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  • Robot tables in the design judging at your events

    My new region is not going to have robot tables for the kids to demo their missions in the Robot Design judging. I've never seen that and I've been to multiple events in 3 other regions.

    Just curious... how common is that? Please take this poll to let me know.

    Feel free to mark all that apply if you have been to events with and without.
    25
    Yes at qualifiers
    44.00%
    11
    No at qualifiers
    8.00%
    2
    Yes at regionals/states/
    44.00%
    11
    No at regionals/states
    4.00%
    1
    Last edited by cschaffer; 02-16-2017, 10:13 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

    We've been to some regional qualifiers that did not have tables in the technical judging rooms. At these events the team members brought sheets with images of the field. This allowed them to point out mission models and robot paths during their presentation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

      Originally posted by dnb View Post
      We've been to some regional qualifiers that did not have tables in the technical judging rooms. At these events the team members brought sheets with images of the field. This allowed them to point out mission models and robot paths during their presentation.
      Thanks for that idea.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

        In CE we actually have tables for almost every robot-design judging... Out of the 20+ events I visited in the last years, there was only one that didn't have tables for the robot-design. But often they also do the design judging at the robot-game tables. The schedules here allow that since all judging sessions are in the morning and the robot-games in the afternoon (but our tournaments are almost never bigger than 25 teams).

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        • #5
          Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

          It seems like an odd idea to just do a paper review of a LEGO robot, without seeing it in action. Apparently they feel running the robot isn't a good use of time with the judge panel. Does that region mitigate the loss of a robot demonstration by some other part of the tournament activity (roving judges, observers in the robot contest area, etc)?
          FIRST Tech Challenge Judge: 2010, Referee: 2017
          FIRST LEGO League Mentor, Instructor, and/or Referee/Head Referee since 2011
          FIRST Robotics Competition judge (Chairman's Award): 2014
          Dean says I'm an "Oompa Loompa of Science"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

            If there are no robot game tables in the Robot Design judging rooms, how can the judges evaluate these "Rubrics":

            1) "Mechanization -- Ability of robot mechanisms to move or act with appropriate speed, strength and accuracy for intended tasks (propulsion and execution)", and

            2) "Automation/Navigation -- Ability of the robot to move or act as intended using mechanical and/or sensor feedback (with minimal reliance on driver intervention and/or program timing)"?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

              Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
              It seems like an odd idea to just do a paper review of a LEGO robot, without seeing it in action. Apparently they feel running the robot isn't a good use of time with the judge panel. Does that region mitigate the loss of a robot demonstration by some other part of the tournament activity (roving judges, observers in the robot contest area, etc)?
              Nope.

              Originally posted by dluders View Post
              If there are no robot game tables in the Robot Design judging rooms, how can the judges evaluate these "Rubrics":

              1) "Mechanization -- Ability of robot mechanisms to move or act with appropriate speed, strength and accuracy for intended tasks (propulsion and execution)", and

              2) "Automation/Navigation -- Ability of the robot to move or act as intended using mechanical and/or sensor feedback (with minimal reliance on driver intervention and/or program timing)"?
              Methinks you guys are confusing "robot performance" with "robot design". It is possible to evaluate the latter without table runs, though the presence of a table is helpful. It is also possible to have a well-designed robot that performs poorly.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

                In FRC, teams often do something generally called "pit scouting". They go around to teams and ask about their Robot's capabilities.

                Some teams forgo this exercise because of conflicting information received. For example, "We can make 8 cycles delivering game pieces." But when the team is scouted on-field, their average is 3.6 cycles per match.

                Not saying that any FLL teams would make stuff up, but sometimes seeing is believing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

                  Originally posted by dluders View Post
                  If there are no robot game tables in the Robot Design judging rooms, how can the judges evaluate these "Rubrics":

                  1) "Mechanization -- Ability of robot mechanisms to move or act with appropriate speed, strength and accuracy for intended tasks (propulsion and execution)", and

                  2) "Automation/Navigation -- Ability of the robot to move or act as intended using mechanical and/or sensor feedback (with minimal reliance on driver intervention and/or program timing)"?
                  I'm also surprised that at some tournaments, judges evaluate a team's programming without actually looking at the programs. I don't understand how teams can be evaluated on these categories without seeing real code:

                  1) Programming Quality -Programs are appropriate for the intended purpose and would achieve consistent results, assuming no mechanical faults
                  2) Programming Efficiency - Programs are modular, streamlined, and understandable

                  As a judge, I've had teams tell me that a particular mission used multiple sensors, but when I look at the actual code, there are either no sensor blocks in the program or the sensor blocks are not used correctly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

                    Originally posted by timdavid View Post
                    I'm also surprised that at some tournaments, judges evaluate a team's programming without actually looking at the programs.
                    I was a robot design judge for a team that did not bring their robot. They showed a tablet with a picture of some robot (one of those Internet starter bots), and said "Our robot kind of looks like this."

