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DresnerRobotics
04-26-2012, 02:28 PM
Big changes this year, make sure to read and understand this ruleset if you intend on competing. This is a DRAFT, meaning rules will be subject to modification, deletion, or additions throughout the year. I am looking for feedback on these rules, but if you disagree with something explain why with logic and reason.

Major changes:

We now have a stable, functional Wifi network solution. Rules are being changed to require this for competing.
Hardcore ruleset has been reworked.
Qualification round requirements have been raised considerably.

Pre-qualification video submissions will be allowed with a bonus to those who submit.
Due to tougher qualification requirements, penalty options have been added to aid disabled Mechs.
Clarifications as on FSR target panel mounting.
This thread is to serve as a public comment space.



Mech Warfare Rules
2013 Edition

CHANGES FROM APRIL 2012 ARE IN RED.







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 - andrew@trossenrobotics.com (andrew@trossenrobotics.com) ( Tyberius (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/member.php?u=1492) )
Seth Cook - sthmck@gmail.com ( sthmck (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/member.php?1443-sthmck) )
Ryan Lowerr - ryan.lowerr@gmail.com ( Upgrayd (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/member.php?3316-Upgrayd) )

Alumni Council:
Mike Ferguson - mike@vanadiumlabs.com( 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. This is the main competition event.
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.
In all matches, at least 1 event organizer and 1-2 referees will oversee the match. A Lead Judge will be appointed prior to the event, and all disagreements will be deferred to this Lead Judge for a final ruling.
Teams with multiple Mechs in their hangar have two options: Register and compete with the Mechs separately, or register as a single pilot with multiple mechs at their disposal. Mechs may not be switched out in the final 3 matches.
Section II – Mech Construction
All competitors are subject to final approval by Mech Warfare officials. As part of the qualification process, 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 now required, and are the preferred and supported method of video feed. Non-wifi cameras do not work well in the high RF interference environment of Robogames. 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. While this is a working solution, we may be exploring alternatives in the 5.8 ghz range. More information on this later.

Multiple cameras are allowed, however all cameras on a robot must connect through the same SSID and channel.

An industrial grade dual Wifi Access Point will be provided for competitor use. Using this access point is required of all competitors. All competitors will need to know their IP Camera information such as SSID, static IP address, and be able to make changes to their camera settings if required. NO wireless security is to be enabled. (We may require that all competitors pre-register their IP camera information or make specific settings to their camera. More information on this later)
Spectators/team members will be able to view the full arena and match, however they cannot provide hints, tips or assistance to pilots. Any team member viewing the match directly and giving information to their pilot will cause an immediate forfeit of the match. The only people allowed to communicate with the pilot are refs and event organizers, and what information can be given to the pilot will be specified in a future revision.

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.
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. Guns must not be so powerful as to cause damage to the FSR Target Panels. AEG and "Defender" style weapons are allowed, anything more powerful will need to be tested beforehand. 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 (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 10-8PM). Prior to the event, your team will be given a timeslot for qualifications, you must be available during this time. 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.
You will first be required to demonstrate that your Mech connects to the wireless network using your provided camera settings. You must also confirm and demonstrate that every individual FSR of your scoring system is functional, and registering correctly on the scoreboard PC. If your scoring system and/or scoring Xbee needs programming, arrange this prior to your qualification attempt.
You have a maximum of 10 minutes to complete this setup phase on your first qualification attempt. The qualification round runs for 5 minutes. Subsequent qualification attempts only allow for 5 minutes of setup time.
A qualification round consists of the following: The Mech will start in a corner of the arena with 10 HP. Each corner will contain a small Target Beacon, with a single FSR Target Panel mounted 8-12" from the ground. The Mech must pilot and hit all 4 Target Beacons in under 5 minutes. The first Target Beacon to hit will be on the opposite corner of the starting point, and then the remaining Target Beacons in clockwise pattern. Each Target Beacon must be hit using the Mech's primary weapon system, melee is not allowed. If there is time remaining after the 4 Target Beacons are hit, the Mech must continue the same clockwise pattern and demonstrate that it can function for a full 5 minutes continuously. We will rank & record the number of Target Beacons hit as a score that could be used in future matchmaking. (revision note: I'll provide a map detailing the distances and path suggestion required for this, so that competitors can ensure their bot will qualify beforehand)
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. You must maintain control, wireless video feed, and mobility requirements during the entire qualification round.

