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  • return to home instead of launch area

    This year, it seems the robot must return to the home area (where all the stuff is stored :-)) instead of returning to the launch area (aka base) that the students are allowed to pick it up and prepare it for the next start. Is that correct? In the City Shaper full reveal video you see the robot return to the launch area as it used to be in the last years.
    We have a lot of discussion on this point in our team, can anyone advise?

  • #2
    Originally posted by schollibotics View Post
    This year, it seems the robot must return to the home area (where all the stuff is stored :-)) instead of returning to the launch area (aka base) that the students are allowed to pick it up and prepare it for the next start. Is that correct? In the City Shaper full reveal video you see the robot return to the launch area as it used to be in the last years.
    We have a lot of discussion on this point in our team, can anyone advise?
    I asked this question of FIRST and they were very clear that the Launch Area is specifically for launching only. As soon as the robot starts moving, it is no longer safe to touch until it returns entirely to HOME. Any touching before home is an interruption outside of HOME and will cost a precision token.

    This eliminates an old behavior of starting the robot and quickly realizing you did something wrong so you grab it before it leaves base.
    FLL Mentor/Coach 2006-2015
    Founding Mentor for FRC 1759: 2006-2012
    Founding Mentor for FRC 4999: 2016
    FRC Field Supervisor, Los Angeles 2007-2016
    Manager, Software Development, EMC Corp.

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    • #3
      Good question and yes, it is different this year.

      Rules:
      27. INTERRUPTION PROCEDURE - If you Interrupt the Robot, stop it instantly, then calmly pick it up for the next Launch.
      Where was the Robot Interrupted?
      - Completely in Home: No problem.
      - Not Completely in Home: Lose a Precision Token.

      28. INTERRUPTION WITH CARGO - If the Robot has Cargo when Interrupted,
      Where was the Cargo acquired?
      - Completely in the Launch Area: Keep it.
      - Not Completely in the Launch Area...
      Where was the Cargo at Interruption?
      - Completely in Home: Keep it.
      - Not Completely in Home: Referee takes it.

      Definitions:
      06. LAUNCH AREA - This is the Mat's inner quarter-circle area and the black lines that form it. It extends to include the face of the south Border Wall, but no father. It does not include the white band of sponsor logos.
      07. HOME - Table surface west of the Field Mat that includes the faces of its Border Walls.
      09. INTERRUPTION - The next time you interact with the Robot after Launch.
      11. TRANSPORT & CARGO - When something is purposefully/strategically being
      - taken from its place, and/or
      - moved to a new place, and/or
      - being released in a new place,
      it is being 'Transported' and is called 'Cargo'. When the object is clearly no longer touching whatever was Transporting it, Transport is ended, and the object isn't Cargo any more.


      My translation: First of all, you can always and at any time interact with (i.e., interrupt) the robot. Now, sometimes when you do that, you may incur a precision penalty, or lose cargo, or both, which may be undesirable. Now, what else do the rules say about interruptions?

      If you interrupt the robot in home, no problem, no loss of precision. But if you interrupt with cargo, things get a little weirder. If you interrupt with cargo fully in the launch area, while you get to keep the cargo, it seems that you will lose a precision token. If you interrupt the robot with cargo fully in the home, you get to keep the cargo and will not lose any precision tokens.

      There are no stipulations for interrupting without cargo, other than the generic rule 27.

      So, to be safe, it is probably best to head for Home if you don't want to lose precision points or lose your cargo.
      Norfolk, Virginia, USA
      FLL Coach and Regional Tournament Head judge since 2014

      Comment


      • #4
        Not much of a change. Home used to be an area that surrounded the launch area, now it is off to the side. I don't know why they continue releasing robot game videos. They are nothing but a source of confusion.
        Last edited by Dean Hystad; 08-08-2019, 03:30 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dean Hystad View Post
          Not much of a change.
          .

          No, that

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SkipMorrow View Post
            ...
            My translation: First of all, you can always and at any time interact with (i.e., interrupt) the robot. Now, sometimes when you do that, you may incur a precision penalty, or lose cargo, or both, which may be undesirable. Now, what else do the rules say about interruptions?

            If you interrupt the robot in home, no problem, no loss of precision. But if you interrupt with cargo, things get a little weirder. If you interrupt with cargo fully in the launch area, while you get to keep the cargo, it seems that you will lose a precision token. If you interrupt the robot with cargo fully in the home, you get to keep the cargo and will not lose any precision tokens.

            There are no stipulations for interrupting without cargo, other than the generic rule 27.

            So, to be safe, it is probably best to head for Home if you don't want to lose precision points or lose your cargo.
            I don't think the cargo rules are weird. If cargo started in the launch area you keep it. If cargo is entirely in home you keep it. If neither is true the ref takes it. Same rules as last year.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yeah, "weird" wasn't the right word. It is just one more consideration.

