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lnxfergy
05-24-2010, 12:46 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen,

After careful deliberation, and multiple edits, I am happy to announce the official draft of the 2012 Mech Warfare rules. Multiple clarifications and updates, related to experience from our three years of combat, have been incorporated into the rules.

Major changes:

The hexapod league has been renamed as the Open league, it will also allow tanks.
The addition of a qualification trial on Friday.
Half-size side plates, and a small HP boost for bipeds.
Clarifications as to target plate mounting.
Clarifications as to wireless networks and cameras.
This thread is to serve as a public comment space.

-Fergs


Mech Warfare Rules
2012 Edition

CHANGES FROM APRIL 2010 ARE IN RED.
CHANGES FROM MAY 2010 DRAFT ARE IN BLUE.
CHANGES FROM 2012 DRAFT ARE IN PURPLE.









Mech Warfare is a robotics competition. Our goal is to create a real-life robotic combat competition that mirror the scenarios found in sci-fi universes such as Battletech, Warhammer 40k and Armored Core. Competitors will build 1/24 scale armed robots which they will pilot through a wireless first-person POV system.

Official Event Organizers:
Andrew Alter - [email protected] ([email protected]) ( Tyberius (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/member.php?u=1492) )
Seth Cook - [email protected] ( sthmck (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/member.php?1443-sthmck) )
Ryan Lowerr - [email protected] ( Upgrayd (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/member.php?3316-Upgrayd) )

Alumni Council:
Mike Ferguson - [email protected]( lnxfergy (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/member.php?u=1768) )

Organizers are the people in charge both at events and calling shots on the forums. If you have questions about something Mech Warfare related (online or in person) this is who you need to talk to. Please do not email David Calkins if it is Mech Warfare specific. While he is the Robogames head honcho, he defers anything related MW to us (and I'm getting tired of forwarded emails from him).

Section I - Leagues of Play
Each league of competition will have it's own competition bracket. There are three leagues of competition:
The Airsoft Classic league is open to all walking robots with 4 or less legs.
The Airsoft Open league is open to all walking robots and wheeled or tracked tanks. This may be limited to exhibition only depending upon venue.
The Hardcore league is open to all walking robots with 6 or less legs.
Section II – Mech Construction
All competitors are subject to final approval by Mech Warfare officials. Each competitor must be presented to an official for a Safety and Technical Inspection before competing, and must be re-inspected after any major alterations. A Mech may be rejected from competing if it is deemed to be unsafe for human bystanders or not in the spirit of the event. All Mechs should be designed within the spirit of the game. Do not try to 'gimmick' yourself to a win. If you have a question about a particular part of your robot, ask the event organizers beforehand.
Mechs are to be true walking robots. Legs must be servo/actuator driven. No cam-driven, wheeled, or treaded configurations (except in the open league).
Mechs may have up to 4 legs (Unlimited in the open league).

Average mech size is expected to be between 8” and 18” tall. No robot may be taller than 36”.

Mechs may be remotely-operated or autonomous.
Pilots may only view the match through their first person POV camera mounted on their bot, further:
Pilots are not allowed to view the arena or match directly. Multiple pilots are allowed.

Cameras should be mounted roughly in the center of the mass of the robot, where the 'cockpit' would be. The intention is to simulate piloting the Mech, not having cameras on your guns mounted to extensions so you can fire around corners without fear of being shot. This would fall under the 'Gimmick Clause'.
Wireless IP Cameras are highly recommended and the preferred and supported method of video feed. Non-wifi cameras do not work well in the high RF interference environment of Robogames. If you choose to use an analog RF camera and it is determined, by an Event Organizer, to cause too much interference with other competitors' Wifi cameras, you will be disqualified. This prevents a builder from bringing an extremely high gain transmitter and shutting other competitors out, where such dangers do not exist with standard Wifi cameras. Cameras will have to be 802.11b or 802.11g, 802.11N networks are spread spectrum by nature and consume a large amount of the 2.4ghz band.

Multiple cameras are allowed, however all cameras on a robot must connect through a single wireless access point, and share the same channel.

An official, professional, dual Wifi Access Point will be provided for competitor use. This is not a mandatory requirement however it is recommended. Usage of this access point depends upon registration with Event Organizers prior to the event, where information such as SSID, MAC Address of the Wifi Camera, and static IP settings are provided.
Spectators will be able to view the full arena and match, however they cannot provide hints, tips or assistance to pilots.

Mechs should not separate, or leave pieces of themselves behind, especially beacons or debris that would inhibit other competitors.
Mechs should not intentionally cause damage to the arena. Event Organizers will disqualify any mech intentionally causing damage to the arena. Unintentional damage is fine, but this is not a destruction derby.

Note that weight restrictions have been removed. Once participant density allows, separate lightweight (amateur) and heavyweight (professional) classes will be formed.

Section III – Weapons Systems
There are two separate classes of weapons rules: Airsoft or Hardcore. Mechs may be outfitted to run either class, however, only guns legal for the current match may be loaded and active.

The Airsoft weapons class allows the use of Nerf weapons and electric Airsoft guns. Guns are to use standard Airsoft 6mm plastic BB ammo. While there is no hard limit on your gun's muzzle velocity, it must be low enough so as not to break the mesh walls of the arena. When outside the competition arena, all guns must have a physical barrel lock in place which prevents BBs from being fired.
The Hardcore weapons class will be offered based on availability of a fully enclosed combat cage. The Hardcore weapons class allows use of much more powerful weapons such as CO2 powered rifles, micro class rockets, and flamethrowers. When outside the competition arena, all weapons must have a physical lock out that prevents inadvertant activation.

In all weapons classes, any mech that is capable of shooting without explicit human input must have a verified remote kill switch and a visual indicator that they are "armed". We will not have Skynet go live on our watch.
In all weapons classes, weapons designed to interfere in any way with an opponent's camera or wireless control are strictly forbidden. Ultra-bright lasers (green, blue, greater than a class 2 laser) are prohibited. All lasers must have an off switch or cover when they are outside of the arena.

Section IV – Arena

The airsoft arena is approximately 16'x16'. The hardcore arena is 8'x8'.
The walls of the arena will be non-transparent to at least a height of 24”.
Buildings, averaging two feet tall, will be provided for cover. Building layout will be consistent throughout the event for ranked matches, however layout may not be finalized until the event. Exhibition matches may have varied building layouts at coordinators discretion.

No 'street' will be less than 36” wide.
All sizes are approximate. Your mech must be able to deal with any small changes in these dimensions.
Section V - Qualification
All competitors must complete a qualification trial during Friday's regular hours (typically 12-7PM). Only competitors that have completed a qualification trial will be placed in the competition bracket.It is expected that your Wifi Video and Scoring System be 100% functional prior to attempting your qualification round. This will be tested prior to your qualification round.
A qualification round consists of the following: starting in the corner of the arena, the competitor must drive the robot forward approximately 5-6 ft to the center street, and make a turn (not torso rotation) in order to fire upon a standard target plate which will be mounted 8"-12" above the ground, in the center of the arena. The competitor must complete this round within 5 minutes. Bipeds may not fall more than 3 times in the course of this qualification round. If you fail to complete a qualification round, you may have 2 additional attempts to complete. Each total qualification attempt cannot exceed 15 minutes of total time.
The qualification trial will run under the same technical requirements as regular matches: in particular, pilots cannot view the arena directly and may not be assisted by spectators. This trial is intended to show that your mech can walk and that your camera and guns work.

The qualification process may be attempted an unlimited number of times, however, competitors who have already attempted must wait on the end of the longest line.
Section VI – Match Rules
A match consists of two mechs facing off in an arena, trying to decimate one another's Hit Points (HP). The winner is the mech with the most HP left at the end of a match. The Scoring system consists of target plates and a transponder unit which wirelessly relays information back to a base station.
Bracket matches will be scheduled throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. There will be a bulletin board denoting when matches are to be held. The event organizers will give 5 minute and 1 minute warnings. If your mech is not ready for a match, it will forfeit that match. Builders will be give one 2-minute extension to use throughout the weekend.
Each Mech will start a match with 20 hit points (HP), bipeds will recieve a 15% bonus in HP for 23 HP total. Remaining HP will be reduced as the transponder unit registers hits, or when penalty hits are assessed.
Mechs will start in opposite corners of the arena. The corners will be masked off with 3'x3' squares taped on the floor, a mech will start in the center of the square. All of a mech's feet must fully cross the corner tape before it can score a hit on it's opponent.
Competitors reduce an opponent's HP by scoring hits on an opponent's target plates
The scoring system will not score more than 1 hit per second, regardless of how often it is hit. This is determined by the software running on the Transponder board.
A collision or knockover will score as a hit if the scoring transponder detects it. If your mech is unable to right itself, the match will be paused while the mech is assisted, and penalized a hit point of damage if the transponder did not detect the fall. The clock will not stop during any assistance.

If a target plate, properly mounted according to Section VII.a.3, should fall off of a robot, the plate will be re-attached, and the mech will be assessed one hit point.

