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sthmck
11-12-2014, 01:11 AM
Greetings all!
I know I have been very absent on these forums for a while now, (life has a way of taking you down interesting paths) but I am back in action. For those of you who don't know me, I have been active with MW in one capacity or another for quite a while. I am working on finishing up a computer engineering degree at my local university and spend most of my extracurricular time working in the robotics lab on campus. For the past three or four years the robotics club has been hosting a (small) competition during the spring semester. The clubs primary focus is usually on fire fighting robots, however they have always built a mech or two each year. MW has not been organized well in the past and hasn't followed the official rule set, therefore making it an officially sanctioned MW event.This year I have been asked to head up the organization of their MW competition and bring legitimacy to that particular portion of their competition.

I have, a venue, resources, arena, and full support of my department. The only thing lacking at the moment is competitors. There will most likely be three mech's for the school that will be competitive, as well as a few other universities who have already expressed interest in competing this year. We will be doing demos/fights regardless of whether or not anyone else shows up. I do think that it is a great opportunity for the MW community to get together and have some fun. I have talked with Andrew a little and he is going to try and do his best to support this particular installation of MW. I know his time and resources are limited with all the projects he is engaged in so anyone else who is will to help out let me know.

The competition is being held in Shepherdstown, WV (http://tinyurl.com/kmfl8nd), roughly an hour from D.C. and Baltimore. The event runs from Saturday March 28th, and Sunday March 29th and is free to register. Of course people are welcome to show up on Friday and help me set up the arena etc. For more information about the event visit ShepRoboFest (http://www.shepherd.edu/cmeweb/srf/).

I noticed that there are a few more competitors from the east coast than there were before and I would love to see some of you come out and compete/meet up with fellow TRC members.

I will be posting updates periodically, as well as answering any questions that you may have.

Thanks,
Seth

Lupulus
11-13-2014, 10:03 AM
I hope I can make it to this for my first mech warfare event!
Main holdup for me is scoring panels. Trossen store is not stocking the old design, and while there's been some promising reports of new designs in the forums, those are not yet official (or available)...Do you have any recommendations?
Thanks,
Mike

jwatte
11-13-2014, 11:57 AM
I hope I can make it, too! As long as it doesn't collide with the newly-revived RoboGames 2015 in San Mateo:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1555995549/bring-robot-combat-back-to-your-screen

sthmck
11-13-2014, 02:46 PM
I hope I can make it to this for my first mech warfare event!
Main holdup for me is scoring panels. Trossen store is not stocking the old design, and while there's been some promising reports of new designs in the forums, those are not yet official (or available)...Do you have any recommendations?
Thanks,
Mike
That is still to be determined, I can make the panels at the lab here at school however they aren't cheap and building them in low quantities will not make it cheaper. I will keep you posted on a solution.

jpieper
11-13-2014, 05:04 PM
Would it be possible to use something really simple, like sheets of paper on top of foam, and you just count the number of holes in the paper? We've done this for some target practice and it was reasonable, although there could be some uncertainty as to the exact number of hits.

sthmck
11-13-2014, 11:46 PM
Would it be possible to use something really simple, like sheets of paper on top of foam, and you just count the number of holes in the paper? We've done this for some target practice and it was reasonable, although there could be some uncertainty as to the exact number of hits.

There are several issues with that as far as actual competition go. You have no real way of keeping track of hit points in real time. Also like you said based on the guns most mechs use they will shred paper backed foam to pieces making it impossible to get an accurate score.

Deimos
11-15-2014, 10:32 PM
My panels will likely be ready by then, I can send some to you, sthmck, if you would like to review them in lieu of official approval from Andrew. I've just been swamped with school/work, but I'll be getting a much needed break next quarter. I imagine Andrew would be willing to get a few transponder's available for purchase.

jwatte
11-15-2014, 11:47 PM
I think the transponder firmware is open source, so worst case, you can make some from OSH Park circuit boards and off-the-shelf Xbee modules...

sthmck
11-16-2014, 12:26 AM
My panels will likely be ready by then, I can send some to you, sthmck, if you would like to review them in lieu of official approval from Andrew. I've just been swamped with school/work, but I'll be getting a much needed break next quarter. I imagine Andrew would be willing to get a few transponder's available for purchase.

