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M04 - Crater Crossing

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  • M04 - Crater Crossing

    Mission Discussion Thread

  • #2
    Probably a little early and this is a guarded but not protected forum. So hoping not to spoil something. Does the crossing equipment have to be in contact with craters? Does the crossing equipment have to be the reason the gate is down (flattened)? Text doesn't seem to require either. You read it different?

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    • #3
      There doesn't seem to be any rule about how the Gate is "flattened", or give any special status to the Craters.

      It's interesting rule-writing that this mission can be accomplished by any of the team's "equipment".
      FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by dna1990 View Post
        Does the crossing equipment have to be in contact with craters? Does the crossing equipment have to be the reason the gate is down (flattened)?
        It's almost a must that the crossing equipment is in contact with the crater region at some point, because all the weight-bearing features must cross completely between the Towers. I suppose that a ramp/jump or a bridge would earn BoD for a sufficiently-motivated team.

        It does look like the Gate can be pre-flattened without jeopardizing the score. We've been wondering "how flat is flattened?" I suspect that if something small gets stuck under the Gate to keep it from going all the way down, that I'll allow it, because the mission doesn't require "completely flattened."
        Steve Scherr
        Referee and Judge, Virginia-DC, Maryland, and Ohio
        FLL Global Head Referee

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        • #5
          An interesting question was just posted on the public Forum. It boils down to this - what exactly is "the crossing equipment" in this mission?

          Warning - we're going down the rabbit-hole of rule semantics again.

          Note that "equipment" is lower-case in this rule, so it maybe doesn't actually refer to the "Equipment" and "Robot" definitions (D03 and D04). M01 refers to "your Equipment", so the rule writers were aware of Upper Case letters being references to official rules. Or it's just a typo.

          Say a Robot consists of a controller with main drive wheels, and has a deployable wired mechanism powered by a motor that has its own wheels. Let's call it a "wired rover".

          The wires are not "intended to separate", so technically the "wired rover" is part of the Robot (under D04).

          So, if my main Robot drives over near the Craters, deploys the "wired rover", and only the wired rover drives between the towers, does that meet the requirements for "all weight-bearing features of the crossing equipment..."?
          FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
            only the wired rover drives between the towers, does that meet the requirements for "all weight-bearing features of the crossing equipment..."?
            I am predisposed to interpret "crossing equipment" in terms of "the Robot or whatever agent-craft it sends out," so I'm looking for justification for that.

            The Robot is a single, unitary Thing after every Launch, so I won't have any problems why a wired rover needs to bring the rest of the Robot along with it.
            I don't yet have a good set of words to describe precisely when an agent-craft would be treated independently of the Thing that launched it, except maybe BoD.
            Steve Scherr
            Referee and Judge, Virginia-DC, Maryland, and Ohio
            FLL Global Head Referee

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by scherrsj View Post
              ...so I won't have any problems why a wired rover needs to bring the rest of the Robot along with it.
              So do you mean that a tether, in this case a motor wire/cable - does not make the thing at the end of the wire still part of the D04 Robot? The wire is designed to detach only by hand, etc. So to me, that make the whole collection of parts - the Robot. And as a single unit, "all" of its weight bearing features must cross.

              An "agent craft" (to me), means something that "separates" from the D04 Robot. By gravity, rubber band, spring, etc. While I can see the general definition of agent craft would apply to something still tethered to the main core unit, I think D04 makes the tether connection say the whole thing is one D04 Robot.

              Open to discussion, but that is where I am coming from so far.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by dna1990 View Post

                So do you mean that a tether, in this case a motor wire/cable - does not make the thing at the end of the wire still part of the D04 Robot? The wire is designed to detach only by hand, etc. So to me, that make the whole collection of parts - the Robot. And as a single unit, "all" of its weight bearing features must cross.

                An "agent craft" (to me), means something that "separates" from the D04 Robot. By gravity, rubber band, spring, etc. While I can see the general definition of agent craft would apply to something still tethered to the main core unit, I think D04 makes the tether connection say the whole thing is one D04 Robot.