If a mech does not move (defined by moving continuously for at least one body length) for 20 seconds, it will be assessed 1 penalty hit point. If a mech does not move for 60 seconds, it will be determined 'disabled' and forfeit the match. Panning/tilting of turrets, or firing blindly at non-targets, does not count as movement. This rule is intended to encourage mobility and prevent American Civil War Era fighting strategies. However, if a Mech is engaged in active combat (defined by actively firing upon or exchanging fire with an oppoonent), this rule does not apply.
A match ends when either one of the mech's has it's HP reduced to 0, or when the match clock runs past the 8 minute limit. The mech with the higher HP at the match's end wins.
Section VII – MWScore Transponders
The scoring transponders and target plates are distributed by the Mech Warfare organizers, overall cost to participants should be less than $250 per entry.

Target plate specifications:
Full sized target plates are 3.5”x3.5”, with an active area of 3”x3”, weighing approximately 40g, and must be purchased from the event organizers. Half-size plates are 1.75"x3.5". The plates should not be altered, other than to apply velcro or similar to the back for attachment to the mech. You may color your target panels so long as the paint product does not interfere with sensitivity of the sensors. Due to technological constraints, plate design may change from time to time, however event organizers will strive to be consistent from year to year with the plate design.
Quadrupeds must carry 4 full-sized plates, one on each side of the body. Bipeds must carry a full front and rear plate, as well as half size plates on each side of their body or arms (depending upon which provides an unobstructed view). All tanks, and walkers with more than 4 legs, will carry four full size target plates. Any mech may replace the front full-size plate with 2 half-size split-option plates, allowing a slot for the camera to protrude, however, the half-plates must not be separated by more than 1".

Target plates must be reasonably mounted on a mech, with their entire face located between 2” and 22” off the ground, and not obscured by any limbs. Plates should be mounted on a flat, vertical surface, using two strips of velcro, so that the target plate is perpendicular to the ground. Use common sense when choosing a mounting location, and keep in mind the spirit of the game. If you are firing on an opponent, they should be capable of hitting your scoring plates. Every effort should be made to have all target plates on a mech in the same vertical plane. If a mechanical design exists that does not allow for this, full plates can have no more than 1" of vertical separation. This cannot be used to specifically give a Mech a defensive advantage.

In order to allow autonomous bots, and those using visual tracking, competitors may bring a visual fiducial of any color which may be applied to an opponent's target plates using tape of any color. Fiducials should be no bigger than 3"x3". As these fiducials may become damaged during use, it is suggested to bring a decent quantity of them with you.


MWScore transponder unit specifications:
Transponders are approximately 1.8”x1.8” weighing approximately 12g.
The unit requires a power connection capable of providing 5-12 (max) VDC at up to 200mA. 3S Lipos are not a recommended direct power source for the MWScore transponder, as they output 12.6v max. These can be powered directly from the 5v regulated source of an Arbotix.
The unit will send out a 50, 100, 150, or 200ms high pulse (depending upon which target panel is hit) each time it reports a hit. This can be tied into your robot to allow your control solution to register hits.
The unit will be programmed with the appropriate firmware and ID information when distributed. The Event Organizers reserve the right to require firmware upgrades at the competition, so be sure that the In-System Programing header on the transponder is easily accessible.
A separate LED sub-board is required and included with the scoring system. It must be mounted in a clearly visible area, preferably the top of the mech. If your mounting is questionable, get it approved by an event organizer prior to qualification. The purpose here is so that both humans and opposing mechs have a visual indicator of when a mech is taking damage. The dimensions are the same as the MWScore Transponder. Generally speaking, protecting this with a clear piece of thin lexan or PTFE is advisable (we will make efforts to have extra protectors available at events).

Scoring displays will be set up in locations visible to both competitors and spectators.

Section VIII – Record of Changes
June 22, 2009 - Document created from 2009 rule set

June 23, 2009 - Slight changes, notes added. Removed weight limit (we will have weight classes some day).
July 29, 2009 - Final highlighting changes before release to general public.
December 7, 2009 - Revision for final release.

April 6, 2010 - Actually posted (yay!)
April 27, 2010 - Began revisions for 2011
May 24, 2010 - Posted draft for 2011
September 22, 2010 - Revision for final release.
April 9th, 2012 - Revision for final release.

DresnerRobotics
05-24-2010, 01:55 PM
Thoughts, questions, comments?

These changes are not set in stone, we'd love to hear input from you guys and will take it into consideration.

gdubb2
05-24-2010, 02:26 PM
From what I see, I agree with the changes and additions to the rules. This stuff is fun folks.. Build something and come out and play..

Gary

Stobs
05-24-2010, 02:41 PM
...

The Airsoft Beginner league is open to all walking robots and wheeled or tracked tanks...

Cool!
...

Section III – Weapons Systems
. ..The Airsoft weapons class allows the use of Nerf weapons and electric Airsoft guns. Guns are to use standard Airsoft 6mm plastic BB ammo...

Is the requirement to use the Airsoft brand of BB's per se, or simply 6mm BB's compatible w/Airsoft or Airsoft-type guns? Is there a recommended or required BB weight?



...

Section V - Qualification
All competitors must complete a qualification trial during Friday's regular hours (typically 12-7PM). Only competitors that have completed a qualification trial will be placed in the competition bracket.


A qualification round consists of the following: starting in the corner of the arena, the competitor must drive the robot forward approximately 5-6 ft to the center street, and make a turn (not torso rotation) in order to fire upon a standard target plate which will be mounted 8"-12" above the ground, in the center of the arena. The competitor must complete this round within 5 minutes. Bipeds may not fall more than 3 times in the course of this qualification round. If you fail to complete a qualification round, you may have 2 additional attempts to complete. Each total qualification attempt cannot exceed 15 minutes of total time.
The qualification trial will run under the same technical requirements as regular matches: in particular, pilots cannot view the arena directly and may not be assisted by spectators. This trial is intended to show that your mech can walk and that your camera and guns work.

The qualification process may be attempted an unlimited number of times, however, competitors who have already attempted must wait on the end of the longest line...

I'm sorry but I'm a bit confused by the two entries I've highlighted in a purple colored font, above. [EDIT]: After re-reading my post I'm thinking this means that you'll have a total of three attempts to complete a given qualification round, with an unlimited number of attempts, with provisions as stated?

master_of_robots
05-24-2010, 02:44 PM
AWESOME! Thanks for including the Beginner League, I'll definitely be entering into that category.

darkback2
05-24-2010, 02:53 PM
What is up with the hexapods in hardcore? shouldn't we make that a beginner hardcore league? Squidword was expensive because he is a 10 + pound quad. I'm not sure that it is fair to lower the bar because people are not willing to step up to the plate.

sorry if this sounds caty.

:(

DB

DresnerRobotics
05-24-2010, 03:04 PM
Hexapods have been in the hardcore league since we introduced them as an option. It's an 'anything' goes league.

In a league where flamethrowers, rockets, and CO2 powered rifles are allowed, I think the least of your worries is a bot with 2 more legs than you.

Stobs
05-24-2010, 03:04 PM
...


A qualification round consists of the following: starting in the corner of the arena, the competitor must drive the robot forward approximately 5-6 ft to the center street, and make a turn (not torso rotation) in order to fire upon a standard target plate which will be mounted 8"-12" above the ground, in the center of the arena.

Presuming for a moment that a competitor's robot starts out in a corner, facing in the direction of initial travel, moves forward a sufficient distance to be aligned with the center of the arena and then makes a 90° turn.

Will the robot need to move along the new direction an additional distance even if five to six feet have already been traversed? If so, will a minimal distance be marked, in similar fashion to the 3'x3' starting grid?

Will that (approximately) 90° turn be counted as the mandated turn, or does the robot need to perform another turn to bring it's weapon(s) to bare on the target? If so, is there a minimum angle of full body rotation?

DresnerRobotics
05-24-2010, 03:06 PM
Cool!

Is the requirement to use the Airsoft brand of BB's per se, or simply 6mm BB's compatible w/Airsoft or Airsoft-type guns? Is there a recommended or required BB weight?


I'm sorry but I'm a bit confused by the two entries I've highlighted in a purple colored font, above. [EDIT]: After re-reading my post I'm thinking this means that you'll have a total of three attempts to complete a given qualification round, with an unlimited number of attempts, with provisions as stated?

This just means standard 6mm airsoft ammo, brand does not matter. You can use heavier weights so long as it does not penetrate the arena mesh. We've tested it using defender guns + .12 and .20 weights without issue.

You are correct, 3 attempts to complete a qualification round, unlimited number of rounds allowed but you move to the back of the line after your 3 attempts.

DresnerRobotics
05-24-2010, 03:08 PM
Presuming for a moment that a competitor's robot starts out in a corner, facing in the direction of initial travel, moves forward a sufficient distance to be aligned with the center of the arena and then makes a 90° turn.

