keel, though.

rudukai13
07-30-2008, 01:36 AM
What about doing something with a bridge? Just like a suspended obstacle that you could get knocked off of or something...I could probably come up with a few simple designs on Solidworks if you guys give me some themes and size constraints to work with.

elios
09-27-2008, 02:21 AM
maybe make the buildings out of hebel, as it is pretty crumbly, very light and easy to build with... if by chance a stray biped fell on top, the hebel might crumple and break.....

otherwise get a carpenter to make replica buildings out of thin balsa or something, punching etc would break the wood and make it much more realistic.

4mem8
09-27-2008, 02:34 AM
elios: Balsa is good but it is also very expensive now and considering the amount of buildings in the arena it could get costly.

DresnerRobotics
09-27-2008, 02:37 AM
Also have to consider that we'll be running matches all 3 days, arena probably wont last if its destructible.

4mem8
09-27-2008, 02:39 AM
Not to mention all the debris the mechs would have to contend with.

elios
09-27-2008, 03:55 PM
true, maybe laminae could be a good idea? stronger than balsa and its basically single layer ply.:confused:

jes1510
10-01-2008, 03:09 PM
Have you considered foam core for the buildings. It's easy to work with and cut. Add some nice paint and they could look great. They would be pretty durable too.

dcalkins
10-28-2008, 08:31 PM
As it stands now:

The arena will be an 8 foot by 8 foot enclosed arena, 2 feet off the ground. Andrew/Tyberious can put in as many bldgs as he wants, but I suspect that 9 would be the max in terms of useability...

The arena will be shared with the ant-weight combat people, but neither group will likely use it more than 4 hr/day. The ant guys typically are only using it Fri and Sat for about two 2 hr sessions each day. So there will be lots of time to test...

DresnerRobotics
10-28-2008, 08:38 PM
Yup, I was checking out a similar arena at iHobby, should be about the right size for our purposes.

I'll probably limit it to 6-9 buildings at most, just enough to provide cover fire. Gotta keep it simple for year 1.

Modelmaker
10-28-2008, 09:40 PM
I finally finished reading this thread and I have a few ideas for the buildings.

How about castable foam? I have rigid polyurethanes in a variety of densities. The buildings can have as much or little detail you want.

I can help build the arena if you wish. I most likely qon;t be able to get to Robogames but I can build the bldgs here and they can ship out there.

Adrenalynn
10-28-2008, 10:25 PM
"Chicago Area" - Tybs could just shove 'em down his pants and bring 'em out with him... So many zinger lines to complete that statement, so few of them family-friendly... :tongue:

4mem8
10-28-2008, 11:46 PM
Man, I wish I was there to help you guys out, right up my ally , Sad :sad:

Sienna
10-29-2008, 08:29 AM
Does that mean that there will be no opaque exterior wall?

(That pretty much blows my hope of painting the bot subdued urban and rendering it invisible :P It also means our camera systems are going to have to be crowd tolerant. Hope no one is using auto-aim this year!)

ScuD
10-29-2008, 09:18 AM
How about one-way mirror film on the plexi ring? Spectators have good view, robots get complete and utter chaos :tongue:

billyzelsnack
10-29-2008, 12:04 PM
Maybe it's because my robot will be at the upper end of the size constraints, but 8x8 seems a bit small. The office I built in my basement is an enclosed area with inside dimensions of 8x8 so I have a very good idea sense of what this size is.

Has anyone worked out the official scale yet? With that the buildings can have real world scales. We could even have human height cameras mounted in the arena to give human pov coverage of the event. If the area ends up completely enclosed that might even be a cooler and unique way to present the event. Everyone views from a mech or human height perspective.

Sienna
10-29-2008, 01:02 PM
Even if the arena doesn't end up completely enclosed, the concept of road level cameras sounds awesome!

Adrenalynn, how many composite sources can your gear record at one time?

Adrenalynn
10-29-2008, 01:45 PM
I can mix 8+4 live, and can record the split. Decks for recording? Probably four is most reasonable without having to go to the esoteric [heavy] stuff.

darkback2
10-29-2008, 02:04 PM
I would love to take a split off of the video for my little recorder...or atleast get a copy of the recording. Also I have a sony HD camera for shooting video of the event.

As for the arena size 8*8 seams perfect because that way we won't spend too much time trying to move the robots around the arena. If the arena is too big, then interest will be quickly lost as the robots fumble about. Remember we can't look at the robots in the arena so it will be hard enough to navigate.

Charlie isn't that slow, but she sure isn't quick.

Manuvering around buildings and stuff will also slow down the action.

Also...2 on 2 matches could prove fun.

DB

Adrenalynn
10-29-2008, 02:16 PM
We'll be mastering in Digibeta. I'll have miniDV/DV/DVCPro onsite. I'll have the DVCPro HD camera there too (a real ENG/HD cam)

I can spit a limited number of amplified splits out to other monitors/recorders. Depends on what other A/V needs an input and how physically far away they are as to how many will be available. If it's all close to the input - 16 live-outs are doable.

RoboKid
01-26-2009, 11:04 PM
I think that a fully enclosed field is not only a good idea but really a necessity. Not just for the the hardcore class but also for the airsoft class. An airsoft pellet doesn't make very good friends with a spectator. On a more serious note, in the hardcore class I've been reading a lot about rockets, high power CO2 cannons etc. If any of those gets loose, serious trouble. I recommend lexan (polycarbonate), not plexiglass. plexiglass will still crack and shatter and is a nightmare to transport. You can find 4'x8' sheets here:

http://freckleface.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/polycarbonatesheetonequarterinchthick.html

for $170. Lexan is also clear, allowing for good visibility, and doesn't scratch easily.

DresnerRobotics
01-26-2009, 11:11 PM
The entire reason the hardcore class was introduced was that we were moving to a fully enclosed in a combat cage, 8x8x4.

It's already built and available for our use at Robogames.

RoboKid
01-28-2009, 03:55 PM
The hardcore weapons class has a field one quarter the size of the airsoft class?

Adrenalynn
01-28-2009, 04:00 PM
Not as I understand it. All of the events will be in the Ant/Beetle box. Hardcore is permissible now only because the event will be in the full-enclosed box instead of the original partial shield that was first identified.

RoboKid
01-30-2009, 08:16 AM
So what is the final ruling on field dimensions? I've been reading lots of different numbers. 8x8x4'?

