Rule 3b - Arena Size

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EpicentrE
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Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby EpicentrE » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:51 am

3b) The arena will be a raised platform with an area of at least 30 inches (762mm) square.

Dave has suggested in his post to revise this rule;

Dave Weston wrote:There is also a general murmur that the larger arenas are favoured, myself amongst them, so, do we consider upping the minimum size of arenas (which, I believe, currently stands at 30" square)?


My opinion:

Yes, bigger arenas are MUCH better, but there are many arenas which are designed to fit in cars which wouldn't be usable in this instance. I wouldn't want anyone to feel they couldn't run an event because they couldn't get use of any of the larger arenas on the day. However, Changing a rule like this could inspire or motivate people to want to make bigger arenas, but I worry it would do more harm than good. It also feels somewhat unfair to those people who do have smaller arenas (such as Pete Waller). Do we just tell him all his hard work should be scrapped?

I do think we should push for use of bigger arenas wherever possible, and anyone building a new one should consider this, but I'm not sure enforcing it via a rule is the smartest option.
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peterwaller
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby peterwaller » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:38 am

First of all don't worry about not using my arena it has more than covered any investment in effort and cost already.
The problem is as Scot says any bigger arena's having to fit into cars.
I agree the rule specifing a minimum size is quite adequate but as most people seem to prefer a larger arena then anyone feeling strongly enough that can build and transport a larger arena should do so and I am sure people will be more than willing to use it.

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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby teamocean » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:18 am

As a roboteer I completely agree that a larger arena surface is better as it makes for more interesting fights are generally better all round.

However as an Event Organiser they do present more issues. My own arena is very large and difficult to transport which meant that it was not available for the last AWS. Also they have a habit of making fights last much longer which with larger competitions (such as those at AWS 40 and 43) can lead to the event overunning.

On balance though I am definitely in favour of having larger arenas
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby razerdave » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:55 am

I guess due to restrictions you can't put a higher limit on arena sizes, although 762mm is, I think, too small (my arena is 900mm square and just about suitable for the task, and fits nicely in my car). So, my verdict: Bigger arena (900mm+) preferred, but not mandatory.

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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby StuartL » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:50 am

Are there any examples of where an arena meeting the minimum requirement has posed a specific problem in a competition? If not it doesn't seem necessary to change the rule, since any competition can meet the regulation with a larger arena and the (ever increasing number of) competitors can pick and choose an event if they prefer a smaller or larger arena. e.g. AWS could recommend a 40" arena but regulate for a minimum 30"/maximum 48", allowing those with space or transport issues to still compete with their existing arenas but have the opportunity to compete in a larger arena at the larger events.

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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby shakesc » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:52 am

Personally I would prefer a larger area but recognise the transport difficulties. One of the benefits of ants compared to other sizes is that they can be built and transported economically. I don't believe the larger size of the arena outweighs loosing the flexibility of competition locations.
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby BeligerAnt » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:18 pm

I really don't see any reason to change the rule. It only specifies a minimum size; there is nothing stopping anyone from building an arena as big as they like.
The only other restriction is that the battle box must be at least 140mm bigger on at least 2 sides to accomodate the drop-off.

One of the original ideas of antweights was that anyone could make an arena and challenge people in it. This is a bit more complicated now that a battle box is essential, but the idea remains. By all means build a big arena and run an event, but don't criticise those that choose to build or use a smaller arena. Maybe a smaller arena requires more precise contol of the robots by the drivers?
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby Rapidrory » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:29 pm

Has an antweight arena with a joint in the floor been tried?

It would have to be a precise joint to stop robots getting stuck on it, but it would mean that the arena could be larger and still fit in the back of a car..
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby BeligerAnt » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:52 pm

Yes, and joints in the arena floor are bad news for the vast majority of current antweight designs. Even very precise joints have a habit of becoming mis-aligned in one direction or another during the course of a day.

Of course, there's nothing in the rules to say that the arena floor should be smooth (or even flat!) but antweights are generally designed to operate on a smooth surface. Joints in the arena floor would be a real problem for the vast amount of current robot designs. It would also make the design of robots more complex, requiring some sort of castor or front wheels rather than the traditional 2-wheeled designs.

I did once have an evil plan to build a team of high-ground-clearance 4WD "tractors" and a very lumpy arena - not very sporting though! :evil: :lol:
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Rapidrory
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby Rapidrory » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:01 pm

Yeah, thinking about it, Lionel would almost certainly get stuck on the smallest of joints!

Would another solution be to have a floor with a joint, but then have some kind of rubber sheet or similar that can be secured over the entire arena floor making one flat surface, but also flexible enough to be rolled up and put in the back of a car?
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby Andrew_Hibberd » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:49 pm

The AWS14 arena was made by the behemoth boys out of cnced polycarbonate. The problem was the joins were not perfectly flat and acetate got caught as it does with some arena edges. The arena I have with Scott was going to be made in 4 pieces but with the paint on the surface makes for a smooth join. I like the idea of using some thin 3mm hardboard with the shiny side up for the arena but could be rolled up to fit in a car, as long as it was nice and flat for competing on. The battle box would also need to make from smaller pieces, joins in the battle box also make visibility more difficult.
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BeligerAnt
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby BeligerAnt » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:00 pm

Would another solution be to have a floor with a joint, but then have some kind of rubber sheet or similar that can be secured over the entire arena floor making one flat surface, but also flexible enough to be rolled up and put in the back of a car?


That would certainly be a possibility, and there is nothing in the rules to preclude it. It's down to arena builders to figure out how to construct their arena balancing ease of build, ease of transport, cost and an interesting design.
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Postby Hogi » Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:11 pm

i favor bigger arenas as they provide greater opportunity for actual fighting rather than just a single shove, flip or spinner impact ending the battle in the first few seconds. i am all for saving time with short fights but not as short as a single contact conclusion. bigger arenas also benefit both robots in spinner fights. when an impact occurs that repels both robots across the arena there is less chance of either robot flying out ( obviously depending on distance from a drop off.), and it means after the impact, both robots have more time to recover to their fighting stance. that said though, i think it'd be perfectly possible to hold an interesting fight provided it a lower amount of dropoff than a bigger arena.

my proposal: i think what we could do to settle both this debate and the dropoff one is establish a ratio of the size of the arena to the amount of dropoff required. just a thought but if developed it could work.
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