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Re: In our defense

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

Posted on 5/1/99 7:05 AM MST


In Reply to: In our defense posted by Jeff Burch on 4/30/99 7:32 PM MST:



Jeff,

Well said!

Also, great job this year. Hope to meet you at the rumble.

P.J.


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what about this?

Posted by Nate Smith, Student on team #74, Holland FIRST Robotics, from Holland High School and Haworth, Inc..

Posted on 4/30/99 8:32 PM MST


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



in one round of the competition, we were paired against a arm-based machine designed for defense. While they were guarding the puck, which we were also already on top of, their arm became lodged in our steel-rod basket. Both teams tried pulling to get loose, and in the end our basket was damaged, and we tipped backwards off the puck, landing on our side. Comments on this scenario?
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Ponder the Principle

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

Posted on 5/1/99 1:29 AM MST


In Reply to: what about this? posted by Nate Smith on 4/30/99 8:32 PM MST:



Nate,

As per rule V6, 'robot shoving will be allowed and is expected to be quite common.' FIRST continually advises in the violation section that teams build their robot to take a beating. It is obvious FIRST expected some measure of contact. In V7, FIRST states that 'if the damaged alliance's robot is considered too flimsy, no disqualification will occur.' In fact, they go on to say 'the safest strategy is to build a tough machine and try to win with strategies and moves that may be aggressive but are not mean spirited.' Look over what you wrote in your message. It is obvious the two robots were tangled and in the process something bent. That is the fault of both. Their arm was undamaged while your basket was bent. Perhaps you should have built your basket as tough as they built their arm. It does not appear that anybody was TRYING to hurt anybody else. Am I wrong?

I gotta say, when our robot was fork-lifted two feet in the air, dropped, and then lifted, and dropped again our first year, I was pissed. But pretty quickly I realized that that was a pretty $@#$@#$@#$@# entertaining match. That's what this is about! Inspiration sprouts from entertainment. Let it slide! It's all part of the game and FIRST makes that pretty clear. Read your manual with an open mind and you'll see what I'm talking about.


No hard feelings?
-Daniel

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Re: Ponder the Principle

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

Posted on 5/1/99 7:00 AM MST


In Reply to: Ponder the Principle posted by Daniel on 5/1/99 1:29 AM MST:



Daniel,

Thanks for quoting the rule book on that one. I didn't have it here and wanted to point out that FIRST makes it very clear that if you build a flimsy robot you must face the consequences.

P.J.
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FIRST is made for contact

Posted by colleen, Student on team #126, Gael Force, from Clinton High School and Nypro.

Posted on 5/1/99 10:50 AM MST


In Reply to: Re: Ponder the Principle posted by P.J. Baker on 5/1/99 7:00 AM MST:




You want to play.. build a robot that can handle it is what i think. Over the years we've had robots be attacked, pushed, shoved, tipped several matches in a row, and all our bots survived... FIRST is a contact sport, although graciously professional in the way it will be done, some robot's going to go down..

so.. i can definitely agree with Mr. Wible and i too thought TKOs robot looked to be built for fighting only.. but i can't say that i wouldn't have loved to have a chance to play a match against them... the way i look at it.. if two robots are going to collide, normally it's the one going after the other that will sustain the most damage.. and so if that robot can handle it.. so shouldn't the other one be able too..

as for the robot arms that tipped..i saw it happen several times, esp in a few matches we watched in chicago.. their arm is built for scoring, not tipping, and if it happens to work for both, then congrats to them for building an arm that can do all that... i was esp impressed by team #1s capabilties in that regard.. watching them in chicago, we were sure they would end up on top.. and they earned it well in florida.. in fact, we lost to them in the first elimination matches... they tipped over our alliance partner with their arm... and i think they have a great robot..

in a nutshell.. i'm not being mean or anything, but you've got to build your robots tough cause FIRST is a be nice more than a play nice game... and if in the shuffle something gets broken or bent, that's why you should have spare parts.. that's what pit crews are for.. i like FIRST at the level of competition it's at and think that's a lot about what makes it fun.. there are more scratches, dent, hunks of plywood and other material missing from our machine this year than any other year i know of... and many robots in turn had the chance to put them there, but it wouldn't be the same without them..

