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[DPRG] Contests at the Science Place

Subject: [DPRG] Contests at the Science Place
From: Ed Koffeman edk at kinetric.com
Date: Tue Feb 5 16:30:20 CST 2002

> That is a good point.  In everything except robotics, it is the first point
> over the finish line.  In football it is the ball. In horse racing it is the
> nose.  (If the horse had to be completely over the line.  Then they would
> say "He won by a tail" The photo finish wold be looking at the horse's
> a**!).
>
> I don't know why the rules are all the robot over the line. I guess this is
> because the robots used to breakdown so much, they wanted the whole thing
> over to win.  Not just part of it before it died.  I don't see any reason
> why the rules can't be changed to timing starts when first part crosses the
> starting line, and stops when the first part crosses the finish line.

I think it came about because the whole robot has to be over the line to be considered to be "in" area B, C, etc. and all the way
back over to be back in area A, and the time is the time to complete the entire sequence.

On Quick Trip, though we could easily change to timing the first part to cross the line in both directions, as long as we're
counting the entire robot crossing the line at the other side of the course.

If we cared to extend the tie-breaking usefulness of timing the can-can or in any event where the robot might not complete the run
until it is back in Area A the timing shouldn't stop until it is finished doing whatever it is e.g. navigating back to the origin to
claim the Anderson Prize, or stacking the cans into the shape of a dog sniffing for truffles.  It may need to be that the entrant or
the robot signals when it has completed all its tasks before the time can stop.  However, I'd rather just leave all that maneuvering
and arranging as untimed other than counting toward the 5-minute overall limit, in which case these events should also adopt the
first-part-over-the-line timing the next time the rules are revised.

Ed Koffeman



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