DresnerRobotics
01-30-2009, 09:09 AM
8x8x4 is the final number, at least for year 1. I don't have the resources to build our own, so we're sharing the Ant/Beetle weight Combots cage.

jes1510
01-30-2009, 10:31 AM
Man that is going to be tight. Firefights should be short and furious.

gdubb2
01-30-2009, 11:17 AM
I'm more worried about the 2 ft. roadways.. Bheka is 13 " wide. But on the up side.. right here in my playroom is a pool table with 23 inches inside between the legs at the ends. Perfect for practicing.

Gotta get all practiced up... Bwaaahaahaa

Gary

DresnerRobotics
02-08-2009, 12:09 AM
We're looking at these two, and may very well build for both. Please let me know what you guys think, each maintain 2' between buildings.

Option 1:
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/arena_272584.jpg


Option 2:
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/2/arena2_266281.jpg

Connor
02-08-2009, 01:29 AM
Not a 3D view, but this was the other one I had came up with too..

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/6/4/2/arena2.jpg

Adrenalynn
02-08-2009, 01:57 AM
If I'm not mistaken, Connor's suggestion is like your option 2, but puts the big cover in the middle, encouraging people to get out away from the walls into the center and into the "kill zone". Putting the large cover against the walls seems to encourage "camping", no?

Connor
02-08-2009, 02:08 AM
If I'm not mistaken, Connor's suggestion is like your option 2, but puts the big cover in the middle, encouraging people to get out away from the walls into the center and into the "kill zone". Putting the large cover against the walls seems to encourage "camping", no?

FYI, both option 2, and the one I posted are my designs. (Tyb got tired and didn't do the third.) :happy: I like option 2, as it gives "ambuse" ability.. Option 3, will provide a little more excitement I think.. I think all three are good options and hopefully we can change them out by making the buildings so the we can place them in the arena and "lock" them down in a set location. I have a few more ideas, but, they require dropping the 2' requirement and going with 18" or making areas which mechs simply can not pass, however, could shoot through (like ally ways etc)

Thanks, Connor

DresnerRobotics
02-08-2009, 07:59 AM
Yes, Option 2 was Connor's, I just threw it together in 3d.

I like the 3rd option that Connor drew up as well, the only problem I see with it is that it greatly increases difficulty in maneuvering through the arena. I don't know how many people have built and driven bipeds around, but usually they have to stop to turn, a forward-left or forward-right gait is a bit tricky and not much easier to drive with. Option 1 allows people to maneuver down straight 'roads' and focus on running and gunning, Option 2 isn't quite as open, but the roads it does have are straight shots. With Option 3, there is no straight shot to make it from one side to the other.

For year 1 I was trying to err on the side of simplicity to make it easier on everyone.

Sienna
02-08-2009, 10:52 AM
I like Connor's 3rd option (The non 3D one) at the moment. I think any range that has asymmetry will add to the excitingness of the competition. I agree with Adrenalynn that option 2 will encourage camping.

Sienna
02-08-2009, 11:19 AM
Why not something entirely asymmetric?

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/6/8/5/mecharena.jpg
A lot of strategies could be generated in an arena that offers multiple paths out depending on your mech's size and your driving skills.

gdubb2
02-08-2009, 11:55 AM
I like #3 the best, with #1 a good second. Versatility of placement will add a good new dimensiion. I don't much like roadways less than 2 ft. due to the width of the quads (self serving here). Shoot through alleys that no one could get through would be fine with me as it wouldn't give any one design an advantage.

It's tough enough keeping oriented with just the camera view to look at. I found that out yesterday just trying to manouver under a pool table with a footstool in the way. The legs of the table are 1 ft. square with 2 ft. between then on the ends. perfect for practice, but very hard to do.

Gary

DresnerRobotics
02-08-2009, 01:58 PM
I like your design Sienna, but I think 2 foot wide streets are a must.

Connor's option 3 is going to be pretty tricky to maneuver with no straight shots across the arena as well, might feel a bit crowded.

Adrenalynn
02-08-2009, 02:17 PM
I like #3 the best, with #1 a good second. Versatility of placement will add a good new dimensiion. I don't much like roadways less than 2 ft. due to the width of the quads (self serving here). Shoot through alleys that no one could get through would be fine with me as it wouldn't give any one design an advantage.

It's tough enough keeping oriented with just the camera view to look at. I found that out yesterday just trying to manouver under a pool table with a footstool in the way. The legs of the table are 1 ft. square with 2 ft. between then on the ends. perfect for practice, but very hard to do.

Gary

Yoink that lens out of there, Gary, and toss a 140deg near-fisheye in. Or at least a 90deg lens.

I don't want to have to ban myself, but the link in my signature line may be helpful in the lens department. ;)

gdubb2
02-08-2009, 02:21 PM
Adren.. are the lenses in these el-cheapo cameras basicaly interchangable?? I'm very up on the idea of a wide angle or more.. 60 deg. is terrible..

Gary

Adrenalynn
02-08-2009, 02:25 PM
There is a standard mini-cam/board-cam lens. If you want to shoot a photo of your lens removed, or give the thread measurements, I can confirm that you have a board-cam lens. But if it's removable at all it should be the standard yes.

You're looking for board-cam, not CS-mount.

Here's the difference:

Board Cam:
http://emonitoringsolutions.com/shopping/images/microlens.gif

CS-Mount:

http://emonitoringsolutions.com/shopping/images/4.5-10mmHR.gif

gdubb2
02-08-2009, 02:33 PM
Great.. thanks, I'll look into it.:happy:... +rep

Gary

Firestorm65
02-08-2009, 03:44 PM
Would this idea work at all? You can use all three of the other suggestions and many more with a modular setup.

gdubb2
02-08-2009, 03:49 PM
Adren,
To avoid further hijacking of this thread, I asked you a question on the Wireless video thread.
Gary

Firestorm65
02-09-2009, 11:04 AM
Actually, since this is only a 8'x8' arena with 2' streets, wouldn't it make more sense to use thin walls instead of buildings? Not as stylish, but more room to maneuver.

Firestorm65
03-04-2009, 02:31 PM
Has the arena design been finalized yet or is it still in the design process?

