Go to Post If my counts are correct, during the official matches 141,077 points were scored, and a minimum of 28,746 frisbees were successfully shot into goals. All without a single decapitation, severed limb, or even one porpoise becoming accidentally entangled in the nets. - dlavery [more]
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View Poll Results: You Make The Call
Legal, good luck Bluateam! 58 87.88%
Illegal, Bluateam can not use the refurbished arm! 8 12.12%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 04-14-2005, 09:30 AM
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Re: YMTC: Bluateam Refurbishes Bluabot's Mangled Arm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Skierkiewicz
This is one of those rules that suffers from lack of knowledge of intent. What were the rules makers intending when this rule was written?
The rule makers were intending to start drinking heavily because they knew that no matter how hard they worked at it, for no matter how long, it would not be enough. They knew that the 400+ hours that each of them put in to the effort to develop the game and write the rules would never stand up to the approximately 4 million brain-hours of thought that would be applied to analyzing the rules, game and robot designs this year. They knew that Lucien would find some little hole that had not been filled to everyone's satisfaction, and a YMTC thread would pop up to discuss it. They knew that the stated desires from the teams to have simplified, short, concise rules were in direct conflict with the stated desires from the team to have complete, unambiguous, fully explanatory rules that leave no room for interpretation, and that there was no way to satisfy both. They knew that with the FIRST policy of creating a brand new game every year to challenge the teams that they would never be able to run through enough simulations of the game to completely understand how it was going to play out before it was released to the teams. They knew that the 400+ hours each was nowhere near enough to wring out all the nuances and subtleties and hidden "gotchas" that would be lurking about.

But they also knew that the nearly 1000 teams out there would take the problem (and the description of the problem - the rules) that they were given and run with it. And they knew the teams would come up with extremely creative ways to solve the problem, and play the game. And they knew that despite some occasional confusion over a rule that, in retrospect, might not be as clear as possible, or have an unintended consequence, that everyone would approach the whole affair with a positive attitude and genuine desire to make the most of the whole experience. And they knew that everyone recognized that the game is just that - a game. They knew the teams understood that at the end of the day what happened on the playing field during the competition season wasn't nearly as important as what happened back in the shop during the build season. They knew that the number of gracious, professional, make-your-grandmother-so-proud-she-will-puke moments of exemplary behavior by the teams would far outshine any minor mistakes or incidents of less-than-perfect decorum. And so far, they have been enormously grateful to see that the teams "get it" and are having fun and enjoying the season. Because that is what they intended.

-dave

p.s. Blueateam is legal. Take your less-than-25-pound upgraded part and go compete!
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Unread 04-14-2005, 09:58 AM
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Re: YMTC: Bluateam Refurbishes Bluabot's Mangled Arm

Amen to what Dave said! And kudos to the creators for the 400+ hours of work that went into creating what has been another interesting and fun game.

Last edited by mathking : 04-14-2005 at 10:04 AM.
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Unread 04-14-2005, 11:48 PM
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Re: YMTC: GOODNIGHT YMTC

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlavery
They knew that Lucien would find some little hole that had not been filled to everyone's satisfaction, and a YMTC thread would pop up to discuss it. ...
Say "Goodnight," YMTC. "Goodnight YMTC."

I sincerely apologize to those that I have offended at FIRST or in the FIRST community with YMTC. It was certainly not my intent to demean or negate the enormous effort of the folks that create the game ... they do a marvelous job!

When YMTC was implemented on CD, it was simply meant to be a "table" where folks could sit around and talk about how the rules apply to different situations. Mainly, as I've said before, YMTC's goal was for rules awareness.

