Rule Debates

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DieGracefullyRobotics
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:12 pm

I don't mean judgement at 3 minutes. I mean judgement about whether the drone had contact, or left the arena, or lost in some significant way.
If a drone floats up the the ceiling on activate, gently clips the opponent on the way and then hovers over the pit zone, and the driver of the opponent accidentally drives out (happens to us all), you are saying that would be a victory for the drone? That's not a fight, that's just stupid. What if as the other robot drives out, the drone loses control and also crashes into the pit? What then? Drone wins cos it took longer to fall? Or drone flies up, clips opponent, refuses to descend and opponent refuses to move in any meaningful way because it can't do anything anyway? Wait til the clock runs out and drone wins cos its the only one that landed a 'hit'? Its nonsense. If its a clusterbot and both the main components are driven out, the guy who bought a drone along wins automatically because the drone is still "active"? Nobody would be happy to get knocked out of an AWS in such fashion. Its supposed to be a competition about who has the best design, strategy, driving ability, etc. Not about exploiting rules for ways of winning that barely register as a fight.
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AntRoboteer
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by AntRoboteer » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:12 pm

There is always the issue with an ineffective botlet winning a fight without doing anything. Take Lemmings as an example; sometimes when Lemmings won it was a fair win, others it was a driving error or technical malfunction by the opponent on the very last botlet which meant that the opponent was counted out/in the pit while 1 sub 25g botlet was driving around in circles and claiming a victory.

Drones in Battlebots worked because I believe in all cases, the botlet with at least 55% of the weight (or something of the sort) was required to be in play in order to win a fight. That is why nobody won with a drone in Battlebots. No ~100kg drones were built, not even 55kg drones, not even close. That is why nobody would claim a victory like that.
DieGracefullyRobotics wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:18 am
2) allow them without granting them status (so they would not count as a clusterbot partner and would not be allowed to enter on their own).
Really don't agree with that at all. The issue there is the confusion element all over again. What does 'status' mean? How do we define it? Should this be applied to nanos in a cluster because they're nanos? Or fleaweights? Or should walkers be given benefits over rollers because they are walkers? All food for thought there; this could be applied to anything and yet is not due to the fact it would create unfair competition.

Robots are robots at the end of the day; they should all get equal status. Flying machines allow for more creativity than we have seen before. I doubt we have even scratched the surface of whats possible so banning them or reducing their status this early is a bad move. Restriction is effectively a ban in this case.

I see no reason for a rules change in this department. All we need is a formal typing up of what's currently in place (which has caused no problem in competition). I have had very few complaints about the use of the drone. It has caused a disturbance, yes, but so have many things such as EDF pushers which were all the rage a few years ago and they were left to their own devices to dwindle out rather than banning them.

Most people I have spoken to love the drone and wish for it to continue competing. Drones would not if they were demoted to a lower level.

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Shakey
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by Shakey » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:24 pm

The issue I have with drones is it's a robot that can make itself immune from the fight but still able to take a win. At least with Nano cluster partners you can always get to them in some way.

I could make a super light drone with some flappy thing solely to make contact, pin it to the roof and cheese my way to victory.
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by Ocracoke » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:27 pm

A single contact does not make for a fight, I agree and anyone watching/judging the fight would also see that. However, I do see your point, you could have something rolled up in the flying robot, release it at the start of the fight to have a canvas and then pin it to the roof. Depends on wherever you'd call that entanglement though.

Ultimately, I think this requires exploring at more non-AWS events and review at a later date. I don't want to see creativity stifled but at the same time, I do see where DieGracefullyRobotics is coming from. Perhaps as a separate side event all together (so it is flying robot vs flying robot) it would work because the immunity factor is gone.
Last edited by Ocracoke on Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DieGracefullyRobotics
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:32 pm

That weight limit rule applied to Robot Wars, not Battlebots. Drones were banned in Robot Wars.

Its nonsense to put a drone in the same category as a nano or fleaweight partner. Any robot can still attack a nano or fleaweight and the rules cover the possibile outcomes. A drone exploits them. And there currently ARE no rules on drones, so we are not suggesting "changing" them. They need writing, that's the point. A decision made on the spot at Ant Freeze does not constitute a rule.

If you are not happy with my idea of not giving them proper status then I would vote to ban them outright because they can't be governed properly by the other rules in place. Nanos, fleas, everything else you mentioned can. That's the difference.
I think you are arguing from the point of view of someone who uses a drone already rather than looking at what the issues actually are with them when it comes to competition.
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GeorgeR
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by GeorgeR » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:40 pm

Wow, I opened a can if worms with the drones!

My view is that drones should be allowed as any other roller, and if someone can actually make one that works then good luck to them. Of course there is the issue with drone clusters where the drone part "hides" on the roof to give an advantage in the case of both entering the pit together, but I don't see this as any more of an issue than aysemetric clusters with a nano that hides in the corner to give the same benefit. All you need to do is pit the other half of the cluster, and then the drone has to come to you, which should be an easy fight.
Given the issues to actually get a drone to work I don't think we'll see it being an issue. (and if it does I'm going to add a upside down prop to my overhead bar spinner and shoot them down with a jet of air!)

As for the arena rules, I certainly agree on the need for adequate drop offs, and for arenas to be balanced. It just seemed a bit silly that our main arena is technically against the rules.

Points 2 and 4 were just housekeeping really, but I figured this was the place to put them.
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:54 pm

They were all good points, George. Sorry they got lost in drone debate!
I still state that a nano cannot "hide" anywhere in the arena that is inaccessible to the opponent the way a drone could. That's the difference and nobody has come up with an argument against that.

