Spotters

One thing that has come to my attention is this: Visibility on the other side of the playing field is going to be tough. Keeping track of whats going on (just getting clamped onto the goal on the other side of the field in 2001 was hard) will be a big deal.
So, my question is what do people think about having spotters? What if a team had someone who was up in the stands and could see the other side, and they either somehow electronically transmitted the data (I’m not quite sure how under the conditions) or used large posterboard cards or something, to let the drive team know how many points the other team has, what the robots are doing, etc.
I think it could be done, but my two questions are would it really be feasible, and would it be morally right?

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16004

I think this would be morally wrong, as we are allowed 4 people, that’s all you got. Get the 7’ guy on your team to be the coach :slight_smile:

edit
Ok, maybe not morally wrong, but I think it would be, I don’t want to say unfair, but not right IMO, you have the 4 members on your team, essentially adding another is against the rules. The screen doesn’t sound like it was placed right, it should be placed on the side of the field where the player stations are not.

No - to the electronically transmitted via radio or anything that could interfere with the radio transmitters used to drive the robots.
Not a morality problem - as long as the information isn’t transmitted electronically (large poster cards are okay). If you don’t break the rules as stated by FIRST, then what is morally wrong about that ?
Yes, each team is allowed 4 players on the field and as many fans in the stands as they can muster - nothing in the rules about communicating with those fans as a means to assist the 4 on the floor except that it can’t be done electronically.
Besides, the 7 ft tall guy may still have problems with certain sight lines.
Just my 2 cents, what do others think??

I don’t know if this is really “morally wrong”. Was it wrong when one team could see the large screen at a regional while the other alliance had their back to it? That projector was an extra drive team member. Is there anything stopping all of the teams from doing it? If all the teams have the opportunity, the gained advantage is far from unfair.

I don’t believe this is even legal (pretty much a grey area), and much less morally right. Hand signals from the human players anyone? You’re right though, that really is going to be a big issue.

I wouldn’t. Last year, we had people trying to yell at them, just because of the intensity and excitement, but obviously, the drivers tuned mostly all the noise out. Gaining an unfair advantage any way is an iffy no kind of thing.

First, the question at hand:

What if a team had someone who was up in the stands and could see the other side, and they either somehow electronically transmitted the data (I’m not quite sure how under the conditions)

DQ8 Team members may not use any remote communication devices, such as air phones,
walkie-talkies, etc., at anytime during a FIRST Robotics Competition event.
These
devices may cause interference to the remote control signals and malfunction of robots.
Teams found to violating this rule will be subject to the following penalties:

  1. First offense, you will be asked to turn off and store the device;
  2. Second offense, the device will be confiscated for the remainder of the event and the
    offender will not be able to participate in his/her team’s next scheduled match.
    Cell phones and pagers are allowed, but not in the Alliance Station. Remote cameras
    mounted to a robot are also allowed if specific permission is granted by FIRST.

If you don’t break the rules as stated by FIRST, then what is morally wrong about that ?

Gracious Professionalism makes it wrong. It’s called a challange folks… keep it challanging or design around it. Having members of your team basically saying “The bot is tilted to the right a bit” is not fair to teams who don’t have help.

I know the whole issue with fair/not fair but specifically designing a mechanism for communication with your team via something other than the robot to the drivers should not be allowed. Whether or not the rules state it, it is not gracious nor professional to hold signs up stating positions.

So if the crowd were able to say … share the same information with every team it would be okay then? right?

*Originally posted by Gadget470 *

**Gracious Professionalism makes it wrong. **

Gadget couldn’t have put it better. It reminds me of NHL Hitz, where fans hold up cards with codes on them while you play…it’s cheating…in a way, and I for one, if I see kids holding a card that says ( 4 boxes!!! ) or something along the lines of that, I will be very dissapointed.

Also, in the heat of competiton, it might be difficult for a drive team member to look up from the field and read something in the distance. I wish there was a rule aganst this.

*Originally posted by Gadget470 *
**Gracious Professionalism makes it wrong. It’s called a challange folks… keep it challanging or design around it. Having members of your team basically saying “The bot is tilted to the right a bit” is not fair to teams who don’t have help.

