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How flat is your elevator when balanced?

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  • How flat is your elevator when balanced?

    My team is trying to do the elevator mission and they want to try and have it balanced for the extra points (and challenge!). We have gotten pretty good at balancing our elevator, but it's the only elevator mission we have access to. The "balance zone" is quite small and we are concerned that there could be a lot of variability from table to table. Of note, our elevator only balances with a significant tilt. This seems to agree with the kick-off video, but it's hard to tell for sure. I was wondering if some of the other team could chime in and tell me if our balancing looks similar to your balancing.

    ElevatorBalanced.jpg
    Thanks!
    Norfolk, Virginia, USA
    FLL Coach and Regional Tournament Head judge since 2014

  • #2
    Our elevator looks similar to your photo when balanced, can be balanced by hand with difficulty, and is not very stable in that state. If the table is bumped, it can easily flip back to the non-scoring position. We have sister team and their elevator also looks similar but it is significantly easier to balance by hand and more stable once balanced.

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    • #3
      LOL, we are also quite concerned about the stability. A few practices ago we balanced the elevator at the beginning of practice and it stayed balanced for most of the practice, so while we wish it was more stable, we think it will stay where put. Now, this test was by hand, so we will need to do it again with the robot positioning it to see if we can repeat it.
      Norfolk, Virginia, USA
      FLL Coach and Regional Tournament Head judge since 2014

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      • #4
        Looks the same as ours.
        The team is having long discussions on the rules on this mission.
        They are really exploring the definitions of Independent and Equipment.
        FLL coach Trash Trek on, State 4x, World 2x, ref, judge advisor.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DJR View Post
          Looks the same as ours.
          The team is having long discussions on the rules on this mission.
          They are really exploring the definitions of Independent and Equipment.
          How can there be any room for discussion? The glass and book example makes this all so clear.

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          • #6
            We may see that there isn't any room but, they have to get there too.
            FLL coach Trash Trek on, State 4x, World 2x, ref, judge advisor.

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            • #7
              DJR - I see what you were getting at. My team was there last week as well. Investigating those definitions.

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              • #8
                Oh, yes. I had a very long discussion with the team on "independent" a few days ago. The really cool thing is I am having to do the explaining less and less now. They are starting to read the rules themselves and are having discussions among themselves before bringing me in. A few more practices like that and I won't be needed at all!!!

                Anyway, they are onboard with it now.
                Norfolk, Virginia, USA
                FLL Coach and Regional Tournament Head judge since 2014

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                • #9
                  "Independent" is "not touching any equipment"
                  "Equipment" is "anything you bring to a Match"

                  All of the buildings (other than the mostly white one constructed by the team) is therefore, not equipment.

                  Does everyone agree that using buildings to maintain the Elevator's balance is therefore allowed? The bot could lift the tan side of the Elevator, place a large building on top of the Elevator, then let it go, and that would qualify as balanced, supported only by hinges, and independent? 20 points? The idea is that putting a building on top, in the middle of the elevator might help it maintain balance.

                  Based on the words describing Mission 8, this would seem to be legal, except for the fact that M8 also includes the words "as shown" and depicts the Elevator with nothing on top of it. Do the words "as shown" mean that M8 only scores by literally matching the picture? No more, no less?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WilliamFrantz View Post
                    Does everyone agree that using buildings to maintain the Elevator's balance is therefore allowed?
                    No, not everyone. That's too broad a statement, since the mission also requires "Supported only by its hinges" and many solutions that teams would try by using Building Units would not be valid.

                    I don't want to write a more specific version of the statement that seems generally true in this forum, but your proposal seems allowable to me.

                    I think that a team could make a convincing case that "as shown" means that both the tan and blue Elevator Cars are up in the air. Literally matching the picture shouldn't be needed.
                    Steve Scherr
                    Referee and Judge, Virginia-DC, Maryland, and Ohio
                    FLL Global Head Referee

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