Dorset Robot Championship

Place discussions about upcoming events here in this thread.

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atomclub
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Dorset Robot Championship

Post by atomclub » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:18 pm

Hey everyone

The aim of this post is to:
1) Announce a new 2-day antweight championship this year - November 23rd-24th 2018
2) Collect feedback on the event format (including on entry costs)
3) Ask if the second day (Saturday 24th November) could be part of the AWS

I've just opened my own education centre, including engineering zone and as part of my commitment to the STEM fields, will be running a year of antweight building activity with schools. This will end in a championship, but we want to do the same again the next day for the general public. Our primary aim is to bring a lot of new people (including children) into the sport and the STEM subjects. We will also be using it as a fundraising mission too as some parts of the centre are not yet finished (planetarium, etc).

Rules - standard AWS rules

Arena - Brand new one being designed now. Interesting features include; floor flipper and pit switch, close action camera embedded into the arena. We'll also have live monitors so everyone can see :-)

Challenges - obstacle course, sumo arena, straight line speed test, best design (public vote on the day)

Prizes - 1st and 2nd place will walk away with a trophy. 1st place gets a robotic kit/gift voucher (TBC). Various prizes for challenges

Venue - currently the Dorset Science & Tech Centre, Sturminster Newton. However, due to high interest from market research we're in negotiations with a bigger venue nearby. The transport links are not amazing, but we currently have our own mini-bus that can shuttle from the town centre and have begun discussions with a transport company about shuttle busses from Gillingham train station.

Costs - £15 (covers robot plus 2 people), £4 per additional person.
We're open to suggestions with pricing structure, we originally wanted this to be a free event, but we're investing heavily in making the event the perfect end to the year. On the plus side, if this format works well, we'll have all the resources for next year and every part of the event is designed to be mobile, so it can be used at other events.

More information: http://dorsetrobots.co.uk

I'd appreciate any feedback/help you can give
Dorset Science & Tech Centre
Dorset Robot Championships November 2018: http://dorsetrobots.co.uk

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BeligerAnt
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Re: Dorset Robot Championship

Post by BeligerAnt » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:03 am

Looks good, and I don't see any reason why day 2 couldn't be an AWS.

Given a reasonable turnout the extra events (sumo etc) may have to be for the Friday only as it generally takes all day to get through the AWS fights. If you had a separate space (and people!) to run the obstacle course in parallel with the AWS it would be good for people to have something else to do as the gaps between fights can be quite long if you only have one robot.

The AWS has its own trophy for first place. Previously 2nd, 3rd and other awards have only been certificates, to keep costs down.

The pricing works out quite expensive for a family, £19+, given that there are also reasonably significant transport costs for most people.
In the past no-one has objected to £5 per team or £2-3 per robot as a donation towards costs, although this probably didn't cover the entire cost of commercial rents.
If you could work on costings based on, say, £5 per team plus an additional cost per extra robot (rather than per person) it would be more affordable for those just starting out with 1 robot and therefore encourage them to come along. Since there are generally far more robots than people charging per robot could potentially still raise sufficient money to cover the costs. Bear in mind that many people like to enter the maximum 4 robots, so the extra per robot cost needs to be moderate to ensure the maximum entry fee is not too high.
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

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atomclub
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Re: Dorset Robot Championship

Post by atomclub » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:47 pm

Thanks Gary

Yes it was the pricing structure I was most worried about due to a different demographic between the existing antweight community and the local newcomers we're trying to encourage. We're limited in capacity and due to our planned marketing, we're expecting a lot of newcomers. So we wanted to gently "discourage" large groups with only 1 robot for instance. Until we've had our first trial event (more on this soon...) we want to limit ticket sales to 120 people including spectators.

How about (I'd have to run it past some stakeholders) we do a discount for forum members (via a discount code) as your the ones most likely to be travelling long distances and have multiple bots - something like:
£8 - 1 Robot and 1 person
£2 - additional robot
£2 - additional person

So £20 for a family of 4 and the maximum number of robots. We could leave some of our exhibits (Mars Rover, docking simulator, etc) open that day too, so entry would be £16 even if the event wasn't on - hopefully that adds to the value too. Does that sound better?

Not sure if we could go any lower than that as we're investing a lot in the event, including a fair bit of marketing (starts March).
Dorset Science & Tech Centre
Dorset Robot Championships November 2018: http://dorsetrobots.co.uk

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