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We're really not that mean.

Posted by Andy Baker, Engineer on team #45, TechnoKats, from Kokomo High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

Posted on 4/28/99 7:37 PM MST



I know I don't have to do this, but I feel that we as a team need to explain ourselves a little bit.

A little birdy told me that more than a few people didn't quite like our robot design, and thought that our TKO boxing theme was not within the spirit of FIRST. I heard that various people thought that we designed our robot to only beat up everyone else's. Well, I'm here to tell you, that is not true.

Here was our thinking: we saw the puck at kickoff, and we instantly thought that FIRST wanted more contact between the robots. So, we gave them what they wanted... action. I was suprised that more teams didn't go down this design road.

We never wanted to hurt anyone's machine, we just wanted to keep our opponents off the puck and from raising their floppies.

After we did not do very well in Chicago, we watched the elimination rounds. We saw VERY good basket lifters getting on the puck and playing defense. I thought that was a waste of many good basket lift designs.

We saw our niche. We got rid of our basket design and went for puck control. We wanted to be the team that everyone wanted as their partner in the finals.

Hopefully, we didn't tick anyone off too bad. If so, let me know, and I'll buy you a Coke also.

Andy B.


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Hear Hear, and same over here...

Posted by Daniel, Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M Gunn Senior High School and NASA Ames.

Posted on 4/28/99 7:57 PM MST


In Reply to: We're really not that mean. posted by Andy Baker on 4/28/99 7:37 PM MST:



I won't retype Andy’s whole message, but it also applies for my team. T-192 didn't play to break other robots, we played to keep them from scoring. Besides, the game this year was begging for more contact between robots (i.e. holding baskets down, etc) and we expected that to be a trend. In fact, during the design stage we rejected many design drafts as they were 'too flimsy'. Turns out we were almost alone on that. I was surprised to see tons of leaning towers of sizzor lift, PVC baskets, and other low-load-bearing structures. It was completely not in our intent to break any piece of any robot we played. And as for our playing style, if you saw the Benji-bot demo, you’ll know we dwelt strictly within the limitations that were so clearly set. Please don’t hate us! I’ll extend the same coke offer… =)

G-Force loves you!!!
-Daniel


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Re: Hear Hear, and same over here...

Posted by Mike King, Other on team #88, TJ², from Bridgewater Raynham and Johnson & Johnson Professional.

Posted on 4/28/99 8:10 PM MST


In Reply to: Hear Hear, and same over here... posted by Daniel on 4/28/99 7:57 PM MST:



Dont' feel too bad. When we did the design process, we expected lot's of people like you guys, and used the same gearing on our lift as last year. (almost an identical design) We had enough power to take our basket, 10 floppies, and about 50 - 80 more pounds ontop of that. But it was slow. (ok, 12 secs from full down to full up wasn't that slow). Seeing we didn't have a need for that kind of power, we swapped our gearing ratios on our lift. (and ran outta time, our robot arrived in flordia with the wheels in a toolbox.)

We were ready for ya, but we didn't need it.

Mike
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Re: Hear Hear, and same over here...

Posted by Elaine Anselm, Engineer on team #191, X-Cats, from Jos Wilson High School and Xerox.

Posted on 4/28/99 8:48 PM MST


In Reply to: Hear Hear, and same over here... posted by Daniel on 4/28/99 7:57 PM MST:



People do feel bad when they see their robots knocked apart because they put so much work into them, but that was just part of this year's game. There was more contact just by the nature of the competition this year, but that type of interaction made the matches exciting to watch. Teams such as G-Force were very attractive as alliance partners because they could defend the puck. That is why our team picked them. During our last finals match G-Force took a beating too.

Teams who designed their robots as defensive only took a risk. If their qualifying points were not real high they might not be noticed as an ally.

I would much rather see the type of interaction this year than the type there was in 1995. In 30-45 seconds, the fastest team got to the top of the ramp, clamped on and racked up points for over a minute. Many matches were a yawn.
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Re: We're really not that mean.

Posted by Eric gargus, Student on team #217, Team Macomb, from Armada High School and Ford and Fraser.

Posted on 4/28/99 8:44 PM MST


In Reply to: We're really not that mean. posted by Andy Baker on 4/28/99 7:37 PM MST:



It may be true that some people didn't like you guys. I will admit that, I for one didn't like you guys from the minute I saw your bot in Chicago. I assumed that you were out to destroy other bots and were not in the spirit of FIRST.