..i know my grandma would be proud if she saw the way we played and the way the competition ran this year, how about yours?



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I was worried, but we were rewarded!

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

Posted on 5/1/99 10:51 PM MST


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

Tom,

Good points. I appreciate your post. But, you don't
really know what our strategy was and why we designed
our robot's arm the way we did. It may be 'clear' to
you, but it wasn't that way in the beginning of this
year's competition.

Let me tell you some history about how our robot and
strategy developed.

Our arm was originally designed to hold opposing robots
at arms length (like a straight arm), and to grab ahold
of a basket and raise it, much like 192's robot (if any
of you noticed them ). Our problem was the basket.
We worked so long on our arm and drive base, that we had
a really bad basket.

During the Chicago regional, out of frustration, we ended
up taking our basket off and just playing with our arm.
During a match against team 74, we pushed (tipped) them
off of the puck with our arm. Many people at that time
either loved the move or hated it, thinking it was not
gracious professionalism. I was worried. I wasn't sure
if it was legal or not.

Well, we made it through the match by not being DQed.
Then we were really suprised when FIRST gave us the Defensive
Play of the Day for that very move. Since FIRST rewarded
us, we threw away our basket design and concentrated on
playing defense with the arm. I guess that we used that
Defensive award as a license to play the way that you
didn't like.

Maybe this clears some things up, maybe not. If not...
then hopefully we can agree to disagree about this.


Andy B.



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Re: We're really not that mean.

Posted by Joe Ross, Student on team #330, Beach Bot II, from Hope Chapel Academy and NASA/JPL, NASA ARC.

Posted on 4/30/99 12:05 PM MST


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



I think that the matches I saw that involved the TechnoKats were some of the most exciting matches I saw. I'd say that even when you guys got close to breaking the rules. I still enjoyed the matches.

I hope that FIRST doesn't get more strict and that more teams will build their robots to sustain this kind of beating.

I know I am not speaking for everyone on our team (Especially those team members who still refer to G-Force as the 'bad' team) But I think that defensive robots make for very exciting matches.

Joe Ross
Team 330

: 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 a question of mean?

Posted by Andy Grady, Coach on team #42, P.A.R.T.S, from Alvirne High School and Daniel Webster College.

Posted on 5/1/99 11:36 PM MST


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



I understand the points for and against the mechanisms used by the Technocats and by Gunn. My team was in a round against the Technocats and felt the wrath of the arm. I however do not feel that the way they used the arm was in any way bad or illigal. As a matter of fact I thought the strategy used by the Technocats was a very good one. A stiff arm, a basket block, or using the arm to gain position on the puck is totally legal. The design of the Technocats machine is a good one and was used within the rules. However there are some instances that many teams are guilty of that involve tipping and distruction, wether it be on purpose or not. This game was made for contact, or else it would be fairly boring. Some teams just have different ways of doing it. There are limits, and I have never been a fan of tipping. Just watching the video of TJ toppling over at rumble two years ago and breaking into tons of pieces makes me cringe. Back then the game was different however, this year, the robots are the goals and positioning is the most important aspect in the game. This means contact is going to happen, and it will happen in many different ways. So I would say to the Technocats that their shouldn't be anything to clear up. But that is just my opinion
Cya all later,
Andy Grady, DWC/Alvirne



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Re: We're not really mean

Posted by Tim Murray, Student on team #126, Gael Force, from Clinton High School and NYPRO inc..

Posted on 5/3/99 4:20 PM MST


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



I know you've done a lot of explaining and all but i just thought
for the sake of people who are still skeptical, i have to ask this
question myself. correct me if i'm wrong, but i went to chicago to
check things out and i remember the technokats robot having illegal
materials on their treads. These materials were not completely illegal
however their use was. They used half pieces of EMT conduit which would
tear up the playing field floor. FIRST let the team compete anyways.
This seems like an indication to me that this robot was made to be an
aggressive robot that might've been designed to do 'mean' things. I'm
not pointing out the rules violation but using EMT conduit on tank
treads??? that sounds like they might've been trying to do a little more
than just be aggressive. I'm just questioning team 45's motive behind
that and if there's an explanation for that just like there was for the
other questionable components of their machine.

