definition of "balancing robot"

Posted by bill whitley at 02/24/2001 1:51 PM EST

Student on team #70, Auto City Bandits, from Powers Catholic High School and Kettering University.

What do you guys consider a “balancing robot”? Given time, any robot can balance. Is a “balancing robot” a robot that due to driver expertise can balance in say, 10 seconds. Or is it a robot with a ‘balance the bridge button’?

Bill
Team #70

Posted by Chris Orimoto at 02/24/2001 2:11 PM EST

Student on team #368, Kika Mana, from McKinley High School and Nasa Ames/Hawaiian Electric/Weinberg Foundation.

In Reply to: definition of “balancing robot”
Posted by bill whitley on 02/24/2001 1:51 PM EST:

Well, you’re right. It doesn’t seem that difficult to add a couple hooks to your robot and call yourself a balancer. However, I think that a “true” balancing robot is one DESIGNED to balance. The other types are the big-ballers with hooks to hold the goal steady. Those hooks then allow them to balance goals. But then again, who am I to say? Maybe there are no such thing as “balancers” and “big-ballers” and that everyone should just go by ability rather than some combination “stereotype”. I don’t know…

Just my personal thoughts…

Chris, #368

Posted by Anton Abaya at 02/24/2001 3:09 PM EST

Coach on team #419, Rambots, from UMass Boston / BC High and NONE AT THE MOMENT! :(.

In Reply to: Re: definition of “balancing robot”
Posted by Chris Orimoto on 02/24/2001 2:11 PM EST:

well, all we do is wedge our 9 3/4" high wedge under the bridge (a little past the lip) of the opposite side from where you are trying to balance, and voila, balanced each time… then, u guys stay there and hit ur button while we run to the end zone (we run there FAST!)

TOUCHDOWN!!!

-anton

Posted by Ken Leung at 02/24/2001 5:56 PM EST

Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M. Gunn Senior High School.

In Reply to: Re: definition of “balancing robot”
Posted by Chris Orimoto on 02/24/2001 2:11 PM EST:

Well, it just so happens that our robot is DESIGNED to balance when we push our two arms on ground outside the bridge.

So, should we consider ourselves as “balancer”? Well, I can’t think of any other name you can call us. All we do is quickly grab the two goal and balance with an almost 100% successful rate because of a “mechanical advantage”.

There are many robots out there that can balance with a slow and strong drive train… so I guess they are designed to balance the bridge. But should people really call a drive train a balancer?

Then again, there are people using sensors on their robot to help balance: using the gyro or a little weight with a sensor to tell the angle it’s tilting. But they still use their drive train to balance… Where do we draw the line?

I still think that the names such as ¡§balancer¡¨ or ¡§big-baller¡¨ are still a good way to describe your robot. After all, the most important description you should give out is the main function that your robot can do well all the time. Not what it COULD do.

Posted by Mike Soukup at 02/24/2001 2:51 PM EST

Engineer on team #111, Wildstang, from Rolling Meadows & Wheeling and Motorola.

In Reply to: definition of “balancing robot”
Posted by bill whitley on 02/24/2001 1:51 PM EST:

My team has been struggling with questions like this for weeks because we’re working on WASH, a scouting system for palms (shameless plug here: we’re looking for help scouting other divisions at nationals, follow the link at the bottom). We went back and forth, but finally decided that it doesn’t matter how the team balances, just as long as they balance.

One team could have an excellent driver that balances the bridge every time in 5 seconds. Another team could have a robot that uses an automated process with a balance button, but fails half the time & it takes 10 seconds minimum. In this case I would want the team that does it manually. If the case were reversed (good automation vs bad manual) I would want the automated robot.

There is no inherent advantage or disadvantage to either manual or automatic balancing. In the end, the only thing that matters is if the team can balance quickly & reliabliy, regardless of how it’s done.

Mike

Posted by dima at 02/24/2001 5:49 PM EST

Student on team #192, GRT, from Gunn High School.

In Reply to: definition of “balancing robot”
Posted by bill whitley on 02/24/2001 1:51 PM EST:

Ok i think a balancer robot is the one who can do it all by itself :if worst comes to worst and your allies can’t help you balance then you can do it your self with some sort of mechanism.

P.S. team 192 is made for balancing! see the pic in the gallery selection.

Posted by Jake at 02/24/2001 11:10 PM EST

Student on team #365, Miracle Workerz, from Avon Grove High School and DuPont Engineering.

In Reply to: definition of “balancing robot”
Posted by bill whitley on 02/24/2001 1:51 PM EST:

I believe a ballancing robot would have some criteria it must meet to be consitered a true balancing robot. First off, it should deffinetly have the ablility to ballance the ramp built into it somehow. I.E. outriggers, software programs, arms etc. Finally, the robot should be able to do it well, balancing the bridge at least 75% of the time. Now there is also some grey area about these ‘balancers’. Some of them can do other things, like grab big balls, and such. They should not be limited to being only ‘balancers’, but should not also be classified as a ‘baller’. but for the sake of this arguement, if a robot can ballance the bridge while meeting the criteria above, then it will be a ballancer. If it can do other things, it will be classified as a balancer that can also (insert other skills here).

Another useful bit of information from the vast databanks of~
~ Captain Jake

Posted by Aidan Browne, PhD at 02/26/2001 6:20 AM EST

Engineer on team #175, Buzz Robotics, from Enrico Fermi and Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems Intl.

In Reply to: definition of “balancing robot”
Posted by bill whitley on 02/24/2001 1:51 PM EST:

I think one big distiction that needs to be made is whether a robot needs to be on the bridge to make it balance.

I think a robot that can balance two goals on the bridge and then drive into the endzone (and do it 90% of the time) is far more valuble than a robot that needs to drive up on the bridge and stay there (even if it can do it 100% of the time). We’re talking a minimum of 40 points per match.

Yes? No?

Aidan

P.S. I wonder which way Buzz does it? :wink:

: What do you guys consider a “balancing robot”? Given time, any robot can balance. Is a “balancing robot” a robot that due to driver expertise can balance in say, 10 seconds. Or is it a robot with a ‘balance the bridge button’?

: Bill
: Team #70

Posted by Kevin at 02/26/2001 12:01 PM EST

Coach on team #308, Walled Lake Monsters, from Walled Lake Schools and TRW Automotive Electronics.

In Reply to: Re: definition of “balancing robot”
Posted by Aidan Browne, PhD on 02/26/2001 6:20 AM EST:

I would have to completely agree. 40 - 120 extra points a match could be huge!

Pics of how team 308 does it available at link below. :slight_smile:

: I think one big distiction that needs to be made is whether a robot needs to be on the bridge to make it balance.

: I think a robot that can balance two goals on the bridge and then drive into the endzone (and do it 90% of the time) is far more valuble than a robot that needs to drive up on the bridge and stay there (even if it can do it 100% of the time). We’re talking a minimum of 40 points per match.

: Yes? No?

: Aidan

: P.S. I wonder which way Buzz does it? :wink:

:
: : What do you guys consider a “balancing robot”? Given time, any robot can balance. Is a “balancing robot” a robot that due to driver expertise can balance in say, 10 seconds. Or is it a robot with a ‘balance the bridge button’?

: : Bill
: : Team #70