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. If you do not show up or are not ready by the time your timeslot comes up, you will be moved to the back of the line.
There will be an option to submit a pre-qualification video starting at the beginning of 2013 (Jan 1st, 2013). A thread will be created in this forum that will allow for competitors to submit a video of their Mech performing the qualification round for 5 minutes. A standard household item such as a plastic cup can be used in place of the Scoring Beacons. Submissions can be made from Jan 1st 2013 through April 1st 2013. The primary goal of this is to provide a bonus to competitors who are showing up prepared, but does not replace the on-site qualification requirement. Any competitor who submits an approved pre-qualification video will be awarded with a 1 HP "battle-hardened" bonus to their Mech for that year. In addition, they will have first pick at which timeslot on the qualifications day they prefer. Timeslots will be handed out on a first-come-first-serve basis. All remaining timeslots will be randomly seeded by any competitors who did not submit a pre-qualification video.
Section VI – Match Rules

A) Airsoft Leagues:
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 the current ladder bracket. Prior to beginning the match, each competitor has 10 minutes of staging time. 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. If you are next up for a match, we expect you to be staged and ready to setup as soon as the current match is finished.
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.
Matches have a maximum length of 8 minutes. 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. A Mech must have scored at least one hit upon its opponent to be eligible for a win.
Mechs will start in opposite corners of the arena facing the center. 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. During the event that your Mech falls over and is unable to right itself, the match will be paused while the Mech is assisted. Bipeds are penalized 1 HP of damage, quads are penalized 5 HP. 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.

Mobility Requirements, TKO, and Penalty Options: If a Mech does not move (defined by moving continuously for at least one body length) for 20 seconds, the pilot will be giving a warning. This applies whether or not your Mech is actively engaged in combat. If your Mech does not move, a 10 second TKO countdown will commence. During this TKO countdown you have two options:
​Disabled Mech State: If your Mech has become disabled and is unable to walk in a fashion that meets the mobility requirements, but you still have control/video feed and the ability to defend yourself, you have an option of calling upon a "Disabled Mech" state during this TKO countdown. If you call upon this state, your Mech's current HP will be reduced by half (rounded up), after which you may continue to attempt to move, fire upon your opponent, but you will not suffer a TKO due to a movement penalty.
Forfeit: If you feel you cannot continue the match for whatever reason, you have the option of forfeiting the match.

****Placeholder: Clarify on defensive positions, etc.

B) Hardcore Leagues:
A match consists of two Mechs facing off in an arena, and is to the death. No scoring system will be used as it is not designed to withstand the stronger weapons in the Hardcore League. As this is primarily an exhibition league at this point in the competition, there may not be a competition ladder made. Matches will be decided on a per-case basis

Fights are to the death. If a Mech manages to disable or destroy it's opponent, it will be declared the winner.
Matches are 5 minutes.

If both Mechs are standing at the end of the 5 minutes, the winner will be determined by a judges call.

****Criteria for scoring here will be detailed at a later revision.


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 and FIRMLY 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. Target panels cannot be mounted to legs. 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. ****Clarification on FSR Target Panel mounting criteria needed.

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 6-12 (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.
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 facing up in a clearly visible area, preferably the top of the Mech. All efforts should be made to ensure it is visible from all sides of your 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. **** Detail on new Scoring broadcast needed

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.
April 26th - Revision for 2013 Ruleset.

DresnerRobotics
04-26-2012, 03:56 PM
This thread is now open for discussion. The current revisions are not complete, more will be added. Rules may be changed based upon user feedback.

Obviously I'm going to weigh veteran's feedback heavier than those who have not competed, but I don't mind hearing people out.

My reasoning behind some of these changes can be found here.
(http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?5422-If-there-was-one-specific-rule-or-part-of-Mech-Warfare-that-you-could-change-what-would-it-be&p=51515#post51515)

The biggest emphasis here is that people need to start showing up ready to compete. Numa was cheated out of a number of matches due to going up against subpar competitors, while he was fully prepared and ready to compete. It simply is not fair to those who show up to the event fully prepared to be hampered by people who are not doing the same. This ends now.

Yes the qualification requirements are hard. They're intended to be. I also realize that slower bipeds will not be able to complete this. This is my intent. The bottom line is, a slow biped cannot truly compete. Cire showed us all up with his biped this year, and it would have easily completed this new qualification requirement. What people need to realize is that building a competitive biped is EXTREMELY HARD, and showing up with a barely functional biped is not in the spirit of the game. I'd rather us have 5 competitive quads than 20 mediocre bipeds. My intent was never for people to build bipeds on their first year attempt, it's something to be seen as a challenge for those who want the challenge. If you are building a biped and you want to be competitive, you will need to be able to complete this new qualification, it's as simple as that.

