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  #166   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-04-2012, 08:01 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by IndySam View Post
I can absolutely guarantee you that this was not the case. If it appeared it was it was truly just a random thing. I am basically appalled that you would believe that the head ref or reset people would conspire against you.
Indy, I can only tell you what I observed from my time in the stands. We noted times when the field was reset where the balls were placed fairly near the center. We also noticed that on a number of occasions when robots set up to clearly go to the bridge, balls were placed at the extreme edges. Once, our robot was lined up to get a ball, and they went out and moved the ball. A second time, they placed the balls and when the drive team went to line the robot up, they were told they could not because the balls had to be placed after the teams left the field.

In the end I suspect you are right and that there was no active bias against teams that could pick from the bridge. However, the arbitrary rule creation (can't line up your robot, balls have to be placed after teams leave the field, and balls will be randomly placed anywhere on the bridge) was extremely frustrating when the top 5+ robots on the field were seperated by 1 point.

It's all old news anyway. It was a great competition. This is just something that needs to be highlighted so that hopefully FIRST and their head refs can learn from it in the future.
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Unread 05-04-2012, 08:16 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by IndySam View Post
I can absolutely guarantee you that this was not the case. If it appeared it was it was truly just a random thing. I am basically appalled that you would believe that the head ref or reset people would conspire against you.
We saw this as well. In several matches, the same thing happened to us (and our scouts, like 1718's, found that it was happening in matches where a robot was setup to do a bridge autonomous, but not other matches)

When we questioned the field reset (and later head ref) including the Q&A mentioned above (stating that the balls will be placed in the center of the bridge), they made up stuff about the ball placement requiring the balls to be symmetrical on the bridge but not necessarily in the center, and the Q&A not being the rules.

When we talked to Aiden Brown (FRC Head Ref), including a picture of the ball placement and Q&A, the ball placement went back to normal (side by side, center of the bridge).
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Unread 05-04-2012, 08:47 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

At the St. Louis Regional, I (as field reset) was originally told that while the balls on all three bridges had to be fair to both sides, there was no requirements for them to be in any particular position (although in general I tried to put them on the two "center" spots). I assume that was the original assumption your ref was operating on, as there was nothing in the rules about it... and if the GDC intended for there to be, they really needed to put it there. You can't have "unwritten rules" in games that no one has played before...
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Unread 05-05-2012, 01:19 AM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

I worked field reset at BMR.

I was told that there was "no guarantee" to teams on ball placement. That said, I remembered the Q/A post and made an effort to keep the ball placement consistant and to correct any incorrect placements.

The pattern that on Fri/Sat of BMR (I wasn't there on Thurs) for a 2-2-2 scenario was :

Alliance bridges: The balls were in a centered line perpendicular to the barrier.

Co-op bridge: The balls were in a centered line parallel to the barrier.


My understanding was that Q/A answers were like team updates; they held equal power as the original canon of the 2012 rules as they were in a way an extension of the rules.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 04:11 AM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

FIRST used to be more explicit about the role of Q&A responses. In the mid-2000s (the last time they specified this), the general idea was that the rules were the rules, and that Q&As don't overrule them for any reason, and instead only interpret them. Only updates could do that (and updates were supposed to be incorporated ASAP to reduce confusion). E-mail blasts, blogs and other documentation were also subordinate to the rules.

Since then, I've operated under the assumption that if a rule flatly contradicts a Q&A response, the rule takes precedence. (In other words, for a Q&A response to be effective, the rule and the Q&A must be read together, and have a logically consistent interpretation.) When enforcing a rule against a team, the team should be entitled to rely upon FIRST's official statements to a very large degree—which leads to difficult decisions to bend rules according to principles of equity. That is never something undertaken lightly, but I strongly feel (and many other officials agree) that teams should not be placed in a Kafkaesque situation where even when they do what FIRST asks of them, they are still inconvenienced or harmed.

Note that the VRC and FTC Q&As operate differently from the FRC one, in terms of the degree to which the answers are directly binding.