But my narrow minded thinking was changed after I starting talking on ICQ and made a friend (Who knows who he is and better not forget he owes me a coke, :-) LOL).
This friend was not at all what I expected a TechnoKat (let alone a TechnoKat Coach) to be like. I was expecting a horrible monster out to destroy the spirit of FIRST and to damage my teams poor defenseless bot. What I found was a fun loving guy who appreciates FIRST as much as anyone. He made me think about it from another point of view and I realized that they were just taking a different approach to the game.

So congradulations to the TechnoKats on a great year. I for one think you guys had some guts to go the route you did. You guys are great and I can't wait to compete against you next year.

Eric Gargus

P.S. Doesn't it seem odd to anyone else that a little bird would tell the TechnoKats of there 'reputation'? I thought Kats ate birds? Seems that I'm not the only one who changed his feathers about the Kats.





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Same here, too

Posted by Chris, Coach on team #308, Walled Lake Monster, from Walled Lake Schools and TRW Automotive Electronics.

Posted on 4/29/99 6:42 AM MST


In Reply to: We're really not that mean. posted by Andy Baker on 4/28/99 7:37 PM MST:



Our robot had a couple of hooks on the arm to keep other teams from raising their baskets. We needed to use them in the match against the HOT team and John Deere. We needed to keep the John Deere machine from raising to win. We did keep them from raising, but in the process, John Deere's basket broke as they were trying to lift it. Then they tipped over trying to get away from us. We won the match but we weren't happy with the carnage it caused.

After the match we had to withstand some booing from the crowd that thought we attacked the other team (which is actually far from the truth). We also had to withstand a protest, which the judges quickly ruled against. Anyway, it made us feel like we were becoming disliked. The worst part is that the John Deere team was our pit neighbor, so it made things pretty tense for a while until we patched things up with them. In the end, they weren't mad at us, but I don't know about the HOT team.

-Chris


: I know I don't have to do this, but I feel that we as a team need to explain ourselves a little bit.

: A little birdy told me that more than a few people didn't quite like our robot design, and thought that our TKO boxing theme was not within the spirit of FIRST. I heard that various people thought that we designed our robot to only beat up everyone else's. Well, I'm here to tell you, that is not true.

: Here was our thinking: we saw the puck at kickoff, and we instantly thought that FIRST wanted more contact between the robots. So, we gave them what they wanted... action. I was suprised that more teams didn't go down this design road.

: We never wanted to hurt anyone's machine, we just wanted to keep our opponents off the puck and from raising their floppies.

: After we did not do very well in Chicago, we watched the elimination rounds. We saw VERY good basket lifters getting on the puck and playing defense. I thought that was a waste of many good basket lift designs.

: We saw our niche. We got rid of our basket design and went for puck control. We wanted to be the team that everyone wanted as their partner in the finals.

: Hopefully, we didn't tick anyone off too bad. If so, let me know, and I'll buy you a Coke also.

: Andy B.


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Not mean but in violation

Posted by Tom Wible, Coach on team #131, chaos, from central high school manchester and osram-sylvania.

Posted on 4/30/99 7:36 AM MST


In Reply to: We're really not that mean. posted by Andy Baker on 4/28/99 7:37 PM MST:



If you read the rules they say that strategies aimed at intentional tipping of robots are NOT IN THE SPIRIT OF FIRST.
You guys clearly used tipping as a strategy and clearly designed your robot to do that. I would contend that the refs made a big mistake allowing this type of strategy to be used.
I hope FIRST is listening.

Tom Wible



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Their 'bot looks just like Benji-Bot....strictly legal

Posted by Daniel, Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M Gunn Senior High School and NASA Ames.

Posted on 4/30/99 8:20 AM MST


In Reply to: Not mean but in violation posted by Tom Wible on 4/30/99 7:36 AM MST:



You say the Kokomo robot was built to intentionally tip other robots? “Clearly”? Please explain. I see no forklifts...

All I see is a highly versatile arm that can be used to push robots away from the puck, hold down baskets, and even to pick up floppies (if they had chosen that rout). Besides, I've never seen Kokomo intentionally tip a robot. When did you see this?

Just 'cuz a robot has the potential to abuse the rules, doesn't mean it does.

Perhaps I should just let Andy respond to this message, he knows better than I do. But just for fun I challenge you to challenge the principle behind the G-Force robot. That's more in my league.

Think about it this way, why would a team build their whole robot to conflict with a rule *intentionally*. Seems like suicide to me...6 weeks of sleep deprivation just to get DQed? Naw, nobody's that out of wack ;-)


Let me know if you’ve got any problems with G-Force…
-Daniel



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I disagree - Robots with arms unite!

