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Paul Copioli
02-07-2002, 07:52 AM
Here is a question and answer from the tech digest I received last night/this morning. I apologize for not having the number, but I just read the digest when it is sent to me:


Q: The analogy with football is good, but still worrisome. If our
robot's intent is to change the direction of another
robot (not to
damage it), by ramming it at high speed, would this be judged "malicious" and disqualify our robot?
Similarly, if our intent is to make the other robot
"fumble" by
dislodging the goal from its grasp, would the
high-speed collision be
judged malicious and disqualify our robot?
Would the design of the other robot influence the judges' decision?
That is, if the opposing robot looks rugged, then the
judges might rule in our favor, but if the opposing robot is
flimsy, they may rule against us.


A: Worrisome? Hmm. What you're asking us to do is allow you to blitz the quarterback with no possibility of penalty, no matter what you do.
If you've ever been a football fan, think about it. Your actions would probably be taken as malicious. There's rules in football about people hitting the quarterback in the head (at all) and about unnecessary roughness. This is probably because in the early days of football, the referees' union got tired of hearing, "Hey ref I wasn't trying to hurt him, I was just trying to make him fumble!". Or, "Hey, he's a wimpy quarterback! A tough one would have taken that hit!". In the NFL, they don't judge whether the linebacker is roughing the passer by whether the QB is Dante Culpepper or Doug Flutie.

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Seems to me that FIRST has made it clear that high speed ramming will be considered malicious no matter what. Any other thoughts?


-Paul

Skanker
02-08-2002, 07:25 AM
I would say yes. High speed ramming is considered malicious. this ISN'T Robot Wars or something like that. The whole idea is not that robots be slamming into things and each other. It is that each robot alliance is to work together to complee objectives, and peacibly (tug of war = peace too :) keep the other team from winning somehow.

I know If you rammed my robot at high speeds, and it wasn't from a crazy loss of control, I would consider it malicious. I don't like the idea of people seriously damaging other robots. People put many many many hours of work and tons of money into these things. It would be a shame to see their work destroyed by somebody's malicious ramming (except on shows like Battle Bots or something)...

Just my humble opinion.

Alfred Thompson
02-08-2002, 07:53 AM
I don't see how a high speed hit could be thought of as anything BUT malicious. You almost can't dislodge a ball without risking breaking a robot.

Matt Ryan
02-10-2002, 08:26 PM
Originally posted by Skanker
I would say yes. High speed ramming is considered malicious. this ISN'T Robot Wars or something like that. The whole idea is not that robots be slamming into things and each other. It is that each robot alliance is to work together to complee objectives, and peacibly (tug of war = peace too :) keep the other team from winning somehow.

I know If you rammed my robot at high speeds, and it wasn't from a crazy loss of control, I would consider it malicious. I don't like the idea of people seriously damaging other robots. People put many many many hours of work and tons of money into these things. It would be a shame to see their work destroyed by somebody's malicious ramming (except on shows like Battle Bots or something)...

Just my humble opinion.

FIRST has stated multiple times that they EXPECT robots to ram each other at FULL SPEED. They have warned us numerous times to build a robust robot, for it WILL take hits.

If your robot gets hit at high speeds, and the ref does nothing, you can't do anything about it. Concentrate on what you CAN control...like making your robot robust enough to take these sorts of hits we've been warned about since the beginning...

"Malicious" would mean something like there is a robot doing nothing in the middle of the field, no goals near it, no balls, and you going full throttle at it and hitting it over and over again without reason. That is my interpretation. That means nothing, because its the Referee's interpretation that counts.

Matt Ryan
02-10-2002, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by Alfred Thompson
I don't see how a high speed hit could be thought of as anything BUT malicious. You almost can't dislodge a ball without risking breaking a robot.

Fighting over a goal, fighting over balls, etc., can and will entail high speed hits that are meant to knock you away, NOT to damage you.

Alfred Thompson
02-14-2002, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by Matt Ryan


Fighting over a goal, fighting over balls, etc., can and will entail high speed hits that are meant to knock you away, NOT to damage you.

I guess it's a matter of opinion. Pushing away is one thing; high speed hits are another. I can see if there is a collision when two robots are going for the same ball or goal. But the only reason for a high speed hit is because you don't have enough power to push someone away and you want to do damage or you are out of control.

ChrisH
02-14-2002, 01:53 PM
Our robot is designed to grab two goals at high speed while shooting through the gap between them. We are aware of others that are designed to act in a similar fashion.

If we find one of these robots is an opponent, and there are enough of them we almost certainly will, then there is a significant chance we will both be going for the same gap. In this case there will probably be a high speed collision that is still graciously professional. ie Both robots are merely attempting to perform their designed function and there is no deliberate attempt to damage. It just so happens that they will wind up trying to occupy the same space at the same time.

Call it robotic chicken.

Our robot has been designed from the beginning to take this sort of hit. It also has features that may persuade the opposing robot to break off and go another way. If not there is a significant chance that a poorly designed robot will take damage. Who knows, we may take damage ourselves.

So there is at least one reason to make a high speed hit that is perfectly legitimate within the rules.


I guess it's a matter of opinion. Pushing away is one thing; high speed hits are another. I can see if there is a collision when two robots are going for the same ball or goal. But the only reason for a high speed hit is because you don't have enough power to push someone away and you want to do damage or you are out of control.

On the other hand hitting a slowly moving robot or immobile robot from behind merely because you have nothing better to do with your two minutes is clearly unacceptable. But WE can take it anyway.

Matt Ryan
02-14-2002, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by Alfred Thompson


I guess it's a matter of opinion. Pushing away is one thing; high speed hits are another. I can see if there is a collision when two robots are going for the same ball or goal. But the only reason for a high speed hit is because you don't have enough power to push someone away and you want to do damage or you are out of control.

It says right in the rules to expect full speed rams.

The reason for a high speed hit is to move the other robot using your momentum to overcome their sheer power. Or to get someplace else, or to get a goal, a ball, or to pin. None of those cause intentional damage at all.

Another reason for a high speed hit is to hassle the other robot--to interfere with their activities.

Would I assume correctly that you are a rookie? If so, FIRST used to be much more rough and tumble, such as two years ago, where all the robots on the field would try to get to a ramp in the center of the field within the last few seconds. Robots went flying. Things exploded, snapped. You name it, it happened.

Before I was on a team, it was 1 versus 1 versus 1...every 'bot for itself...

Edit: the rule was made so no one would ram a robot out in the middle of the field doing nothing. Also, this is all a referee's judgement call--I don't particularly like giving them judgement calls.

Alfred Thompson
02-14-2002, 07:38 PM
Originally posted by Matt Ryan


Would I assume correctly that you are a rookie? If so, FIRST used to be much more rough and tumble, such as two years ago, where all the robots on the field would try to get to a ramp in the center of the field within the last few seconds. Robots went flying. Things exploded, snapped. You name it, it happened.


Yes and no. My son was on a team some years ago. They brought home a championship finalist trophy. That was during the time when attack and defense were an accepted part of the game. So I know what FIRST used to be like. I can't say I liked it much then.

I can't say that I'm all that worried about our robot. If someone crashes into it at full speed they're as likely to disable themselves as us. The robot that hit us running very hard and built like a tank the other night did not damage anything important.

I guess it just appears that I have a different idea about gracious professionalism than some others. As well as seeing contact incidental to play of the game differently from intentionally ramming another robot. The first is reasonable and expected. The second does not seem to me to be in the spirit of the game as described this year. But obviously reasonable people can disagree.

Anthony S.
02-17-2002, 01:06 AM
I've got a feeling that this years game is going to have a lot of penalties. What do you think??