The YMTC idea is not new to sports. Some of my most memorable moments as a kid were finishing 18 or 36 holes of golf and then sitting around a table with my buddies trying to stump one another about the Rules-of-Golf and then taking out our rule books and finding the rule that addressed the situation. "Can you mark and pick-up a ball that is touching the green and fringe at the same time?" "While under a tree, can you break a twig with your practice swing without incurring a penalty?" "After wiggling your feet in the sand to secure your stance, can you move your feet on top of the sand or is it considered 'building a stance'?" These discussions made us very knowledgeable about the Rules-of-Golf and saved us stroke after stroke when we played. I never thought that if the USGA officials were listening, they may take offense to our discussion of "their" rules. Moreover, if some of the guys did not want to talk about the Rules-of-Golf, they either went to the driving range or putted some. After our discussion and a hamburger, we went out for 36 more holes ... those were the days

I guess that I always hoped that YMTC's warm greeting,
You Make The Call (YMTC) is a series of situations where you are the official and make the call. Please reference specific rules when applicable. The results of YMTC are not official and are for educational purposes only.
would encourage folks not to take the YMTC discussions too seriously.

It's funny, because this very YMTC and the last YMTC to be written by myself, was created simply as a rules awareness because I could not think up any rules with "holes" in them. Finally, thanks for all of the support for the YMTC ... it has been a lot of fun.

Again, I am sorry for those that I offended and GOODNIGHT YMTC,
Lucien
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Unread 04-15-2005, 02:01 AM
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Re: YMTC: Bluateam Refurbishes Bluabot's Mangled Arm

Calm down Lucien. The post above was not meant as a kvetch about YMTC or a desire to make these threads go away. The reference to YMTC was included simply because this is an YMTC thread. My post is a simple public acknowledgement that the effort that goes INTO creating the rules and game each year is about 0.1% of the effort that the teams expend TAKING APART and analyzing the game and rules each year. With such an imbalance, the teams will ALWAYS find things that the designers did not consider/cover/address during the development process. The fact that these thing occur is not because the game designers are trying to make the lives of all the teams as difficult as possible, it is simply the result of an honest effort applied to an imperfect process constrained by an unrealistic schedule.

The group that designs the game each year understands that going in to the process. The vast majority of teams understand it as well. All that is being asked of the community of FIRST teams is that point be remembered when they start to dissect the game and rules at the beginning of each season. Participating in a YMTC thread will comments like "if Bluabot just tilted the red tetra with 3 seconds such that the tetra is not scored and is still supported by the goal and lower tetras, it would probably count because Bluabot DESCORED the tetra (I may be very wrong about this)" is great. This is a statement that makes a point, while conceding that there is an alternate point of view, and remaining respectful of both the author's and opposing opinions. Conversely, snide comments like "three words come to mind that explain this mess: 'Design by Committee'" and "reading the rules as written this year is often an exercise in futility" do nothing to contribute to the discussions and just serve to tick people off. YMTC threads with debate like the first example are fun, educational, and a great way to fill the time in between competitions. Threads full of comments like the latter examples make many of us realize there are other ways to spend our time, and we head back to the technical forums...

-dave
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- Stuart Vasepuru, 2006 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest



My OTHER CAR is still on Mars!!!

Last edited by dlavery : 04-15-2005 at 02:05 AM.
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Unread 04-15-2005, 08:02 AM
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Re: YMTC: Bluateam Refurbishes Bluabot's Mangled Arm

These YMTC threads can and do serve a good purpose. This one in particular serves well, because I think a lot of people weren't aware that a PART can be a MECHANISM. Thus an arm can be a part.

(My team for example, was in almost this exact situation. The end peice of our grabber was mangled pretty completely in our last elmination match. We brought the end of our arm home with us in order to fix it. In the process we upgraded it to expand more to make it harder for a tetra to slip. The peice of our arm we have is now about 7 lbs.)

The discussion of the rules can be really productive. I have read a couple of YMTC threads which made me see things from a different perspective. All we need is for all of us to remember to be gracious. Snide comments can tick someone else off. The most persuasive arguments are the ones which are polite, respectful and powered by well-supported reasoning. We would all do well to remember that a group of dedicated people put in a lot of time to create a really cool game for the rest of us to play.
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Unread 04-15-2005, 08:32 AM
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Re: YMTC: Bluateam Refurbishes Bluabot's Mangled Arm

I have not read anywhere in the rules that a mechanism can be a part. Many parts make up a mechanism. If it were the intent of the game committee to allow mechanisms to be rebuilt or made or upgraded, why did they not use the words mechanism or assembly. FIRST has asked us to be less lawyers yet when they say something day one and then change the words and meaning 10 weeks later it makes me wonder why we listen in the first place. This is not the time or place to continue this type of discussion though.