Will the robot need to move along the new direction an additional distance even if five to six feet have already been traversed? If so, will a minimal distance be marked, in similar fashion to the 3'x3' starting grid?

Will that (approximately) 90° turn be counted as the mandated turn, or does the robot need to perform another turn to bring it's weapon(s) to bare on the target? If so, is there a minimum angle of full body rotation?

It's simple; walk forward to the center road of the arena (roughly 5-6 feet), turn right so that you're facing the center (90 degrees), and fire on the target dummy.

lnxfergy
05-24-2010, 03:10 PM
RE: qualifications

You have 3 tries in an attempt. For instance, you come up to the plate, your bot falls 3 times before making it, the judge will reset the robot to the corner again. You get another try, this time you run out of time (5 minutes), the judge will reset the robot to the corner again. On your third try, the bot falls 3 times again. At this point, if anyone else is waiting, you pick up your bot/laptop/wireless and head to the pits or the end of the line. The idea here is that it takes a certain amount of time to setup the network/etc, but we don't want one bot hogging all the time. Also, after you've tried once, you can get pushed back in the line by someone who hasn't run yet.

You have to walk at least the distance to the center street, and make a 90 degree turn (not a turret pan). You would only have to walk further if you can't hit it from that distance, so I'd suggest having good aim (or walking the extra distance to get closer).

RE: hexapods in hardcore

Yep, as Andrew said, has been since last year, that's not new.

RE: tank sizes

An interesting discussion in the chat room was about how large a tank could be. While there is no set size limits (other than the height limit), you have to be able to navigate streets without damaging buildings. Thus, smaller sizes will be beneficial (it's hard to drive a wide bot, with just a webcam).

-Fergs

Stobs
05-24-2010, 03:13 PM
Ok, thanks for the replies - with the second one I was just making sure an additional rotation wasn't required. Looks good to me, can't wait to get started! :)

[EDIT] @ Fergs - so I guess this wouldn't work too well, eh? ^.o (PS: just a web-sourced image, that's not me!)
http://www.mark-1-tank.co.uk/jpgs/1-4-king-tiger-3226b.jpg

webgeek
05-24-2010, 03:33 PM
Will that (approximately) 90° turn be counted as the mandated turn, or does the robot need to perform another turn to bring it's weapon(s) to bare on the target? If so, is there a minimum angle of full body rotation? Good question - I'd actually like to see this be an "L" shape. Go forward X distance, turn down a street and go forward X distance. Then turn the turret and shoot at a target. You guys know more than I do if this would be useful or not but it does exercise the mech a touch more - turning and then walking again vs. just turning. No idea if this is necessary though.

I competed in a "high mileage" go-kart competition once and they had an interesting solution for safety and build-quality tests. They took the go-karts and put them on a steep incline to all four sides. You'd be surprised how many had axle problems, weak breaks and wheel flex that could become dangerous in the race. This test was very effective at finding critical but subtle problems and took almost no time at all. Then we had to run some practice laps for qualification. I imagine something could be done with a mech too - a "shake test" is something Society of Robots likes - that would likely cause target plates and other obvious failures to occur before even the qualification round is attempted.

Overall, I like the rule updates. They seem reasonable and well-thought-out. The addition of a wheel/tread class is a great idea to get a lot of people interested.

-Mike

Connor
05-25-2010, 01:56 PM
Wireless IP Cameras are highly recommended and the preferred and supported method of video feed. Non-wifi cameras do not work well in the high RF interference environment of Robogames. If you choose to use an analog RF camera and it is determined, by an Event Organizer, to cause too much interference with other competitors' Wifi cameras, you will be disqualified. This prevents a builder from bringing an extremely high gain transmitter and shutting other competitors out, where such dangers do not exist with standard Wifi cameras. Cameras will have to be 802.11b or 802.11g, 802.11N networks are spread spectrum by nature and consume a large amount of the 2.4ghz band.

Multiple cameras are allowed, however all cameras on a robot must connect through a single wireless access point, and share the same channel.

An official, professional, dual Wifi Access Point will be provided for competitor use. This is not a mandatory requirement however it is recommended. Usage of this access point depends upon registration with Event Organizers prior to the event, where information such as SSID, MAC Address of the Wifi Camera, and static IP settings are provided.





Okay, Cameras, Good call on the Analog Cameras.. they could kill Xbee's, Bluetooth, and the 2.4b/g Wifi. on 802.11N, Depending on the setting they can use up 40 instead of 20Mhz of Spectrum (double that of b or g) and there is no real advantage to using it in the matches.. in fact, we were getting better results when I forced the Access Point to B only.




Section V - Qualification
All competitors must complete a qualification trial during Friday's regular hours (typically 12-7PM). Only competitors that have completed a qualification trial will be placed in the competition bracket.


A qualification round consists of the following: starting in the corner of the arena, the competitor must drive the robot forward approximately 5-6 ft to the center street, and make a turn (not torso rotation) in order to fire upon a standard target plate which will be mounted 8"-12" above the ground, in the center of the arena. The competitor must complete this round within 5 minutes. Bipeds may not fall more than 3 times in the course of this qualification round. If you fail to complete a qualification round, you may have 2 additional attempts to complete. Each total qualification attempt cannot exceed 15 minutes of total time.
The qualification trial will run under the same technical requirements as regular matches: in particular, pilots cannot view the arena directly and may not be assisted by spectators. This trial is intended to show that your mech can walk and that your camera and guns work.

The qualification process may be attempted an unlimited number of times, however, competitors who have already attempted must wait on the end of the longest line.



I want to talk about Bipeds, and falling. After some tweaking the 2nd and 3rd days at RG10, Odin was able to walk in the arena without falling near as much as he did earlier on. When I got home, I tried him out on my kitchen floor (Textured Linoleum) and he didn't fall once (except when I tilted him all the way forward or backwards and tried to walk in that same direction). I even tried him out on my medium pile carpet, and he manged to do pretty good. So, I still can't figure out what the deal was in the arena. I know that BB's played some small part on me falling a time or two. So, Here the question: What kind of floor can we expect to have next time? In RG10, it was drywall, painted with a flat black, with a texture. What textured roller was used? Will it be drywall next time? This doesn't matter much for quads, but, it can make a big difference with Bipeds, especial the ones that shuffle walk, or shuffle turn. With some more tweaking, I think Odin will work on any kind of texture.




Each Mech will start a match with 20 hit points (HP), bipeds will recieve a 15% bonus in HP for 23 HP total. Remaining HP will be reduced as the transponder unit registers hits, or when penalty hits are assessed. Starting HP may be raised, if at the end of any day the average match time, not including forfeited matches, is less than 8 minutes.



Okay, so Bipeds pickup a slight bonus here. Great.





Mechs will start in opposite corners of the arena. The corners will be masked off with 3'x3' squares taped on the floor, a mech will start in the center of the square. All of a mech's feet must fully cross the corner tape before it can score a hit on it's opponent.



Wasn't this done this year? And, can we put in the rules that a Verbal notice will be given on how fare from crossing, and when we cross?




If a target plate, properly mounted according to Section VII.a.3, should fall off of a robot, the plate will be re-attached, and the mech will be assessed one hit point.



Why the hit point assessment? Also, please define "falling off". We had a panel get Ripped off and one that fell off do to bad supporting structure. Also, does this mean if a biped falls, and knocks loose one of his panels he loose two Hitpoints?





If a mech does not move (defined by moving continuously for at least one body length) for 20 seconds, it will be assessed 1 penalty hit point. If a mech does not move for 60 seconds, it will be determined 'disabled' and forfeit the match. Panning/tilting of turrets, or firing blindly at non-targets, does not count as movement. This rule is intended to encourage mobility and prevent American Civil War Era fighting strategies. However, if a Mech is engaged in active combat (defined by actively firing upon or exchanging fire with an oppoonent), this rule does not apply.



Okay, so, step turning in place does not count as moving now? This is a HUGE penalty to slower moving mechs.. Quads, or Bipeds. Mech combat was never about how fast a mech was. Was more about strategy. The larger the mech, the more Armor and firepower, but, at a cost, of which is speed.




Full sized target plates are 3.5”x3.5”, with an active area of 3”x3”, weighing approximately 40g, and must be purchased from the event organizers. Half-size plates are 1.75"x3.5". The plates should not be altered, other than to apply velcro or similar to the back for attachment to the mech. You may color your target panels so long as the paint product does not interfere with sensitivity of the sensors. Due to technological constraints, plate design may change from time to time, however event organizers will strive to be consistent from year to year with the plate design.



Quadrupeds must carry 4 full-sized plates, one on each side of the body. Bipeds must carry a full front and rear plate, as well as half size plates on each side of their body or arms (depending upon which provides an unobstructed view). All tanks, and walkers with more than 4 legs, will carry four full size target plates.
Target plates must be reasonably mounted on a mech, with their entire face located between 2” and 22” off the ground, and not obscured by any limbs. Plates should be mounted on a flat, vertical surface, using two strips of velcro, so that the target plate is perpendicular to the ground. Use common sense when choosing a mounting location, and keep in mind the spirit of the game. If you are firing on an opponent, they should be capable of hitting your scoring plates. For instance, if a biped has it's camera and guns on a turret, the target plates must also be on the turret. Every effort should be made to have all target plates on a mech in the same vertical plane. If a mechanical design exists that does not allow for this, full plates can have no more than 1" of vertical separation. This cannot be used to specifically give a Mech a defensive advantage.






