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[DPRG] 2015 RoboColumbus

Subject: [DPRG] 2015 RoboColumbus
From: James LeRoy james at getsurreal.com
Date: Sat Dec 6 14:44:04 CST 2014

That gets my vote!

On 12/6/2014 12:16 PM, David Anderson wrote:
> James,
>
> Now that I've had a chance to sleep on it, I think your proposal makes a
> lot of sense.
>
> It separates the RoboColumbus challenge into a navigation-task and a
> cone-finding-task.  Those really are two very different problem sets.
> It allows the robot builder to concentrate his energies on navigation
> and, when that is accomplished, later on cone finding. That makes a lot
> of sense to me.  It is the way I did it :)
>
> So I've been working out a way to do this without changing the basic
> design of the contest, and without making the actual competition overly
> long.   Here's my thought.  We break the contest in two: navigation and
> cone-finding.  But we still run the contest the same way.  Each robot
> gets 3 runs.
>
> Any robot that scores a 2 or 3  (i.e., navigation alone, no cone
> touching) is automatically part of the RoboColumbus Level 0 navigation
> contest.  A separate First Prize is awarded in that category.   The rest
> of the scoring categories (4 through 9) are in the cone-finding contest,
> with it's own First Prize.  The Grand Prize, if you will.
>
> Since each robot is allowed 3 runs, any builder can decide if he wants
> to use any (or all) of those 3 runs to just do navigation. jBot could,
> for example, disable its camera and cone-finding behaviours, and try to
> set the best time in the navigation-only for one of its three runs.
>
> Since time is the only differentiator for these robots, it will of
> course turn into a race!  (As I suspect level 9 will do also once we can
> all accomplish the main tasks.)  However, we can always make the course
> more difficult as folks get better, make the bonus cone harder to find,
> add a second bonus cone, etc.  Even the size of the error circle can be
> adjusted as our robot navigation gets better.
>
> As I say, it really comes down to how the awards are determined. Seems
> like rewarding successful navigation separated from cone-finding is
> something very worth doing.
>
> Thanks for the input.
>
> regards,
> dpa
>
>
>
> On 12/04/2014 03:42 PM, David Anderson wrote:
>> James,
>>
>> That's a nice idea.
>>
>> I think it really comes down to when the awards are handed out. Each
>> possible score is actually a little harder task.  So you can think of
>> the scoring as 7 incrementally harder tasks.  We can award a first
>> place in each scoring category, which I think is a form of what you
>> are proposing.
>>
>> So a robot without the ability to find and touch a cone, that enters
>> three way point circles, scores 3 points since that is a harder task
>> than entering two.  It would beat a robot that only scored 2, and if
>> those were the only two robots in the competition, it would win!
>>
>> The scoring hopefully is designed so that robots with the same score
>> have accomplished similarly difficult tasks.  Here's maybe a better
>> graph of that (note: needs mono-spaced font to work):
>>
>> Points          Target           Bonus         Origin
>>               circle  cone    circle  cone    circle cone
>> 2              1                               1
>> 3              1               1               1
>> 4              1       1                       1
>> 5              1       1       1               1
>> 6              1       1                       1     1
>> 7              1       1       1               1     1
>> 9              1       1       1      1        1     1
>>
>>
>>
>> So as I say, you can think of it as 1 contest with 7 levels of
>> difficulty, or as 7 little mini-contests in which you might be the
>> only contestant in your category.
>>
>> cheers
>> dpa
>>
>>
>> On 12/04/2014 03:03 PM, James LeRoy wrote:
>>> I very much like your proposed new competition, but I thought part of
>>> the idea was to get entry robots with navigation involved that might not
>>> have the cone touching end game ready.  With that type of robot only
>>> being able to max out at 3 points it would not be very competitive in
>>> the competition.
>>>
>>> What if it was a two stage event?
>>> Stage 1 - navigation to way points only.
>>> Stage 2 - navigation and cone touching..
>>>
>>> You must get two points in stage 1 to compete in stage 2, but an entry