Kadski
03-23-2009, 11:39 PM
I made an arena in Sketchup what do you think?

http://img19.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=corner1a.jpg

DresnerRobotics
03-23-2009, 11:56 PM
I would love something like that, unfortunately as of now all we have is an 8x8 arena, and we need 2 feet clearance between walls and buildings...

DresnerRobotics
03-24-2009, 11:36 AM
I want to throw something out there that I'm strongly considering.

Two arenas.

We use the 8x8x4 for anyone who wants to give hardcore class a run. Personally I doubt my mech will be capable this year, I'm not sure how many others out there are planning for it.

Now for airsoft class, I have an idea of building a 15x15x10 cube out of PVC with a 4 foot tall plywood wall around the bottom. The top portion will be netted using heavier duty mosquito netting (stuff is very see through, and should be more than enough to stop airsoft bb ricochets. Any suggestions on what to use exactly would be appreciated, emphasis on visibility and strength.

Now with a bigger arena, this opens up the option for 2v2 matches, more buildings/configurations, and more area to manuever. We could move up to 3' wide streets easily, so we wont be so cramped.

Thoughts?

CogswellCogs
03-24-2009, 01:13 PM
Sounds like a great idea to me. Do you even need plywood around the bottom ? It seems like the netting would be enough to stop nerf rockets and airsoft BBs. Is there a velocity cap on the 'soft core' airsoft weapons ? The netting would be easy enough to test.

In an earlier post, someone suggested the mechs would take too long to reach each other in a larger arena. I'm skeptical of that, but have no experience to justify my skepticism. Are you concerned about it ?

Adrenalynn
03-24-2009, 01:27 PM
I checked the ASTM guidance, and wasn't able to find anything related. For paintball, guidance is: ASTM F2278-03

DresnerRobotics
03-24-2009, 01:34 PM
Sounds like a great idea to me. Do you even need plywood around the bottom ? It seems like the netting would be enough to stop nerf rockets and airsoft BBs. Is there a velocity cap on the 'soft core' airsoft weapons ? The netting would be easy enough to test.

In an earlier post, someone suggested the mechs would take too long to reach each other in a larger arena. I'm skeptical of that, but have no experience to justify my skepticism. Are you concerned about it ?

The plywood is for immersion, so we're not staring at spectators feet. I'll paint the plywood grey, or even go crazy and paint a cityscape.

As far as 15x15 being too big, well, my guns can easily shoot 15 feet, can yours? This isn't going to be a melee combat competition, even if you're at the far end of the arena as long as I have LOS, I can shoot you.

sthmck
03-24-2009, 02:04 PM
I think it is a good idea. Just means more work for you though.

Connor
03-24-2009, 02:20 PM
The plywood is for immersion, so we're not staring at spectators feet. I'll paint the plywood grey, or even go crazy and paint a cityscape.

As far as 15x15 being too big, well, my guns can easily shoot 15 feet, can yours? This isn't going to be a melee combat competition, even if you're at the far end of the arena as long as I have LOS, I can shoot you.

Go look at this.. You can get blimeshed copies too cheaper..

http://backdropwarehouse.com/TnCommCitiesGrp.htm

Other places have them too, just search on model train backgrops.

Adrenalynn
03-24-2009, 02:39 PM
That's awesome!

Kinkos will print on vinyl very reasonably. I had them knock out some graphics for a booth overnight, and they did an amazing job for like $120 - that was that 10' tall by 8' wide, full color.

Connor
03-24-2009, 02:56 PM
That's awesome!

Kinkos will print on vinyl very reasonably. I had them knock out some graphics for a booth overnight, and they did an amazing job for like $120 - that was that 10' tall by 8' wide, full color.

My other hobby is model trains.. So making stuff look real is a big deal.. O scale should be good enough...

Thanks, Connor

DresnerRobotics
03-24-2009, 03:15 PM
Only issue I see with those photographic backdrops is they'll wreak havoc on anyone trying to use vision tracking, etc.

darkback2
03-24-2009, 03:26 PM
vision tracking...if the backdrop wreaks havoc...good for me who isn't using it!!!!

sthmck
03-24-2009, 03:33 PM
Only issue I see with those photographic backdrops is they'll wreak havoc on anyone trying to use vision tracking, etc.

Hm, just have to build more robust vision tracking system I guess.

jes1510
03-24-2009, 03:36 PM
Would clear plastic with lots of people behind it not do the same thing?

gdubb2
03-24-2009, 03:42 PM
How about 12 x 12 to keep within standard plywood sheet sizes.

I'm OK with about anything. A larger arena does have it's merits though.

But more walking around also eats batteries faster.

Gary

Sienna
03-25-2009, 09:10 AM
Hell, I would love a larger arena to compete in. Unfortionately, my vote doesn't really count as I will be one of the people to not make it out to robogames.

darkback2
03-25-2009, 11:00 AM
Sienna...sorry to hear that you won't be there. I was looking forward to seeing your cool biped stomping around on its spring laden feet...

I guess one consern that I have expressed before...

Upside:
Having a big arena makes 2 on 2 rounds possible...
Would allow more fans to stand around the arena
Would allow robots with more powerful/accurate guns to have an advantage.

Downside:
Battery life?
Take too long for robots to find eachother
Make matches too slow
Driving a robot through a camera is hard enough. Trying to do it in an arena that big might be even harder.

Perhaps we could have two zones, thus running several matches at a time. One in each corner or something. That way people could walk around and catch action in different matches being run simultaniously for one on one matches, and 2 on 2 matches would still be possible...robots would simply move out of bounds if they left their zone. That way we could adjust the size of the zones after a few test rounds.

I don't know...just an idea.

sthmck
03-25-2009, 11:44 AM
Downside:
Battery life?
Take too long for robots to find each other
Make matches too slow
Driving a robot through a camera is hard enough. Trying to do it in an arena that big might be even harder.



Not to knock on your downsides, but I don't that the arena size would be that big of a deal.
Tyb mentioned earlier that this isn't a melee competition. If you start thinking about this comp in a long range way then things don't seem so bad.
For example I am pretty sure the gun you are using would have no problem shooting across the arena even if it were 20 x 20. Yeah the accuracy would suck, but you still don't have to get that close. Its not like you have to be right beside the other mech to score a hit. You don't need to waste battery getting close to the target.
The other thing is that since the arena is bigger it allows the streets to be wider allowing for board attack lines. I do agree with you that the matches might be slower, but I think that by making it 2v2 the boringness of a slower match would be negated by the whole 2v2 dynamic.
As for the camera, it is going to be hard no matter what.