OKay, so, here is my thoughts on this. Again, this is a penalty of bipeds. This was the one true advantage Bipeds had over quads. I honestly believe this put them on more even playing field.
With that said, Almost ALL of the changes I've seen favor the quads over bipeds (with exception to the 15% HP bonus for bipeds). If you want this particular advantage, build a biped. don't whine about it.

With these new rules, I won't even think about going up against a quad. No point. I'll loose. Odin only made third place because he didn't have any major failures and had upgraded fire power compared to other people using tank guns. Other people will figure out the gun modifications, so, that won't be much of a factor next year. I decided to go with a Biped because, When I think of a Battle Mech, I think of a biped. The game had Bipeds, the board game only had 2 or 3 quads, and they were EXTREMELY rare.

My ideas: Maybe base the Hit Points (or hit point modifiers) on the speed and size of the mech. The faster they go, the less they get. Why? Because armor costs weight. The more weight, the slower you go. So, what would this mean for a quad? Well.. you all can adjust your speed, thus, you can choose your base HP's. For that matter, I think we need to define the speeds in scale with the rest of the system.. Maybe they need to be limited to a realistic scale speed?

I want to see this competition grow... and be fair to everyone. But I also want it to be in the spirit of the idea of Mech Combat as defined by the board game and video games we all have come to love.

lnxfergy
05-25-2010, 02:07 PM
Okay, Cameras, Good call on the Analog Cameras.. they could kill Xbee's, Bluetooth, and the 2.4b/g Wifi. on 802.11N, Depending on the setting they can use up 40 instead of 20Mhz of Spectrum (double that of b or g) and there is no real advantage to using it in the matches.. in fact, we were getting better results when I forced the Access Point to B only.
Actually, looking back at it, Andrew's editing may have confused that rule. It should say that 802.11N is NOT allowed (because b,g is better, and we don't have enough bandwidth for 40MHz channels).


I want to talk about Bipeds, and falling. After some tweaking the 2nd and 3rd days at RG10, Odin was able to walk in the arena without falling near as much as he did earlier on. When I got home, I tried him out on my kitchen floor (Textured Linoleum) and he didn't fall once (except when I tilted him all the way forward or backwards and tried to walk in that same direction). I even tried him out on my medium pile carpet, and he manged to do pretty good. So, I still can't figure out what the deal was in the arena. I know that BB's played some small part on me falling a time or two. So, Here the question: What kind of floor can we expect to have next time? In RG10, it was drywall, painted with a flat black, with a texture. What textured roller was used? Will it be drywall next time? This doesn't matter much for quads, but, it can make a big difference with Bipeds, especial the ones that shuffle walk, or shuffle turn. With some more tweaking, I think Odin will work on any kind of texture.
I'm not sure we can specify exactly the roller, but the floor should be approximately the same.


Wasn't this done this year? And, can we put in the rules that a Verbal notice will be given on how fare from crossing, and when we cross?
The reason this is highlighted, is that it was moved with in the rules -- and the "center" part was added. We'll consider verbal notice, although I have a feeling that the addition of the qualifications is going to eliminate this as being so essential


Why the hit point assessment? Also, please define "falling off". We had a panel get Ripped off and one that fell off do to bad supporting structure. Also, does this mean if a biped falls, and knocks loose one of his panels he loose two Hitpoints?
Note that we reference the "two strips of velcro". If you attach your plates with two strips of velcro (maybe we'll add a length/width here, but you get the idea), then any way it falls off, is falling off. Whether it just comes loose because you run like a banshee, or because it gets hooked on another mech, it's the same idea. The hit point is to discourage it (just as the hit point for falling over discourages it). We'll have to look into the biped loosing a plate when falling, but I think the answer is no, they would only get assessed a single point for the fall and anything that happens during it.


Okay, so, step turning in place does not count as moving now? This is a HUGE penalty to slower moving mechs.. Quads, or Bipeds. Mech combat was never about how fast a mech was. Was more about strategy. The larger the mech, the more Armor and firepower, but, at a cost, of which is speed.

The "come and find me because I can't move" is not a strategy, it's a lack of a strategy.


OKay, so, here is my thoughts on this. Again, this is a penalty of bipeds. This was the one true advantage Bipeds had over quads. I honestly believe this put them on more even playing field.

With that said, Almost ALL of the changes I've seen favor the quads over bipeds (with exception to the 15% HP bonus for bipeds). If you want this particular advantage, build a biped. don't whine about it.

With these new rules, I won't even think about going up against a quad. No point. I'll loose. Odin only made third place because he didn't have any major failures and had upgraded fire power compared to other people using tank guns. Other people will figure out the gun modifications, so, that won't be much of a factor next year. I decided to go with a Biped because, When I think of a Battle Mech, I think of a biped. The game had Bipeds, the board game only had 2 or 3 quads, and they were EXTREMELY rare.

My ideas: Maybe base the Hit Points (or hit point modifiers) on the speed and size of the mech. The faster they go, the less they get. Why? Because armor costs weight. The more weight, the slower you go. So, what would this mean for a quad? Well.. you all can adjust your speed, thus, you can choose your base HP's. For that matter, I think we need to define the speeds in scale with the rest of the system.. Maybe they need to be limited to a realistic scale speed?

I want to see this competition grow... and be fair to everyone. But I also want it to be in the spirit of the idea of Mech Combat as defined by the board game and video games we all have come to love.

My take: both Andrew and I are building bipeds, you can't accuse us of favoring quads. We're not going to penalize someone for building a robot that actually moves (be it a biped or a quad). The side plates are essential, because a lack of them is a huge advantage that can so easily be abused.

-Fergs

darkback2
05-25-2010, 02:55 PM
I suppose to some degree I shouldn't pipe up on this one...so take these suggestions in stride.

As for bipeds needing side plates, I think the rule that you have to be shootable in order to shoot makes that a mute point. A biped that has a sideways mounted gun and is shooting while side stepping would not meet this rule.

As for robots needing to be able to move, or being assessed penalties.

I personally don't think it is a penalty against bipeds, but more that it ensures matches will be enjoyable to all parties. One of the things that I noticed was that because bipeds lacked the mobility of quads, quads were getting penalized for not being agreesive...even though the quads being agressive resulted in them getting shot. We ended up penalizing quads because bipeds didn't have the necessary mobility to engage the quads.

As for the floor, it came as a suprise to me too, and squidword's feet sort of stuck on it causing what was a minor problem at home to become a major problem during mech warfare. I know squidword isn't a great example, but...still...Now that we know what the floor will be made of we can all prep for it, so that is sort of a non issue. provided it stays the same in the future.

I really like the qualifying check in deal.

Finally I think for the hitpoint deal we should consider changing to a best out of 3 judging deal. We wouldn't need to stop the fights between rounds...unless a round ended in a shootout. I think it would encourage strategy and make it so that a match wasn't over after a few brief scurmishes. That way we could add criteria for what makes a good mech.

I don't know...

DB

lnxfergy
05-25-2010, 03:10 PM
As for bipeds needing side plates, I think the rule that you have to be shootable in order to shoot makes that a mute point. A biped that has a sideways mounted gun and is shooting while side stepping would not meet this rule.

DB, the concern here is: a biped can't be hit if it turns sideways, so, they can fire a few rounds, then turn sideways and retreat without any damage. A quad does not have this retreat mode, it can be hit at any time. The other problem is that if a tall biped gets in the middle of the street and turns sideways, it really can't be hit, because you can't get a quad in at the right spot to be able to register a hit. As we see bipeds improve in mobility, we think this would become even more of an advantage. While adding the sideplates now may put bipeds a bit down this upcoming year, in the long run, I think they'll still be fine, with the HP boost + smaller side panels. If not, we'll adjust HP parameters in future years (but side plates are here to stay).


I personally don't think it is a penalty against bipeds, but more that it ensures matches will be enjoyable to all parties. One of the things that I noticed was that because bipeds lacked the mobility of quads, quads were getting penalized for not being agreesive...even though the quads being agressive resulted in them getting shot. We ended up penalizing quads because bipeds didn't have the necessary mobility to engage the quads.

Yep - every quad vs. biped match typically consisted of the quad having to make a frontal or near frontal assault on a practically stationary turret (and then not being able to back away without taking damage). Biped vs. Biped matches consisted of long range sniping once both bots had gotten close enough to possibly hit each other. All in all, mobility is a focus, because otherwise, this will get quite boring.


Finally I think for the hitpoint deal we should consider changing to a best out of 3 judging deal. We wouldn't need to stop the fights between rounds...unless a round ended in a shootout. I think it would encourage strategy and make it so that a match wasn't over after a few brief scurmishes. That way we could add criteria for what makes a good mech.