For those who show up and do not qualify: better luck next year. I'm posting the requirements with a full year of notice, so show up prepared. If you do not qualify, you are more than welcome to run exhibition rounds for practice.

cire
04-26-2012, 05:35 PM
Target plates must be reasonably and FIRMLY 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. Target panels cannot be mounted to legs. 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. ****Clarification on FSR Target Panel mounting criteria needed.


I think the firmness should be defined more technically, here is my recommendation of the kind of spec (not sure what the values should be).
Firmness definition: 1/2 pound of force the panel should not deflect more then 1/16" when pressed normal to the panel in all four corners and the center.

For FSR Target panel mounting criteria, I think that if it is possible for your robot can shoot the other robot and they cannot shoot you, then it should be considered illegal. Yes this would mean that immortal, insanity wolf, and Ra would all be illegal this year, although they could still compete if their turrets limited rotation to a few degrees, however i still think the mounting is shady at best, because the robot can move into positions that make it very hard to hit the panels still. It is too hard for the ref's to call the situations where the mechs are at rotated 45 degrees and there isn't even a defined penalty if they do it.

byi
04-30-2012, 09:39 PM
Cire, my panels are mounted with significantly more flexibility yet activate when flicked decently hard. Maybe they need to be reinforced a bit, but I think the sensitivity would be high enough with significantly less strength than you require. Of course, I dont have much experience, so Icould be misjudging.

Axirts
05-01-2012, 11:37 AM
Wireless IP Cameras are now required, and are the preferred and supported method of video feed. Non-wifi cameras do not work well in the high RF interference environment of Robogames. 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. If you have a new wireless video feed technology and would like to try it out in Exhibition match, by all means contact an event organizer beforehand, however you must have an IP Camera to compete in the ranked ladder matches.


Would a setup such as:
-wired camera(usb, pinhole with ADC/encoder)-> b/g enabled COMs such as gumstix, beagleboard
-network(non-wifi) -> the small single port b/g routers
fall under "new wireless video feed technology?"

CogswellCogs
05-01-2012, 12:09 PM
I mounted my target panels a little while ago. One thing that would have helped me, and provided a more firm mount, would be to have small tabs protruding from the sides of FSR backing panel. That would make it much easier to secure the target panel to the bot. I used velcro, and there is a little 'give' in that mounting. It would also provide a good way to fasten the clear protective cover to the target plate. I use thin strips of electrical or duct tape and they keep peeling off.

Slugman
05-01-2012, 07:06 PM
Re cires comment - Could be solved by forcing FSRs to be mounted on the turret, with the flat face facing the gun direction.
This still allows an offset target box. Legs could still get in the way, but it's much less likely. A minimum height for FSRs could prevent that, but could be an issue for smaller quads with their tiny legs. Maybe as above, but the FSRs have to be at least the same height above the top of the coxa as the length of the fibia? It allows the builder to scale up any quad, without any appreciable loss in stability & no immoral advantage when crouching/resting.

So just repeating;
1 - FSRs to be mounted on the turret, with one facing the gun direction
2 - Bottom edge of FSRs to be at least the same height above the top of the coxa as the length of the fibia (Measured from horn centres)

Just my 0.0002c worth (Scaled down for not being a competitor, with almost no chance of me being one either!)

tician
05-01-2012, 09:21 PM
Re cires comment - Could be solved by forcing FSRs to be mounted on the turret, with the flat face facing the gun direction.
I seem to remember this being an actual rule sometime in the past, and there are a few older MW videos where most of the quads had a full panel on three sides of a square hopper (which reinforces my creepily common sensation of deja-vu. I really need to get more sleep on a regular basis).


