Rule 3b - Arena Size

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EpicentrE
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Rule 3b - Arena Size

Post by EpicentrE »

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.
Scott Fyfe-Jamieson, Captain of Epic Robotics. Champion of AWS38/41/42.
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peterwaller
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Post by peterwaller »

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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teamocean
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Post by teamocean »

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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razerdave
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Post by razerdave »

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.

StuartL
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Post by StuartL »

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.

shakesc
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Post by shakesc »

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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BeligerAnt
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Post by BeligerAnt »

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?
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

Rapidrory
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Post by Rapidrory »

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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BeligerAnt
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Post by BeligerAnt »

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:
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

Rapidrory
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Re: Rule 3b - Arena Size

Post by Rapidrory »

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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