>>> robot could still win stage 1 and not compete in stage 2.
>>>
>>> That's similar to how I thought we would evolve the 6 can competition.
>>> Stage 1 - collect cans without an apposing robot
>>> Stage 2 - compete head to head
>>>
>>> -James
>>>
>>> On 12/4/2014 12:10 AM, David Anderson wrote:
>>>> Howdy
>>>>
>>>> With 6Can competition bearing down upon us, I've already been thinking
>>>> about the next outdoor contest. So shift gears with me for a moment and
>>>> consider RoboRama 2015s a and b.
>>>>
>>>> Richard Neveau wrote:
>>>>
>>>> <snip>
>>>> jBot ran a demo of David’s proposal for an alternate contest for the
>>>> future by finding the cone and then returning to the starting line.
>>>> jBot
>>>> also found the cone after going down the steps (8?) on the deck just
>>>> for
>>>> fun.
>>>> <snip>
>>>>
>>>> So .... that is the idea I've been promoting for the next RoboColumbus.
>>>> In a nutshell it's this: to start at a location, navigate to a distant
>>>> waypoint, and navigate back to the origin and stop. That's what the
>>>> jBot
>>>> demo at the contest/gathering at Paul's was trying to show.
>>>>
>>>> I've described at RBNO and online the advantages of a navigation task
>>>> that has to return to home. I'll just add at this point that it also
>>>> really fits the name, "RoboColumbus." After all, Magellan died halfway
>>>> though his journey. Columbus made it home. ;>)
>>>>
>>>> So I'd like to formally propose this competition for DPRG 2015
>>>> RoboColumbus:
>>>>
>>>> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>
>>>> DPRG 2015 RoboColumbus Competition.
>>>>
>>>> 1. Contest: to start at one way point, navigate to a target way point,
>>>> and return to the origin waypoint and stop.
>>>>
>>>> Any robot that completes that task is considered to have completed the
>>>> contest. Each run is timed.
>>>>
>>>> 2. There is a 10-foot radius circle around each waypoint.
>>>>
>>>> If any part of a robot crosses over that circle, the robot is
>>>> considered
>>>> to have arrived at the way point.
>>>> Arriving at the way point = 1 point. (first time only)
>>>> The robot does not have to stop.
>>>>
>>>> 3. There is an Orange Traffic Cone at the waypoint at the center of
>>>> each
>>>> 10-foot error circle.
>>>>
>>>> Touching the orange cone and coming to a stop += 2 points. (first
>>>> time only)
>>>>
>>>> 4. There is a third "bonus" cone located behind some obstacle(s) or in
>>>> some hard to reach place.
>>>>
>>>> Arriving within the bonus cone circle += 1 point (first time only)
>>>> Touching the bonus cone += 2 points. (first time only)
>>>> Robot can attempt to reach the bonus waypoint either before or after
>>>> the
>>>> target waypoint.
>>>>
>>>> 5. Ties are decided by fastest time.
>>>>
>>>> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I tried to keep the rules as simple as possible, and also backward
>>>> compatible with the RoboColumbus we've already run. I've been mulling
>>>> through the math and I think this looks fair to all. It would allow
>>>> robots without cameras or other means of locating the cone to be
>>>> able to
>>>> run in the contest, if they can hit the error circles. So in that sense
>>>> it adds a lower level competition, RoboColumbus --level 0, as well as a
>>>> higher level.
>>>>
>>>> Here are some sample scores:
>>>>
>>>> 2 points start --> target circle --> start circle and stop
>>>> 3 points start --> target circle --> bonus circle --> start circle
>>>> and stop
>>>> 4 points start --> target circle --> touch cone --> start circle and
>>>> stop
>>>> 5 points start --> target circle --> touch cone --> bonus circle -->
>>>> start circle and stop
>>>> 6 points start --> target circle --> touch cone --> start circle -->
>>>> touch cone and stop
>>>> 7 points start --> target_circle --> touch cone --> bonus circle -->
>>>> start circle --> touch cone and stop
>>>> 9 points start --> target circle --> touch cone --> bonus circle -->
>>>> touch cone --> start circle --> touch cone and stop
>>>>
>>>> The winner is the robot with the most points. Ties go to the faster
>>>> time.
>>>>
>>>> Talking to Richard and Doug, it seems the hardest part of making a
>>>> RoboColumbus contest happen is finding a place to run it. Since I'm
>>>> sticking my neck out here anyway, I'll volunteer to try to help track
>>>> down some place to hold the next contest.
>>>>
>>>> happy roboting,
>>>> dpa
>>>>
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