Would a setup such as:
-wired camera(usb, pinhole with ADC/encoder)-> b/g enabled COMs such as gumstix, beagleboard
-network(non-wifi) -> the small single port b/g routers
fall under "new wireless video feed technology?"
I was wondering the same thing about the very similar setup that is used on the DARwIn-OP (USB webcam connected to fit-pc2 which then streams the video over USB 802.11b/g/n or onboard gigabit ethernet using mjpeg_streamer). You start mjpeg_streamer which begins hosting a webpage (with some javascript to make the browser refresh a jpeg image) on the fit-pc2. After that, you just connect with a javascript-enabled browser to any of the IP addresses (statically or dynamically assigned to eth0 or wlan0 for external viewing; 'localhost' when viewing on the DARwIn-OP) and you have video.

lnxfergy
05-01-2012, 10:40 PM
I was wondering the same thing about the very similar setup that is used on the DARwIn-OP (USB webcam connected to fit-pc2 which then streams the video over USB 802.11b/g/n or onboard gigabit ethernet using mjpeg_streamer). You start mjpeg_streamer which begins hosting a webpage (with some javascript to make the browser refresh a jpeg image) on the fit-pc2. After that, you just connect with a javascript-enabled browser to any of the IP addresses (statically or dynamically assigned to eth0 or wlan0 for external viewing; 'localhost' when viewing on the DARwIn-OP) and you have video.

As long as the stream ends up being wifi-based, it doesn't really matter if it comes from a IP-cam or a small PC attached to a webcam -- however, you had better make sure that your code is bulletproof, because if you lose connection to your camera your match is lost.

I would recommend that you not put a router on your robot though, as you would probably not be able to take advantage of the directional antennas placed inside the arena, which greatly cut down on interference.

-Fergs

byi
05-21-2012, 07:43 AM
I'm looking at my current target panel setup, and the panels just aren't mounted firmly enough. The main problem is the connection between the pcb and the panel. Since the double-sided tape wears out, it just isn't reliable. Would I be allowed to use new FSRs with female connectors instead of male, mount the panels directly to a surface, and place the pcbs somewhere else? That would make things a heck of a lot easier and more reliable.

gdubb2
05-21-2012, 12:37 PM
There's nothing that dictates how the PCB must be attached. The peel and stick backing on the FSR's themselves is extremely strong. How you mount the PCB is up to you. Remotely would work. Personally, I attach the PCB to the back of the FSR panels with velcro, but DO NOT attach the panels to the robot via the PCB. I mount the FSR panels to the robot so that the PCB does not have to support any more than it's own weight.

I made a styrene frame that the FSR panels attach to. This gives them a lot of stability and rigidity. I also use velcro to attach the panels to the frames, but instead of a little 1.75 x 1.75 area, I have a 3 x 3 area of attachment. It's good and solid, and if necessart I could use some other method with the same frames.

Gary

jwatte
05-21-2012, 03:16 PM
Would a quadcopter with an airsoft gun and a wireless camera qualify? It has four landing "legs," and liftoff is similar to use of jump jets.

kamondelious
05-21-2012, 03:48 PM
Would a quadcopter with an airsoft gun and a wireless camera qualify? It has four landing "legs," and liftoff is similar to use of jump jets.

The rules are pretty specific on this.

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. This is the main competition event.
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.
In all cases it says walking robots, not, robots must have legs. Which means that your landing legs would have to be operational for walking.

There are also size restrictions on your robot, specifically it has to be able to navigate on the 3 foot wide streets and the arena itself is 16'x16'x8'.

So, if you can build a quadcopter that has 4 legs that it can walk with, wireless IP camera, BB Gun, targeting system, can qualify and can readily last the duration of a match (8 minutes). I'd wager that it would be accepted.

I'm thinking that would be tricky to fly even for a quad copter. Not to mention hitting the target panels of a mech on the ground without flying into either the buildings or the arena.

Please start a thread if you're going to pursue this project, I'd be interested to follow it as it takes shape.

Cheers!

:D

gdubb2
05-21-2012, 04:25 PM
Not to mention the POV of the operator/pilot.. it's tough to keep track of where the robot is inside the arena. I can't imagine how one would keep track of something airborne without the ability of seeing just where it was..

jwatte
05-21-2012, 09:51 PM
The two-footers can take a payload of 1 kg or so. Would be hard to fit "walking" legs into that. Perhaps "scooting" :-) Maybe with muscle wire?
There's very little chance I'll have the wherewithal and time to start a project like that, though. If I do, I'll be sure to report on it!
(Hmm -- how can you make jump jets some other way?)

byi
07-31-2012, 09:22 PM
Just checking, when will the exact guidelines for target panrl mounting be posted? I'm currently working on my mounts, so knowing the requirements would be nice. I don't expect my mounts will be outside specifications, but it would be nice to know ahead of time.

