Dominance of pushers at AWS46

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Rapidrory
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Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Rapidrory » Tue May 12, 2015 2:42 pm

Remote-Controlled Dave wrote: ...Whack a big blade on, spin it wildly...
*whistles whilst hiding the designs for Bad Idea 2*

But yeah, there is definitely a balance between arena size and %drop off, but also drop off type is important as well; having a lot of smaller drop offs spread out like at the last AWS is different from having one pit or drop off down one side as you have less 'safe' arena space with several smaller drop offs, which is not as good for spinners but better for pushers and flippers. It is just going to be a case of experimenting to find the best balance I think... My guess for one possible balance would be 1m square with the middle 50% of one side as drop off. Might trial a few configurations with cardboard mockups over the summer :P
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Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Hogi » Tue May 12, 2015 8:39 pm

i have often thought that maybe just one drop off gap would be a good configuration. that way a pusher could push an opponent through and score a knockout provided it had sufficient driving skill and control over the opponent to do so and a spinner would have to be extremely unlucky to accidentally fly through on a hit rebound. it would probably make battles more tactical as the pusher would have to find the opponent's weak spot and/or outdrive them well in order to get them into a good enough position to score the knockout. this makes more sense to me than having no drop off at all as that just innevitably favours spinners.
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suvv
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Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by suvv » Wed May 13, 2015 10:32 pm

i still feel that some form of active wall that drops away after a minute or whatever time is set to prevent random first 3 second fails due to driver error or lucky spinner hits but as someone correctly pointed out it would need to be super reliable im currently doodling ideas for a screw mechanisum that lowers them but its still doodles at the moment
how hard can it be???
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Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by EpicentrE » Thu May 14, 2015 8:11 am

That sort of thing really isn't necessary at all. An aspect of the arena changing after a set amount of time only encourages defensive driving until the arena swings to your favour.

Getting back on topic, the consensus thus far of the people who've commented in the thread seems to be that we want a ~1m square arena surface, and no more "low walls" - just two dedicated pits on opposite sides of the arena which jut out from the main box. How wide would we want these to be? Somewhere between 20-30cm?

There's another aspect which no-one as of yet has commented on which is that all three of the arenas Mike linked appear to have thick "barriers" running around the outside of the arena surface. I suppose these serve a similar purpose to the spike strips on the outside of the BattleBots arena; so that robots are able to immobilise their opponents by propping them up against it or on top of it. I'd be interested to know from Mike if these are an intentional design choice or are just there for mechanical strength, and what effect they have on battles.
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Shakey
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Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Shakey » Thu May 14, 2015 11:45 am

One thing we'd need to do is put plates in the corners so that the corners have a 45 degree section. This stops people just backing into a corner with no way for the other opponent to get them out of the corner.
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Rapidrory
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Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Rapidrory » Thu May 14, 2015 12:07 pm

I dunno, we've had 90 degree corners in the arena before and it wasn't a huge problem; it's only pushers which particularly struggle, but even then you seemed to have little trouble Stanley-ing people with the walls in :P
Adding 45 degree corners can bring problems of their own if they're too low.

I wouldn't write off low walls just yet Scott; I think they have good and bad points and can help balance arenas if used appropriately. But the plan sounds good. 30 cm seems a decent size; better to start wider and then can be made narrower if need be.
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Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Thu May 14, 2015 1:04 pm

I'm the one who doesn't like low walls. They swing bias towards flippers and spinners. If we're trying to make an arena that isn't bias towards and particular design then low walls gotta go, same as drop off needs decreasing.
I don't see a problem with 90 degree corners either. Backing into a corner can be as much of a tactical disadvantage as an advantage. Plus it doesn't favour any particular type of machine.
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Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by EpicentrE » Thu May 14, 2015 1:15 pm

While I agree with Dave's sentiment, I think that's only true if you have low walls around a large potion of the outside of the arena. What if, instead, you had an arena similar to the one we've been proposing, but as well as the 2 pits on opposite walls, in the centre of the other two walls you had the same arrangement but with a 5-10cm high wall blocking entry to the pit?
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Rapidrory
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Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Rapidrory » Thu May 14, 2015 2:18 pm

Bit more engineering involved in the extra pits, but could be retro fitted if it was felt to be needed.. Otherwise could have something like a 40cm wide pit either end with a short low wall in the middle of it, but that's starting to get similar to what we have now. It's hard to say without trying it out, but opportunities to do so are few and far between... Looking forward to seeing what the results of the event in wales are though; should give us something more to go on. Also if we manage to do another small event in Reading after the exams we can hopefully try out a few ideas then.

Another feature I'm interested in trying out are pegs near the drop off; I had two of them either side on my test arena near each wall ( it was made from an Ikea desk which happened to have pegs either side), and Alex and I found they actually made a surprising amount of difference to the fights despite being only 20mm high and 5mm wide, and generally made for more interesting battles..
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Remote-Controlled Dave
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Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Thu May 14, 2015 3:18 pm

Pegs I approve of, as they can be negotiated with driving skill. Or maybe even an ever so slight ramp up to the drop off, so you need a bit of force to push them over? Could lessen accidental drive-outs. But I do think any new arena has to address the issue of simply being thrown out from the centre (either by pneumatics or elastic or vertical spinners or whatever). You shouldn't just be able to fire something high up in any direction to get it out. This is why I like the American designs. All types of robot have to do some "aiming".
But then I also think its short sighted of me to think that changing the arena will suddenly correlate with an upsurge in new designs. That's down to the builders too!
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