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[DPRG] Re: Cool Bot

Subject: [DPRG] Re: Cool Bot
From: David P. Anderson dpa at io.isem.smu.edu
Date: Tue Aug 22 16:06:53 CDT 2000

Howdy

Sluggy writes:

>"Robert L. Jordan" wrote:
> 
>> Because you loose points for touching the walls, I wonder if touching
>> the walls with the coiled AC power cord will reduce your score. This
>> is a great way to reduce weight, no batteries. I wonder if you had an
>> electrical fire in a real house, what good the robot would be - 
>> perhaps no AC? Is that figured into the contest point system?
>
>The tether is not subject to the wall penalties, partly because the
>tether cabling is handled by the impartial contest officials and partly
>because of the philosophy behind the contest rules. 
>
<snip>
>
> The point system is based primarily on fulfilling the contest goals in a
> proportionally miniaturized setting, thus the 12" cube robot size
> limitation. In a production system inspired by the succesful
> contestants, the size limitation would be more in line with real world
> dimensions and self contained robots with onboard power and computing
> systems would be more practical.

Seems to me that in the full size world, smoke detectors and sprinkler
systems are simpler and more cost effective to install and maintain. I
don't suppose a production system inspired by the successful contestants
will ever actually be built.  The contest is a game, fun for participants
and spectators alike.  It doesn't really need to be able to be scaled
up to full size, and I doubt it ever will.  It would have to compete in
price, perfomance, and especially maintainence, to be a commercially viable
alternative to the fire fighting systems that are already available
and installed.

The 12" cube rule effectively prevents participants from implementing a
real world solution, like smoke detectors and sprinkler systems.  The goal
here is not the same as in the real world.  The real world goal would be
to solve the problem of fire spreading, whether or not a robot is involved
in the solution.  The contest is designed in such a way as to discourage
all non-robotic solutions.  Thus it is not and cannot be a model of the
real world, where such a contraint would be silly and certainly not
cost effective.

But that is really freeing for the contest designers and robot builders.
Black floors with white lines at each door make perfect sense from that
perspective.  So do long cables for power and control and puffer fans for
fire extinguishers.

dpa



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