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Intentionally interrupting the robot - 1 ref said OK, 2nd ref said no

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  • Intentionally interrupting the robot - 1 ref said OK, 2nd ref said no

    Forum is not letting me use any apostrophes for some reason without truncating my text, so I apologize in advance

    I have a question about interrupting the robot on purpose. I have 2 teams that had similar approaches and went to 2 different qualifiers. The 1st qualifier had a ref that though their approach was creative. The 2nd qualifier had a ref that thought the strategy shouldnt score, though he gave the team the points after he was unable to point to anything in the rules to support that (and my team knew the rules, having several key parts bookmarked to show him). Still, he said that the strategy probably wouldnt score at the State Championship. I disagree, but I wanted some input from you guys:
    The robot leaves base carrying 2 satellites, bumps the observatory into gray/white, then heads to the 2 outer orbit lines to park itself, stopping just short of the line. The kids then have a loop where the robot waits 3 seconds then moves forward 1 inch. This is the FINAL mission, so the kids would interrupt the robot once he hit his target and is sitting completely still, lift hands in the air and say they are done. They realize they may take a 3 point penalty for interrupting the robot, but this ensures that they dont lose 16 points (8 per satellite) because the robot isnt quite on or over the orbit.
    Yet the Referee thinks that this mission shouldnt score - is there ANYTHING in the rules that would prohibit this approach? Here are the parts of the rules that my team says supports the approach (one kid is the child of 2 lawyers, and LOVES to come up with creative ideas that still meet the rules).
    GP2

  • #2
    Having trouble with the forum and cannot use a dash or colon either, but here is the text that I think supports that the kids can do it (with a penalty)

    GP2 Interpretation Robot Game Text means exactly and only what it plainly says
    R-15 Interrupting IF YOU DONT INTEND TO RELAUNCH in this case you may shut the robot down and leave it in place.
    Definition D09 Interruption The next time you interact with the robot after Launching it, thats an Interruption
    M12 Satellite Orbits Technically Speaking Move any part of a Satellite on or above the area between the two lines of the outer orbit
    That last part is underlined, and Underlined Results Conditions must be visible at the END of the match.

    Is there ANYTHING in the rules that would prohibit this approach?

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm a head referee, and my guidance when training referees is that interrupting the robot at a critical moment to score a mission is not allowed.

      This strategy relies on the technician's eyeballs to act as sensor for the robot. Eyes are not in the list of approved external sensors (See R04).

      D02 defines that missions are opportunities for the robot to score points, not the team members.

      Specifically under the case of rotating the Observatory, that meets the definition in R14 of Transporting a thing which did not come from Base, and it should be "given to the referee" - i.e. take the Observatory out of play.

      I feel there is plenty of evidence that a well-timed interruption is not allowed.

      When moving the Satellites which came from Base, some Referees may feel there is Benefit of the Doubt about how to apply the Interrupt/Transported objects rule.

      Last edited by Tom Mosher; 11-20-2018, 01:27 PM.
      FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

      Comment


      • #4
        R14 says that you can leave the robot in-place if you don't intend to re-launch, but that does not apply to "things it was transporting which came from Base". Things being transported are by definition not part of the robot (D04 and D10). The team does get to "keep it", but the Referees can move the transported objects back to Base.
        Last edited by Tom Mosher; 11-20-2018, 12:56 PM.
        FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

        Comment


        • #5
          Note: if you're having trouble posting items on the Forums - it is often due to copy-and-pasting from the Robot Game PDF manual. The Forum balks at content that is copy-and-pasted from the robot game rules PDF file.
          Last edited by Tom Mosher; 11-20-2018, 01:14 PM.
          FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

          Comment


          • #6
            Just to add, I agree with Tom's assessment. Only robots can score points (D02). In the described case, the robot only scores the sats because a human told it to stop at the right time. That would not be allowed if I were the ref. Once interrupted, anything done by the robot does not count for/against the team.