              By the way, I do wonder if there should be any sort of leniency if the robot is completely in the combined home AND launch area (i.e., straddling the line between the two). The rules certainly don't allow for it now, but I think keeping cargo but losing precision would be reasonable.
              Norfolk, Virginia, USA
              FLL Coach and Regional Tournament Head judge since 2014

              Comment


              • #8
                Rule 14 states:

                You can only safely touch the Robot while preparing to Launch, or when it's completely in Home.
                If a robot returns directly to the Launch Area after a mission, is it considered to be "preparing to Launch", and therefore can be touched without losing a "precision token"?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah, when does "preparing to launch" start? I could argue that as soon as I launch the robot, I am preparing to launch it again.
                  Norfolk, Virginia, USA
                  FLL Coach and Regional Tournament Head judge since 2014

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The first time you touch/interact with the robot after launch is defined as interruption. I read the rules as the first touch (after launch) must be in home (not launch area) to avoid losing precision.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SkipMorrow View Post
                      If you interrupt the robot in home, no problem, no loss of precision. But if you interrupt with cargo, things get a little weirder. If you interrupt with cargo fully in the launch area, while you get to keep the cargo, it seems that you will lose a precision token. If you interrupt the robot with cargo fully in the home, you get to keep the cargo and will not lose any precision tokens.

                      There are no stipulations for interrupting without cargo, other than the generic rule 27.

                      So, to be safe, it is probably best to head for Home if you don't want to lose precision points or lose your cargo.

                      Errrrrrrrr... The referee in me knows this will cause confusion with younger teams at my tournaments this year. Losing a precision token with a Launch Area Interruption is unnecessary rule, and rules that aren't necessary are bad rules.
                      FLL alumni, mentor, referee, judge

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BotDesigner View Post


                        Errrrrrrrr... The referee in me knows this will cause confusion with younger teams at my tournaments this year. Losing a precision token with a Launch Area Interruption is unnecessary rule, and rules that aren't necessary are bad rules.
                        You mean the concept that a bot is launched, but immediately the team realizes an issue and interrupts it before breaking out past the arc? In the old days of Base, that would have been no deduction, now it is because you are in he Launch Area but not Home.

                        Yes, something new - but nothing confusing. Teams should have not become so accustomed to getting by with not making sure everything was all set before launching.

                        Yes, more harsh now, but no harm in trying to instill precision when it comes to bots, humans, etc.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SkipMorrow View Post

                          If you interrupt the robot in home, no problem, no loss of precision. But if you interrupt with cargo, things get a little weirder. If you interrupt with cargo fully in the launch area, while you get to keep the cargo, it seems that you will lose a precision token. If you interrupt the robot with cargo fully in the home, you get to keep the cargo and will not lose any precision tokens.
                          I may be misreading what you meant, but I don't see the rules like that - I see it quite similar to last season, just changing Base to Home.
                          So it looks like you say if you interrupt and cargo is in Launch, you keep it - that is not true to my understanding.

                          Upon interruption with cargo - you assess where that cargo "came from" and yes it can come from Launch Area or out on the Field. So the old rule about you can get back what you left with...

                          But the decision (zone) to keep it or have it confiscated - is still HOME. Just like the bot. Just like Base used to be.





                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by timdavid View Post
                            Rule 14 states:



                            If a robot returns directly to the Launch Area after a mission, is it considered to be "preparing to Launch", and therefore can be touched without losing a "precision token"?
                            I think we would have been better off without R14. We already have R27 to say what happens when you do interrupt, R14 makes it confusing to try and list some ideas when/where it might "not" be an interruption.


                            But for now, I am not reading R14 in any way that would supersede R27. Any influence/interaction/touch is an interruption and R27 tells the ref what to do. First ensure teams go thru a new launch sequence. If bot was completely in Home do nothing, otherwise assess one precision token. If cargo involved, see R28.

                            R14 (to me) is only discussing the act of handling the bot while it is still or already interrupted (not autonomous, inactive, etc). Does it "say" those exact words, no, but that is what this ref will read "preparing" to mean. Again we are talking about the bot. One cannot prepare the bot by handling it, without first interrupting it.


                            Now R22 gets a little sticky when it comes to working in the Launch Area or handling non-bot items (Equipment, Mission Models) in the Launch Area - when the bot has already launched. In this sense, I plan to use the concept that yes, as soon as a launch occurs, a team is preparing for the next launch. So picking up a jig left behind, or laying out new parts and pieces in the Launch Area is OK while a bot is out on the rest of the field. Now a risk is assumed here. If the bot on its way back to HOME, impacts/collides/touches any of the items, hands, activity going on in the Launch Area - well that is an interruption, see R27. This is no different that in years past where teams would clutter Base with new or leftover items and upon returning (perhaps a little crooked), the bot could not fully enter Base on its own - and yes, interruption.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dean Hystad View Post
                              Not much of a change.
                              So my post yesterday got lost in the power outages from our microburst! I was saying that I thing this IS a MAJOR change in my opinion. The kids are in a hurry and many aren't accustomed to this pressure of time clicking away and they are nervous. Many times kids set the robot up, put on an attachment, hit the button, and then as the robot starts out they see they forgot something in the setup... or picked the wrong program... or left off cargo... or they think the wheel veered off the intended course due to slop in the system... or the robot was set in the wrong location for that mission in the heat of the moment.... so they grab the robot before even a quarter rotation and reset and fix it. Before, there was no harm done except the waste of time in "base". Now, they not only waste their precious time, and also get a penalty, but they lose their cargo, too! So a whole mission then is likely to be scrapped just because a kid forgot to adjust the angle of the attachment arm or something. I hadn't coached for a few seasons. I'm working with a group of kids who have done a year or two of FLL. I pointed out to them, that they will have this risk, and they were horrified. Makes lots of preliminary practice sessions and checklists super critical.

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