                Open to discussion, but that is where I am coming from so far.
                Clearly tethered equipment is part of the Robot.
                But this mission rule does not mention the Robot.
                FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
                  But this mission rule does not mention the Robot.
                  Agree, but if it all of those components are one robot, then they are one thing, and that one thing will be the crossing equipment, and that crossing equipment must include the robot "chassis" and all its elements as weight bearing features.

                  So I see it abit less about the definition of robot (we got that in D04), but the definition of "agent craft" which a new phrase. And I think if asking five people, you could get seven answers. When an agent craft is tethered (by any means, doesn't have to be a free dangling motor cable), then I don't see that as separate crossing equipment. But curious now if that is what Steve meant about not considering the "wire" as a factor in deciding which weight bearing features needed to cross.

                  I kinda see a couple of variations.
                  • A robot that "releases" a hunk of LEGO elements (commonly by gravity or rubber bands, etc). Just this separated agent then needs to cross. A typical wheel-like contraption that rolls across craters in direct contact with them.
                  • A robot that "shoots" a hunk of LEGO elements (again often by rubber bands, springs, etc). Just this separate agent then needs to cross. But must it touch the craters? It "crossed".
                  • A robot deploys some sort of "ramp" to aid driving over. Not sure the mission text cares, the ramp is not the crossing item, just an aid. Isn't it?
                  • A robot deploys some "arm" that extends out over the craters. This one doesn't pass for me, because the arm is the robot and some of the weight bearing features of that robot are not crossing over.
                  • A robot deploys a motorized craft that drives out over the craters. Again this one doesn't pass for me, because the wire, like the beams in the arm above, make the whole solution one robot, and some of the robots weight bearing features did not cross. Looking to Steve/Alan to make a final opinion on that one.

                  In the "Simply Speaking" text, I think we have the words we sorta want in the Technical side. "...driving directly over it. Not near it. Not around it..." That I can see enforces a clear requirement and excludes most ramp/projectile issues. But if so, one still has to decide for a tethered agent - how much has to cross.


                  Natures Fury's Obstacle mission didn't have a lot of text - how did we enforce "cross completely over" then?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    all of those components are one robot, then they are one thing, and that one thing will be the crossing equipment,
                    I'd like to agree with you, but I"m not there yet. A couple of things trouble me:
                    • In several places the word "Equipment" is capitalized (see D03, D04, R01, R10, M01). D03 even puts "Equipment" capitalized and in quotes. I hate to bang this drum again, but this continues to be a yearly point of rule-writing inconsistency. In this specific mission (M04), it is not capitalized. I'd really like to know officially if that was deliberate (if so, it's way too subtle for the robot game audience), and if it signals that this mention of "equipment" is not a formal reference to what constitutes the Robot. Or, maybe the lack of capitalization is just a typo. I'd just like that clarified, because I think it is important in the context of this mission.
                    • The mission rule doesn't refer to the Robot. it refers to 'the crossing equipment', which in plain language means "only the equipment that crosses between the towers". So I would have a hard time ruling against a team that used a tethered remote to accomplish this mission. Yes, a tethered remote is part of the Robot, but the robot is not part of the weight-bearing equipment that passed between the towers. The fact that some of the team's Equipment is a tethered remote (and therefore also is part of the Robot) does not erase its status as "Equipment".
                    It's clear what the Robot is, that's not the problem. The exact mission rule is what isn't clear.

                    This could be easily cleared-up with an official statement (even if only to the Head Referee community) about exactly what an "agent-craft" means. I have a hard time applying the "common conversational meaning" rule to that term.

                    In the "Simply Speaking" text, I think we have the words we sorta want in the Technical side. "...driving directly over it. Not near it. Not around it..." That I can see enforces a clear requirement
                    I have to differ with you there. The "Simply Speaking" text cannot enforce a requirement, because "... only the text following Technically Speaking" is used for scoring".

                    But must it touch the craters?
                    I don't see anything in the rules that requires touching the craters.