Omegaspecter
03-25-2009, 01:08 PM
I think the number of buildings and how they are arranged will matter more than a few extra feet in any direction. The number and location of buildings will decide how hard/long it takes to find the other mech, and if there are long straight aways to fire down.

MSpurk
03-25-2009, 08:00 PM
Now for airsoft class, I have an idea of building a 15x15x10 cube out of PVC with a 4 foot tall plywood wall around the bottom.

BRILLIANT! Echoing Gary's comments 12x12 or 16x16 may prove more desireable, more area less cutting.

I'm also borderline on the "would love to come, but not enough money to get there" list. Hoping to make it, but it isn't looking pretty.

-Matt-

MSK Mech Commander
04-05-2009, 12:57 PM
Only issue I see with those photographic backdrops is they'll wreak havoc on anyone trying to use vision tracking, etc.


Hm, just have to build more robust vision tracking system I guess.

Can't you just program the vision software to find a moving object besides yourself?

Adrenalynn
04-05-2009, 04:44 PM
Sure. And then you're blind when it stops moving. Just call it T-Rex. :) Even worse, when you're moving, everything in the frame becomes a moving object. So you're going to have to figure out how to cancel that for every possible speed, every possible gait, every possible angle. That's kinda non-trivial. And then you're blind when YOU'RE moving and someone else is moving similarly.

TrevorBrummel
07-29-2009, 01:24 PM
Hey, totally new here, so feel free to take my comments as the inexperienced ramblings they are.

I'm very interested in the idea Mech-Warfare and hope to have something cobbled together and ready for combat in time for the 2011 games. One thing I want to point out is that this thread kind of ignores the possibilities of the hardcore event. I've read most of posts out here and I see people throwing ideas for paintball netting or even nothing above a 1-3ft wall that encloses the arena. I just want to point out that, based on how the hardcore rules are setup now, there is some serious potential for real damage to happen. The rules state that any 'BB-gun type weapons' are allowed and that the max FPS is 450 with no restrictions on RoF. Under these conditions, a mech could get pushed over while spraying out steel BB's at 450FPS. This could very easily critically injure spectators:sad:, even kill someone:eek:. Also, the potential for 'flamethrower incidents' is incredibly high. One shot to a valve or tank could spell disaster for the arena, 'bots, and spectators. I would suggest either stepping up the rule discussion and getting revised restrictions out ASAP or building an arena that can take the abuse. That or kill off the hardcore class.

DresnerRobotics
07-29-2009, 01:30 PM
Those would be hardcore class weapons, which are only allowed in a fully enclosed arena such as the battlebots arenas. The mesh netting arena is strictly Airsoft class only.

Safety is a primary concern here, and we take every step to ensure safety of the crowd. Even the airsoft class bots have to pass a safety inspection and fire at the netting.

Common sense says that thin mesh netting isn't going to stop flamethrowers and high FPS ferrous rounds ;)

TrevorBrummel
07-29-2009, 01:58 PM
OK. I'm sorry, I didn't know that they were having the hardcore matches in a different arena.
My bad...:robotindifferent:

DresnerRobotics
07-29-2009, 02:00 PM
No worries! We have some sticky threads you might want to check out, updated rules and FAQs. :)

Robot Dude
07-30-2009, 03:04 PM
Has scale been mentioned for the building and scenary? Might be good to chose something that the model railroad people use? If something was chosen as the standard it would mean contestants could help out by bringing along scenary. Just an idea...

DresnerRobotics
07-30-2009, 03:15 PM
I think someone figured out what railroad scale was... I know we're shooting for roughly 1:24 scale. Anyone know what that is in terms of railroad? Scale O?

mannyr7
07-30-2009, 03:31 PM
HO scale (1/87) is Half O (1/43) The closest is 'G' scale. Various manufacturers produce accessories in 1/20 to 1/24th scale.


Exerpts From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

G scale is a scale for model railways (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_railway), and because of its size and durability, G scale is often used outdoors. Such installations are known as garden railways (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_railway).
G scale was introduced by Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk under their brand name of LGB (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-scale_LGB), meant for indoor/outdoor use. Lehman was, until its recent bankruptcy, the major European manufacturer of G scale trains, and considered the one that really made garden railways popular. Their trains are sold as the Lehmann Gross Bahn (or "Lehmann Big Train").


Traditionally, G scale is the use of 45 mm gauge track, as used for standard gauge (Gauge 1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauge_1)) models, for modelling 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+3⁄8 in) narrow gauge railways (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrow_gauge_railway), using the correct scale of 1:22.5.

Connor
07-30-2009, 03:56 PM
I think someone figured out what railroad scale was... I know we're shooting for roughly 1:24 scale. Anyone know what that is in terms of railroad? Scale O?

Yea, I had that idea a while back.. It was more G scale.. G scale comes in varius sizes.. but several of them are around 1:24 scale.

Thanks, Connor.

ScuD
07-30-2009, 04:18 PM
If you can get into the realm of warhammer 40k'ish scenery, or Rackham AT-43, you'll be exploring an entirely new event ... one that I've been bugged about for years, actually.

Robot Dude
08-06-2009, 10:15 AM
Cool! 1:24 or 1:25 scale plastic model kit parts could be used to make the bots more life like. Great selection! :D

Robot Dude
08-10-2009, 01:16 PM
I went to Hobby Lobby last Saturday. Been a long time since I looked at styrene model kits! I found the popular scale for military things is 1:35th scale. Might be a good source for weaponry and militaryish stuff... Just can't use the people. Of course there is a lot of 1:25th and 1:24th scale cars and trucks. Half the fun is to make the mech look more realistic. I didn't really see anything in the model rail road area close to the 1:25th scale. :P

nuggy
08-10-2009, 07:04 PM
hey this may heve been suggested, how about wire framed buildings with some tissue paper sides... then the warriors could smash through them and set up a strafe type manouver coming out from cover to fire. you just redrape tissue paper and sticky tape to rebuild after round... the wire forms could be pyramid and cylinder boxes even a hi rise:veryhappy: etc for some scenery breakup.. also how about a small pot plant or too for trees etc, easily moved...

regards

nug

lnxfergy
08-10-2009, 07:29 PM
hey this may heve been suggested, how about wire framed buildings with some tissue paper sides... then the warriors could smash through them and set up a strafe type manouver coming out from cover to fire. you just redrape tissue paper and sticky tape to rebuild after round... the wire forms could be pyramid and cylinder boxes even a hi rise:veryhappy: etc for some scenery breakup.. also how about a small pot plant or too for trees etc, easily moved...

regards

nug

We've discussed small tree-like stuff, the only major issue is how much it might obstruct maneuvering (if tree is wider at a particular place, it might be hard to drive around, given the small field of view on most of the cameras).

