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[DPRG] A Modest Proposal

Subject: [DPRG] A Modest Proposal
From: Ron Grant deltagraph at aol.com
Date: Thu Mar 6 09:13:53 CST 2014

Hello David,
Here is a counter proposal:

Solo Soccer 

If a person feels/knows their robot can locate and move at least one can to the "opponent" goal in 20 seconds then they may choose to enter your robot in the solo soccer contest.

Opting for the solo contest and failing to meet that initial goal of first can in 20 seconds will result in termination of the solo run (after 20 seconds) and you will be required to compete in the two contestant soccer match or make a donation to the "big robot project" of at least $20 or opt to have your robot dropped from a height of 20 feet onto a hard surface. (I am big on 20s this morning).

If your robot moves meets the initial 20 second goal, it is allowed to continue for up to 3 minutes or until all of the cans have been moved to the goal.
Someone can work out the formula for the  time/can count scoring details for the contest.
Ron Grant

PS I realize that there is a loophole favoring people who build poor performing impact resistant robots. They can enter solo soccer without penalty.

PPS I dropping bit can be deleted if it seems too extreme. Was probably trying to make the post more interesting to read.



-----Original Message-----
From: ed <ed at okerson.com>
To: dprglist <dprglist at dprg.org>
Sent: Thu, Mar 6, 2014 6:59 am
Subject: Re: [DPRG] A Modest Proposal

I guess RobotWars combat style competitions are next?  Could be fun, but a
totally different crowd.  I guess it just depends on who you are trying to
appeal to.


> Perhaps.   I was under the impression that the purpose was to increase
> the skills of the builders.  At least that's how it's been explained to
> me.  My bad.
> See you all in May.
> dpa
> On 03/05/2014 10:48 PM, paradug wrote:
>> David,
>>    I think Karim has it right.
>> Regards,
>> Doug P.
>> -----Original Message----- From: Karim Virani
>> Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2014 7:04 PM
>> To: dprglist ; davida at smu.edu
>> Subject: Re: [DPRG] A Modest Proposal
>> How dare you, sir.  Not only is your modest proposal actually modest,
>> but it also fails to be both unreasonable and irrational. Further it
>> viciously impugns our beliefs that we each shall surmount all the
>> various minor capabilities required of our mechanical contraptions.
>> Our personal delusions lie at the core of our humanity and thus are
>> sacrosanct. One wonders whether you were compelled to offer this
>> proposal on behalf of your cold and calculating creations.
>> OK, so let's assume that I agree with just about everything you said.
>> Further, I recognize that you are pretty much the only member who has
>> consistently demonstrated a robot that is able to avoid moving
>> obstacles and still proceed toward a particular goal.  I remember you
>> trying to obstruct SR04 and forcing it to move around you to deliver a
>> can back at one of the last classic can can competitions at the old
>> science plan - probably a decade ago. So you are really just lowering
>> the bar for the rest of us in your inimitably warm and gracious manor.
>> Yet I still find myself disagreeing with your recommendation.  If the
>> goal of the contest is to fairly judge the true capabilities of each
>> of our evolving entries, then the proposal makes perfect sense.  If
>> instead, the goal is to get maximum entertainment and public buy-in at
>> a premier venue like the Perot, then a head to head contest would be
>> better - even if the robots just wander about bashing into each other,
>> the walls and running over cans. The latter is the actual premise that
>> the contest was designed around if I recall correctly.  Of course that
>> presumes that 1. we are actually confirmed for the Perot (Doug?) and
>> that 2. we still wish to pursue the original premise. The fine points
>> of the various capabilities of our robots is something that will be
>> understood by only the few of us involved in building them.  I'd
>> happily sacrifice some fairness and predictability in order to draw in
>> some fresh interest.
>> Best Regards,
>> Karim
>> ________________________________________
>> From: dprglist-bounces at dprg.org <dprglist-bounces at dprg.org> on behalf
>> of David Anderson <davida at smu.edu>
>> Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2014 4:03 PM
>> To: dprglist
>> Subject: [DPRG] A Modest Proposal
>> Greetings Fellow Roboteers,
>> Runnning my best attempt at the DPRG CanCan Soccer contest with SR04
>> over the weekend, and conferring with some of the other teams' members,
>> it looks like the problems associated with 1) sensing and locating the
>> cans, 2) capturing them in some way, 3) locating the goal, 4) delivering
>> the cans thereto, and 5) doing all of this repeatedly, are the major
>> areas of R&D that everyone (myself included) are currently trying to
>> solve.
>> Adding the complication of sensing and avoiding the other robot, not to
>> mention the problems involved in sensing and avoiding the judge, (who
>> will at times also be in the competition space to "immediately remove"
>> any secondary cans the robot might have collided with) seems beyond what
>> most teams are currently working on.  Doug has tried to address this
>> problem with a fairly complex set of rules regarding "collisions" and
>> who can call "reset" and under what conditions. All of this is, at this
>> time, untested.
>> Understanding that the DPRG CanCan Soccer rules for 2014a are pretty
>> much cast in concrete, I nonetheless have a modest proposal: Run the
>> robots one at a time.
>> All the other rules remain the same.  The Robot with the most cans at
>> the end of its 10 minute run is the winner, and ties will be decided by
>> the fastest times.
>> When we have a group of robots that can successfully do the 5 tasks
>> listed above (probably not what will happen at 2014a), then we can have
>> them go head-to-head.  This modest proposal allows the teams to
>> concentrate this time around on the main goals (no pun) of the contest
>> itself, and show the performance of their solutions in the best possible
>> light.
>> Having the robots go head-to-head involves a whole new group of
>> problems, which are probably best solved once you have a robot that is
>> already able to solve the 5 basic tasks.   Further, head-to-head
>> competition inevitably invites counter-measures.  I can think of half a
>> dozen off the top of my head, all that lay within the letter and spirit
>> of the rules.   Seems like that sort of thing should be reserved for a
>> more advanced contest.
>> As an aside, I found this weekend that "immediately removing" any
>> secondary cans and returning them "to their original locations"
>> invariably interferes with both the offending robot and the
>> non-offending robot, because of the presence of a large object, the
>> judge, within the contest boundary.  Has anybody else actually tried
>> this?  This rule may need to be revisited for the next contest in 2014b.
>> modestly,
>> dpa
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