As for the balls, I'm honestly not that concerned. Assuming that FIRST made only correct statements about the nature and source of the balls, they've satisfied their core responsibility, which was to use what they said they'd use. Of course, it would have been ideal (from the perspective of a shooter) for FIRST to have a more consistent ball supply...but they never actually said that the balls would be consistent to any particular degree (beyond the Q&A and manual information referenced above). The differences between balls might well be normal manufacturing variance, and as such could plausibly be the responsibility of the teams to identify and account for.

Last edited by Tristan Lall : 05-05-2012 at 04:18 AM.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 06:55 AM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by IndySam View Post
I can absolutely guarantee you that this was not the case. If it appeared it was it was truly just a random thing. I am basically appalled that you would believe that the head ref or reset people would conspire against you.
IndySam,

First off, I don't believe they were conspiring against just us, there were other teams affected by this as well. I don't make that accusation lightly, I am one of the first to give the refs and field reset the benefit of doubt - much to the chagrin of my team sometimes. The placement of the balls on Friday morning/afternoon before the situation was corrected was highly suspicious. I didn't want to believe it myself until I watched a bunch of matches and witnessed the scenario I mentioned.

I hold no grudges and, as I said previously, we still had a great time; I was just disappointed that (random or not) that this could happen at the Championship event.
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Unread 05-05-2012, 12:17 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

Look the 2012 Season is pretty much over. Why dont we start focusing on more positive things? We need to post the more positive things in the "2012 Lessons Learned: The Positive" I think we hit the dead horse with the stick too many times. I am ready to move onto TNT, IRI, Embry Riddle, the 2013 season, and volunteering.

The FIRST representatives must be like "Oh come on! Stop posting in the Negative, didnt you guys have fun?!? We did a lot of great things this year!"

Even though a lot of things happened this year, positive or negative, FIRST was awesome! I dont know about you, but the Finale parties afterward were amazing and a huge step up from last year! Even though, we had the Black Eyed Peas concert last year I had more fun this year than I did then!! Thats saying A LOT.

So please, lets put the stick down and go to another forum to post positive things!
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Unread 05-05-2012, 12:33 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by torihoelscher View Post
Look the 2012 Season is pretty much over. Why dont we start focusing on more positive things? We need to post the more positive things in the "2012 Lessons Learned: The Positive" I think we hit the dead horse with the stick too many times. I am ready to move onto TNT, IRI, Embry Riddle, the 2013 season, and volunteering.

The FIRST representatives must be like "Oh come on! Stop posting in the Negative, didnt you guys have fun?!? We did a lot of great things this year!"

Even though a lot of things happened this year, positive or negative, FIRST was awesome! I dont know about you, but the Finale parties afterward were amazing and a huge step up from last year! Even though, we had the Black Eyed Peas concert last year I had more fun this year than I did then!! Thats saying A LOT.

So please, lets put the stick down and go to another forum to post positive things!
I've seen this sentiment a lot. While I agree that we shouldn't dwell on the negative, you can't improve if you don't focus on your faults. If a student gets an 85% on an algebra test, they shouldn't sit around looking at all the questions they got right, they need to critically assess the ones they got wrong.

Frankly, I think FIRST did a lot of amazing things this year and if I were grading them it would be in the 90-95% range. Still, we'd be remiss as a community if we didn't focus on that 5-10% that needs to be improved. It's all about striving for perfection.

Of course there's multiple ways to look at the negatives. You can rudely complain and not offer solutions. Or you can produce constructive criticisms that take us towards improvements and solutions. From what I've seen in this thread, it's definitely more of the latter.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 09:55 AM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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I've seen this sentiment a lot. While I agree that we shouldn't dwell on the negative, you can't improve if you don't focus on your faults. If a student gets an 85% on an algebra test, they shouldn't sit around looking at all the questions they got right, they need to critically assess the ones they got wrong.

Frankly, I think FIRST did a lot of amazing things this year and if I were grading them it would be in the 90-95% range. Still, we'd be remiss as a community if we didn't focus on that 5-10% that needs to be improved. It's all about striving for perfection.

