Autonomous Rules

Discussions around autonomous, semi-automatic and intelligent robots and systems.

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Remote-Controlled Dave
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Post by Remote-Controlled Dave »

I couldnt build one really, but I am interested in the concept and getting one or two fighting, purely to liven up the sport a bit. I think originality is more limited with our ant rules (specific size, ect) so anything original we can get within the rules has got to be worth a shout.
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Lincoln
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MiniSumo?

Post by Lincoln »

We'll have a go - we just need to agree what rules to work to and to know that there will be a few other people trying too.

It seems to me that MiniSumo is about the right spec as the size is the same as we are all used to and being allowed more weight will mean we can concentrate on the autonomous and intelligent aspects and not have to worry about trimming weight off everywhere.


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BeligerAnt
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Post by BeligerAnt »

Chris, my minisumo robot is "work in progress" (but don't hold your breath - so are many other things!), and I know of at least 2 existing minisumo robots in the UK, both owners frequent the RobotBuilder forum. I'm sure we could set up a viable competition which would hopefully fuel further interest.
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Raizor
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Post by Raizor »

BeligerAnt wrote:Why should an autonomous ant be allowed a weight advantage? It would certainly help with a pusher, but is it necessary? The electronics needn't weigh very much, even the sensors are quite small and light.

Weight is always a big advantage in ants as traction is very dependent on weight, at at this level every gram counts! This is why walking spinners have proved so popular and (sometimes) effective. The extra weight doesn't just allow more mass in the disc, it also means the walker is less likely to fly out of the arena when the disc hits its target.

It's unfortunate that the existing autonomous sumo classes don't align with ants. A 100g micro-sumo bot would struggle to compete against 150g ants (due to the weight disadvantage), whereas as 500g mini-sumo bot is really quite a different beast to a 150g ant, although their size limits are similar. Adding 350g of lead to an autonomous ant would not make an effective mini-sumo bot!

Is anyone else actually interested in autonomous bots, or am I just idly chatting to Dave?
Gary all points you make are valid and very true however I would like to see a 225g weight limit for autonomous bots. I have only two reason for this:
1. To encourage people to build autonomous bots. With a weight advantage mor people may consider building an autonomous bot. THere is an huge amount of work in building and testing and debugging an autonomous bot when compaired with say a straight forward servo, receiver and battery ant. I think this extra time required to build one should be rewarded with a weight advantage.
2. Also remenber an autonomous bot has no perspective and cant see what else is going on so hence has a disadvantage when compaired with a human opperator. So by giving a weight alowance this will in someway compensate for this.

Just to be clear I have no plans to build a autonomous antweight at this time so this weight allowance would not effect me I just though I would make my views known.

Just my 2cent
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Adam Hargreaves
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Post by Adam Hargreaves »

from a basic estimate, I should be able to get the rolling chassis for my Autonomous robot at around 300g, give or take 50g in either direction.
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Remote-Controlled Dave
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Post by Remote-Controlled Dave »

Adam, are you still planning to bring it to my event? Because we are still in the early stages of rules, if you can get it down to 225g, I'd probably let you compete, less there were any major objections. I think that's quite fair for a first "test".
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Rhys
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Post by Rhys »

I don't really see a reason to give the extra weight advantage to autonomous ants. If they can be made under 150g, then they should have to stick to it. It's just another excuse to try and cheat the weight limit. I know 75g doesn't seem much, but it can make a huge difference to a roller. If autonomous ants want to compete, they should be real ants, 150g. If it's not 150g, its not an ant (unless it s a walker :P )

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Post by Adam Hargreaves »

well, considering mine is a simple one, it still requires 5 Ultrasonic transducers, 3 line sensors and 3 different PCBs. And that's without it attempting to work out the difference between an arena wall and another robot.

Granted I'm using bodged SD200s and a 30g NiMH pack, so they could maybe save 20g or so...

And I'm sure walkers cuold be made for the 150g weight too, but they get extra weight for being abnormal, so why not allow extras for autonomous ones?
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BeligerAnt
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Post by BeligerAnt »

I really don't think we are anywhere near the stage of an autonomous bot making a realistic opponent for a human-controlled vehicle (ROV). Even given our collective experience I doubt we could realistically cram enough processing power and "intelligence" into 150g to make a machine to compete effectively against an ROV.

It would be an interesting experiment, but I think we are very much at the experimental stage. I think we need to agree some practical rules which allow autonomous robot competition, but I don't think we should go rewriting the AWS rules just yet! For now, we need to run autonomous robots alongside AWS competitions. It would be interesting to run a fully-autonomous competition and a "mixed" competition to see what happens.

The reason for the extra weight limit in walkers is (historically) because of the increased mechanical complexity of the walking mechanism. Personally I think 75g is rather generous and some people have taken advantage of this to add heavier disks than would be possible to fit into a 150g roller. (Not that I'm saying they shouldn't!)
Walkers also have the disadvantage of having to walk, and generally have less traction than rollers because they have to lift their legs off the floor. It is quite easy for a 150g roller to push a 225g walker (apart from SmartAnt3 when it stands still!). The same would not be true of a 225g roller.

If autonomous robots come out around 250g then let them compete against SuperAnts.
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Post by peterwaller »

I am hopeing to restart my autonomous robot again in the new year. So far I have just been plying with an optical sensing system trying to make them more directional and increase the range. I had just got to the stage where I needed to add some modulation so I think I will invest in that Sharp chip that Gary mentioned. As for the rules we probably need to get a couple up and running before we know how much size and weight will need to be allowed if any to both make them competetive and encorouge people to build them. One practical problem is how to start them off. Initially I was going to still build in radio control and use the fourth channel to switch to automation. This way you can start them off once the lid is closed and also regain control if anything should go wrong.

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