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[DPRG] Roborama Line following contest rule error or change

Subject: [DPRG] Roborama Line following contest rule error or change
From: Bill Boyer daweasel at swbell.net
Date: Tue Aug 26 23:43:01 CDT 2003

Earl,

The rules committee will be addressing that section of the rules in the
near future. I believe we have already ammended them to mention the
photographic paper, but we need to look into the line-following course.
There is also a discrepancy with the tabletop line-following course as
well.

One thing I suggested was making templates to use in laying out the
line-following courses. 

As DPA has pointed out numerous times, a sucessful robot must be capable
of adapting to different courses and environments. With this in mind,
the better 'bot would be the one that doesn't care or can be calibrated
on the fly to whatever surface and line is presented. Frank's robot
demonstrated this when it tracked the itty-bitty inlaid lines on the
Science Place floor. Eric Sumner's unique approach to the line following
sensor circuit also worked well.



> Roborama Line following contest.
>    I was testing one of my robots on the line following course and I
> think either the rules need to be edited or the course needs to be
> redone.
> According to the rules "The "line following" line will be a white line
> on a black background (the floor). The line will be approximately 1"
> wide, spaced approximately 2' from the walls. Each turn will have a
> radius of at least 1', at most 3', and typically 2'."
> 
> The phrase "spaced approximately 2' from the walls" is really really
> approximate. One side is not even 12" from the walls and the other side
> is maybe 18 inches. I think we are pushing the approximate part quite a
> bit there.
> 
> Even though my robot fits on the course OK, maybe someone who would come
> to the contest who is expecting their robot to be able to negotiate the
> course, for example a robot that is near 30" wide, would be in for a
> surprise. Currently a robot that is 2.5 feet wide would have to push
> over the wall on one side to get by. Thus a large "legal" sized robot
> would fail to be able to negotiate the line following course at present.
> The "Beer-Bot" for example, is one large robot that may have a problem
> line following on the current layout.
> 
> But then what the heck, my robot ran the course Ok, even though I had to
> smooth out the ripples in front of it as it ran the course. But I know
> on contest day, it'll be a lot flatter then. I guess we could always
> move the wall some for a big robot if it comes to that. So maybe it
> isn't a big deal after all.
> 
> Oh yeah, we should mention what the course floor material is, no where
> in the rules does it discuss the artist's photographic backdrop paper
> anywhere that I saw. Which is important as it is dark slate grey, not
> black. Thus line sensors may be off if you tuned them for black.



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