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DPRG: feedback

Subject: DPRG: feedback
From: Ralph Tenny rten at polaris.nstar.net
Date: Fri Feb 19 14:04:51 CST 1999

Due to extremely limited time, I am unwilling to work on a line-follower
until I can characterize the sensors with some semblance of what is
expected. Just call me a stickinthemud.

On Fri, 19 Feb 1999, David Philip Anderson wrote:

> Howdy DPRG!
> Ralph writes:
> > David:
> > How do you test a line-follower in the average randonly-chosen lining
> > room?
> > Ralph
> I like Ed's suggestion (follow the dirty socks!).  Seriously, in the last
> couple of contests, we have had two people, John and Clay, who wanted to
> build line followers.  Ed decided on the fly that his robot might be able
> to do it last time, and it actually did pretty well considering he had not
> specifically designed it as a line follower.  Now it seems like we are re-
> designing the whole course, its size, shape, color, the material for the
> floor, all to benefit line following.  I haven't heard either one of them
> ask for it.  My suspicion is that they could both work with whatever floor
> we had, though certainly a jet black floor with a white white line would
> present no particular challenge to either of them.  Guys, am I off the
> money here?  
> (As an aside, DPRG President Clay's guide-lines from Sat Nov 14, 1998,
> for designing a DPRG robot contest, rule #17, specifies:  
> 	"17)  Contestants   5 minimum"
> Not 2 minimum.  Or even 3.  Same holds true for can collecting. 
> Most of our members run the TTime and now defunct Quick-Trip.  
> Just an observation)
> However, I've now probably exhausted everyone's patience on this topic,
> I've sent three carefully reasoned sets of arguments marking out my
> position, and Ed has replied methodically and thoughtfully to each,
> he's obviously put a lot of time into this, so I'll stop now.  I still
> think we should just use the space we have, and not try to haul a custom
> space around with us, but I said I'd stop.  I'm stopping now.  Really.  
> ....................
> Now, Daniel H. writes:
> > A robot like SR04 might be overkill for the T-Time course, but I'm
> > sure there are a few courses that could be thought up that would push
> > its limits, and would also be acceptable to a couple of other robot
> > builders.
> > 
> > David, any thoughts on this idea?
> > 
> > Regards,
> >   Daniel
> Well, I think I could design a contest that only my robot could win, or
> even enter, but that wouldn't be very fun.  I think what makes it fun is
> to measure the performance of your own 'bot by comparing it to the performance
> of your peers.  One of the reasons I've always thought the DPRG contests
> were excellent is that all levels can compete, from the simplest bump-and-run
> to a sonar-guided self-correcting dead-reckoning can-gripper (not to blow
> my own horn or anything).   The only down-side I see is that these contests
> are all really races.  The time factor weighs so heavily that a robot which
> comes in the fastest while colliding un-controllably with the walls at every
> corner will actually score higher than a slower, more intelligent robot
> which navigates the course perfectly.  Hence the rules reward raw speed over
> intelligence, which seems like a mistake to me.
> But I'm open to suggestions.  My own 'bot could not run any of these contests
> before I joined DPRG. I developed the dead-reckoning, sonar-position correcting,
> the can feelers and gripper, all specifically to compete.  I'd like to see
> others do the same.  I think a robot ball game of some sort might develop,
> or something similar.
> Daniel, what did you have in mind?
> cheers,
> dpa


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