Have fun with this one Tom Wible

Tim Murray



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I wish I had thought of those...

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

Posted on 5/3/99 7:12 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: We're not really mean posted by Tim Murray on 5/3/99 4:20 PM MST:



Did you ever see TKO get pushed around? Nope. Did you ever see them move a robot off the puck? Yup.

This is their motivation. Period.

Rule V6 states that 'robot shoving will be allowed and is expected to be quite common.'

As friction is key in 'robot shoving', TKO is strictly in accordance with the rules on this one.


All I gotta say is...nice treads!
-Daniel

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Re: We're not really mean

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

Posted on 5/4/99 7:34 AM MST


In Reply to: Re: We're not really mean posted by Tim Murray on 5/3/99 4:20 PM MST:



Tim,

Allow me to reply to your note point by point.

: i remember the technokats robot having illegal
: materials on their treads. These materials were not completely illegal
: however their use was.

Hang on a sec... first you claim that our treads were illegal, and then
they're not. Make up your mind. If they are, where is the rule?

: They used half pieces of EMT conduit which would
: tear up the playing field floor.

We didn't just use these treads in Chicago, we also used them in Yipsi
and in Orlando. From what I remember, we didn't damage any of the carpet.
Sure, simply looking at our treads would make you think that they would
rip the carpet, but they didn't. We were inspected and passed easily.
Also, the refs were looking for any damage produced on the carpet during
any match we were in. No damage was done.

: FIRST let the team compete anyways.
: This seems like an indication to me that this robot was made to be an
: aggressive robot that might've been designed to do 'mean' things. I'm
: not pointing out the rules violation but using EMT conduit on tank
: treads??? that sounds like they might've been trying to do a little more
: than just be aggressive. I'm just questioning team 45's motive behind
: that and if there's an explanation for that just like there was for the
: other questionable components of their machine.

Hello? Do you remember that there was this octagon platform in the middle
of the field that teams were trying to pull to one side of the field? We
saw that part of the game and said that we wanted to best traction possible,
in order to pull the puck wherever we wanted to take it. You you call that
mean? I suppose it is if we are pulling it right through your machine, but
I call that part of the game. The EMT conduit gave us the best traction we
could get (too much, actually, but's that another story!). That is simply
why we used the EMT. I guess you can say that we had some 'mean traction'.

We did not use the treads to tear up anyone's machine on purpose. Once,
in Yipsi, we go into team 264's electronics with our treads. Once it
happened, our driver was ordered to stop. After some re-wiring, team
264's machine was able to make it to the next match. Before nationals,
264 put a better guard over their electronics and we put a guard on that
end of our treads to keep this from happening again.

I take offense with your claim that we tried to do 'mean' things. Cite the
match and stake your claim. Don't just offer your opinion without backing
it up with facts. As you can see from my other posts, I'm pretty open-
minded and cool about things. For obvious reasons, your post ticked me
off. If that was your intent, then it worked.

: Tim Murray

Tim, hopefully, we will be at the Rumble. I will be happy to talk with
you then about our designs and our intent.

Andy Baker



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Re: We're not really mean

Posted by Tim Murray, Student on team #126, Gael Force, from Clinton High School and NYPRO inc..

Posted on 5/4/99 12:58 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: We're not really mean posted by Andy Baker on 5/4/99 7:34 AM MST:



Andy,

I apologize for any offense i might have caused you. AT NO TIME WAS IT EVER MEANT TO OFFEND YOU OR GIVE YOUR TEAM A BAD NAME!!!!! In case you misunderstood me, I just brought the point up because i noticed that you gave an explanation to those who thought that you might've been a 'mean' team. As a member of Clinton NYPRO/CHS FIRST team, I am aware that your team as well as mine is one of the very few original partnerships remaining and that our teams have maintained the absolute highest reputation of all teams. I believe that teams like 45 and 126 are to be looked up to. If any question of a rules violation ever were to come up as an issue with our team, we would automatically rule that option out. We would never even bend the rules or play unfair. It is my understanding that your team is the same way. I was very unsure of any facts in dealing with your traction and questioned you about them in the post. I wasn't trying to say that you purposely placed on illegal treads. I was merely asking a question about whether or not these were considered illegal or if you had to replace them etc. I know that at no time, your team would ever try to do a mean or unjust thing. I am in defense of your team and robot as well as you however i brought up the question of your treads because it came to mind and it just happened to be your machine. The entire post was an entire question about why you used the treads and whether or not you had to take them off in later regionals.