DresnerRobotics
10-17-2012, 10:28 AM
New draft revision incoming. Key changes:

5.8ghz Analog Camera BETA. We will allow veteran competitors to test out this newer tech that has been subsidized recently by the R/C FPV industry. The transmitter to be used WILL be defined and regulated heavily. We will use transmitters such as this: http://hobbywireless.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=88_92&products_id=619 coupled with an analog camera of your choice. Receivers will be provided, though obviously you will want your own for testing purposes. 2.4ghz wifi as a mainstay is not going anywhere, we simply want to test emerging technologies for their viability. It is recommended that you retain a 2.4ghz wifi camera setup as a fallback if you choose to participate in this testing in 2013.
Scoring Transponder update. We do have a new transponder model in the works with some minor functionality improvements. If you have a transponder from 2012, you will NOT need to upgrade, but if you don't have 7-12v source available you will need to have a separate power source (9v battery, etc).
Expansion and clarification on Fiduciary markers and placement on enemy mechs, for use in autonomous behavior.
Pilots now have the option of employing the use of a 'Mech Hangar'. This means if you have more than one mech that has qualified, you have two options for play. You can choose to enter them as separate mechs on the roster, or you can enter one mech and have full use of any mechs in your 'mech hangar' for swap outs between matches for whatever reason.
Quadruped scoring panels update: Quadrupeds now have the option of using all 4 target panels as 2x half panel sets (previously only front was allowed). There will still be mounting requirements and restrictions on the spacing (to be expanded upon).
Biped scoring panels update: From 2013 on, Bipeds will only be required to carry 4 half panels, one on each side. These can be mounted horizontally or in vertical orientation.
Biped HP update: Biped HP is increased to 25 starting HP.
These changes come into play (along with other previously mentioned draft changes) as we are increasing the barrier of qualification and entry. This will be especially hard on bipeds, hence the bonuses shown.

As always, I am open to feedback and constructive criticism. Let me know your thoughts!

gdubb2
10-17-2012, 11:26 AM
OK.. I'll start the discussion.

The only change I have a problem with, is the 'Mech Hangar' idea. I believe that each mech should compete on it's own merits. If it breaks, and cannot be repaired, it is out. I don't think it is fair to the other competitors to be able to bring in a spare.

Just my $00.02
Gary

jwatte
10-17-2012, 11:44 AM
I don't think it is fair to the other competitors to be able to bring in a spare.

I can bring in spare parts, though?
And I can swap out any spare part I want?
So, what decides when a robot is no longer "the same"?

DresnerRobotics
10-17-2012, 11:46 AM
OK.. I'll start the discussion.

The only change I have a problem with, is the 'Mech Hangar' idea. I believe that each mech should compete on it's own merits. If it breaks, and cannot be repaired, it is out. I don't think it is fair to the other competitors to be able to bring in a spare.

Just my $00.02
Gary

Here's my thought and reasoning though: much of this competition is loosely BattleTech inspired. Pilots never just had one mech. They were part of a merc group, inner sphere house, or clan that had Mech Hangars. If the mech was too badly damaged to repair, it didn't mean they stopped piloting. I feel like it might be a slight advantage veteran builders would have over newbies, but veterans will always have an advantage- part of being a veteran.

There's also nothing that stops me from bringing replacement legs, torsos, controllers, cameras. Full replacement parts for every component of my mech that I could swap out between matches. This is really not a huge difference from simply having a spare mech.

So the way I see it, is we either allow Mech Hangars, or we put restrictions on what repairs/spare parts can be made on mechs, because the line blurs quickly there.

I appreciate the feedback Gary!

gdubb2
10-17-2012, 12:12 PM
Devils advocate mode on..

So we should register the pilots, not the Mechs. And the pilots should be shown in the brackets as "alive" or "dead". If the survive the crash of the Biped, they limp back to the hangar and dig out the old used quad..:)

Mode off.

DresnerRobotics
10-17-2012, 12:32 PM
Devils advocate mode on..

So we should register the pilots, not the Mechs. And the pilots should be shown in the brackets as "alive" or "dead". If the survive the crash of the Biped, they limp back to the hangar and dig out the old used quad..:)

Mode off.

I kind of like this idea. If you're piloting two separately, you'd essentially be two pilots anyway.

Upgrayd
10-17-2012, 12:46 PM
The only change I have a problem with, is the 'Mech Hangar' idea. I believe that each mech should compete on it's own merits. If it breaks, and cannot be repaired, it is out. I don't think it is fair to the other competitors to be able to bring in a spare.


