First (or is it FIRST) post--and a question on competitions.

On the fomer part–yee-haw!

On the latter part, I’m curious. Is there any interest anywhere in holding a non-FLL competition with some different challenge? Like extreme line following…with obstacles.

Or how about a mini DARPA Grand Challenge?. I mean, if you take about six zeroes off of the prize budget and throw in a dozen Krispy Kremes, it’d definitely be financially feasible.

Comments, anyone?

what exactly do you mean by “mini”? How would the Grand Challenge be simplified?

one obvious way: instead of 143 miles through the desert, make it 1

Or even hold one in a parking lot, with FIRST robots or even lego mindstorm robots.

Im liking the idea of mindstorming across a parking lot :yikes:

Well, given the lack of GPS on a Mindstorms robot, I ruled that idea out immediately.

I figure it’d come out one of two ways…one is my previously mentioned extreme line following (uphill, downhill, over bumps–everything that requires a robot to be 1293-robust in construction. (For those who didn’t see us at Palmetto, our frame was so overly strong that we’d only get a nick from another robot checking us in the side.)).

Or perhaps a dead-reckoning contest. Set some key points, then judge the robots based on how close they aimed it. It’d force a lot of creative programming, given the wide performance spectrum of lego motors.

And then there’s the financially more straining plan C…set up a few RCXs, each transmitting a certain number. You’ve just got to hit the RCXs (if cactus plural is cacti, is ar-cee-ex plural RCI?) in order, without hitting other stuff.

A parking lot would be a distinct possibility, if you didn’t mind your robots getting a little dusty. I think a nice big cafeteria would also function, plus it’s easier to have food in.

On a side note, if a regular group got together once or twice a month and competed for a prize/small-time cash, what would be a fair number to finance that and the competition? Five bucks? Ten? (In R/C racing, ten seems to be the going rate. And that’s weekly.)

Hack gyros & accelometers. Get a first controller to talk to an RCX (I know how! He he!). Do a whole lot of hacking all around (Can we leagally use an RCX in the FRC?)

This is right up my alley! :]

  1. I’d love to see how.
  2. You can?! Wow.
  3. Hacking is t3h 1337.
  4. I doubt it, just on grounds of powering and motors. But if you can power it and make it do calculations, go for it.

So I take it by your experimentation you’ve gotten a FRC controller to talk to an RCX? Any chance this could be carried over to the Edubo–er, Robovation? If so, I could definitely see the potential for a waypoint system for a GC-style competition, as they tend to be a bit more…common around here.