I'd think that tissue paper would cause MAJOR debris... can you imagine a shuffling biped stuck on top of a piece of tissue paper? It'd probably be the end of the run for them if they couldn't get off it.

-Fergs

nuggy
08-10-2009, 09:00 PM
fair enough, i was envisaging the torn paper sort of staying attached to the building.

regards

lnxfergy
08-10-2009, 09:25 PM
fair enough, i was envisaging the torn paper sort of staying attached to the building.

regards

If nothing else, it'd be an awesome promo video, see a bot come crashing through a building....

-Fergs

mannyr7
08-13-2009, 01:25 AM
Check out these terrain pieces! 1/72nd scale Battletech! I know this has nothing to do with our event, but wow! Looks like foamcore slathered with textured paint and drybrushed. Cheap, easy, and to great effect. http://www.timdp.members.sonic.net/battletech/gallery/DunDraCon/ParkBattle.jpg
More pics here:
http://www.timdp.members.sonic.net/battletech/GamingBattleMech.html

lnxfergy
08-13-2009, 09:56 AM
My only concern with scenery that realistic is: when a quad falls over on it... it's really gonna mess it up. :veryhappy:

-Fergs

ScuD
08-13-2009, 10:29 AM
True enough, but you'd be surprised how fast you can whip these buildings up...

My brother/father/brother-in-law/etc are all wargames fanatics, and I used to build scenery for them in various ways (foamcore, plasticard, plaster, cardboard,..)

Basic structures such as the above can be built in foamcore in half an hour or so. Plus they shatter on impact :D

lnxfergy
08-13-2009, 10:53 AM
I'm still mostly just worried about dragging around debris, I think that most of our bipeds would have a really tough time with debris, and if the debris is big enough, even the quads will get stuck. It might be something cool to do further down the road, but I just don't think most people's walking technology is gonna be happy with it right now....

-Fergs

Robot Dude
08-13-2009, 11:51 AM
Looks like those bots are about the same size as ours. Judging from the size of those bots and the scale of the buildings I think 1:25th scale is a bit on the large side for our event. Not asking for a change, just stating my opinion. Looks like they're building from 1:48 and 1:72 scale kits.

lnxfergy
08-13-2009, 12:11 PM
Looks like those bots are about the same size as ours. Judging from the size of those bots and the scale of the buildings I think 1:25th scale is a bit on the large side for our event. Not asking for a change, just stating my opinion. Looks like they're building from 1:48 and 1:72 scale kits.

I dunno, those bots look to be about 8" tall in most of the shots when there is a person in the background. While a BRAT might be that small, Giger is ~24" tall, most of the quads are ~12" wide, and we are spec'ing 3' wide roads. Granted, our roads are extra wide to allow maneuvering, as driving through the camera is not easy (I'd really like to see people try to drive a bot down a corridor with only about an 1" of clearance as those guys have.... it would not be pretty...).

-Fergs

darkback2
08-13-2009, 01:17 PM
First of all I Love the idea of realistic scenery. I would put it a couple of years down the road though. I guess for me the focus is on getting up the number of bots participating, and the functionality of the arena. Once we have a better level of participation...

That said, we should be looking down the road to see what we can do in terms of buildings, parks, trees, and maybe cars...I would also love to do something where we have multi bot matches and such.

Finally...I'm going to be making an arena "tent" that will have a dedicated door and walls and such. Anyone interested in painting the scenery on the inside of the walls...seams like a great place to start.

Db

darkback2
08-27-2009, 01:29 AM
So a few weeks ago I asked my wife if she would help me sew together a tent for the mech warfare arena. She said she would...I was quite surprised to learn that her idea of help was showing me where the sewing machine was. :(

So I've spent the past two days sewing together the arena tent. The bottom sash is 3 feet of solid canvas. There is a 4.5 foot mosquito netting window, and a 1.5 foot top part that has a 90 degree bend in it kind of like a fitted sheet. the tent measures just under 15 feet on a side, but the corners are lycra and should stretch to hold everything tight. The arena will be 8 feet tall leaving us some extra material to secure things under the bottom.

Everyone wanted lots of doors. Doors are hard...We have 1.

Complaints can be filed in the circular bin, or where the sun doesn't shine.

Here are the pics.
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_9111.jpg
This is a lot of material!
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_9112.jpg
This is me sewing in the door.
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_9113.jpg
All of the seams are double stiched.
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_9114.jpg
If you see my wife at robogames give her a hug. Her sewing machine died half way through the project.
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_9115.jpg
Good thing I had a spare. Its my moms and it is so much nicer than my wifes!
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_9116.jpg
Its starting to come together.
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/dsc_9117.jpg
I took this picture out of the second story window of my house. Your really only looking at half of it because its a loop and you can only see 2 sides at a time. The hemmed top is closest to the bottom of the pic. The black is lycra. You can see the door.

Anyone interested in painting this thing? :)

DB

Adrenalynn
08-27-2009, 01:46 AM
You killed a BERNINA?!?! WTF? Not possible. What'd you do to the poor thing? Killed like breaking needles and chopping thread (timing) or killed like _killed_?!?

There are only a couple machines left with all metal gear trains. Actually, I'm not even sure about Viking anymore, so it might just be Bernina and Bernina. (my mom taught sewing at the school and I grew-up making my own school clothes...)

darkback2
08-27-2009, 01:59 AM
Yes...I killed a bernina.

I'm sorry. It was old, and my wife didn't tell me that you need to oil it before you use it....she just pointed to it and said..."have fun."

Its completely locked up. If you release the clutch the motor spins, but the gears won't go. I oiled the heck out of it, and we'll see if it loosens up. It will probably need a new clutch in the least.