I held this same opinion as well but after discussing it with Andrew on several separate occasions I was never able to come up with solid reason to prohibit it outside of "It doesn't feel right"

I have come around to the idea of a 'mech hanger' because I do not see how it would be any more advantage over having a complete pool of spare parts.
If a competitor loses a match because your mech breaks you still lost the match and end up in the lower bracket. If a competitor has two different mechs and one of them is considered 'better' why would they ever use the lower performing one? If a competitor has a 100% duplicate mech how is it different then having a full set replacement parts?

Upgrayd
10-17-2012, 01:04 PM
5.8 GHz Analog Camera BETA. We will allow veteran competitors to test out this newer tech that has been subsidized recently by the R/C FPV industry. The transmitter to be used WILL be defined and regulated heavily. We will use transmitters such as this: http://hobbywireless.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=88_92&products_id=619 coupled with an analog camera of your choice. Receivers will be provided, though obviously you will want your own for testing purposes. 2.4ghz wifi as a mainstay is not going anywhere, we simply want to test emerging technologies for their viability. It is recommended that you retain a 2.4ghz wifi camera setup as a fallback if you choose to participate in this testing in 2013.

Do we need any kind of license to operate in this range?



Scoring Transponder update. We do have a new transponder model in the works with some minor functionality improvements. If you have a transponder from 2012, you will NOT need to upgrade, but it will need to have its own power source (9v, etc).

Good work me!


Expansion and clarification on Fiduciary markers and placement on enemy mechs, for use in autonomous behavior.


I may be biased on this one but I think it should be expanded to prevent any intentional interference with autonomous behavior. Example: Mech 1 is using IR range finders to navigate and stay away from walls. Mech 2 cannot flood the arena with IR to confuse Mech 1. We should be actively encouraging autonomous behavior. This is a ROBOTICS event after all!


Quadruped scoring panels update: Quadrupeds now have the option of using all 4 target panels as 2x half panel sets (previously only front was allowed). There will still be mounting requirements and restrictions on the spacing (to be expanded upon).

]Biped scoring panels update: From 2013 on, Bipeds will only be required to carry 4 half panels, one on each side. These can be mounted horizontally or in vertical orientation.

Hopefully this will open up some less rigid design constraints all builders have run into. Perhaps 4 half panels on the base of the quad and 4 half panels on the turret of the quad?


Biped HP update: Biped HP is increased to 25 starting HP.These changes come into play (along with other previously mentioned draft changes) as we are increasing the barrier of qualification and entry. This will be especially hard on bipeds, hence the bonuses shown.

we need some more solid descriptions on qualification and pre-qualification.

Gertlex
10-17-2012, 01:04 PM
If you have a transponder from 2012, you will NOT need to upgrade, but it will need to have its own power source (9v, etc).
Can we get some insights into the extra battery requirement?

I was rather happy with the setup Numa had; 3S for servos, 2S for electronics, 5V regulated from MCU to power the scoring system (and initially powered the scoring system directly off the 2S with no problems, despite this apparently being bad...) Scoring system would die when my robot dies, so that doesn't seem like a problem that needs addressing... In fact a separate supply would be bad if it runs out first?

DresnerRobotics
10-17-2012, 01:13 PM
Do we need any kind of license to operate in this range?


I will likely need one to cover the event. I'll handle it.



Good work me!


Please send all your twitters of love and adoration to Big_Arduino_Steampunk_Fan_Ryan_Lowerr



I may be biased on this one but I think it should be expanded to prevent any intentional interference with autonomous behavior. Example: Mech 1 is using IR range finders to navigate and stay away from walls. Mech 2 cannot flood the arena with IR to confuse Mech 1. We should be actively encouraging autonomous behavior. This is a ROBOTICS event after all!


There will be considerations made to specify this more. We already have a 'no ECS/jamming rule' which should theoretically cover this, but we can expand on it.



Hopefully this will open up some less rigid design constraints all builders have run into. Perhaps 4 half panels on the base of the quad and 4 half panels on the turret of the quad?


Hrm, that's definitely an interesting point. I hadn't thought of it. Thoughts guys?



we need some more solid descriptions on qualification and pre-qualification.

There will be a complete write-up with diagrams, pictures, maps. etc. Also some guidelines for target panel mounting will be illustrated. Our illustrious Elaughlin is my cad-bitch now. Buahaha.



Can we get some insights into the extra battery requirement?