Unfortunately, if you have 3 rounds, I think you'll see 3 short shoot outs in many cases (unless both bots are quite mobile). Ideally, the way I see this: if both bots are mobile, they can get into a short shootout, maybe the guy who is up on HP tries to avoid the other one for a bit, but if the other bot is mobile, he'll be chasing him down trying to get a flanking attack. For instance, I know some people were specifically upset that Second Amendment sort of camped out after scoring a bunch of hits on Giger and just waited for the clock to run down -- but if Giger had the mobility to chase him down, it wouldn't have been a problem (equally, if Giger had that mobility, it mostly would have been a result of not having as much firepower... which would have made assaulting him less costly to SA).

-Fergs

darkback2
05-25-2010, 03:31 PM
Fair enough,

I guess by judging things based on rounds we can give robots points based on criteria/behavior that is preferable. In a sense it would eliminate the no camping/you have to move around rule if robots were scored down in a round for not showing agression. It would also make it so that hitpoints while a primary scoring sorce are not the end scoring source. We could have a weighted scoring guide...say 10 points total per round 6 for hitpoints, 2 for agreesion, and 2 discretionary for preferable strategy and so on. We could either take turns judging, or get a dedicated judge either from another event or...a volunteer.

DB

Upgrayd
05-25-2010, 03:47 PM
For instance, I know some people were specifically upset that Second Amendment sort of camped out after scoring a bunch of hits on Giger and just waited for the clock to run down -- but if Giger had the mobility to chase him down, it wouldn't have been a problem (equally, if Giger had that mobility, it mostly would have been a result of not having as much firepower... which would have made assaulting him less costly to SA).

In my defense under the rules I could have stayed in my corner and spun in circles and still won that match due to falling penalties. :tongue:

In all seriousness...

Airsoft Beginner league:
Is this what the name seems to imply? Strictly a league for beginners (first year competitors) or more of a catch all "bring what ya got and come play" league?

lnxfergy
05-25-2010, 03:48 PM
Fair enough,

I guess by judging things based on rounds we can give robots points based on criteria/behavior that is preferable. In a sense it would eliminate the no camping/you have to move around rule if robots were scored down in a round for not showing agression. It would also make it so that hitpoints while a primary scoring sorce are not the end scoring source. We could have a weighted scoring guide...say 10 points total per round 6 for hitpoints, 2 for agreesion, and 2 discretionary for preferable strategy and so on. We could either take turns judging, or get a dedicated judge either from another event or...a volunteer.

DB

Actually, in reworking the rules though, Andrew and I have tried, as much as possible, to remove all judging from the equation (as it tends to lead to upset people, in particular upset people who are upset at particular other people). Our thought has been that the more mechanical the scoring, the better -- especially as the we pick up more and more competitors.

-Fergs

lnxfergy
05-25-2010, 03:52 PM
In my defense under the rules I could have stayed in my corner and spun in circles and still won that match due to falling penalties. :tongue:

In all seriousness...

Oh, I'm not saying it was a bad thing at all, I think it was superb strategy given the ruleset, but we would like to see more engagement of the competitors. I'm sure if Giger had side panels, you'd probably have taken a few more quick looks around the corners, since you had a better chance of hitting him, yea?


Airsoft Beginner league:
Is this what the name seems to imply? Strickly a league for beginners (first year competitors) or more of a catch all "bring what ya got and come play" league?

I guess it's a bit of both: for both people just getting started and those who don't want or have the time to build a walker. It's probably a lower cost option as well. I would hope that after competing with a tank, and seeing the walkers up close, most people would come back in future years with a quad or biped -- however, I don't forsee us enforcing any "beginner" requirement - we just simply needed a better name than "Hexapod league", and "Anything Goes" might give the wrong impression (since, weapons rules, some size requirements, driving via IP cam, etc are all still applicable).

-Fergs

Stobs
05-25-2010, 04:01 PM
...Now that we know what the floor will be made of we can all prep for it, so that is sort of a non issue. provided it stays the same in the future...


Sorry, but for the life of me I don't see any reference to the floor's composition and/or coating, only to the size of the arena. Is that information posted in a different thread?

.Stobs

gdubb2
05-25-2010, 04:30 PM
Stobs, the floor was sheet rock painted flat black.. Latex paint I believe.

Gary

Stobs
05-25-2010, 04:57 PM
/me nods, yes Gary, thanks, I remember that being discussed in another thread. I also recall Robonaut mentioning possibly using hardboard (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/
...%20I%20priced%20out%20some%20hardboard%20witch% 20cost%20about%20$7.00%20for%20a%204%27%20x%208%27 %20sheet...) for the facades of the buildings, but it can be used for the flooring just as well - and if it's placed back(textured)side up, then traction can be maximized (Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hardboard... and More! (http://www.panel.com/uploads/whatisitcda0.pdf)). The way I interpreted DB's post, it sounded like the use of a flooring material other than last year's sheet rock had been decided upon and put forth.

.Stobs

webgeek
05-25-2010, 10:35 PM
Actually, in reworking the rules though, Andrew and I have tried, as much as possible, to remove all judging from the equation (as it tends to lead to upset people, in particular upset people who are upset at particular other people). Our thought has been that the more mechanical the scoring, the better -- especially as the we pick up more and more competitors. I wholly support this and would argue that it's critical. Strong rules specifying the critical design points and impartial scoring allow for a lot of leeway in mech design and construction. I think this is a fundamental requirement for any successful robot competition as it lets all of us maker-types (I consider anyone competing in a competition like this a maker of some sort) really go wild.

Any time things become more judge based and less automatic I get nervous. There are several RoboGame events that I love but have no intent in participating as they have some vague notion of a group of judges determining the winner without hard criteria. Please keep scoring as automatic and human-less as possible.

This last paragraph I direct to no one person or statement/post in particular, I'm bringing it up because of a general trend on the forum. Please don't take it as anything other than my personal opinion. I know for many of you, mech warfare is an attempt to make the video game and board games real. I fully appreciate and support that. But, for some of us it's a fascinating exercise in cutting edge hobby robotics in the form of a fun-as-hell competition. Please don't exclude us in an attempt to recreate the video/board game. The mediums are different and the realities of the game don't necessarily translate into practical hobby robotics. I think Andrew and crew have done an incredible job walking a fine line between the two and I'd like to see it stay that way if possible. To that end, I think we need to be careful on creating rules to force the competition to look like the game - too much favoritism for one type of mech over another for instance. I think the current approach is very good and seems to work well in recreating the spirit of the games without getting bogged down in the letter of the games.

Thanks!

-Mike

darkback2
05-26-2010, 12:00 AM
Any time things become more judge based and less automatic I get nervous. There are several RoboGame events that I love but have no intent in participating as they have some vague notion of a group of judges determining the winner without hard criteria. Please keep scoring as automatic and human-less as possible.


Hey Mike,

Just so you know, both my wife and I served as judges at robogames this past year. The judges judge events based on a set of criteria, and both of us found that a majority of the time judge scores were within 1 or 2 points of each other. I can only speak to the events we judged mind you. If judges work off of a dedicated set of rules in a transparent way, then things should be fine.

I understand your apprehension, but we all need to remember that professional sports are officiated by peopled. When we were kids playing little league or soccer, it was a human being who judged/scored things. We may not have always been happy with the calls the judges made, but I can't remember feeling that a judge made bad calls on purpose.

I know this isn't the way we are going...Just voicing my thoughts on the subject.

DB

DresnerRobotics
05-26-2010, 12:31 AM
Okay, so, step turning in place does not count as moving now? This is a HUGE penalty to slower moving mechs.. Quads, or Bipeds. Mech combat was never about how fast a mech was. Was more about strategy. The larger the mech, the more Armor and firepower, but, at a cost, of which is speed.

It's intended to encourage mobility from all participating pilots. It's a non-issue if one builds a mech capable of walking stably. If you and I were walking 100%, it wouldn't even have been an issue in the first place.



OKay, so, here is my thoughts on this. Again, this is a penalty of bipeds. This was the one true advantage Bipeds had over quads. I honestly believe this put them on more even playing field.
With that said, Almost ALL of the changes I've seen favor the quads over bipeds (with exception to the 15% HP bonus for bipeds). If you want this particular advantage, build a biped. don't whine about it.

Side panels are a must I'm afraid. It's unrealistic for a mech to be taking damage from the side and for it to not be counted. The 2 target panel rule for the first two years was only a temporary one (I've said this in the past) until we could assess a better means of giving bipeds an advantage. We're giving bipeds a 15% bonus in HP and smaller side panels, I think that's a fair trade-off and eliminates a potential exploitive behavior in the matches.



With these new rules, I won't even think about going up against a quad. No point. I'll loose. Odin only made third place because he didn't have any major failures and had upgraded fire power compared to other people using tank guns. Other people will figure out the gun modifications, so, that won't be much of a factor next year. I decided to go with a Biped because, When I think of a Battle Mech, I think of a biped. The game had Bipeds, the board game only had 2 or 3 quads, and they were EXTREMELY rare.