Adrenalynn
08-27-2009, 04:41 AM
Forget hugging your wife - I'll do her a real favor and kick your butt for her... killing a Bernina... That's like blasphemy!

BTW - the end result looks awesome! Nice work! Are you building the frame for it?

lnxfergy
08-27-2009, 08:10 AM
BTW - the end result looks awesome! Nice work! Are you building the frame for it?

Nah, the idea is that the frame gets built in the target city, the shipping on the frame parts would be more than they are worth...

-Fergs

DresnerRobotics
08-27-2009, 03:43 PM
Awesome DB! Thanks so much man, myself and the rest of the Mech Warfare crew are in your debt.

mannyr7
08-27-2009, 06:04 PM
Looks good DB! +rep

DresnerRobotics
08-27-2009, 06:26 PM
Something I wanted to throw out there:

What are your thoughts on using a very firm, thin carpet (think like office carpet) for the floor of the arena?

jes1510
08-27-2009, 06:39 PM
Would that cause a problem for the people that are using a shuffle gait to walk?

DresnerRobotics
08-27-2009, 07:04 PM
Would that cause a problem for the people that are using a shuffle gait to walk?

Actually I think it would help them over the current concrete (which isnt amazingly smooth). It might cause issues for anyone who was trying to shuffle without smooth feet though.

darkback2
08-27-2009, 07:04 PM
First off, thanks for the kind words. To be honest, I'm most nervous about how this hole tent thing will work out...Guess worse comes to worst we can just do what we did last year given that I have an extra spool of mosquito netting. :) (a part of me wonders if it will all fit together the way its supposed to.

My only problem with using carpet is that it is another variable to have to contend with. I suppose if we all new ahead of time we could build our feet and such to work with whatever surface. I could probably just take the foam tape off of squidwords feet. (it tends to catch on carpet)

The other thing is that the carpet would probably have to have edges. a 15*15 carpet would be a hassle to move, and strips would have edges that could be tripped over...again, if we all know in advance I guess we can build for it.

DB

Connor
08-27-2009, 07:35 PM
Something I wanted to throw out there:

What are your thoughts on using a very firm, thin carpet (think like office carpet) for the floor of the arena?

My biped wouldn't walk on my carpet at all.. The carpet gives way to much and causes the bot to fall over in unpredictable ways. (Even before I mounted guns on it)

Also, kinda causes issues with the BB's too, Since them, I've changed the feet out with ones that have the edges bent down so I could walk with out slipping on BB's.. I think carpet would make those not work so.. FY I have medium pile carpet.

Thanks, Connor

Adrenalynn
08-27-2009, 08:30 PM
How about textured linoleum?

Connor
08-27-2009, 08:33 PM
How about textured linoleum?

It worked pretty good on linoleum, just be sure to get the kinda that doesn't have alot of texture to it.

DresnerRobotics
08-27-2009, 08:46 PM
How about textured linoleum?

Solid suggestion.

More than anything, I'm looking for a surface that is cheap enough to be tossed when done with, and something we can buy in large portions (ie: close to 15x15).

The carpet in our office all of our bipeds walk on fine, but they have smooth soles.

lnxfergy
08-27-2009, 08:57 PM
Unfortunately, everyone is gonna have a different idea of the "perfect" floor... so lets just make it crazy realistic, and some bots will do good on certain areas, others on other areas, we'll split the arena into four sections (or "worlds" if you will...):


The Park -- astroturf, with little scale park benches, trees, and of course, playground equipment. Bonus points if your mech can use the swings. Double bonus points if your mech pushes a mech out of a swing.
The Desert -- lots of sand... need I say more? Mechs get bonus points if they build a sand castle (they must however, carry their own water, because there is very little water in our desert).
Urban Wasteland -- buildings are mostly destroyed, some still stand, crushed cars are everywhere. Streets are paved in masonite, with numerous potholes.
The Redwood Forest -- buildings are replaced with 4" diameter columns with simulated tree branches, surface is a mixture of astroturf and small pebbles. At random times, trees may fall down (robots that yell "timber" at appropriate times may earn bonuses), mechs get bonus points if they can then answer the age-old question about whether a tree makes a sound if nobody is around (battle over whether a mech is a nobody shall thus ensue...).

-Fergs

(P.S. I'm totally kidding, and yet I'm not...)

darkback2
08-28-2009, 12:13 AM
The bernina is back...the lube did the trick! It sings now...sounds like my mother in laws VW bug!

robokoi
08-28-2009, 05:37 PM
Unfortunately, everyone is gonna have a different idea of the "perfect" floor... so lets just make it crazy realistic, and some bots will do good on certain areas, others on other areas, we'll split the arena into four sections (or "worlds" if you will...):


The Park
The Desert
Urban Wasteland
The Redwood Forest




Now that would be quite the arena! with a 15'x15' area, we'd be able to do a lot. I do like the idea of various terrains (or at least scenery for the next year). Maybe we can all volunteer to bring props so that one person doesn't have to suffer with all the shipping? I may still have some model railroad stuff, but it's HO and I saw G-scale mentioned in another thread. Wonder what G-scale trees would cost?

bigderhak
08-28-2009, 09:44 PM
Wonder what G-scale trees would cost? http://www.miniaturetree.com/viewcategory.asp?DirID=165

I would say $30-50 is a lot for a single tree :robotsurprised: I mean I could go buy real trees for that 1:1, and then use my shrinking machine to make them G-scale.

Connor
08-28-2009, 09:50 PM
http://www.miniaturetree.com/viewcategory.asp?DirID=165

I would say $30-50 is a lot for a single tree :robotsurprised:

I model trains as another one of my hobbies.... You don't have to use G-Scale tree's... because, well, tree's really don't have much scale.. They come in all shapes and sizes... also, you can make your own tree's using various techniques. The other thing is, most G-Scale tree's are REAL minutre tree's and shrubs because G-Scale is really "Garden Scale" so to speak.

Thanks, Connor

robokoi
08-29-2009, 01:36 PM
I model trains as another one of my hobbies....

Now that's a hard catwalk job!


most G-Scale tree's are REAL minutre tree's and shrubs

I was just thinking that shipping real trees would be a bother, and harder to fix if the robots fall on them. ;)

On the other hand... that site by bigderhak also lists styrofoam cars/trucks! Imagine the robots kicking those out of the way in a fight!

http://www.miniaturetree.com/viewcategory.asp?DirID=99

Adrenalynn
08-29-2009, 04:51 PM
I think there's a little gulf between what you're envisioning and what these 'bots are capable of right now.