I personally like YMTC because I get to debate. I love the challenge of presenting the other side of the discussion. I love the fact that it makes me think which is something I don't always do (check some of my posts). Please continue with YMTC. I know that Dave loves to be challenged also.
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Unread 04-15-2005, 10:00 AM
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Re: YMTC: Bluateam Refurbishes Bluabot's Mangled Arm

Quote:
I have not read anywhere in the rules that a mechanism can be a part. Many parts make up a mechanism. If it were the intent of the game committee to allow mechanisms to be rebuilt or made or upgraded, why did they not use the words mechanism or assembly.
Steve I won't argue with you about the English semantics, because I think your reading of the "true" meaning of parts and mechanism is correct, and they seem a little turned around in the rules book. A mechanism is made of parts.

I do think this is one reason that the YMTC thread are valuable. As Dave pointed out, there is no way to write game rules in the time frame allowed that will survive first contact with thousands of FIRSTers without having to be clarified and modified.


In section 5.2 they define: COMPONENT, MECHANISM, FABRICATED ITEM and SPARE/REPLACEMENT/UPGRADE PARTS. I am not sure what the distinction is between MECHANISM and FABIRCATED ITEM according to these rules (and I think I should have been using FABRICATED ITEM instead of MECHANISM in my posts) but here are the definitions.

<5.2>
A COMPONENT is either a COTS or a piece of stock material cut/finished to its final dimensions. COMPONENTS are things which can't be disassembled without destroying them or altering their fundamental function.

A MECHANISM is either a COTS or an assembled collection of COMPONENTS which provides some specific functionality. A MECHANISM can be disassembled into COMPONENTS.

A FABRICATED ITEM is either a COTS or a MECHANISM which has been "altered, built, cast, constructted, concocted, created, cut, heat treated, machined, manufactured, modified, painted, produced, surface coated, or conjured in the final form in which it will be used on the robot." (Again, I am not sure how to make a distinction between a MECHANISM and a FABRICATED ITEM except maybe that this implies you might not be able to disassemble a FABRICATED ITEM???)

SPARE/REPLACEMENT/UPGRADE PARTS can be either COTS or FABRICATED ITEMS. So again I think it is clear that as long as Bluateam's refurbished arm (a FABRICATED ITEM), plus all of the other PARTS they bring, are 25 lbs or less, they are legal.

From my reading of the spirit of the rules (as well as the letter), it seems clear that the intent was that teams could take something like a broken arm home and fix it/upgrade it, as long as it was a relatively small part of the robot.

And while we're at it, thanks for the good discussion.

Greg
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Unread 04-15-2005, 10:18 AM
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Re: YMTC: Bluateam Refurbishes Bluabot's Mangled Arm

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathking
A FABRICATED ITEM is either a COTS or a MECHANISM which has been "altered, built, cast, constructted, concocted, created, cut, heat treated, machined, manufactured, modified, painted, produced, surface coated, or conjured in the final form in which it will be used on the robot."
OK, a quick sidebar discussion for a moment. I have seen lots of fabricated items on robots this season that have been altered, built, cast, constructed, concocted, created, cut, heat treated, machined, manufactured, modified, painted, produced, and/or surface coated. But has anyone actually been able to conjure up a part for their robot? If you have, can we borrow your wizard?

-dave
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Unread 04-15-2005, 12:57 PM
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Re: YMTC: Bluateam Refurbishes Bluabot's Mangled Arm

Quote:
But has anyone actually been able to conjure up a part for their robot? If you have, can we borrow your wizard?
So now I am thinking someone should try to get Penn and Teller to sponsor their team? (Since Gandalf is retired now.)
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