That's not exactly the right attitude. Focus on mobility and stability in your walking gaits for the next year, come back with the same exact setup, and I guarantee you will be vastly improved over your first year competing with Odin. Let's face it; both you and I had serious mobility (and stability) issues. I'm pushing people to build better bipeds. Not necessarily more expensive (I'm building an AX-12 based biped for next year in fact), but better in terms of mobility and stability. I fully believe that a very competitive AX-12 based biped is totally feasible, given the right amount of time spent on the right areas.

You've brought up the Battletech & Bipeds topic before, and I'd like to comment on it. I love BattleTech and MechWarrior, and the competition certainly pulls a lot of inspiration from it. It is not however intended to be a real world replica. This is Mech Warfare, where we have to build mechs that obey the laws of physics and within a certain technology limitation. This is why quads are included, because without quads it would essentially have been me vs you for most of the matches this year. The first year it would have been ShadowScout sitting in a corner by himself firing at cardboard boxes.

Quads are here to stay, the 'they weren't in battletech' argument is entirely irrelevant to this competition discussion.



My ideas: Maybe base the Hit Points (or hit point modifiers) on the speed and size of the mech. The faster they go, the less they get. Why? Because armor costs weight. The more weight, the slower you go. So, what would this mean for a quad? Well.. you all can adjust your speed, thus, you can choose your base HP's. For that matter, I think we need to define the speeds in scale with the rest of the system.. Maybe they need to be limited to a realistic scale speed?

I want to see this competition grow... and be fair to everyone. But I also want it to be in the spirit of the idea of Mech Combat as defined by the board game and video games we all have come to love.

I've thought of this before, but ultimately I want people to strive to build better robots- highly mobile and highly stable. Placing a lower ceiling on this to handicap it isn't in the spirit of the engineering aspect of this competition.


The floor will be the same. It is not super slick like linoleum however it is also pretty smooth and has only a very slight grip to it. Building (as well as programming) a robot capable of walking over multiple terrain types is something we should all strive for. A slight difference in grip should not cripple your robot, that means you didn't spend enough time on the walking gait in my book.


Che- I'm sorry but I'm not at all comfortable with the idea of it being a judged competition. At most, we'll have a sock-ref watching over to regulate some of the rules, but I don't ever see it actually being scored by people. The more mechanical and automatic the scoring is, the better. That way you have a distinct set of constraints to build around and for.

webgeek
05-26-2010, 12:01 PM
I understand your apprehension, but we all need to remember that professional sports are officiated by peopled. When we were kids playing little league or soccer, it was a human being who judged/scored things. We may not have always been happy with the calls the judges made, but I can't remember feeling that a judge made bad calls on purpose. There are a huge number of cases where professional sports matches/games were won or lost on poor officiating. Additionally, there are many cases of officials cheating in the games. Check out match fixing in Wikipedia for instance:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Match_fixing

Now with that said, I'm certainly not suggesting any of the RoboGame judges are playing favorites, match fixing or the like, only that people make arbitrary decisions that computers do not. Assuming all is working well, the scoring system does not need any human input to calculate hits and damage. This makes the competition something we plan for and understand to optimize our mechs. Ultimately my complaint isn't judges so much as being able to design my mech knowing it has specific and objectively measurable goals like "don't die" and "kill opponent" vs. subjective goals like "be complicated" and "look cool/flashy". This is actually my complaint with the bar-tending event - "aesthetics", and "style" are actual judging criteria vs. speed of drink creation, number of drinks supported, etc. I know it's in the art category but it still feels weird that a practical robot is getting chosen based on aesthetics and style.

-Mike

lnxfergy
05-26-2010, 12:23 PM
Ultimately my complaint isn't judges so much as being able to design my mech knowing it has specific and objectively measurable goals like "don't die" and "kill opponent" vs. subjective goals like "be complicated" and "look cool/flashy".

Um, this is exactly what the new ruleset does. I don't see any requirement that says the robot must "be complicated". If your argument is with the requirement that robots be walkers, well, that's the part that makes Mech Warfare unique. If we don't require walkers, we're just another RC tank competition -- that's been done before.

As for bipeds vs. quads, all of the changes are to level the playing field. Originally, we intended to level the field for bipeds by not having them carry as many target plates, however, this proved to be too much of an advantage -- instead, we'll try using a slight HP boost.

One note to competitors though, I notice that we forgot was to specify the location of the Transponder LED -- just a note, there will be a clause added shortly that requires that it be located such that it is visible from any angle (i.e. on top of the bot), such that we can hand score hits if the wireless were to go out for any reason. (and also so that the audience can tell the bot has been hit). I'm figuring that we'll have a standard LED (probably red rather than blue), that will be already mounted on wires so that you can remove it from the transponder board itself.

-Fergs

webgeek
05-26-2010, 12:29 PM
Um, this is exactly what the new ruleset does. I don't see any requirement that says the robot must "be complicated". If your argument is with the requirement that robots be walkers, well, that's the part that makes Mech Warfare unique. If we don't require walkers, we're just another RC tank competition -- that's been done before. Sorry, my post was in response to some previous post. I'm actually VERY happy with the mech warfare rules currently. I don't want them to become more subjective by adding possibilities for more judges. I want them to stay objective as they are. Sorry for the confusion!


I'm figuring that we'll have a standard LED (probably red rather than blue), that will be already mounted on wires so that you can remove it from the transponder board itself. Being able to remote-mount the LED will help massively.

-Mike

DresnerRobotics
05-27-2010, 11:04 AM
Two things we're about to change/add in the rules here that I wanted to clarify:

Green lasers are prohibited. Too much danger to spectators, we had someone show up with one this year and it made me far too nervous.

And to clarify: 802.11N wifi cameras are prohibited. Sorry Manny you can set the one you just bought to B/G only, but we just can't take the risk of them hogging all the bandwidth in 2.4.

Connor
05-27-2010, 11:49 AM
And to clarify: 802.11N wifi cameras are prohibited. Sorry Manny you can set the one you just bought to B/G only, but we just can't take the risk of them hogging all the bandwidth in 2.4.

You mean running them in N mode? They will run in b and g mode as well.

DresnerRobotics
05-27-2010, 12:04 PM
You mean running them in N mode? They will run in b and g mode as well.

Yeah, if you want to buy one it's fine. It just has to be run in B or G mode.

darkback2
05-27-2010, 12:21 PM
I"m going to run my camera in P or Q mode... :p

Also, perhaps the lazer deal should be power rating based rather than color. They do make high power lazers in lots of different colors. My purple one comes to mind.

DB

webgeek
05-27-2010, 02:13 PM
Also, perhaps the lazer deal should be power rating based rather than color. They do make high power lazers in lots of different colors. My purple one comes to mind. This is a good idea. While the color isn't totally irrelevant, it doesn't matter much in laser power and the chance to damage your eye. Visible laser colors require the least amount of power to cause injury to our eyes. Wikipedia has a good write up on this. I suggest we use the U.S. FDA restrictions and play it safe - Class II or Class IIIa laser devices only - nothing exceeding 5mw of power. It's not supposed to be sold as a laser "pointer" in the US if this is exceeded so as long as people use <5mw powered devices and don't point them at the crowd, we are fine. The assumption is that you will blink when hit in the eye with one of these and it won't hurt you because of that. It takes prolonged, continuous exposure for permanent damage - kinda like looking at the sun.

-Mike

Stobs
05-27-2010, 05:17 PM
...and don't point them at the crowd...

I agree w/everything but this - without direct view of the arena it isn't always going to be possible to tell where your laser is pointing. Obviously we should all work to minimize any crowd exposure but, imho, the maximum allowable mw should be below an incidental injurious threshold. I'd also suggest that a participant's laser(s) should be metered on Friday and then again immediately prior to a match.

.Stobs

webgeek
05-27-2010, 05:34 PM
imho, the maximum allowable mw should be below an incidental injurious threshold. I'd also suggest that a participant's laser(s) should be metered on Friday and then again immediately prior to a match.
If that's the case, I'd suggest just banning lasers and being done with it. The lowest threshold for no damage to the eye depends on the wavelength but its consistently below 0.5mw. If we are that concerned about this, let's just get rid of them and make it a moot issue. I don't personally feel strongly about this either way, I just have a good bit of experience with lasers and figure I'd post some info.

Correction: in my above post, I said color doesn't matter much but that's not true. I meant to say VISIBLE color doesn't matter much. Red vs. green vs purple, etc don't make a huge difference in eye damage potential. They all effectively damage the eye the same way. Power is what matters most in the visible colors. When you get into IR and UV lasers, the type of damage changes dramatically from burns to cataracts, etc.

-Mike

Stobs
05-27-2010, 06:06 PM
If that's the case, I'd suggest just banning lasers and being done with it. The lowest threshold for no damage to the eye depends on the wavelength but its consistently below 0.5mw...