If you imagine a feather being wielded by a sick infant, that's the "kicking those things out of the way in a fight" you're going to actually observe. ;)

robokoi
08-31-2009, 06:56 AM
I think there's a little gulf between what you're envisioning and what these 'bots are capable of right now.

If you imagine a feather being wielded by a sick infant, that's the "kicking those things out of the way in a fight" you're going to actually observe. ;)


given that the same style of robot is used for both combat and soccer, I don't see it being too far off.
great imagery btw!

Adrenalynn
08-31-2009, 12:44 PM
Maybe we're not watching the same combat and soccer matches in the < $100,000 robots... The robots don't knock each other over, the aggressor falls on the defender and the one on top scores a point. In soccer, we see a ball that weighs just a teensie bit more than an electron get booted a whole couple inches, assuming the aggressor doesn't fall on the ball and the whole thing need a reset.

Of course, if we all agree to just ban everything from Mech Warfare that doesn't cost over around $30k, then maybe we can start getting some good environmental interaction. Like bots falling on buildings and stuff - errr - sorry - kicking buildings.

RevBryce
08-31-2009, 03:42 PM
Hmmm trees
Goto someones front yard find a bush with small leaves cut off a few branchs
and glue them into a hole in a piece of wood, bingo tree.
they only have to last a day or two.
Make cars and stuff from foam, then at least the bots can push them without falling,
maybe.
Has anyone mentioned auto turrents yet?
could add a bit of fun.
restrict the angle of fire and rate.
And have them controled by anyone whos bot has brocken or died so
they can get their frustrations out..:)
And another thing, i`ve seen kids play mats with roads and stuff on them.

DresnerRobotics
08-31-2009, 04:11 PM
I hate to be a pessimist, but the practicality of shipping furnishings and various decor for the arena in a costly manner is pretty low. It's also pretty low on my list of priorities in terms of running the competition, I'm much more concerned with exploring an inexpensive flooring material for us so we don't have to deal with the somewhat rough cement surface of Robogames. ;)

robokoi
08-31-2009, 07:17 PM
Maybe we're not watching the same combat and soccer matches in the < $100,000 robots... The robots don't knock each other over, the aggressor falls on the defender and the one on top scores a point. In soccer, we see a ball that weighs just a teensie bit more than an electron get booted a whole couple inches, assuming the aggressor doesn't fall on the ball and the whole thing need a reset.

Apparently not. There's a lot of interesting things happening in the Robo-One competitions. Mostly in Japan, but that's where most of the interest is so far, so that's no surprise.

As for the cost of the robots, they may not be carrying the weight a mech would, but many that are competing are almost stock Kondo/Hitech/Bioloid/etc robots:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=531QYofWiVA



If they are upgraded, you're looking at the 1-3k USD for strong/fast servos and controls which is probably ballpark for some of us. (YMMV)

Some of the more advance champion fighters of the Dynamizer (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dynamizer&search_type=&aq=f) or King Kaiser (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=king+kaiser+robo-one&search_type=&aq=f) lines you're looking at 10k+ USD, but that's the price of performance. There's some good coverage of the stuff on robots-dreams.com or on youtube by tempusmaster (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tempusmaster+robo-one&search_type=&aq=f).

MSK Mech Commander
08-31-2009, 07:32 PM
Maybe we're not watching the same combat and soccer matches in the < $100,000 robots... The robots don't knock each other over, the aggressor falls on the defender and the one on top scores a point. In soccer, we see a ball that weighs just a teensie bit more than an electron get booted a whole couple inches, assuming the aggressor doesn't fall on the ball and the whole thing needs a reset.

Of course, if we all agree to just ban everything from Mech Warfare that doesn't cost over around $30k, then maybe we can start getting some good environmental interaction. Like bots falling on buildings and stuff - errr - sorry - kicking buildings.

FYI -

Pessimism - the tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes, results, conditions, problems, etc.

Optimism, heard of it?:rolleyes: If biped's can't "fall over it" then why not put scenery in for just quads and hexapods? They have plenty of stability, which should ensure a 0% chance of falling over. If biped owners want scenery in their match like the others then they could sort of prove that their mech could handle it. That way the competition could still be functional and realistic.

Adrenalynn
08-31-2009, 07:44 PM
Robokoi - tell ya what - you build a $1000 bot that carries the required weight of Mech Warfare for 20mins or more straight and make it move like that, and I'll eat my hat. You can even specify the hat... I was there and I shot many dozens of hours of video... A lot more than $1000 went in to the bots that couldn't even compete, let alone those that did...

>> Optimism, heard of it?

Realism, it's not just for breakfast anymore...

>> ensure a 0&#37; chance of falling over.

Define "0% chance"? I have video showing that not to be the case. [cough DB2 ;) ]

nagmier
08-31-2009, 08:19 PM
I think this has been discussed in this thread before but...

IIRC wasn't there a discussion about kitchen linoleum? Now the kicker is finding someone in the Bay Area willing to house/transport the goods to the match. cause a 15x15 sheet or any combo there of with the equiv. sq ft is going to be HEAVY. Do we have anyone in the area that is an active participant that might be willing to find some locally and store it?

Alternativley I'm not sure how cost effective it may be but a buy n toss at the end of the event method could also be a consideration? Tybs, have been on the hunt for corporate sponsership? A lack of success in locating funds is entirely understandable esp in todays world economy.

Darnit Lynn! I was going to mention DBs little fall!!!!

Adrenalynn
08-31-2009, 08:29 PM
I don't know... Do we know anyone that was luggin' shipped stuff to the event last year? :tongue:

lnxfergy
08-31-2009, 08:38 PM
I hate to be a pessimist, but the practicality of shipping furnishings and various decor for the arena in a costly manner is pretty low. It's also pretty low on my list of priorities in terms of running the competition, I'm much more concerned with exploring an inexpensive flooring material for us so we don't have to deal with the somewhat rough cement surface of Robogames. ;)

I just wanted to re-iterate this before we get way off track in a heated battle (let's leave the battles for when we get INSIDE the arena...):

The current focus for the event organizers right now is clearly that we need more contestants. Most of these mech's can't run for hours on end (they're overloaded meaning they need to cool down, they'll need to charge batteries, etc), so we need a fairly high number to fill several hours of combat time. While adding more realism may appear to draw people in, it will actually increase our costs significantly, and actually make the contest harder.