Posted by P.J. Baker, Engineer on team #177, Bobcat Robotics, from South Windsor High School and International Fuel Cells.

Posted on 4/30/99 8:30 AM MST


In Reply to: Not mean but in violation posted by Tom Wible on 4/30/99 7:36 AM MST:



I can only speak about what I saw, and I did not see TKO use tipping as a strategy in the (admittedly few) matches that I saw. There appeared to be about 20 or so robots at nationals with strong, articulated arms that could be used for defense as well as scoring. Like Andy, I was surprised that so many teams had lift mechs that could only be used for lifting floppies straight up. The defensive capabilities that robots like ours (The Bobcat) and TKO had because of their articulated arms made for much more exciting matches. If any of you saw our first match in the elimination round, you know what I mean. Our drivers used the Bobcat's arm to pull a robot off of the puck (tipping it in the process) and were then able to climb on with seconds left for a big win. We lost the next two, but that's a different story.

As far as asking FIRST to listen, they already are. We were awarded the Power to Simplify award largely because of the extreme multifunctionality of the Bobcat's arm. I can't vouch for TKO, but I know that our strategy was not to tip other robots, because it was not legal. If it had been, robots like TKO, The Bobcat, and R.A.G.E. to name a few would have been nearly unstoppable (obviously we weren't :^)) because I don't think that there were many robots in the competition that we couldn't tip over if we felt like it.


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Re: I disagree - Robots with arms unite!

Posted by Andrew Trax, Coach on team #180, S.P.A.M., from Southfork,Martin Co. High and UTC.

Posted on 4/30/99 2:56 PM MST


In Reply to: I disagree - Robots with arms unite! posted by P.J. Baker on 4/30/99 8:30 AM MST:



: I can only speak about what I saw, and I did not see TKO use tipping as a strategy in the (admittedly few) matches that I saw. There appeared to be about 20 or so robots at nationals with strong, articulated arms that could be used for defense as well as scoring. Like Andy, I was surprised that so many teams had lift mechs that could only be used for lifting floppies straight up. The defensive capabilities that robots like ours (The Bobcat) and TKO had because of their articulated arms made for much more exciting matches. If any of you saw our first match in the elimination round, you know what I mean. Our drivers used the Bobcat's arm to pull a robot off of the puck (tipping it in the process) and were then able to climb on with seconds left for a big win. We lost the next two, but that's a different story.

: As far as asking FIRST to listen, they already are. We were awarded the Power to Simplify award largely because of the extreme multifunctionality of the Bobcat's arm. I can't vouch for TKO, but I know that our strategy was not to tip other robots, because it was not legal. If it had been, robots like TKO, The Bobcat, and R.A.G.E. to name a few would have been nearly unstoppable (obviously we weren't :^)) because I don't think that there were many robots in the competition that we couldn't tip over if we felt like it.

At the Kennedy Space Center Regional, the Heatwave team was DQed for
grabbing the Space Coast team's robot and pulling it off the puck and
tipping it over. The rules must have changed between Kennedy & National.
Amazingly, the Space Coast just hit the gas and righted their robot.
But Heatwave still got the DQ. Bravo, Space Coast!

Mrs. Trax (Meg's Mom)



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Check this out

Posted by Tom Wible, Coach on team #131, chaos, from central high school manchester and osram-sylvania.

Posted on 4/30/99 5:56 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: I disagree - Robots with arms unite! posted by Andrew Trax on 4/30/99 2:56 PM MST:



I am quoting the rules here, 'intentional tipping is not in the spirit of FIRST'. If you design a robust arm which can tip and destroy other people's baskets, then you are not in alignment with the spirit of FIRST. Think about it, how would you draw the line on a mechanism? We were contemplating putting a 'stabilizer' on our robot which would retract. It might also get under another teams robot and tip it over when we lifted it back up.
My interpretation of the intent of the rules was that if a robot fell over as another team was trying to climb the puck then OK. But if a team used its' arm to intentionally tip over another robot then that's not OK. I think we need some clarification form FIRST on this. It seems that at some regionals the refs were DQing teams which flipped other robots, well they didn't in Florida, why?
Let me pose this question: how many teams did you see with an arm which could be used to tip over another robot? Most teams probably thought that a robust arm would be useless for floppy raising, and obviously a robust arm would have another intended purpose. (Floppies aren't that heavy). Let's get real if you had a robust arm, and you pushed on another robots' high point, you are intentionally tipping it. As was explained, if you were battling for the puck, and one of the robots fell as a result, that would be OK.
I take that to mean that if you tip over another robot to get on the puck you violate the tipping rule. My girlfriend who is relatively unaware of the fine points of the contest, could not believe that the robots were being pulled over and ripped apart at the nationals. In one match that we were in, the opposing alliance reached out with its' floppy picker and pulled our partners' robot off the puck by its' basket. Then kept pulling until the entire assembly was mangled. I have a photo of the aftermath if anyone is interested.