My team will be at rumble, but i am unsure of whether or not i will be there. i would certainly like to go and talk to you about FIRST etc. but not argue about things that were misunderstood.

I'm sorry for your misunderstanding,

Tim





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No Problem.

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

Posted on 5/4/99 2:08 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: We're not really mean posted by Tim Murray on 5/4/99 12:58 PM MST:



Tim,

I guess I got a bit wound up about your post... maybe a bit too much.

From what you posted, you have some very good insight (about what you
saw in Chicago) and I admire you for speaking your mind. You are the
first person who openly questioned our tread design, and what our
intentions were in making them that way.

I'm sure that if you and I were face to face, and you said 'hey, Andy,
what's the deal with those treads!!! They look pretty mean to me!', then
we would have a friendly conversation about what we had to go through
to get those darn treads to work.

The trouble with posting opinions on websites and emails is that the
person you are talking to can easily misunderstand the your intentions
and only pick up on a few key words that can easily 'tick off' the reader
(in my case, it was the word MEAN). If you knew me, the last thing I
want to be called is mean... but then I look at my original post on this
thread and I said 'We're really not that MEAN'. So, since you used that
same word, so therefore you were sorta given license to use it.

I suppose that I should've expected courageous guys like you and Tom to
reply to my original message... I asked for it. I also realize that many
teams shed alot of blood, sweat and tears, working on their robot. After
all of that work, along comes a robot who 'appears' to be designed to tear
up everyone else's bot, I guess we were asking to get some grief.

Once again, no problem, Tim. No offense taken. I am disappointed that
you won't be at Rumble. I would've enjoyed talking with you.

Regards,
Andy Baker


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Let's cut to the chase here

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

Posted on 5/4/99 7:55 AM MST


In Reply to: Re: We're not really mean posted by Tim Murray on 5/3/99 4:20 PM MST:



I'd like to clear this traction issue up here. The RULES state that if your robot does not pass the traction test, then you are illegal.
The test consists of putting the robot against a wall, with carpeting under the robot. If at full throttle, the carpet is damaged, then you fail.
If the judges allowed treads that would not pass this test, then they have done an injustice to the rest of the teams that work hard to play by the rules.
The problem here is that this is always a judgement call. Even the wheelchair wheels damage the rug, given enough power. So once again, we have an issue which is grey and left up to the judges opinion, and the good judgement of the teams.
Any other thoughts?

Tom Wible



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When Push Comes to Shove

Posted by Dodd Stacy, Engineer on team #95, Lebanon Robotics Team, from Lebanon High School and CRREL/CREARE.

Posted on 5/4/99 9:34 AM MST


In Reply to: Let's cut to the chase here posted by Tom Wible on 5/4/99 7:55 AM MST:



Trying to maximize traction and still make it through Tech Inspection has been one of the most stomach churning aspect of the FIRST competition. 'Carpet damage' involves some subjective judgement, and we have been subjected to some ad hoc testing proceedures intended to amplify the impact of our drive system on the carpet. I don't want to get into that, but I feel that FIRST really needs to come to grips with this issue. I admire the 45 bot trac system as a piece of engineering, but I'll just say, Andy, you guys showed more nerve with that than I could afford, based on our past experience. I'll also say the front end of your tracs made a pretty good bot muncher.

Enough complaining tho. I'd like to suggest that FIRST do away with carpet and replace it with something like rubber matting, or some surface that can be chewed up and replaced at modest cost. I'd also like to see the game go towards a bigger field, so that play strategies of speed and mobility could compete with traction and thrust on a more equal 'footing.' Especially now with 4 bots on the field, there's just not much room. This contributes to more robot 'interaction', which produces excitement, but I can imagine other, faster game structures with similar interaction possibilities.

Dodd


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