I'd be a bit bummed about that - let battle bots have their flame throwers! I think lasers could be Mech-Warfare's analogous Gee-Whiz effect and they would be in-context to the genre.

.Stobs

master_of_robots
05-28-2010, 08:29 AM
I'd be a bit bummed about that - let battle bots have their flame throwers! I think lasers could be Mech-Warfare's analogous Gee-Whiz effect and they would be in-context to the genre.

.Stobs

I'd have to agree also. Having a laser on a robot is really awesome looking! I'd also like to mention that with the Zonet ZVC7630W wireless webcam (http://www.zonetusa.com/products-71.aspx) that I'm using, I can see a small laser dot just fine. I was planning on using it to help determine my targeting since I'll have dual airsoft cannons.

If everyone would be sensible with picking a laser, then this won't turn into a problem, and cause a ban to be created.

byi
05-31-2010, 09:59 AM
What exactly does beginner league mean? Also, is there an age requirement to compete in any of the leagues?

lnxfergy
05-31-2010, 10:35 AM
What exactly does beginner league mean? Also, is there an age requirement to compete in any of the leagues?

In the regular Airsoft league there are two major challenges: getting wireless control working, and stability of a walking quad/biped. By allowing hexapods and wheeled robots, which are very stable all the time, the beginner league drops one of those challenges. The beginner league is intended as an easier/cheaper entry into Mech Warfare.

There are no age requirements on any leagues.

-Fergs

byi
05-31-2010, 11:04 PM
Is it necessary to be over 18 to compete?

darkback2
05-31-2010, 11:25 PM
There may be something about children being accompanied by an adult, but that has more to do with the official robogames rules and not with mech warfare in particular.

That said, there are several events that are kid specific, and there was a kid participating in art bots a year ago who was in 8th grade. If you build a mech, and register then your in like flin. :)

byi
05-31-2010, 11:27 PM
Thanks for the help. I'll check the Robogames rules.

billyzelsnack
06-26-2010, 05:58 PM
So what's the complete weight/size of the scoring system for a biped?

Front sensor : 40g / 3.5"x3.5"x?"
Back sensor : 40g / 3.5"x3.5"x?"
Left sensor : ? / 1.75"x3.5"x?"
Right sensor : ? / 1.75"x3.5"x?"
Transponder : 25g / 2.4"x2.4"x?"
Wiring : 10g?

Is that the complete list?

lnxfergy
06-26-2010, 06:07 PM
So what's the complete weight/size of the scoring system for a biped?

Front sensor : 40g / 3.5"x3.5"x?"
Back sensor : 40g / 3.5"x3.5"x?"
Left sensor : ? / 1.75"x3.5"x?"
Right sensor : ? / 1.75"x3.5"x?"
Transponder : 25g / 2.4"x2.4"x?"
Wiring : 10g?

Is that the complete list?

The sensors are about 5/16"-3/8" thick at the widest point typically (if you tape the PCB down on the back). The weight of a side sensors should be about half the weight of the front/back for bipeds.

-Fergs

billyzelsnack
06-26-2010, 06:45 PM
Does the transponder weight include the xbee? What's the transponder thickness?

Andrew. Are you going to have a complete "Mech-warfare biped scoring package" for sale?

DresnerRobotics
06-26-2010, 07:17 PM
Sure am, I'm laser cutting all of the target panels from now on. I'll have complete kits for quads/hex's and bipeds available by this fall.

billyzelsnack
06-26-2010, 07:21 PM
In order to allow autonomous bots, and those using visual tracking, competitors may bring a visual fiducial of any color which may be applied to an opponent's target plates using tape of any color. Fiducials should be no bigger than 3"x3". As these fidicuals may become damaged during use, it is suggested to bring a decent quantity of them with you.

I think this item needs to be flushed out a little bit. The basic spirit of the rule is that you are allowed to mostly cover each of an opponents target plates, including biped side plates. Is that correct?

billyzelsnack
06-26-2010, 07:26 PM
Also.. What about arena fiducials (either standard or competitor placed) and will there be a basic 3D model of the arena available?

darkback2
06-26-2010, 07:37 PM
Given the buildings and the fact that we are probably going to have the tent painted with a city scape, it may be a bit difficult to get that sort of recognition. Some things you might be able to go off of are the markings on the floor, though I'm not sure how exacting those are. The buildings were crumbly plaster, and sticking things to them or the canvas tent may not work well. That said, the buildings have a "side walk" lip around them, and the bottom of the tent has a PVC pipe running the length of it.

Hope this helps.

DB

billyzelsnack
06-26-2010, 08:01 PM
Oh. So it'll be different than just solid colored walls like last year? I guess that makes putting fiducials at the ends of the streets a no-no then.

lnxfergy
06-26-2010, 08:14 PM
I think this item needs to be flushed out a little bit. The basic spirit of the rule is that you are allowed to mostly cover each of an opponents target plates, including biped side plates. Is that correct?

Yep, the basic idea is: colorize/mark the panels whatever color/design you want. Obviously the size aspect wasn't fully updated for half panels. You'll in see in various photos/videos, Giger was wearing pink post-it notes on his panels when in a match against Miss Alignment. The reason we leave the color/etc up to builders is because it'd be nearly impossible to get everyone (or even a majority) to agree on what color or type of marker should be employed.

As for fiducials in the arena, I don't see this being too practical. Assuming we have a similar floor, there would be yellow/white road striping which could aid in navigation, but it's pretty hard to put markers on the tent itself (or the buildings, since, yes, they crumble).

-Fergs

kamondelious
06-27-2010, 01:32 AM
As far as colour of the panels goes. Would it make sense to keep the rule that the panels can be whatever colour you want, but they must have a border in a high contrast colour. This could simply be black/white, but it is something that could be easily "measured". As worst case scenario, it's put to a vote for if it's high contrast enough. On the qualify day, you'd only need to have some electrical tape handy (in at least black & white) to define borders that we not high contrast enough.

This way the size/shape/colour of any panel never matters, but it's always identifiable.

Please don't tell my wife I referred to black & white as colours. ;)

Cheers

lnxfergy
06-27-2010, 11:53 AM
There's no reason to define any colors or shapes -- we let people define them. Miss Alignment could see pink well, so they put a pink marker on each of their opponent. This of course would be tough in something like a 2 on 2 match, but somehow, I think autonomous 2 on 2 is unlikely to really happen. Even Miss A was just using the markers to improve their firing, they weren't autonomous.

-Fergs

georgeecollins
06-30-2010, 06:48 PM
I have a question that is sort of rules, sort of advice. I see recommendations for the robot's height but I didn't see a prescription for length or width, other than the robot must fit in a 3'x3' square and the lanes are 36" wide. Does that mean a robot can be as big as 3'x3', or is there a smaller width and length the robot must be?

Is there a size you recommend staying under so that you can navigate the course well?

Sterylite6000-- a robot I built for the walker challenge-- is pretty fast and can carry a lot of payload. But I worry that it would be too wide for the course. I'm always happy for an excuse to build another robot, but then it would be nice if I could extend it usefulness.

Thank you for your help.

lnxfergy
06-30-2010, 07:09 PM
Honestly George -- I wouldn't suggest anything bigger than about 18"x18"... if you get wider than 18" you won't be able to drive very well down the hallways through a camera. Any longer than 18" and you'll have trouble hanging the rear end up in the turns (depth perception is pretty awful through the narrow angle cameras).

-Fergs

georgeecollins
06-30-2010, 11:02 PM
That makes sense. It looked like it would have been a little narrow. It never hurts to have a reason to build a new robot :)


Thanks!

lnxfergy
07-01-2010, 10:07 AM
That makes sense. It looked like it would have been a little narrow. It never hurts to have a reason to build a new robot :)

Thanks!

You can always try it out too. Arrange some furniture into a 3' wide hallway, throw a webcam on the bot, and drive it around for a bit. It's a pretty simple experiment -- and if nothing else, you'll have developed what you need to control either the current bot, or a new one.

-Fergs

georgeecollins
07-01-2010, 03:45 PM
That is an excellent idea.

HyperMouse
09-10-2010, 11:51 PM
Regarding the target plates...

I'm wondering if two half-size plates are considered the equivalent of one full-size plate. I'm specifically looking at splitting the front plate, mounting one half plates on each side. This is all very theoretical at the moment, but I'm thinking about putting the gun/camera in the middle, with a half-plate on either side.

Thanks,
Peter

byi
09-22-2010, 09:42 AM
Would it be possible to mount half targets aboveand below in a similar way to what ismentioned above?

lnxfergy
09-22-2010, 10:26 AM
Regarding the target plates...

I'm wondering if two half-size plates are considered the equivalent of one full-size plate. I'm specifically looking at splitting the front plate, mounting one half plates on each side. This is all very theoretical at the moment, but I'm thinking about putting the gun/camera in the middle, with a half-plate on either side.

