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.
This thread is to serve as a public comment space.
- 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.
Mech Warfare Rules
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org ( Tyberius )
Seth Cook - email@example.com ( sthmck )
Ryan Lowerr - firstname.lastname@example.org ( Upgrayd )
Mike Ferguson - email@example.com( lnxfergy )
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:
Section II – Mech Construction
- 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.
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.
Section III – Weapons Systems
- 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.
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.
Section IV – Arena
- 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 V - Qualification
- 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.
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.
Section VI – Match Rules
- 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.
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.
B) Hardcore Leagues:
- 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.
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.
Section VIII – Record of Changes
- 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
- 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.