The fact its difficult to do a drone or whatever is immaterial. The rules need to cover all outcomes, regardless of how hard it might be.

I am very much of the opinion that antweights should be open to anyone who wants to compete within the rules and it should be democratic, so I'd be happy to vote on it and conceed if the main outcome was to allow drones without restriction. But I wouldn't give it long before someone is upset because they've been knocked out of an AWS by someone exploiting those rules. I certainly would be pretty miffed if I was fighting Robox, pushed it out and lost because the drone was still going. Or if I lost in any of the other scenarios I mentioned. Voting that way would essentially give you no right to grumble if it happened to you.
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GeorgeR
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by GeorgeR » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:05 pm

I can't say I feel strongly either way, and would be happy whatever is decided, while leaning towards allowing it. I'm happy to fight (and loose) to drones if that's what is decided.
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:20 pm

Then that's fair enough. I'm not going to labour it if I'm in the minority. I just imagine it's not the last we'll hear of it. 15 years doing ants has taught me a few things :wink:
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by AntRoboteer » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:50 pm

GeorgeR wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:40 pm
All you need to do is pit the other half of the cluster, and then the drone has to come to you, which should be an easy fight.
You've hit the nail on the head there George. That's precisely it. And if you've pitted the other half of the cluster, all of the points in the judges' books would be in your name and so you would have nothing to fear about sitting there for the remaining time; the drone would be forced into taking action.
DieGracefullyRobotics wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:32 pm
That weight limit rule applied to Robot Wars, not Battlebots. Drones were banned in Robot Wars.
The weight limit rule did apply in Battlebots. Notably when Witch Doctor was knocked out but Shaman was still running. The fight was terminated as the main machine (Witch Doctor) had gone out. That's why the drones were not considered an issue.
Shakey wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:24 pm
The issue I have with drones is it's a robot that can make itself immune from the fight but still able to take a win.
A drone can only take a win in the same circumstances that a nano would take a win. If an antweight drives off and takes one half of the cluster leaving the drone, that's the same as with a nano. As for one half of the cluster being taken out and then not being able to reach the other half, you're hardly going to drive over to the edge of the arena and fall off when you could just drive around or remain stationary in the centre and claim a victory (as you would have knocked half of the cluster out and hence rulings generally if not always go that way). Of course, this is all theoretical, very unlikely to ever happen. But if it did, the current rules system would cope.
Ocracoke wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:27 pm
you could have something rolled up in the flying robot, release it at the start of the fight to have a canvas and then pin it to the roof
It would have to be tethered though which eliminated most options so really no more of a concern than an antweight or otherwise doing the same thing. And of course, a tether means the drone is easily knocked out of the air, giving an easy win for the opponent.
Shakey wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:24 pm
I could make a super light drone with some flappy thing solely to make contact, pin it to the roof and cheese my way to victory.
If you were to touch an opponent with a paddle, due to lack of friction in the air, the drone would not be able to oppose the forces of the motors in the antweights. Therefore it would either be pushed around or taken out of the sky. That is precisely why I didn't choose to add any kind of tether or paddle to make contact, even though I could have done; it makes for an easy win for the opponent.

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Re: Rule Debates

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:15 pm

OK, officially drawing a line under drone debates as points are not really being acknowledged or developed, just repeated. When we come to publish the new rules draft it will be voted upon in democratic fashion.

If anyone has any different rule questions or points, go ahead and flag them up. Once everything is acknowledged we'll move to get a redraft done to be OKed by everyone before publishing.
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by Quantax-Dynamics » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:09 am

Perhaps my own failing to see but I was looking over the rules - where exactly is the 'no commercially available vehicles' rule and should we take more steps to implement it with the arrival of more Hexbug toys? Josh Bloxham turned up at AWS 54 with basically Witch Doctor with a sad face and a Tombstone 'clusterbot'. Regardless of the argument for whether these are real robots (I don't believe they are) if they become more commonplace what happens if we have a lot of them together and ending up on the same channels? We would need to make sure everyone's running different channels, and each robot is bonded to each one individually and trying to get just the actual toys together for a fight with everyone eager to try out is a can of worms in and of itself. Should we start turning away people who just paste cardboard over a Battlebot?

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GeorgeR
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by GeorgeR » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:50 am

That's another good point, looking back on the forum the "no commercialy available vehicles" rule was debated and agreed a while ago, but it doesn't appear to have been added to the rules officially.
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Re: Rule Debates

Post by Paulmchurd » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:54 am

In my opinion you should compare the likes of people buying antweight robots off the nuts and bots website and team panoramic. To hex bug toys. They both have been commercially made for at least a small profit.

If we are to ban hexbug robots we would have to ban commissioned and website bought antweight bots.

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Re: Rule Debates

Post by Ocracoke » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:39 am

That's another good point, looking back on the forum the "no commercialy available vehicles" rule was debated and agreed a while ago, but it doesn't appear to have been added to the rules officially.
Do you have the link to the topic handy for that?

I am personally on the fence with this one. I want to encourage folks to come into the roboteering community as a whole so would not be in favour of this but at the same time, I am in favour of this in so much as I don't want robots being vanilla copies of each other and want to encourage innovation/technical achievements for and between the various teams.

For non-AWS events, I'd be OK with commercially available robots simply to allow inexperienced teams to enter into the sport but for AWS events specifically, unless they were extensively modified (though I appreciate that what is defined as extensive is a non-trivial matter of debate, possibly answered in the topic referred to), I'd possibly fall in favour of supporting this.
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