I was rather happy with the setup Numa had; 3S for servos, 2S for electronics, 5V regulated from MCU to power the scoring system (and initially powered the scoring system directly off the 2S with no problems, despite this apparently being bad...) Scoring system would die when my robot dies, so that doesn't seem like a problem that needs addressing... In fact a separate supply would be bad if it runs out first?

Sorry, I posted this hastily. We mostly just need it powered on a 7-12v source, not 5v. If you only have 5-6v available for some reason, you'd need to use a separate battery. Sorry for the confusion.

jwatte
10-17-2012, 03:35 PM
What about 5 GHz Wireless-N?

Gertlex
10-17-2012, 05:10 PM
What about 5 GHz Wireless-N?

Bolding mine:

Wireless IP Cameras are now required, and are the preferred and supported method of video feed. Non-wifi cameras do not work well in the high RF interference environment of Robogames. 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. If you have a new wireless video feed technology and would like to try it out in Exhibition match, by all means contact an event organizer beforehand, however you must have an IP Camera to compete in the ranked ladder matches.

Supposedly the Trendnet IP110WN can be set to G-only mode, but I'm not sure if anyone has verified this (I ought to, since I have one, in addition to my IP110W...)

jwatte
10-17-2012, 08:49 PM
802.11N networks are spread spectrum by nature and consume a large amount of the 2.4ghz band

I asked about the 5 GHz version of wireless-N, which consumes no 2.4 GHz spectrum at all.
This is the same spectrum as wireless-A. (And, for that matter, what about wireless-A networks?)

Gertlex
10-17-2012, 09:28 PM
Ahh gotcha. I was not aware of the distinction.

lnxfergy
10-18-2012, 03:15 AM
I asked about the 5 GHz version of wireless-N, which consumes no 2.4 GHz spectrum at all.
This is the same spectrum as wireless-A. (And, for that matter, what about wireless-A networks?)

At the time we did the 2011(?) draft rules we added the no 2.4Ghz-N rule, 2.4Ghz N cameras were just coming on the market (Amazon says it added the IP-110WN on Mar 28, 2011). Obviously, in the 2.4ghz band, you can *just barely* get two distinct 40Mhz-wide channels on perfect day.

In the 5ghz band, I'm not aware of any N or AC capable IP cameras yet on the market. I'd be concerned about overall reliability though if people are being allowed to run analog cameras in that band.... I imagine this needs some more discussion -- if or when a 5ghz IP camera exists.

-Fergs

DresnerRobotics
10-18-2012, 12:32 PM
I can clarify that a bit. You can use Wireless-N capable cameras, but they must be set to G mode. You only get one channel on the router anyway, and the router doesn't support N. I'll redefine this in the next actual draft.


For the time being 5ghz cameras will be analog. If 5ghz IP cameras become available, we'll check that out as well. This is an bleeding edge area of technology. If you want to stick with something that won't change for awhile, stick to 2.4ghz wifi.

Axirts
10-18-2012, 04:34 PM
I've been seeing a lot more of 802.11ac (which is 5ghz) lately; both in terms of specs/performance and products. It has some pretty ridiculous capability and I wouldn't be surprised if they were readily available by Q2 of 2013. They already have them even at Frys for the same price as mid grade name brand N routers. I don't know how susceptible to and how much interference they cause but it's definitely worth noting how fast communications tech is advancing right now.

jwatte
10-18-2012, 05:43 PM
In the 5ghz band, I'm not aware of any N or AC capable IP cameras yet on the market.

I was considering a setup like MJPEG USB webcam + Raspberry Pi + USB Wireless-N stick. That could do quadruple duty as high-level gait controller and camera controller and remote command receiver and autonomous aiming, with a dumb-ish servo controller for the physical interface. (Somewhere between USBtoDynamixel and Arbotix.)

sthmck
10-19-2012, 11:51 PM
Hrm, that's definitely an interesting point. I hadn't thought of it. Thoughts guys?


I really do like the idea. I think we will have to spend some time coming up with very solid mounting directives. My biggest concern with qualification from a tech inspection stand point last year was how poorly most panels were mounted. Half panels one the torso and turret would actually make overall match play much more realistic in my opinion.

DresnerRobotics
10-20-2012, 01:17 PM
I might have to implement some sort of members fee for our internal mailing list. I don't want to, but we simply don't have the income this year after Kickstarter. Our yearly upkeep is about $1500, which I've been paying out of pocket. That's money I would normally pump into improvements on the arena.

