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Thread: Step up gentlemen...

  1. #1
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    Step up gentlemen...

    So I have read all of the way through the Mech-Wars section and the associated website and a few things are missing. All in all it is a great idea but I am afraid destined to failure as it stands.

    The first thing I notice is on the website where it states "blah blah blah thousands of people" While I agree that thousands of people will attend Robogames 09 I doubt that that number or anything close will be watching. Why? you ask. You have no hook. Why watch plastic balls bounce off of remote control toys? Destined to go the way of Robo Wars...

    On to the meat and spuds. People watch death, destruction and sex. Heck they line up for it. Hmmm robosex... naaah we don't need that. So, some minor rules changes and you have the best thing since sliced bread.

    1 - Out with the airsoft and in with some firepower. People have been using micro, tunable BB guns for 30 years in public with nothing more that safety glasses and separation. This, done in a safe arena would be ultra safe. Now we don't count points we friggin destroy the enemy. What game sounds cooler to you.

    2 - Out with the RC. Just says toyland all over it. I have been in robotics a long time and have run across some of the usernames in here before. The talent, hardware and software is all here to do it autonomously.

    3 - Tweak the rules. Up the height to 24 inches max and no weight restrictions. This allows room for larger servos and metal shielding. One simple rule, add a soft spot (think 1/32 balsa) to center mass that has a glass fuse behind it (or other main power transfer device). The larger the bot the larger the CM soft spot. That would equal it out real well.

    4 - Limit the number of rounds on board and the FPS (velocity) not the rate of fire. We all have 100, if someone blasts through theirs and does not kill me I would say sucks to be him. I am smart enough to not show my soft spot ya know.

    5 - This is my late idea... lol. Drop the legs thing and allow wheels, but only two. I think a balancer is fair game against a walker. They are both mech...

    If done right this could be an all out kick in the ****. Think of the electro mech carnage flying off of the robots. Mmmm the crowd would love it, sponsors would line up and more events would follow.

    Now I know that someone reading this is thinking NOT my robot. Why not? If you can build it, you can certainly fix it. And cost, blaaah its only money, ya can't use where you are going anyhow.


    Ted M.
    Savage Innovations
    www.oobug.com
    Yea, we make the ooBug.
    Last edited by BIGBUG; 07-01-2008 at 01:01 AM. Reason: had some wierd messed up text formatting

  2. #2
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    Re: Step up gentlemen...

    Would you fix your post to lose the non-working BBCode?
    I Void Warranties�

  3. #3
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    Re: Step up gentlemen...

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrenalynn View Post
    Would you fix your post to lose the non-working BBCode?

    Yea, ya think.
    I don't know what happened, I typed and hit submit. I didnt even try to usa any code...

    Ted
    Savage Innovations
    www.oobug.com

  4. #4
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    Re: Step up gentlemen...

    One good idea here - the "kill switch"

    We could have an SPST w/a target on the actual switch, with the line running between the main battery and the CPU. Hit it, the bot literally dies.

    Of course, it could also just turn on a superbright LED denoting bot death. Of course, the whole hit-counter thing needs to be standardized as well.

    I hit you!
    Did not!
    Did too!

    I'd say a standardized add-on with an actual hit counter. Could be binary LED array (you know, 4 LED's = 16 hit points.) Could pr'y be done with a 555, the SPST, a couple resistors and the LED's. Add multiple momentary switches for "kill zones". Leg hit = 2 points, arm hit = 1 point, body hit = 4 points, or whatever. momentary switch need not could be some wrap-around wire for a bigger zone (e.g., a single switch around the whole arm).

    I'll leave that to our faithul Tyberious to actually bmake for all participants.

  5. #5
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    Re: Step up gentlemen...

    First of all, I'd suggest you read over the section and associated website a bit closer. A lot of what you just posted/suggested isn't entirely accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by BIGBUG View Post
    So I have read all of the way through the Mech-Wars section and the associated website and a few things are missing. All in all it is a great idea but I am afraid destined to failure as it stands.

    The first thing I notice is on the website where it states "blah blah blah thousands of people" While I agree that thousands of people will attend Robogames 09 I doubt that that number or anything close will be watching. Why? you ask. You have no hook. Why watch plastic balls bounce off of remote control toys? Destined to go the way of Robo Wars...

    On to the meat and spuds. People watch death, destruction and sex. Heck they line up for it. Hmmm robosex... naaah we don't need that. So, some minor rules changes and you have the best thing since sliced bread.
    Eh, I wouldn't exactly destine it for failure before it's even lifted off the ground. You need to keep in mind the ruleset is a work in progress, that will be fine tuned over the next year.

    1 - Out with the airsoft and in with some firepower. People have been using micro, tunable BB guns for 30 years in public with nothing more that safety glasses and separation. This, done in a safe arena would be ultra safe. Now we don't count points we friggin destroy the enemy. What game sounds cooler to you.
    Sure, just as soon as someone pulls 10 grand out of their ass to donate to build an arena capable of protecting the audience. That said- most people dumping thousands of dollars into these bots probably aren't going to take kindly to their bots being destroyed, its completely unrealistic to expect of people.

    2 - Out with the RC. Just says toyland all over it. I have been in robotics a long time and have run across some of the usernames in here before. The talent, hardware and software is all here to do it autonomously.
    We're posing a high enough entry bar with the concept as is, requiring autonomy is just going to alienate people that much further. It will be no easy task to make a competitive autonomous combat robot in this competition. Not everyone appreciates autonomy, in fact many would prefer to control their bot over have it run around on its own.

