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[DPRG] Contest Rules Question : navigation guides

Subject: [DPRG] Contest Rules Question : navigation guides
From: Ken Comer me at kencomer.com
Date: Tue Sep 7 22:47:28 CDT 2004

I have seen rules similar to the official Roborama rules lots of
and they almost always disallow dropping pieces and/or splitting into
pieces. My general philosophical stance can be summed in three words,
"I hate rules." To me, rules are the things you're supposed to bend.

At some point in my future, I want to make a robot that is
beacon-oriented, and I think I figured out 2.5 ways to do that and
still comply with DPRG rules (as well as the rules of robot events
around the world):
  1) Most rules allow robot start-up and stop via external control.
In keeping with this, it would be entirely permissable to use a
"keep-alive" signal from the controller (so long as this signal was
not used under human control to give instructions). When this is
permitted (or required!), I have never seen any rules regarding the
size or shape of the controller. Therefor, it would follow that you
could place two (or three, if you absolutely require honest-to-gosh
triangulation) beacons as antennae for your controller. This would
have a very useful ancillary benefit of providing a "keep-alive"
for "emergency stop," which is almost always allowed.
  1.5) some rules, e.g., DPRG robo-rama, allow tethers. If you don't
see how this is applicable, refer to suggestion #1
  2) Most rules permit you to drop pieces on the course so long as
all of the pieces are contained within the main robot when it crosses
the finish line. You could conceivably drop pieces that are
physically tied to your bot-with-sensors-that-propels-itself with
a tether that spools out slightly faster than the motion of the
bot-with-sensors-that-propels-itself, then rewind really, really
fast once you cross the finish line. You would have to worry about
courses that used "lines on the floor" which, if crossed, would
result in penalty or disqualification because the direct path between
the retrieved pieces and the bot-with-sensors-that-propels-itself
would almost certainly get dragged out of bounds. Alternatively,
you could convert your navigation aids into pure energy, but this
would be a little more difficult.

Ken "not a lawyer, but would like a paying role as one" Comer
The UN, the CDC and the WHO all say in blunt, unequivocal terms, "A
flu pandemic is inevitable." Maybe not to your town and maybe not
this year; but history shows us to expect three per century. The
important hallmarks have already appeared this summer. Get a disaster
kit. Twenty-first century cultures are highly mobile and
Avian/Swine/Human flu hybrids kill even young, healthy people. Get
masks, gloves, no-cook food for 3 days, and easily prepared food for
3 weeks. Do it today. The worst that can happen is you end up with
spare groceries.

The life you save will be someone you kiss, someone you hug, or
someone you see every day. (If your life is so bad you hate all the
people you see every day, then pray for plague.)

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