Increasing numbers

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DieGracefullyRobotics
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Increasing numbers

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:14 am

Hi gang.
This one is a slightly tricky one but a good one to address sooner rather than later. If robot numbers continue an upward trend for AWS attendance, we will eventually run out of time in a day. AntLog was set to 128 robots max a few year's back as a "this'll never happen" safety limit...it is now being increased again. 98 robots competed at AWS55 and we finished in good time. But we had a fair number of drop-outs, plus I know of a fair few competitors who couldn't make it. With teams planning new robots all the time, it is safe to assume we could easily top out 128 soon. So we need to talk about controlling numbers relative to time in the day.

I've collected together several ways of doing it.
1) The EO sets a max robot limit at the start of sign ups and refuses anyone after that.
2) If numbers increase to unmanageable levels, all teams with 4 entries will be asked to drop to 3 to allow for other teams to enter.
3) The entry limit is dropped to 3 per team in general.
4) Two arenas run battles simultaneously if the numbers get too high to cut times down.
5) The 'off-the-shelf' rule is expanded to include kitbots and ready-built/un-unique ants.

Obviously, each one of these is fraught with issues and can be objected to. Personally, I really hate 1) and 5) for example. But it's something that we all need to consider. Maybe it'll never happen, but it's looking likely that it might.

So, rather than open up debate on why these options suck (they all suck in multiple ways, we know), I'd like to hear how people would be willing to best compromise. Would you be happy to do any of these if it meant someone else could join in? Does anyone have any further suggestions for how it could be done? What's the best way to be the most inclusive whilst acknowledging the limitations the event naturally produces?

PLEASE DON'T USE THE THREAD TO ARGUE WHY AN OPTION IS RUBBISH, THEY ALL ARE, WE KNOW. JUST POSITIVE COMPROMISE PLEASE! :P

Floor is open.
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voorsk
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by voorsk » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:23 am

How about nominating a robot as a reserve during signup?

ie: still allow 4, but if numbers get too high, all the reserves get kicked (can't really kick one at random, as that might be deemed unfair) . oor.. it's set to 3 plus a reserve, and if turnout is low, the reserve gets in?
Last edited by voorsk on Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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peterwaller
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by peterwaller » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:24 am

Of those offered I prefer option 2 limiting the entry to 3 per team, even those this would effect me the most, but at AWS55 that would only reduce the entry by 6 robots.
Another possibility would be to count a cluster bot as an entry for each driver but that could be difficult when the cluster comes up against one of the drivers own robots.

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DieGracefullyRobotics
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:37 am

I like the reserve idea, even though it would most likely mean a lot of the walker/cluster/funbot entries may drop out. As Peter says, it would have only lost 6 at the last event but I suppose it could start at 4-teams and then work down to 3-teams on huge numbers.

The cluster idea doesn't really decrease numbers. Yin and Yang contained its cluster within its own team anyway, for example. And I believe the drivers Shakey chose for Wedge Wedge Wedge all had slots available on their teams anyway, so most clusters would still be valid under that new proposal.
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by razerdave » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:09 am

I would be more inclined to back option 2; it allows new people to fill in gaps left by people with (most likely) more opportunities to win by virtue of having 3 robots still.

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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by peterwaller » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:46 am

I take the point about losing the clusters and walkers maybe we should make it 2 rollers and a walker or cluster.

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DieGracefullyRobotics
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:52 am

I would be happy with that in theory, Peter. But I guess a lot of teams who have developed 3 very good rollers already would be hard done by.

For the record, I'm for point 2 as well. I also think the 2 arena thing has potential for cutting down time but adds an extra huge challenge for any EO and we struggle to find them in general anyway.
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voorsk
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by voorsk » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:07 pm

two tables would mean two sets of judges, wouldn't it?

i recall that it was pretty tricky just getting one set, so maybe the rules on who can judge could be slackened if two tables are used?
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:29 pm

I agree, though there aren't really any rules for who can be a judge, as long as they are impartial to those involved in the fight. The judges at AWS55 were 3 veterans and 2 new guys.

What we need is clear judges criteria. Then anyone capable of using the criteria can be a judge. It's another thing we're discussing on committee.
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GeorgeR
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by GeorgeR » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:48 pm

I think option 2/reserve system sounds the best bet.

I'm not a fan of 3 or 5. I like the idea of 4 but think it would be hard to implement for EO's who already have a tough job. I don't mind 1, but think 2 is the much fairer system.
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by Shakey » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:49 pm

I prefer option 2, hell would make my AWS's easier. I think paired with an expansion to the clusters walkers for last slot and a move to 2 rollers + 1 Else top actually make it effective and really bring variety. I get that this kinda hits a lot of 3 bit teams hard though.

5) I accept I am biased on this one, I think if this route was explored rather than an outright ban simply a limit to 1 kit/prebuilt. They do have a place in competition and are doing great at bringing people in and giving them confidence to move on to their own bots where they may not have even attempted the hobby before.

Hope I did positive compromise right :P
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:30 pm

I'm absolutely not an advocate of 5) personally. I just flagged it up because it was mentioned before as a possible option.
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by Zanbots » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:14 pm

The idea of bot number 4 being a reserve.
I expect that means 4 is out given large numbers.

So here's a nice half baked suggestion.

Could it be viable to be swapped in later. In the scenario there is a damaged robot on the team?

This is not a perfect suggestion.
It feels a bit unfair in some regards and I'd hate to see people swap because they feel they would loose with bot 1 but not bot 4 so swap them even though 1 is fine.

It would allow us to potentially see all 4 of a team enter and ease frustrations and delays when people are suddenly unready or suddenly withdraw.
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by Zanbots » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:48 pm

I would like to suggest that moving the entry requirements regarding clusters and walkers would slightly reduce numbers and add extra variety.

I suggest a 3 robot team should contain at least 1 walker or cluster.
A 4 robot team should contain at least 1 walker and at least 1 cluster.
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Re: Increasing numbers

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:35 am

Do you mean swapping one robot out for another mid-comp? Then it's not a fair comp. If your robot progresses, you have to deal with any damage it takes along the way as part of the challenge. If you have the option to swap it out for a reserve machine, then it's completely unfair.

I don't personally mind the idea of limiting the 3rd and 4th team slots but it doesn't help with numbers, just variety. People will still just build to the limits. Also, we are talking in the committee meeting about possibly allowing more unusual robot types to qualify for 4th slot allowance, so it may not just be the 2 in future.
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