    3 - Tweak the rules. Up the height to 24 inches max and no weight restrictions. This allows room for larger servos and metal shielding. One simple rule, add a soft spot (think 1/32 balsa) to center mass that has a glass fuse behind it (or other main power transfer device). The larger the bot the larger the CM soft spot. That would equal it out real well.
    There is no hard cap on height, I stated clearly it was a guideline. Furthermore I also said there was currently no weight restriction. The 'soft spot' idea requires parts to be replaced for every match, and theres no reason why an electronic target/scoring system cant emulate the same thing.

    4 - Limit the number of rounds on board and the FPS (velocity) not the rate of fire. We all have 100, if someone blasts through theirs and does not kill me I would say sucks to be him. I am smart enough to not show my soft spot ya know.
    Again, still up for discussion. Ultimately it might be limited by payload capacity and balance. Having a huge heavy hopper will certainly have some limitations.

    5 - This is my late idea... lol. Drop the legs thing and allow wheels, but only two. I think a balancer is fair game against a walker. They are both mech...
    This is Mech Wars, which by most's definition means walking type robots. A well balanced wheeled bot will be MUCH faster than a walker. I'm trying to keep everyone on a level playing field here.

    If done right this could be an all out kick in the ****. Think of the electro mech carnage flying off of the robots. Mmmm the crowd would love it, sponsors would line up and more events would follow.

    Now I know that someone reading this is thinking NOT my robot. Why not? If you can build it, you can certainly fix it. And cost, blaaah its only money, ya can't use where you are going anyhow.


    Ted M.
    Savage Innovations
    www.oobug.com
    Yea, we make the ooBug.
    While I appreciate the enthusiasm, kicking off this event and making it a reality is a daunting task, and we have to keep everyone who is particpating in mind. I don't have tens of thousands of dollars to dump into this, nobody is going to want to play ONE match and get their $2,000+ bot destroyed. We have to keep safety and feasibility in mind... and again- this is year one. I've stated again and again how I would love to see this evolve into a more complex competition with higher power weaponry (I'm obsessed with rockets, etc) but we have to start somewhere and we have to keep it within the realm of reality, and so far I think we're off to a pretty good start. So you'll have to take this as a polite disagreement that the competition is doomed to failure for lack of boom & destruction at year 1.
    Last edited by DresnerRobotics; 07-01-2008 at 01:31 AM.

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    Re: Step up gentlemen...

    Quote Originally Posted by dcalkins View Post
    One good idea here - the "kill switch"

    We could have an SPST w/a target on the actual switch, with the line running between the main battery and the CPU. Hit it, the bot literally dies.

    Of course, it could also just turn on a superbright LED denoting bot death. Of course, the whole hit-counter thing needs to be standardized as well.

    I hit you!
    Did not!
    Did too!

    I'd say a standardized add-on with an actual hit counter. Could be binary LED array (you know, 4 LED's = 16 hit points.) Could pr'y be done with a 555, the SPST, a couple resistors and the LED's. Add multiple momentary switches for "kill zones". Leg hit = 2 points, arm hit = 1 point, body hit = 4 points, or whatever. momentary switch need not could be some wrap-around wire for a bigger zone (e.g., a single switch around the whole arm).

    I'll leave that to our faithul Tyberious to actually bmake for all participants.
    A weak spot might be a good idea, but I like the kill switch idea more than a physical weak spot.

    David check out this thread: http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=1931

    That is the basis for our hit scoring system, we fully plan on having it standardized to the point where the units will be made available at cost. Hitpoints and scoring is still being discussed, we just picked '10 hitpoints and you're dead' as a starting point.

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    Re: Step up gentlemen...

    Ok, This is the only thing i could come up with for an "explosion" on the bot and make it safe... i guess. Well, you get 2 10uF capacitors (reverse polarized), extend it off a pcb with a fire resistant material below it. Put it on the back panel of the bot, or wherever there would be room for it, facing away from the robot of course. When the robot reaches the max number of hits it can take, strike the capacitors with a shock from 15-20 volts.
    Last edited by Wingzero01w; 07-01-2008 at 01:44 AM.

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    Re: Step up gentlemen...

    Can I volunteer for "emergency killswitch operator"? I'll lay up in the stands with my sniper airsoft and be the "failsafe"

    I think all input is good input - but it does come down to the rubber meeting the road. It's a lot easier to say "that'll never work" than it is to step-up and make it work.
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    Re: Step up gentlemen...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wingzero01w View Post
    Ok, This is the only thing i could come up with for an "explosion" on the bot and make it safe... i guess. Well, you get 2 10uF capacitors (reverse polarized), extend it off a pcb with a fire resistant material below it. Put it on the back panel of the bot, or wherever there would be room for it, facing away from the robot of course. When the robot reaches the max number of hits it can take, strike the capacitors with a shock from 15-20 volts.
    Fon Davis suggested using a small replaceable smoke bomb and powering down the mech when it reached its 'damage limit'. Maybe add in a bright flashing red light as well.

    We'll have the real time score being posted up on a screen, but it would be nice to end each match with a bit of flare.

  10. #10
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    Re: Step up gentlemen...

    I think I had the early suggestion - maybe at the after-party - that you consider flash-paper. Just wanna make sure I get that back on the table.
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