I know the whole issue with fair/not fair but specifically designing a mechanism for communication with your team via something other than the robot to the drivers should not be allowed. Whether or not the rules state it, it is not gracious nor professional to hold signs up stating positions. **

Why can’t all of the teams “have help” from the other members of the team. This is in no way unfair because anyone could do it. Maybe Gracious professionalism will be highlighted by the crowd (the same one that Dean wants larger and more excitied) can aid the drivers to both alliances.

But I’ll say it in this thread too. Put tall flags on your robot.

*Originally posted by Bduggan04 *
**Why can’t all of the teams “have help” from the other members of the team. This is in no way unfair because anyone could do it. Maybe Gracious professionalism will be highlighted by the crowd (the same one that Dean wants larger and more excitied) can aid the drivers to both alliances.

But I’ll say it in this thread too. Put tall flags on your robot. **

Because you are having 4 people on each team play the game, not everyone in the stadium.

And flags can only be up to 60" high, they’d have to be in the box too.

*Originally posted by Johca_Gaorl *
**Because you are having 4 people on each team play the game, not everyone in the stadium.

And flags can only be up to 60" high, they’d have to be in the box too. **

You have to have them START in the box.

Also, be it location help or not, the crowd plays a large role in these competitions. Drive the robot at your school with 20 people. Then drive it in a building in front of several thousand. The cheering, the noise, the pressure all have a part to play in the game. The crowd already helps drivers by cheering loudly if something good happens, this might just add another dimension to it.

I don’t think theres anything wrong about doing that in the rulebook, but it will be hard for the drivers to pay attention to the signs/yelling when they have to concentrate on driving. However, I think it’s morally wrong to have an unfair advantage (yes I know the world isn’t fair, and neither is this competition). Spotting is a big part of the game, as is strategy and the robot itself, so I think it is up to the drivers and the people in the driving area to figure it out. I think the people watching would have more fun too.

Visibility shouldn’t be that bad anyways. So theres a ramp. Big deal. We’ve had ramps before. Have your coach run to the other side of the players station or something. Or get taller drivers :slight_smile:

The only way the drivers &c would be able to read these signs would be if they were somewhat large. Large signs being held over the head tend to block the view of other eager spectators. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not too happy when somebody prevents me from seeing the excitement on the field!

Do you guys see anything wrong with the person stacking the boxes, kinda peeks around the wall and see what the other team is doing? I mean, you’re kinda relying on yourself and not on teammates in the stands. Just wanted to see your opinions…

Peeking around the wall (I’m assuming you mean the plexiglass at the players stations) would violate a safety rule I think.

If the wall of tubs doesn’t go down, I don’t think that extra help from the fans in the audience would result in any unfairness. Basically, it’s going to help everyone.

If I can’t see my bot and you can’t see yours, I’m gonna start praying that someone helps to get that wall down.

This aspect of gracious professionalism is built into the game–and into the scoring.

You want a high-scoring match. Remember the winning alliance gets double the other side’s points…

If you know you have won the match, it makes more sense point-wise to push the other alliance’s bot to the top than drive your own up there (50 points, instead of 25) or to build up there score to just under your by stacking their tubs, etc.

Any audience help in getting the wall down will be a rising tide that raises all ships.

As far as the tall flag, ya just gotta push one up in the autonomous period.

I really think there is nothing “morally wrong”, a rule against, or anything that should stop your team members in the stands from communicating with the field players.

After all, they cheer don’t they? That’s just communicating to them that ‘hey you’re doing good!’ or ‘keep on trying!’

It happens every year, inadvertantly: You’re team’s driving, it’s coming down to the wire and everyone on your team is yelling something like ‘one more box’, ‘get in the endzone’ or ‘block that robot’ and if that catches the eye of a driver or coach, there’s nothing wrong with the robot then doing that. So if the team then chose to…say… have a big green or red poster which indicated to their drivers to either ‘go’ or ‘stop’ regardless of the level of visibility of the stage members I see no problem.

And everyone has been able to do it every year, and in every game for most strategies their is an element of non-visibility of something. The only way from stopping the audience from helping would be to put them behind a sound-proof wall. But that’s not what the game is about.