View Poll Results: How to classify Twitch-likes for MW

Voters
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  • Biped (2 full, 2 half panels)

    3 23.08%
  • Quad-equivalent (4 full panels)

    7 53.85%
  • Open League (4 full panels)

    3 23.08%
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Thread: Community vote: Classification of 'Twitch-likes'

  1. #1
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    Community vote: Classification of 'Twitch-likes'

    Hey folks,

    I visited Trossen a couple of weeks ago, with Twitch, and in talking with Tyberius, it was decided to put it to the community as to how Twitch-likes should be classified for the Mech Warfare Competition. The fundamental issue comes down to the fact that the MW rules are based on number of legs, but do not define anything based on the number of feet or style of feet.

    At stake are three questions: (1)) Do these bots get put in the same league as quads and bipeds, or in the open league (which has not really existed, but is reserved rovers and hexapods)? (2) Which scoring panel configuration - 4 full panels like a quad, or 2 full, 2 half like a biped? (3) Bipeds receive 15% extra hit points. We can give this to Twitch-likes, or not, or even do the opposite: e.g. -15% hit points (17 total).

    Twitch throws a bunch of wrenches into the rules.

    As currently built, Twitch has six separate points of contact with the ground. This could be configured as 2, 3, 4, or 5 points of contact. These "feet" are in two groups, with feet in a given group being fixed relative to each other. You could choose to consider these groups to be legs - two legs.

    To illustrate the various feet configurations, pictures!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Top View

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    Six points of contact with current Twitch

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    Quad configuration - joining the lower legs

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    Two-foot configuration - outrageously shaped joined feet

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    Side view of making single feet for the quad.

    The point to this is that while I can configure the feet in various bizarre ways so that it's technically 4-footed, or whatever, this kind of bot should probably just be classified separately.

    There is also Jwatte's Little Walker. This uses a different foot configuration, but is the same principle of 3 servos locomotion via large footprint. While different, there is continuum of possible designs between Twitch and Little Walker. Thus in my opinion, they should fall under the same umbrella in the rules.

    This design also lowers the cost of entry for MW. A $500 Dynamixel bot is very possible... Probably not a bad thing.

    Finally there's the spirit of the rules. The MW competition aims to emulate the MW games of yore (and the new nifty looking MW Online). There's nothing like Twitch, or hexapods, or rovers in the MW lore, and that has been an added basis for the separate Open League. You can choose to factor that into your opinion...

    I'm sure others have thoughts (JWatte was in a rush to get his in ). I encourage you to read others' thoughts, post your own. There's no rush to vote immediately on this, as discussion is good. I have however set the voting to end in 30 days... I'm planning on such a mech, and making a decision a couple months before MW gives me the chance to change my approach if needed . Poll options were my first go at it with the new forum layout, and apparently I can't edit them. Worst case, a new thread gets made if a glaring omission was made in the options.

    Thanks for reading!

    (Note, I got lazy and didn't discuss/document the style of walking that Twitch uses... If some feel the definition of walking is also necessary for debate, I can better document that with vid, if needed...)
    Last edited by Gertlex; 01-13-2013 at 03:37 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Community vote: Classification of 'Twitch-likes'

    As built, Twitch has the benefit of a hexapod, that is has a triangle to balance on while moving the other triangle. It just happens to actuate each triangle separately.

    Of course, you could do that with a biped, too. Just make the feet wide enough, and interlocking, and you get the same benefit. My "little walker" is something of a mutant between the twitch design, and a "wide hip" biped, and a "dead duck walking" :-)

    I think the idea of the benefits of a biped is that something that has to balance for real, and is tall and ungainly, needs a bit of encouragement, because it's cool and we want to encourage it. Twitch is cool, but doesn't have those mechanical disadvantages, and thus I think it should count as a quad. Maybe the "biped" rule should be re-stated to talk about areas of balance, height vs covered area, center of gravity, etc :-)

  3. #3
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    Re: Community vote: Classification of 'Twitch-likes'

    You missed the part where I'm not done with the post yet. (wasn't even going to submit it today)

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    Re: Community vote: Classification of 'Twitch-likes'

    Ok, I think I've said what I planned on saying. Voting is now open

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    Re: Community vote: Classification of 'Twitch-likes'

    My opinion, for what it's worth. It's a biped.

    Spirit of the game:.. robots evolve.. games evolve.. this may be the next gen. of killer bots.. But I'm not a gamer, so have somewhat different ideas about this.

    Several of us have tried different foot configurations to get better balance. Both with bipeds and quads. I see this as just a configuration that worked out. The number of legs vs the number of feet is what defines a biped in my way of thinking.

    As for promoting bipeds, I'm not sure this is for the best. I've had bipeds, worked with them, got very frustrated and disappointed with them, before finally moving to quad designs. I see no real reason to continue with them.

    Just my opinion
    Gary
    Team Maggot---Mechs. "Bheka" (retired), "Maggot Mk.3(A)"
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    Re: Community vote: Classification of 'Twitch-likes'

    I chose biped for the main reason that it has two legs, then * because of the interlocking nature of the feet. Perhaps a distinction can be made between a conventional biped where if it's standing in a "neutral" position the biped can't then lift one leg and continue to stand, while this sub-category can.

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    Re: Community vote: Classification of 'Twitch-likes'

    That's a neat way to think of it, Th232. Seems like a valid way to distinguish...

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    Re: Community vote: Classification of 'Twitch-likes'

    I consider twitch and 'little walker' to be bipeds as they have two independently controlled legs, but since their designs render them statically stable at all times, they should not receive the HP bonus of larger DOF bipeds that can tip over.

    Maybe some terminology clarifications?

    Leg: an independently controlled structure that supports part, or all, of the weight of the robot for some time interval (e.g. a humanoid bot that frequently uses its arms for support to 'knuckle-walk' is classified as 4 legged); requires at least one actuator per leg; may not be controlled by a 'cam' based system (e.g. a single dc motor running continuously in a single direction to actuate one or more legs simultaneously);

    Foot: structure that attaches to a leg and contacts the ground; may be as large or small, and with as many points of contact with the ground, as desired;
    Last edited by tician; 01-13-2013 at 07:31 PM.
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
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  9. #9

    Re: Community vote: Classification of 'Twitch-likes'

    I did catch the post early but haven't voted yet. Listening to what everyone is saying.
    So far I really like the idea of balance as a determining factor. Can it be knocked over? Then it's a biped :-)
    I still think twitch should be allowed to compete in the regular league.

  10. #10
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    Re: Community vote: Classification of 'Twitch-likes'

    It could, but it would have to be classified as a quad in my mind due to the large number of contact points. Did you see Giger using more than two parts of his body to walk at any given time??? No. Does Twitch? Yes. Twitch is therefore a quad.

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