                    ... the robots weight bearing features
                    As the mission rule is written, I don't think that matters. The rule refers to the equipment that crosses between the towers - it makes no mention of the Robot.
                    FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
                      [*]In several places the word "Equipment" is capitalized (see D03, D04, R01, R10, M01). D03 even puts "Equipment" capitalized and in quotes. I hate to bang this drum again, but this continues to be a yearly point of rule-writing inconsistency. In this specific mission (M04), it is not capitalized. I'd really like to know officially if that was deliberate (if so, it's way too subtle for the robot game audience), and if it signals that this mention of "equipment" is not a formal reference to what constitutes the Robot. Or, maybe the lack of capitalization is just a typo. I'd just like that clarified, because I think it is important in the context of this mission.
                      Ah, yes...my favorite pet peeve with FLL rules. The author needs to determine a LIMITED set of cases to use something other than a single font for standard writing, following each particular language's punctuation and capitalization rules. A list something like:
                      • Emphasis - this is important, like "...only 4 motors..."
                      • Terms defined in the rules - FIELD, ROBOT, etc.
                      • The types of text in the "Scoring Requirements Signals" section. (Thanks to whomever is responsible for that, btw)
                      • Section headings

                      Then use these consistently, and only for the specific cases.

                      Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
                      This could be easily cleared-up with an official statement (even if only to the Head Referee community) about exactly what an "agent-craft" means. I have a hard time applying the "common conversational meaning" rule to that term.
                      This should be public. The rules have used a non-common compound word without definition. Please don't just tell the HRs.
                      Kansas City Region Head Ref 2014-present
                      KC Region coaches and teams can ask FLL robot game rules questions at kcfllref@gmail.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by someonewhobikes View Post
                        This should be public. The rules have used a non-common compound word without definition. Please don't just tell the HRs.
                        I agree. But I threw in that half-step in case FIRST doesn't want to clarify a rule and give away a game strategy at the same time.

                        FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I wanted to clarify my imprecise language. I do consider the case of a controller tethered to a motorized piece to be a single Robot, and I would expect to disallow points from having part of the Robot crossing between the Towers, and not all of the Robot. We don't use the word "independent" in this mission, but that's what I'm thinking about for crossing equipment.

                          What about the controller tethered to a 4-wheeled, 2-axle probe with a long enough body that the front axle crosses completely over the model, and the rear axle never reaches the Craters? Should we consider a rigid body to be different than a flexible wire? I don't have any basis to do that.

                          Furthermore, if "the crossing equipment is "only the equipment that crosses between the towers" and nothing else that it is attached to, then why would we include weight-bearing parts that move in parallel to the crossing portion, but are outside the towers? That's pretty clearly what the first scoring condition wants to deny.

                          --<dumb references to typography deleted>--
                          Last edited by scherrsj; 08-14-2018, 11:34 PM.
                          Steve Scherr
                          Referee and Judge, Virginia-DC, Maryland, and Ohio
                          FLL Global Head Referee

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I wrote some more about Transported Thing and Completely [in], but it was cut off. I will have to regenerate it tomorrow. (Beware of apostrophes)
                            Steve Scherr
                            Referee and Judge, Virginia-DC, Maryland, and Ohio
                            FLL Global Head Referee

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tom Mosher View Post
                              In several places the word "Equipment" is capitalized (see D03, D04, R01, R10, M01). D03 even puts "Equipment" capitalized and in quotes. I hate to bang this drum again, but this continues to be a yearly point of rule-writing inconsistency. In this specific mission (M04), it is not capitalized. I'd really like to know officially if that was deliberate (if so, it's way too subtle for the robot game audience), and if it signals that this mention of "equipment" is not a formal reference to what constitutes the Robot. Or, maybe the lack of capitalization is just a typo. I'd just like that clarified, because I think it is important in the context of this mission.
                              The use of a capital E in Equipment to signal the connection to Equipment in the rules can only be taken as an aid to the reader. Nothing should be read into a sentence that has equipment with a lowercase 'e'. I say this for a number of reasons.
                              1. Not all languages have the concept of capital letters. Hebrew doesn't, for instance, and so that distinction is lost.
                              2. Nowhere is it said that the use of the capital letter has a special meaning, and we all know the rule about what is not said.
                              3. I'm sure that most rookie teams and many other teams will not notice the connection or will not know what to make of it.
                              4. Some of you will say this is a bad excuse, but I can tell you that it's very hard (read impossible) to achieve 100% consistency across all the challenge documents and videos.

                              Alan

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