That would be great, if there is anything I can do from this end to help out let me know.

Lupulus
11-16-2014, 10:31 AM
Likewise--Let me know if I can help, even if it's just "pre-ordering" some panels.
Thanks guys!

Gertlex
11-19-2014, 09:37 PM
Count me in most likely.

kamondelious
11-19-2014, 10:00 PM
I could probably make it out for this too.

byi
11-22-2014, 02:04 PM
The Columbia team will be ready with our new bot, and I hope to compete with a renovated Hal. Similar issues with lack of a scoring system.

Deimos
11-24-2014, 11:11 PM
I'm in if Chicago isn't happening this year (if it is then maybe). I'll be able to show up on Friday to help out as well.

sthmck
11-28-2014, 03:12 AM
I am thrilled with the level of interest this event has received so far. I am basically organizing this from scratch so I apologize if things seem to be a bit disorganized. I promise I do have it together for the most part.

I would like to give a breakdown for how I am hoping registration will work. I believe that this method will cause the least amount of confusion in the long run.
Over the holiday break I will be working to get a registration page setup. This will serve two purposes. The first to give me a head count, and the second to establish a protocol for future MW event registrations. Please keep in mind that this registration procedure is strictly for Mech-Warfare related registration and does not take into account host competitions, ie RoboGames.

Registration will essentially proceed as follows.

1. Pre-registration- gives teams special login to the MW registration page

2. Register team- this one is pretty self explanatory, teams can have multiple mechs, if you are competing with just one mech you have just one team.

3. Register mech- This will consist of registering the specs of your mech; weight (kg), number of legs, DOF, weapons, scoring system status (do you have panels/transponder), etc. These details will allow us to compile a competitor database, and also give us an idea of the number of competitors we will have at each event.

4. Qualifying video- once the mech has been registered you have two weeks until the competition to submit a video qualifying your mech as a competitor in the bracket event. If you do not submit a video you will still be allowed to compete in exhibition matches but your wins and losses will not count to any ranking system that may be established at a later time.

5. Tech inspection- this will occur at the event. I will be overseeing this with the help of selected TRC members/volunteers.

6.Qualification run- as always after the tech inspection each mech is expected to complete a qualification run. The results of this run will determine your seeding in the bracket.


This layout is experimental and subject to change based on input from other event organizers. I am using Shep Robofest a test to establish a more uniform way for serious competitors to run events in the future.

This registration will also likely include a way for you to signify whether or not you need a scoring system. Obviously registering early means that we will be able to get you the scoring equipment that you need at an earlier date. If you take to long registering you may not be able to compete as a result of not giving us enough time to supply you with a full scoring system.

As always I look forward to your feedback, as my ultimate goal is to provide a solid experience for all involved, and promote the growth of MW as a competition.

jwatte
11-28-2014, 12:54 PM
That will be super great!
Are you doing this only for Shep for 2015, or are you also talking to the RoboGames people?
Anything I can do to help? (PM me if you want)

sthmck
11-28-2014, 11:22 PM
That will be super great!
Are you doing this only for Shep for 2015, or are you also talking to the RoboGames people?
Anything I can do to help? (PM me if you want)

As of now this is something I will be doing specifically with Shep in mind, however if the feedback from the MW community is positive based on the results from this up coming competition I see no reason why this system couldn't be adopted for MW as a whole. I essentially envision us having a registration system in place on the MW website that will allow competitors to qualify for whichever officially sanctioned event they choose. This would also allow us to adopt a points system similar to that used by NASCAR ( yeah I know I went there, but it works so I will use the analogy).

Let's say you register your mech on the site, go through the qualification procedure and compete in an event. You are then pre-qualified to compete in any other event that year with the only expectation being that you do the tech inspection and final qualifying test at the subsequent competitions. This system would also in theory allow us to keep track of each team's/mech's individual match and competition statistics, essentially giving us the ability to rank each registered mech based on the performance at events throughout the year.

I was going to pull from the little fish tank of programmers I have at my disposal at school to get this project under way however if anyone already actively involved in the MW community would be interested in stepping up to help I would be more than happy to accept their help.

ArduTank
12-01-2014, 06:18 AM
I just finished a course at school on web design. You need any help, let me know. (I can work with html, dreamweaver, and flash).