Of course there's multiple ways to look at the negatives. You can rudely complain and not offer solutions. Or you can produce constructive criticisms that take us towards improvements and solutions. From what I've seen in this thread, it's definitely more of the latter.
This.
Plus, when you talk about Positives, there's not much more to comment on, other than, "Yep, I agree." But when you talk about Negatives, people are analyzing situations and trying to offer possible solutions. So, while the negative thread appears longer, I actually think that people have posted more positive items than negative. Of course, I'd have to take the time to list them out to be sure of this...anyone bored enough/have the time on their hands to do this?
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Unread 05-06-2012, 10:26 AM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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It's all about striving for perfection.
Bah! What would the Simbots know about that?
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Unread 05-06-2012, 02:28 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

One of the unexpected problems our team ran into was the weight difference between the competition bridge and the practice bridge. Usually the lower cost field alternative provides the same experience as the competition field, but the bridge this year is one of the few exceptions that I have seen.

We were able to successfully lower our practice bridge and the bridge on a practice field built by another local team. However, we found the competition bridge was heavier. We were able to create a stronger bridge manipulator, but it wasn't until Friday during lunch of our regional competition that we were able to get it onto our robot.

I wasn't sure whether I should have put this under the negative lessons learned. It would be better put under 2012 Lessons Learned because it was both positive and negative. (A third neutral category would probably be an overkill on this topic)

Cheers
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Unread 05-06-2012, 02:51 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by Jin Hayashi View Post
One of the unexpected problems our team ran into was the weight difference between the competition bridge and the practice bridge. Usually the lower cost field alternative provides the same experience as the competition field, but the bridge this year is one of the few exceptions that I have seen.

We were able to successfully lower our practice bridge and the bridge on a practice field built by another local team. However, we found the competition bridge was heavier. We were able to create a stronger bridge manipulator, but it wasn't until Friday during lunch of our regional competition that we were able to get it onto our robot.

I wasn't sure whether I should have put this under the negative lessons learned. It would be better put under 2012 Lessons Learned because it was both positive and negative. (A third neutral category would probably be an overkill on this topic)

Cheers
This issue associated with this is the difficulty associated with creating a calibrated bridge. We never calibrated ours (and payed for it dearly at our first event), but I've heard of it taking north of 100 lbs to calibrate the bridge without infringing on its other functionality. This should be taken into account when designing the low cost field and game elements in the future.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 05:57 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by Jin Hayashi View Post
One of the unexpected problems our team ran into was the weight difference between the competition bridge and the practice bridge. Usually the lower cost field alternative provides the same experience as the competition field, but the bridge this year is one of the few exceptions that I have seen.

We were able to successfully lower our practice bridge and the bridge on a practice field built by another local team. However, we found the competition bridge was heavier. We were able to create a stronger bridge manipulator, but it wasn't until Friday during lunch of our regional competition that we were able to get it onto our robot.

I wasn't sure whether I should have put this under the negative lessons learned. It would be better put under 2012 Lessons Learned because it was both positive and negative. (A third neutral category would probably be an overkill on this topic)

Cheers
Is that what happened? I was trying to figure out at FLR why so many teams had difficulty getting the bridge down. Veteran teams at that; who I knew built their own fields. That certainly explains quite a bit.

I believe we re-calibrated our bridge in about Week 4, but I never got too deep into the details as to why. I just assumed they had calibrated it wrong to begin with, not that we realized we were off from the competition bridges.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 06:16 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

I was my team's representative for the alliance selections on Galileo. I'm not sure if it it was like this on the other fields as well, but none of us could hear or see a single thing that was going on during the selections due to our position on the floor. At regionals, the representatives are typically facing the field with their backs to the stands. On Galileo, it looked like drive coaches were along that wall? Not sure. Anyway, I understand that there's 100 students in this group, but it would be nice to know what's happening on the field, what round of selections is occurring, and what alliance you're on before you start walking out there.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 06:39 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jin Hayashi View Post
One of the unexpected problems our team ran into was the weight difference between the competition bridge and the practice bridge. Usually the lower cost field alternative provides the same experience as the competition field, but the bridge this year is one of the few exceptions that I have seen.

We were able to successfully lower our practice bridge and the bridge on a practice field built by another local team. However, we found the competition bridge was heavier. We were able to create a stronger bridge manipulator, but it wasn't until Friday during lunch of our regional competition that we were able to get it onto our robot.

Cheers
FIRST explained that the low cost bridge would not function properly without weight being added. They had a video showing that two batteries needed to be a certain distance from the edge for it to function as a competition bridge would.
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