Focus for competitors is quite clear: make a working mech. Driving a mech is not the easiest thing in the world, the cameras are not particularly wide angle, and if you put a wider angle lens onto the camera, your view may wash out (see gdubb's photos from experiments last year). The camera frame rate my drop randomly due to interference. Any time spent refining your control mechanisms, bettering your walking abilities, and testing your platform is time well spent.

-Fergs

lnxfergy
08-31-2009, 08:39 PM
I don't know... Do we know anyone that was luggin' shipped stuff to the event last year? :tongue:

Jodie needs a school bus. That's about the only way we can have her move more stuff.....

-Fergs

darkback2
08-31-2009, 09:36 PM
Well stated Fergs,

I think part of it, in a lot of these threads (mech warfare) has to do with the fact that we are all coming from different places. Some of the people here have the benefit of talking from the point of view of already having competed in mech warfare. Simultaniously, some of us have the curse of already having competed in mech warfare.

Last year there was 1 fully functioning mech at the event. (sorry gdubb...you had camera issues.) Next year we should be able to guarantee a few more than that, but to be honest if my budget keeps going the way it is I'm not too sure. Maybe everyone out there can do better in the future.

Mech Warfare generates a lot of buzz. I think that is a good thing, but really it will only be sustainable if the buzz turns into action. I planned on getting some matchbox cars to scatter around the arena last year. I never managed to get them though, and while it probably wouldn't have mattered to the quads, the bipeds were having a hard enough time just staying standing.

The reality is, Robogames, and Mech Warfare are user driven events. Very little happens unless we make it happen. If you live in the bay area or just want to bring a suitcase filled with plants with you to robogames, then I for one would love to compete with them in the arena...Other people may have a problem with it...especially if it causes some sort of hazzard...though I can't think of one.

Oh yeah...and make sure your mech works in time...cause we need more working mechs for this event.

DB

MSK Mech Commander
08-31-2009, 09:41 PM
Define "0&#37; chance"? I have video showing that not to be the case. [cough DB2 ;) ]

Mm... I had no knowledge of that.:D Point made, at least for quads.
But wasn't that a little bit top-heavy?:confused: (Sorry, for some reason I can't view the video. I know, I know, It's me)

Anyway, like I said before, maybe we could offer scenery to the mechs that were proved to be stable. We could get a bunch of videos together of mechs tested against scenery and if enough mechs were proved stable we could possibly open up a little scenery. You know, just a thought.:)

lnxfergy
08-31-2009, 09:44 PM
Mm... I had no knowledge of that.:D Point made, at least for quads.
But wasn't that a little bit top-heavy?

I think you'll be surprised, many of these mechs end up quite top-heavy. Definitely the bipeds are top-heavy, but quads are too, especially if you put a panning turret up top, it's gotta clear the legs, etc.

-Fergs

MSK Mech Commander
08-31-2009, 09:52 PM
I really hadn't thought about that, thanks.

darkback2
08-31-2009, 09:52 PM
ALRIGHT!!! his freaking leg fell off...Lets see YOU keep walking when your leg falls off! :) (no...I'm kidding!)

Fergs suggested more cover last year. I would love to see 2 on 2 matches also. But all of that takes bots...many many bots... preferably ones that work...so lets get building!

Oh...don't forget to post about your bot so we can all learn from your mistakes and stuff.

DB

lnxfergy
08-31-2009, 09:56 PM
Fergs suggested more cover last year.
Cover is both a blessing and a curse... If the bots competing are quick moving, it will provide additional hiding space as they move about, which allows more strategy to play in. If the mechs are both kinda slow, they may never find each other

-Fergs

MSK Mech Commander
08-31-2009, 09:58 PM
...Fergs suggested more cover last year. I would love to see 2 on 2 matches also...
(Right hand raised) Me too! (Left hand raised) Me three!


But all of that takes bots...many many bots... preferably ones that work...so lets get building!

Oh...don't forget to post about your bot so we can all learn from your mistakes and stuff.

DB

I've been trying to get around to that, but procrastination has gotten the better of me.:D

RevBryce
09-01-2009, 05:19 AM
As i wasnt there for the fun what was the problem with the floor?
Was it big joins or potholes or just uneven?
could it be fixed with something like heavy canvas, that can be painted
or did it need something a bit heavier ,maybe the stuff they make banners out of?
Again this can be painted or printed.
would cheap 3 ply plywood be to much of a hassle?
Or heavy cardboard like the corrigated stuff ? we get big boxes(pallet sized) and
it can be 3 layers thick sometimes,strong as hell and not hard to get rid of at the end.

darkback2
09-01-2009, 09:43 AM
Hey RevBryce,

Personally I didn't see anything wrong with the floor...It was concrete...Then again I had a 2 quads. I'm not sure how much of a problem the floor presented for bipeds given that the bipeds weren't having too much in the way of success on their own. The concrete did have some pretty significant trowel markings...

A nice smooth floor seams like it would help. I'm thinking rolls of linoleum...but that may prove to be too expensive unless it can be stored near the sight, or we can find a really cheap source.

If you know of one, or can provide some materials I'm sure it would be greatly appreciated.

DB

Adrenalynn
09-01-2009, 11:07 AM
How about we flood it with bay water, let it evaporate off, then bake the salt crystals?

Perfect surface, and there's nothing to transport, the required materials are _right there_!

Think Dave would go for that?

gdubb2
09-01-2009, 12:03 PM
My take on the whole floor issue..

The floor is what it is.. live with it...This is warfare not the perfect world. There are not piles of rubble, huge crators that could swallow a bus, or hills and valleys. It's a plain old concrete floor.

Thats all
Gary

Adrenalynn
09-01-2009, 12:09 PM
Actually, wasn't the floor kinda rubberized?

lnxfergy
09-01-2009, 12:20 PM
Actually, wasn't the floor kinda rubberized?

That's what I thought... concrete with a rubberized coat over the top. The rubber had been kicked up in places, and that was the "potholes" we experianced.. all in all, the variance in floor height was no worse than some of the Arena's I've seen at Trinity Fire Fighting or other competitions.

-Fergs