Thanks,
Peter

Andrew and I had a bit of discussion about this. Preliminary thoughts: Yes, we'll allow it -- but only for a front plate (because I realize it's quite difficult to get realistic looking mechs with a massive target plate and most IP cams having the imaging lens located in the center of a large PCB). The stipulation will be: no more than 1" separation between the plates (and they should be parallel). Orientation does not matter.

We'll be updating the rules over the next few days -- if anyone can see a major reason why we should NOT allow this, please speak now, or it will be added to the final draft.

-Fergs

gdubb2
09-22-2010, 11:18 AM
Sounds like a good idea to me.. mounting the front plate has always been problematic for me.

Gary

mannyr7
09-23-2010, 08:56 AM
Sounds like a good idea to me.. mounting the front plate has always been problematic for me.

Gary

Agreed!

Stobs
11-02-2010, 05:46 PM
Two questions about the rules concerning bipeds:
1) Is it allowed to manually upright your bot?
2) Are we allowed to use two 1/2 panels separated just enough to allow for our camera's viewing angle (ie, placing the camera behind the panels if it's got a wide housing, or aside a narrow lens housing), or must the front (and back) panels be full sized?

Stobs/Paul

lnxfergy
11-02-2010, 06:17 PM
Two questions about the rules concerning bipeds:
1) Is it allowed to manually upright your bot?

Section VI, 6. A collision or knockover will score as a hit if the scoring transponder detects it. If your mech is unable to right itself, the match will be paused while the mech is assisted, and penalized a hit point of damage if the transponder did not detect the fall. The clock will not stop during any assistance.


2) Are we allowed to use two 1/2 panels separated just enough to allow for our camera's viewing angle (ie, placing the camera behind the panels if it's got a wide housing, or aside a narrow lens housing), or must the front (and back) panels be full sized?Section VII, 1.2: Any mech may replace the front full-size plate with 2 half-size plates, allowing a slot for the camera to protrude, however, the half-plates must not be separated by more than 1".

As usual, I suggest that contestants familiarize themselves with the rules of the game (they are fairly short, especially in comparison to the book that most events throw at their competitors).

-Fergs

Stobs
11-02-2010, 09:40 PM
Thanks for the reply Fergs - and you're right, sorry about that.

Stobs/Paul

lnxfergy
11-02-2010, 10:28 PM
Thanks for the reply Fergs - and you're right, sorry about that.

Stobs/Paul

No problem --

But I really would like to re-iterate for EVERYONE who plans to compete (not just you), that they should spend the 20-30 minutes it takes to read through the rules. The rules have been updated and are basically finalized for 2011 (see the first post in this thread). They're pretty short -- but everything included in them is important -- either for safety or fairness.

We've been pretty lenient over the past few years in regards to the rules -- but as we grow in numbers we have to be a bit less lenient. Pay special attention to:


New qualification round requirements
Target panel mounting specifications
Scoring requirements -- especially for bipeds (in regards to falls, and not moving)

Please also plan for safety and have some way of locking the barrel of your mech when outside the arena.

-Fergs

Stobs
12-20-2010, 02:58 PM
Has the dates of April 15th through the 17th been confirmed for RG'11? I know their websites states those dates but I had seen some discussion previously as to whether or not they were firmed up, and it's getting time to set up travel plans.

Regards,
Paul

kamondelious
01-26-2011, 03:46 PM
I have a few points I'd like clarified.

I'm using a 5mw red laser, mostly for show, but partly for targeting fun. With regards to having a switch/cover for it, does this have to be a physical switch on the robot? I'm going to have the laser be off by default and use a button on my controller to switch it on only while the button is pressed. Does that count or would I also be required to have the physical switch on the robot and if so, does the power switch for the robot count?

Wireless N is acceptable as long as it's running in the 20MHz range and not 40MHz?

With regards to target plates :

Target plates must be reasonably mounted on a mech, with their entire face located between 2” and 22” off the ground, and not obscured by any limbs. Plates should be mounted on a flat, vertical surface, using two strips of velcro, so that the target plate is perpendicular to the ground. Use common sense when choosing a mounting location, and keep in mind the spirit of the game. If you are firing on an opponent, they should be capable of hitting your scoring plates. For instance, if a biped has it's camera and guns on a turret, the target plates must also be on the turret. Every effort should be made to have all target plates on a mech in the same vertical plane. If a mechanical design exists that does not allow for this, full plates can have no more than 1" of vertical separation. This cannot be used to specifically give a Mech a defensive advantage.Largely for aesthetic reasons, partially because of weight distribution, I'd prefer not to have the head/turret of my biped mech be a box. If the front/side view of my mech's head is trapezoidal as opposed to square/rectangular (as in narrower at the top than the bottom), is that acceptable as long as the angle isn't so great that it could give me a distinct tactical advantage? I only ask because the rules state, "..., so that the target plate is perpendicular to the ground.", but at the same time, "Use common sense when choosing a mounting location, and keep in mind the spirit of the game.". What I'm planning doesn't technically meet the first point, but I do take the later to heart.

Cheers

:D

elaughlin
01-26-2011, 04:18 PM
Kam,

I actually have a similar set up of my mech I believe. It is smaller at the top and wider of the bottom and was hard to find a mounting situation. But made a box type portion that holds 3 of the target panels perpendicular to the ground. Each one of those plates will hold a target on them, and the 4th is on the other side attached to the guns. Maybe something like this would help out. But don't really know what your Mech is like.

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/4/2/3/7/sam_0622.jpg

kamondelious
01-26-2011, 05:42 PM
Hey elaughlin,

Thanks for the input. I really like your Mech btw.
Something like your turret is kind of what I had in mind, but angled halfway between yours and perpendicular to the ground. Shouldn't be too sloped that it would deflect so much that it would not register a hit. Even from a shorter quad aiming upwards. Plus I'd have to aim downwards to shoot back, so it'd even out. How come you didn't mount the target plates on the sloped panels of your turret directly? I suppose I need revisit your project thread. ;)

Here's some early pictures of Woodstock.
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/album.php?albumid=86

I don't see mounting them vertically/perpendicular as a problem, I'd just like to be able to have more shape options than a box. Maybe I'm just having a hard time picturing what I can do with the panels because I don't have them yet.

Cheers

:D

elaughlin
01-26-2011, 07:17 PM
I didnt mount them directly mostly because I planned out the design before I planned the placing of target panels. So I wanted to keep the side walls all the way around looking like the idea of a mech's body from the games as much as possible. And this way, I just have to detach the "arm" that holds on the targets, and its back to a regular robot, not just mech warfare bot.

For the sloped panels, I think I saw Squidward (DB's mech) had a sloped panel on the back in some pictures, but still check with Andrew and Fergs about the legality, which you already are.

lnxfergy
01-26-2011, 08:16 PM
Squidword's rear panel was indeed (one of) the reasons we added that rule. The panels do not work when a shot is too far off angle. I would say that small angles (something like 10-20 degrees) would be ok.... but definitely nothing in the 30-40+ degree range, especially on a taller biped.

In particular, an example of a major issue is a tall biped with angled panels that leans forward (increasing the angle), and then a low quad approaches from behind -- the angle could easily approach ~60 degrees or something.

-Fergs

lnxfergy
01-26-2011, 08:32 PM
I'm using a 5mw red laser, mostly for show, but partly for targeting fun. With regards to having a switch/cover for it, does this have to be a physical switch on the robot? I'm going to have the laser be off by default and use a button on my controller to switch it on only while the button is pressed. Does that count or would I also be required to have the physical switch on the robot and if so, does the power switch for the robot count?

Yes, that'd be fine -- in fact, that's probably the best solution as it can't be accidentally left on.


Wireless N is acceptable as long as it's running in the 20MHz range and not 40MHz?

That is correct. The issue that there isn't enough space in the band for 2 concurrent 40MHz channels.

-Fergs

kamondelious
01-26-2011, 08:37 PM
Awesome, thanks for the clarification lnxergy.

:D

DresnerRobotics
03-08-2012, 03:48 PM
FYI- We'll be proceeding in 2012 with the same ruleset, that is why there is no change or update. The only thing we might be changing is the overall match length time, which will be set to 10 minutes.

kamondelious
03-08-2012, 04:32 PM
Is the transponder information still the same with the new transponders?

DresnerRobotics
03-08-2012, 04:38 PM
For the most part, yes.

The size has changed, as has the addition of the LED sub-board, but overall it works in the same manner. We'll be posting an official 2012 ruleset soon, as well as more info on the MWScore system in general in the next week.

DresnerRobotics
04-09-2012, 11:27 AM
Slight revisions and changes for the 2012 final draft, marked in eye-bleeding-green-NEVERMIND *ahem* pretty purple.

Nothing major aside from the match length being reduced from 10 minutes to 8 minutes.

Also, please welcome the illustrious Mr. Lowerr aka Upgrayd to the Mech Warfare Event Organizers roster.

DresnerRobotics
04-26-2012, 09:41 PM
Discussion to be continued here: http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?5454-Mech-Warfare-2013-Draft-Rules