I'll try to get my mech there.

jes1510
12-28-2014, 11:44 PM
I really should start reading this forum more often! I need to see what it'll take to get my new mech up and walking but this is a good goal for me to shoot for!

lumpen5
01-13-2015, 10:27 AM
I keep getting emails from robogames 2015. I am tempted to sign up again, but will there be any mech warrior class this year? Will anyone here be attending with their mech?

jwatte
01-13-2015, 04:18 PM
RoboGames have dropped Mech Warfare from the events roster.
I'm still going, with Money Pit version 3, for Robomagellan...
But I'm trying to also make it to ShepRoboFest with a 'mech. It's two successive week-ends of robots!

sarendt
01-23-2015, 09:27 AM
I am thrilled with the level of interest this event has received so far. I am basically organizing this from scratch so I apologize if things seem to be a bit disorganized. I promise I do have it together for the most part.

Sthmck - I'm in Fredericksburg VA and am willing to help out in the set up/prep/etc. PM me and I can share my email with you.

Cheers,
scott

byi
01-31-2015, 12:04 PM
Any news on panels? It is getting a little too close to competition for me to feel comfortable not having that ready. All else fails, I could make a set exactly to whatever spec. 2012 design? I have a laser cutter and can solder together an equivalent circuit. Just let me know. I could probably also make additional sets for other competitors?

ArduTank
02-06-2015, 03:23 PM
/\This would be nice to know. I plan on trying to get my mech's finishing touches done if this competition is for sure running and fully planned.

sthmck
02-07-2015, 08:12 AM
Hey guys just a quick up date. Sorry I haven't been super responsive lately. I am working on getting sets of scoring systems ready and I am hoping they will be ready to go before the first of march. We are in the process of setting up a registration site that will give you the option to order a scoring system. I know a month isn't a whole lot of time to prep it but unfortunately it is pretty much the best I can do for now. I will keep everyone posted.

ArduTank
02-07-2015, 06:16 PM
Any idea on cost???

jwatte
02-07-2015, 08:30 PM
One MILLION dollars!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l91ISfcuzDw

Deimos
02-08-2015, 04:52 AM
Hey guys just a quick up date. Sorry I haven't been super responsive lately. I am working on getting sets of scoring systems ready and I am hoping they will be ready to go before the first of march. We are in the process of setting up a registration site that will give you the option to order a scoring system. I know a month isn't a whole lot of time to prep it but unfortunately it is pretty much the best I can do for now. I will keep everyone posted.

What panels will you be distributing? I stopped working on mine because I liked tician's panels more and I was getting ready to see about getting my hands on some.

byi
03-03-2015, 06:40 PM
4. Qualifying video- once the mech has been registered you have two weeks until the competition to submit a video qualifying your mech as a competitor in the bracket event. If you do not submit a video you will still be allowed to compete in exhibition matches but your wins and losses will not count to any ranking system that may be established at a later time.


Considering this is due in a little under two weeks, any info on requirements and submission process? Thanks.

jwatte
03-03-2015, 09:52 PM
I built the site, and was waiting to make it public. I haven't heard back from sthmck on that in weeks. I hope he's OK!

jpieper
03-09-2015, 06:15 AM
I'm guessing still no word from sthmck? We were planning to try and hold an expo match (we have no panels) in Boston in April/May, but didn't want to conflict too much with the ShepRoboFest.

byi
03-16-2015, 08:13 PM
It is now getting rather close to the event, but I am unable to finalize logistical concerns until I am sure I can register and compete. I can imagine other competitors are in a similar position. Any news?

sherrysmcguire
03-18-2015, 03:04 PM
Does Robogames even have a mech event this year? I don't see it on their events page:
http://robogames.net/events.php

jwatte
03-18-2015, 06:34 PM
This is not about Robogames, this is about ShepRoboFest and Shepardstown University.
I pinged Seth in email, but haven't heard back, which is starting to worry me. Hope he's OK and just very busy...

DresnerRobotics
05-03-2015, 04:50 PM
He pretty often will just disappear for months at a time, so I wouldn't worry too much. ;)

jwatte
05-03-2015, 10:17 PM
Heh. Almost like someone else I could mention ... :-)

DresnerRobotics
05-03-2015, 11:58 PM
Oh I'm always here lurking, just not always on this account. :)