So we need to, as a group, discuss ways of infusing some cash into the competition to keep it growing. I've talked with Dave and he might be able to give us a bit of a small budget each year, but we still need to be proactive and work on this. Paypal donations dried up (we've had 2 this year after kickstarter), so perhaps reaching out to some sponsors that our builders know and might think them interested? The issue here is we don't have enough to offer outside of the premise of the competition itself.

Thoughts?

jwatte
10-20-2012, 04:13 PM
My attic's still available for storage :-) I agree it'd be pretty hard to get things up the stairs and into the place, though -- but perhaps someone else in the area has garage space or similar available?

Competition entry fees?

Any media opportunities? I can't believe nobody wants to do a 15 minute reality/competition show on robots shooting other robots, and plaster ads for Red Bull or GE Nuclear Energy or whatever over it :-)

ArduTank
12-03-2012, 06:32 PM
One idea I have for the target panels is making a rough circle out of half panels, that way, no matter what direction the turret was pointing, you had the same chance of hitting them, and the gun and camera could poke out in between two of the panels. WOuld that be legal?

DresnerRobotics
12-04-2012, 11:40 AM
That should be perfectly fine, but wait for the final mounting clarifications to be posted.

DresnerRobotics
03-21-2013, 01:30 PM
5.8ghz camera equipment is fantastic so far. I'll be posting a video review that demonstrates the characteristics of it soon.

The pro's vastly outweigh the cons in my opinion, but I guess it's going to boil down to personal choice.

I do not foresee any problems with people using 5.8ghz gear this year. I'll have the infrastructure for it available if you choose to pick a transmitter + camera up.

Gausswave
04-19-2013, 11:48 PM
Is there a weight restriction? I didn't find one in the current rule set.

jwatte
04-20-2013, 07:46 PM
There is a size restriction, but not a weight restriction, that I can find.
Note that anything over about 6 kilos will need really big, really expensive servos, and a lot of power.
Walking is a lot harder than rolling...

Gausswave
04-21-2013, 12:54 AM
I saw a 5K limit in the original rule set but not in the current set. I was wondering if it's an omission or did servos become a limiting factor? Two thoughts come to mind. 1. That could make the unlimited class umm... interesting to say the least. Unlimited armor, heavy weaponry etc.. 2 building custom servos. Which is what I was thinking about. I built a big servo using the guts of a standard servo, an H bridge and a wiper motor for an R/C power wheels project. It has a couple potential advantages. Power and a worm drive. Power is obvious but the worm drive means it can hold position with out using a lot of power. It works out to ~$50 per DOF. It would make for a slightly bigger heavier mech but not out of the size limit. Potentially over the weight limit if there is one. But not so much so that I'd consider it out side the spirit of the rules.

ArduTank
04-21-2013, 08:51 AM
There is no weight limit. It got removed al long time ago.

Gausswave
04-26-2013, 12:39 AM
The ammo is the 6MM airsoft ammo. It comes in 3 weights. .12G, .15G and .20G. all seem to be 6 MM. are all weights allowed?

Gausswave
04-26-2013, 12:41 AM
Multiple cameras are allowed, however all cameras on a robot must connect through the same SSID and channel. So this implies only one camera view at a time? You can multiple pilots but they have to use the same camera view?

jwatte
04-26-2013, 01:40 PM
So this implies only one camera view at a time?

The SSID and channel just means "all cameras must use the same wireless access point." They can each have a different IP address and/or port, and you can watch them all if you want. The main concern here is that bandwidth is very scarce, so trying to cram four views through an already-choked network is unlikely to perform well.

When it comes to analog 5 GHz cameras, there's a question here, as there are only approximately 7 channels for those guys, and sharing doesn't work at all. I'd rather use frequency-hopping/spread-spectrum 802.11n-5ghz, where overlaying multiple networks will gracefully degrade each network by about the same amount.

ArduTank
04-26-2013, 03:43 PM
Same here.

Gausswave, all airsoft bb weights are allowed. You pick one.

Gausswave
04-27-2013, 03:00 AM
Ok. I get the intent of the rule. SSID is the network ID or name. The channel part is where I got hung up. I was assuming each device on the network would be assigned to a specific channel and only a specific channel. That would make it hard for multiple cameras if each one had to use the same channel.

ArduTank
04-27-2013, 10:15 AM
"Channel" refers to channels on the router itself. a minicomputer (such as the RasPi) or a modified router will use the same channel on the event's router for all cameras.