            True, the team seems to have done a good job in prepping thru the rules and presenting their case to the ref. Good job. There USED to be more explicit language that disallowed such "strategic" interruptions, but now that concept is more obscured under D02.


            Now as far as R14 applications for a "final shutdown", there does seem to be some variance on this. Strict reading of the text can be argued that penalties and confiscation should still be applied, but in our area we do NOT assess a penalty or remove any transported items. The sense being, why mention this leniency just to avoid calmly carrying robot back to back. We see it as a final courtesy move and makes the match cleaner. But as described in the first part of this reply - that final shutdown cannot be done with strategic purpose to enable the scoring of points.



            Bottom line, good place to advertise that teams contact the head ref in advance if they are moving onto a next level of tournaments, just to be on the same page. This at least allows the ref a longer time to research and think thru your team's point of view. Often in the heat of matches, a ref will decide "no" based on what they truly believe - only to talk with others, read, and generally mull over all the facts later on.

            Comment


            • #7
              Why does the robot need human help positioning the satellites above the lines of the outer orbit? It seems to me that would be really easy to program, but maybe I'm misunderstanding something here.

              Intentionally handling the robot on the field shouldn't be part of your strategy.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think it is clear that there should be no penalty for the interrupt. Hope everyone agrees with that.

                I also think you should get points for the satellites IF the robot is not in contact with the satellites when interrupted. If the robot is in contact with the models they are still being transported, and will be returned to base. You will have to back off a little bit to guarantee that transported no longer applies. I do not think D02 prevents awarding points for the strategy. The robot positioned the satellites to score points. The interruption does not score the points, it prevents the robot from changing the field and eliminating points. The only difference between this and turning off a robot to prevent an accidental rampage is intent. Your interrupt is strategic, not preventative.

                Because your interrupt is strategic, there will be resistance against awarding points. Recent challenges contained text the disallowed strategic interrupts and a lot of refs are going to say those rules are still in place, either because they are ignorant of the change, or because they think it is a guiding principle. This is obvious from both Tom's and dna1990's posts. "There USED to be more explicit language...but now that concept is more obscured under..." Not having read the "strategic interrupt" language from past challenges there is no way you could read D02 and think it somehow changes the INTERRUPT and TRANSPORT rules just because the interrupt was planned. The rules we follow this year are in the Into Orbit challenge document, not World Class or Animal Allies.

                I think the same strategy could be also used for the observatory. Push, back off, pause, repeat until interrupted.

                When editing posts you need to keep the post open for at least 30 seconds, otherwise it will be flagged as spam. I have given up on cut and paste.
                Last edited by Dean Hystad; 11-20-2018, 02:09 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree, if the robot backs off from the mission models, then "transporting" is no longer happening, and there is no reason to move the models back to Base.
                  FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dean Hystad View Post
                    I think it is clear that there should be no penalty for the interrupt. Hope everyone agrees with that.

                    I also think you should get points for the satellites IF the robot is not in contact with the satellites when interrupted. If the robot is in contact with the models they are still being transported, and will be returned to base. You will have to back off a little bit to guarantee that transported no longer applies. I do not think D02 prevents awarding points for the strategy. The robot positioned the satellites to score points. The interruption does not score the points, it prevents the robot from changing the field and eliminating points. The only difference between this and turning off a robot to prevent an accidental rampage is intent. Your interrupt is strategic, not preventative.

                    Because your interrupt is strategic, there will be resistance against awarding points. Recent challenges contained text the disallowed strategic interrupts and a lot of refs are going to say those rules are still in place, either because they are ignorant of the change, or because they think it is a guiding principle. This is obvious from both Tom's and dna1990's posts. "There USED to be more explicit language...but now that concept is more obscured under..." Not having read the "strategic interrupt" language from past challenges there is no way you could read D02 and think it somehow changes the INTERRUPT and TRANSPORT rules just because the interrupt was planned. The rules we follow this year are in the Into Orbit challenge document, not World Class or Animal Allies.