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                    • #11
                      Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

                      Having enough tables and kits and enough room for dedicated judging tables is a challenge. Having tables and kits is an expense. I can understand why removing tables could look attractive to tournament planners. The problem is that tables and kits and rooms are required to do an adequate job. At the US Open my girls talked to "Design Judges" in the pit area. They did not demonstrate their robot. They did not talk about their programs. The judges looked at the robot and asked a few question. If the judges ever saw the robot run they did so during one of our three table runs. I wasn't surprised when the judging forms didn't provide any kind of useful feedback because there wasn't any kind of interview. It was the one blot on an otherwise excellent tournament.

                      A dedicated room is almost as important as a dedicated table. Years ago we set up the judging tables at one end of an auditorium that also served as the pit area. It was so noisy we couldn't carry on a conversation with the teams. The constant noise was a physical drain (I have no idea how referees survive the day). Instead of concentrating on the team I kept wishing the day was over. I'm sure the feedback I provided reflected my lack of interest and enthusiasm. I was a poor judge that day.

                      It is easy to do a paper evaluation of robot design. It is more challenging to do a paper review of solution design. I can look at a robot and see that it is sturdy and makes efficient use of parts. Unless I have a lot of experience it is difficult to tell if the speed is appropriate without seeing the robot move. Without seeing the robot perform missions it is almost impossible to tell if the missions are designed to be efficient or robust. I can ask the team, but most are ill equipped to answer my questions. Even more are incapable of evaluating the quality of their robot. Two teams can have identical robots and solutions but one team is ecstatic with their performance while the other is despondent. Without seeing the solution how do I learn the truth.
                      Last edited by Dean Hystad; 02-17-2017, 03:19 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

                        Originally posted by dnb View Post
                        It is also possible to have a well-designed robot that performs poorly.
                        I'm always surprised when I look at the qualifying tournament results, and see that maybe 1/3 of the teams who win the Robot Design award don't qualify to advance to the state championships.
                        FIRST Tech Challenge Judge: 2010, Referee: 2017
                        FIRST LEGO League Mentor, Instructor, and/or Referee/Head Referee since 2011
                        FIRST Robotics Competition judge (Chairman's Award): 2014
                        Dean says I'm an "Oompa Loompa of Science"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

                          Originally posted by dnb View Post
                          I was a robot design judge for a team that did not bring their robot. They showed a tablet with a picture of some robot (one of those Internet starter bots), and said "Our robot kind of looks like this."
                          You had pictures? I had one team come to robot judging without anything. They thought robot judging was like core values, where the kids are given a challenge to demonstrate their abilities. I thought would be fun, but we were not prepared to perform that kind of test. Their coach ran back to the pit area, and returned to the judging room in time to have a couple minutes in the session with the robot in the room.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

                            Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
                            I'm always surprised when I look at the qualifying tournament results, and see that maybe 1/3 of the teams who win the Robot Design award don't qualify to advance to the state championships.
                            No surprise to me. Some teams obsess on the robot game to the detriment of the research project. Some of the best robots are individual efforts and teamwork and core values suffer. Some high scores are due to highly skilled operators and a bit of luck. You need to be good at everything to make it to state, and if you spend a lot of time on the project and are a good FLL representative in the community your robot score can suffer.

                            Teams that really want to advance know where they should spend their time. Getting a robot score higher than the 40% threshold is poor return on the investment.
                            Last edited by Dean Hystad; 02-17-2017, 04:10 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Robot tables in the design judging at your events

                              Originally posted by timdavid View Post
                              You had pictures? I had one team come to robot judging without anything. They thought robot judging was like core values, where the kids are given a challenge to demonstrate their abilities. I thought would be fun, but we were not prepared to perform that kind of test. Their coach ran back to the pit area, and returned to the judging room in time to have a couple minutes in the session with the robot in the room.
                              it is so easy in Minnesota to find out every tiny detail about your tournament. Most questions can be answered by the hightechkids website (which includes video of research and program judging). There is the rookie camp for new coaches and challenge training for all coaches. In my experience responses to emails are quick and informative. And then there's the open door policy that lets anyone sit in on design and research judging sessions. It takes real dedication to remain so clueless that you don't know Robot Design Judging requires you bring your robot.
                              Last edited by Dean Hystad; 02-17-2017, 05:08 PM.

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