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[DPRG] Contests at the Science Place

Subject: [DPRG] Contests at the Science Place
From: Sluggy slugmusk at linuxlegend.com
Date: Wed Feb 6 18:33:10 CST 2002

Charlie W Youngblood wrote:

> Hopefully no penalty at all.

With this, I quite  agree. If the robot made the rest of the course, I'm
not really ready to disqualify them because they were 6 inches too short
on the return.

The crux of the conversation is to solve the problem of adding
electronic timing without necessarily redesigning the whole course to
accomodate it. My suggestion that the timing start and stop when any
part of the robot crosses the line out of or into area A is to make the
trigger mechanism as simple and thus robust as can be.

> In the real world the automated trans stop (supposed
> to any way) in front of the doors at the air port and not when they reach 
> the edge of the platform. Elevadors do the same thing but in the vertical
> orientation. 

The advantages that these otherwise great examples of real world
positioning have is a narrowly defined vehicle shape and a ridigly
defined course. The trans nor the elevator are different shapes and
configurations each time they run their course, and both are closely
fitted to their course. This eliminates two of the dimensions from the
sensing requirements. Our robots are all different shapes and sizes and
none of them really even approach filling the eight foot wide course.
Sensing the first part of a robot to break one or more beams is the most
fair because the same part of any given robot will be sensed in either
direction and we don't have to design the trigger mechanism to guess the
length and/or speed of the robot or count chance hollows through the
middle of the chassis or require the competitors to seal such openings.
In effect, we remove two of the possible three dimensions we might
otherwise have to sense.

> Personally we need to think about why before we change things. :-)

hehehe Likewise, I'm not at all concerned with the abilities of a judge
with a stopwatch. If necessary, use two judges, each with a stopwatch
and compare/average their recorded times.



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