2 cents

Tom Wible


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Re: Check this out

Posted by Dave, Student on team #308, Walled Lake Monster, from Walled Lake Schools and TRW.

Posted on 4/30/99 8:27 PM MST


In Reply to: Check this out posted by Tom Wible on 4/30/99 5:56 PM MST:



Hey,

Well, my team has one of those robust arms that could be used for many purposes, several of which could be used to hold down robots and pull them/the puck. In one match when we were against team 309 and the hot bot, we failed to gain control of the puck, so we went after the floppy carrier and held his basket down. Now, by the end of the match, his basket was pretty mangled, but not by us. After we had hooked 309's basket, we had formed a T with us being the bottom part of the T. 309 preceded to run and manuver, but I was able to keep up with him. One manuver put us right behind him, which twisted his basket and our arm. With about 10 secoends left to go, they managed to get away, but were re-hooked as they were driving away as I tried to pull them back, which resulted in the tipping over of 309, not intentally.

The point of all of that was to show that alot of the times damage caused by such arms is not always caused by the team with the arm, but the robot being effected by the arm. In this case, 309 could have tried to lower their basket since they were trying to put it up for the entire time they were hooked, or simply sit still. I know most people will look at those suggestions and think that they are very impractical, but look at the options, you can either move away from the robot that poses a threat to you, or just sit there and not risk killing your machine. In the case of 309, they would have retained all of their floppies instead of tipping and loosing several of their floppies. I know that there is a chance that you can get away, such as we did in the match before. An immobile robot hooked us and was pulled over by his own hook in our attempt to get away, but with getting our own robot damaged.

Not all of time is it the robot with the arm's fault. Many times accidents like that can be prevented, and if you don't try to prevent them, you should be ready to accept the risks involved with it, such as we did.

Dave


: I am quoting the rules here, 'intentional tipping is not in the spirit of FIRST'. If you design a robust arm which can tip and destroy other people's baskets, then you are not in alignment with the spirit of FIRST. Think about it, how would you draw the line on a mechanism? We were contemplating putting a 'stabilizer' on our robot which would retract. It might also get under another teams robot and tip it over when we lifted it back up.
: My interpretation of the intent of the rules was that if a robot fell over as another team was trying to climb the puck then OK. But if a team used its' arm to intentionally tip over another robot then that's not OK. I think we need some clarification form FIRST on this. It seems that at some regionals the refs were DQing teams which flipped other robots, well they didn't in Florida, why?
: Let me pose this question: how many teams did you see with an arm which could be used to tip over another robot? Most teams probably thought that a robust arm would be useless for floppy raising, and obviously a robust arm would have another intended purpose. (Floppies aren't that heavy). Let's get real if you had a robust arm, and you pushed on another robots' high point, you are intentionally tipping it. As was explained, if you were battling for the puck, and one of the robots fell as a result, that would be OK.
: I take that to mean that if you tip over another robot to get on the puck you violate the tipping rule. My girlfriend who is relatively unaware of the fine points of the contest, could not believe that the robots were being pulled over and ripped apart at the nationals. In one match that we were in, the opposing alliance reached out with its' floppy picker and pulled our partners' robot off the puck by its' basket. Then kept pulling until the entire assembly was mangled. I have a photo of the aftermath if anyone is interested.

:
: 2 cents

: Tom Wible


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Re: Check this out

Posted by Chris, Coach on team #308, Walled Lake Monster, from Walled Lake Schools and TRW Automotive Electronics.

Posted on 4/30/99 9:40 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Check this out posted by Dave on 4/30/99 8:27 PM MST:



I want to add to what Dave said.

We built a very robust arm for one main reason: simplicity of design. Why should we design a pole grabber, something to keep a basket down, a floppy-picker-upper, a robot pusher, and a robot puller with different mechanisms? All of this functionality could be incorporated in one arm, if it is made robust enough. This is what we chose to do. We got all of that functionality with only one motor and one air cylinder. It took other teams up to 4 motors to get that functionality.