                    I think the same strategy could be also used for the observatory. Push, back off, pause, repeat until interrupted.

                    When editing posts you need to keep the post open for at least 30 seconds, otherwise it will be flagged as spam. I have given up on cut and paste.
                    To follow up on Dean's post, looking on page 23 of the Challenge Guide, there's a list of "Changes for 2018". One of those changes is listed as "Its OK to shut off the Robot and leave it in place without penalty if it’s done with intended Missions". So this may very well be something that would have been explicitly disallowed in years past since it's listed as a change for 2018.

                    I think if I lay out the "Transport" rule for my kiddos, they'll come up with the idea of making the robot back up all on their own (and they can still have their "loop", only this loop would include backing up, then going forwards again to nudge the satellites, then backing up again). But just to be safe, I'll check with the head referee at the state championship.


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Had a post here, but somehow it got mangled...
                      FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Suzann1701 View Post

                        To follow up on Dean's post, looking on page 23 of the Challenge Guide, there's a list of "Changes for 2018". One of those changes is listed as "Its OK to shut off the Robot and leave it in place without penalty if it’s done with intended Missions". So this may very well be something that would have been explicitly disallowed in years past since it's listed as a change for 2018.

                        I think if I lay out the "Transport" rule for my kiddos, they'll come up with the idea of making the robot back up all on their own (and they can still have their "loop", only this loop would include backing up, then going forwards again to nudge the satellites, then backing up again). But just to be safe, I'll check with the head referee at the state championship.

                        Normally I don't read the Changes part because I try to treat each challenge like it is completely new (just like you). It seems like an odd change. Unofficially it has always been ok to shut down the robot and leave it in place, but this change could be the strongest argument against your strategy. You are allowed to shut off the robot if it is done with intended missions. If a mission is programmed to repeatedly nudge a model until it is in position or until you stop the program, is the robot DONE with the intended mission when interrupted? I don't think the content of the "Changes" part should be treated like rules and definitions, but the interruption described in the Changes part is different than the interruption defined in R15. "DO NOT INTEND TO RELAUNCH" has more freedoms than "done with intended Missions." I still think it is OK, that the changes part is just sloppy wording, but be ready for a strong push back.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Interesting, my reply got eaten again in the exact same place as last time. It posted correctly, then when I edited my reply (to correct a typo), it got cut-off right at the quotation mark in the first paragraph of the quoted text.

                          That text seems to be quoted by copy-and-paste from the Robot Game PDF file, which as we've discussed isn't supported well by the Forum software.
                          Last edited by Tom Mosher; 11-20-2018, 06:05 PM.
                          FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dean Hystad View Post
                            If a mission is programmed to repeatedly nudge a model until it is in position or until you stop the program, is the robot DONE with the intended mission when interrupted? I don't think the content of the "Changes" part should be treated like rules and definitions, but the interruption described in the Changes part is different than the interruption defined in R15. "DO NOT INTEND TO RELAUNCH" has more freedoms than "done with intended Missions."
                            Dean, thanks for the clarification. Your reply helped me finally understand that I was reading "if it's done with intended missions" incorrectly. I took "done" to mean "performed", but the correct context is "completed".

                            The summary text would have been clearer if it was written "..if the robot has completed all of the missions it intended to attempt".



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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There used to be a specific rule that prohibited stopping robot before it would ruin your score . But that rule is not longer there! I feel like applying R14 to this situation is a stretch and trying to apply "intend", something referees specifically are not supposed to do.

                              I do not know if this was intentional omission, but it was omitted. Teams that pick up on this should be allowed to do it.
                              Legolympians - 2009-2015 (retired - joined FRC team 5422 Stormgears)
                              Legolicious - 5th year girls team
                              Brick Force - 2nd year boys team

                              2015 - Mass FLL coach of the year.

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