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Author Topic: starting a new robotics competition - Shatter Bots  (Read 969 times)

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Offline garrettg84Topic starter

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starting a new robotics competition - Shatter Bots
« on: April 01, 2011, 12:06:19 PM »
Background:
I lead a robotics club at a local high school. I have been thinking about starting a small robotics competition just for fun. I don't really know if it will catch on or not. I'm looking for opinions and potential rules that could help out with the game. I would like to open source the game, its title, and its rules. So many of the competitions are entirely commercial and have so many high dollar requirements that it is difficult to find the monies for things like that.


The Game:
"Shatter Bots"
The name would be something to the effect of "Shatter Bots". The game would involve placing a target in the form of a clay tile (something similar to a clay pigeon or skeet) on the bot and attempting to protect your own and shatter your opponent's tile. I will need rules according to exposure and orientation of the tile to prevent somebody from just encasing it and never letting anything access it.

The arena should contain small obstacles. I want to include other activities that could generate points such as a 'common' tile in the middle that either bot/team could smash. A goal tile on each side that one bot/team must protect from the opposing bot/team also seems like something that would be interesting.

I would like to promote 'good sportsmanship' about the game to attempt to deter anyone from attempting to damage or prevent communication with the opponent's bot. I am thinking a rule pertaining to damage to an opponents bot that is unintentional (attempting to strike target) is ok, but just hitting, cutting, etc would be some kind of deduction of points.

I would like to keep the bot size restricted to about 18"x18"x18" cube and have the arena in the size of about a 10'x10' square.

I think a price cap would also be in order to prevent the group with the most money from winning. I don't like the idea of other competitions that restrict you to a particular vendor's structural components, motors, servos, and controllers. The basic model 'kits' for these competitions can be upwards of $1500 - with additional parts necessary to make something good and functional.

I plan on time limiting a match as well as requiring an autonomous period. I don't know what good times limits should be or how we would orchestrate this happening.


Optional/Additional Game Play:
I can also envision a king of the hill style game being run with the same bots - just all the bots in one large area at once. The last un-shattered bot wins. This could be fully autonomous or fully controlled or a combo of the two.


Organizational:
I intend to register a .org and put up a small informational site to provide information related to the game. If anyone wants to orchestrate a competition I would post dates/times/locations as well. I would like to link back to tons of the discussion and information provided here. Is that ok Admin (you and the site will be properly credited, linked, and relinked, and linked again)?

At this point that is about all I've got. I think the idea of a bit of destruction combined with tactics and potential team play sounds good to me. Does anyone here think that would be a fun competition for high school kids? (or adults!) Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas for the game? Would anyone like to attempt to organize a meet-up/competition for 'Shatter Bots'?

-Garrett

I am in southern Indiana by the way.
-garrett

Offline Soeren

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Re: starting a new robotics competition - Shatter Bots
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 07:08:49 PM »
Hi,

This could be fully autonomous or fully controlled or a combo of the two.
Consider this... Which is more interesting, the builders skills in driving R/C vehicles or their skills in making clever autonomous robots?
Your answer to this should help you deciding.

Being more into con- than destruction, I don't really care for this kind of competitions, but you might wanna consider popping a "standard sized" baloon instead of a skeet, as this will lower the build price (since it doesn't take much force) and will still be a highly visible marker - just rule out LASERs for distance popping ;D
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline garrettg84Topic starter

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Re: starting a new robotics competition - Shatter Bots
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 07:31:06 PM »
Consider this... Which is more interesting, the builders skills in driving R/C vehicles or their skills in making clever autonomous robots?
I would like to see more autonomous actions for sure. I don't know how well the majority of the students would take to this idea and this is mainly for their benefit. I may just be inadequate at teaching programming to my group, but I'm trying =)

Being more into con- than destruction, I don't really care for this kind of competitions, but you might wanna consider popping a "standard sized" baloon instead of a skeet, as this will lower the build price (since it doesn't take much force) and will still be a highly visible marker - just rule out LASERs for distance popping ;D

The destruction is the component that I find a good majority of the guys are in to. I'm just trying to capture their attentions long enough to teach them something. That's one of the reasons why I want a crucible piece (the skeet or clay) instead of bots destroying other bots.

I like the balloon idea. It would reduce the build price as well as the actual crucible price. As always, your insight is amazing. Thank you!
-garrett

Offline madsci1016

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Re: starting a new robotics competition - Shatter Bots
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 07:45:05 PM »
Sounds cool.

Quote
I am in southern Indiana by the way.


Why there is a Naval base there I will never quite understand. Do you do any outreach stuff through your base? Any contact with your NDEP (if your base has one) person? I bet they would fund some of your exploits. Look what I do through my base.

Quote
Consider this... Which is more interesting, the builders skills in driving R/C vehicles or their skills in making clever autonomous robots?


Interesting yes, practical for youngsters? not really. I suggest doing what FIRST robotics does. Most yearly competitions start off with a 30-60 second 'autonomous' round, followed by the longer R/C round. More points can be gained in the autonomous round, but it's not a requirement to do it, just incentive.

Offline garrettg84Topic starter

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Re: starting a new robotics competition - Shatter Bots
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2011, 08:26:35 PM »
We did FIRST this year and did halfway decent for the first year that any of us (mentors, teachers, or students) had participated in the competition. I am flipping from contractor to govie very shortly and I'll be looking into what outreach dollars are available.

Interesting yes, practical for youngsters? not really. I suggest doing what FIRST robotics does. Most yearly competitions start off with a 30-60 second 'autonomous' round, followed by the longer R/C round. More points can be gained in the autonomous round, but it's not a requirement to do it, just incentive.

I agree with you on this. I like the idea of autonomous, but for the younger crowd I just don't see them accomplishing something quite that complicated with just an hour or two a week of good solid work. I think a combo of autonomous and RC is the way to go as well.
-garrett

Offline madsci1016

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Re: starting a new robotics competition - Shatter Bots
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2011, 08:19:32 PM »
We did FIRST this year and did halfway decent for the first year that any of us

Me too! My team got 26th place out of 67 teams. I was very proud of the kids. First year any of them had done it.

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I am flipping from contractor to govie very shortly

MuHAHAHA Welcome to the dark side!! And by dark side I mean all the paperwork you will have to do in certifications and training will blot out the sun.

Definitely figure out who is the NDEP (National Defense Education Program) person on your base, and if you need help, let me know and I can find out. If you get big into it, maybe I'll see you at the next NDEP conference.

 


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