-Chris


: Hey,
:
: Well, my team has one of those robust arms that could be used for many purposes, several of which could be used to hold down robots and pull them/the puck. In one match when we were against team 309 and the hot bot, we failed to gain control of the puck, so we went after the floppy carrier and held his basket down. Now, by the end of the match, his basket was pretty mangled, but not by us. After we had hooked 309's basket, we had formed a T with us being the bottom part of the T. 309 preceded to run and manuver, but I was able to keep up with him. One manuver put us right behind him, which twisted his basket and our arm. With about 10 secoends left to go, they managed to get away, but were re-hooked as they were driving away as I tried to pull them back, which resulted in the tipping over of 309, not intentally.

: The point of all of that was to show that alot of the times damage caused by such arms is not always caused by the team with the arm, but the robot being effected by the arm. In this case, 309 could have tried to lower their basket since they were trying to put it up for the entire time they were hooked, or simply sit still. I know most people will look at those suggestions and think that they are very impractical, but look at the options, you can either move away from the robot that poses a threat to you, or just sit there and not risk killing your machine. In the case of 309, they would have retained all of their floppies instead of tipping and loosing several of their floppies. I know that there is a chance that you can get away, such as we did in the match before. An immobile robot hooked us and was pulled over by his own hook in our attempt to get away, but with getting our own robot damaged.

: Not all of time is it the robot with the arm's fault. Many times accidents like that can be prevented, and if you don't try to prevent them, you should be ready to accept the risks involved with it, such as we did.

: Dave

:
: : I am quoting the rules here, 'intentional tipping is not in the spirit of FIRST'. If you design a robust arm which can tip and destroy other people's baskets, then you are not in alignment with the spirit of FIRST. Think about it, how would you draw the line on a mechanism? We were contemplating putting a 'stabilizer' on our robot which would retract. It might also get under another teams robot and tip it over when we lifted it back up.
: : My interpretation of the intent of the rules was that if a robot fell over as another team was trying to climb the puck then OK. But if a team used its' arm to intentionally tip over another robot then that's not OK. I think we need some clarification form FIRST on this. It seems that at some regionals the refs were DQing teams which flipped other robots, well they didn't in Florida, why?
: : Let me pose this question: how many teams did you see with an arm which could be used to tip over another robot? Most teams probably thought that a robust arm would be useless for floppy raising, and obviously a robust arm would have another intended purpose. (Floppies aren't that heavy). Let's get real if you had a robust arm, and you pushed on another robots' high point, you are intentionally tipping it. As was explained, if you were battling for the puck, and one of the robots fell as a result, that would be OK.
: : I take that to mean that if you tip over another robot to get on the puck you violate the tipping rule. My girlfriend who is relatively unaware of the fine points of the contest, could not believe that the robots were being pulled over and ripped apart at the nationals. In one match that we were in, the opposing alliance reached out with its' floppy picker and pulled our partners' robot off the puck by its' basket. Then kept pulling until the entire assembly was mangled. I have a photo of the aftermath if anyone is interested.

: :
: : 2 cents

: : Tom Wible


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Unread 06-23-2002, 09:47 PM
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Re: Check this out

Posted by Adam, Student on team #177, Bobcat Robotics, from South Windsor High School and International Fuel Cells/ UTC.

Posted on 4/30/99 9:54 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Check this out posted by Chris on 4/30/99 9:40 PM MST:



Bravo Chris.
Team 177 also saw advantages to the arm, mostly that we have used it before in the last 2 competitions before this one. It gives us many advantages, such as if our wheel pullup mechanism broke, we can get on the puck by using our arm to push us up. It worked great for allowing us to extend our floppy grabbers to the human player when the puck or a robot blocked the way. After the proven benefits from the last two years, Number 1 seed, national quality award, and 4rth place in terriod terror, why shouldnt my team use the arm design?



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Unread 06-23-2002, 09:47 PM
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Re: Check this out

Posted by Jacob Etter, Student on team #177, Bobcat Robotics, from South Windsor High School and International Fuel Cells and ONSI Corp.

Posted on 4/30/99 10:03 PM MST


In Reply to: Check this out posted by Tom Wible on 4/30/99 5:56 PM MST:



first off the contest is over so there is no need for clarification from first and second off arms have huge adantages over baskets: the are much stronger than baskets, the lift quicker, they hold baskets down, the can be used to move around the puck, the can right a tipped machine, they can gather and hold floppies (ours could hold over ten). these are all clearly legal things too do plus they can do those 'borderline' legal things such as pulling robots off the puck. as for making it robust maybe peeps who make arms just take pride in making something that isn't a piece of crap and that won't get easily destroyed, like many bags did, in the heat of battle.


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