Water Game Next Year?

I was recently at the Seattle Regional and both Dean Kamen and Bill (the FRC director attended). Everyone keeps wanting a water game, and while i think it would be cool, robots and water don’t mix. Scarily, both Dean and Bill were hinting at a possible water game next year. Bill even stated “To those of you asking for a water game, be careful what you wish for”. So, are they being serious or just trolling us like FIRST does all the time? What do you think?

Not trying to be rude, but seriously, this is getting old.

Don’t think I’m hating. I’m saying this in your best interest. You can get a lot of hate for this, and it’s silly, but it will happen. It happened to me, so I’m just trying to help a brother out. :slight_smile:

just so you know, they are probably never going to do a water competition, it would be far to expensive to protect the buildings from water damage, especially with robots moving at probably high speeds inside of the pool.

I’m pretty sure they wont ever do a game with actual water involved… The most they would ever do would be something like having balls with different chemical symbols and then having us make Water by putting them in the right order…

It used to be a very funny thing, but I do have to agree it is getting old, but who are we to deny some game speculation :wink:

Yeah, I thought it was a ridiculous idea too. Just thought it was interesting how much they’ve taken notice to all the silly remarks for a water game.

I remember water hints being dropped in previous years as well, obviously to no avail. As interesting as it would be, I’m sure its a myth being perpetuated for the frustration of everyone :slight_smile:

I remember in 09 when the hint was a fish. And then they unveiled the field and it was white and not carpet and I had serious freak out moment where I said to myself, “holy @!#$ they did a water game.” Please FIRST don’t do this. Of course 2013 will definitely be the year of the water game.

well that was one of Dave Lavery’s hints… His are always so out of the ordinary… Now with him (sadly) not on the GDC anymore We wont have any of those. 2012 was an example of this. We got a list of materials for the field, and we almost got it :wink:

But with this year also being a sport year, the next year will be completely random, so something relating to water, but not water itself, is possible.

For anyone that wants to build an ROV…


This. No venue would likely agree to host this type of event, nor would they really have the facilities to accommodate such a game.

Yes I strongly say that this water game is better than any water game FIRST can come up with given their limited size, space, and cost. It was a great experience for us and I encourage all teams to take a look at this competition. If all autonomous is too much to take on so soon you can also do Nurc which is teleoperated and at night:


How about a simulated water game? Imagine the robots looking for and manipulating game pieces in an arena that is approximately six inches deep in ping pong balls, or squash balls, etc. You can see the top of your robot, but the game pieces and obsolesces and perhaps even the goals are fully or partially obscured by a vast number of non scoring pieces. The shear weight and volume of them present unique challenges both for navigation and locating the real scoring pieces.

Remind me not to sign up for “field reset” on this one! :wink:

I had a nice conversation with Bill Miller this year, and the subject of water did come up.

NURC is fun, and this year we get to try the autonomous version! based on the RoboSub rules

First of all a water game is impractical!!! If the venue even allowed a field with water on it, then FIRST field set up would have to figure a way to transport water to the field, probably being buckets if a hose was not long enough. Also leakage would be a huge problem. Lastly putting away a wet field would Be difficult due to slippage but also FIRST volunteers would have to figure a way to get rid of the water.

I think though if they ABSOLUTLY wanted to do something with water then they could do something similar to the 2011 minibots, they could put a small lane, or bowl of water that involves a minibot either racing down the lane of water, or floating in a bowl and doing something

Bill Miller said a similar thing at QCR. The crowd was awash in speculation, but I suspect he was dripping with sarcasm.

i would LOVE to have a water game!!! Underwater robotics competitions do exist, NURC for example. but wow!! thatd be pretty awesome to have a water game. I wonder if FIRST has ever thought about adding a water division to the four existing FIRST competitions?

I don’t think water is as impractical as it is being made out to be. As far as the motors and battery etc are concerned, they will operate quite happily fully immersed in water (relatively clean water). Water as a matter of fact is non-conductive, rather it is the ions present in the water that account for the conductive nature. However, for driving motors and higher current loads, the power leak through the water is negligable. In fact, I have read several articles stating that the best way to break in one of the mabuchi-style motors is to immerse it in a glass of water and run it at low power for up to an hour. The problem with water and motors is corrosion which would have to be mitigated with sacrificial anodes or chemical inhibitors. The only trickky bit would be the electronics as they are indeed affected by current leak through water. FIRST would have to design and provide a waterproof control system. Something as simple as a waterproof Pelican case fitted with amphenol connectors or thru-case terminal strips would work quite well. An even cheaper solution would be military surplus ammunition boxes (cost about $5 each at surplus outlets) fitted with a lexan window to view the blinking lights and thru-case terminal strips for input/output connections. I know a number of people who have built waterproof cases for camcorders using these boxes. Model RC boats seem to do just fine so why not robots??

As for the venue, I think the only place you will have issues are gymnasiums with hardwood floors. Convention centers and arenas will have no problem dealing with water due to concrete construction and floor drains. Heck- in Toronto they flood an arena 5 feet deep and drive powerboats around towwing wakeboarders for the Toronto Boat Show! I have also attended several events where organizers have set up above-ground pools to hold mock RC warship battles and such. It’s not out of the question IMO. Such a field could be filled from any standpipe or fire hose in no time and drained using a portable gasoline utility pump outside into a storm drain.

I do however think that FIRST is too “lazy” to pull something like this off. It is just so much easier for them not to bother.

Yes, it is…

I do however think that FIRST is too “lazy” to pull something like this off. It is just so much easier for them not to bother.

I think there’s a difference between being realistic, and being lazy. Although they often go together.

I agree this is all quite impractical at the local level, but just to run with the idea… how about a pool the size of the current field 4-6" deep and the robots are jet boats with bumpers. A max weight 120lb bot would draft < 4".

The KOP contains 3 pairs of rubber boots and 3 offical FRC towels. It would certainly be exciting.