Dominance of pushers at AWS46

A discussion forum for proposed changes to the AWS rules (2014)

Moderators: petec, administrator, BeligerAnt

Forum rules
* Only one rule per thread. Any deviation will be moved by the moderators.
* Keep the discussions on-topic, relevant and polite. Anything else WILL be removed by the moderators.
* If you start a new thread (to discuss a different rule) quote the existing rule in the first post so everyone knows what you're talking about.
* The existing rules (version 4.2) can be found here: http://robotwars101.org/ants/rules.htm
Post Reply
User avatar
Rapidrory
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:54 pm

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Rapidrory » Tue May 12, 2015 2:42 pm

Remote-Controlled Dave wrote: ...Whack a big blade on, spin it wildly...
*whistles whilst hiding the designs for Bad Idea 2*

But yeah, there is definitely a balance between arena size and %drop off, but also drop off type is important as well; having a lot of smaller drop offs spread out like at the last AWS is different from having one pit or drop off down one side as you have less 'safe' arena space with several smaller drop offs, which is not as good for spinners but better for pushers and flippers. It is just going to be a case of experimenting to find the best balance I think... My guess for one possible balance would be 1m square with the middle 50% of one side as drop off. Might trial a few configurations with cardboard mockups over the summer :P
Rory Mangles - Team Nuts

Robots: Nuts 2 and many more...

NanoTwo Motor Controllers: https://nutsandbots.co.uk/product/nanotwodualesc

Hogi
Posts: 948
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:47 pm
Location: basingstoke

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Hogi » Tue May 12, 2015 8:39 pm

i have often thought that maybe just one drop off gap would be a good configuration. that way a pusher could push an opponent through and score a knockout provided it had sufficient driving skill and control over the opponent to do so and a spinner would have to be extremely unlucky to accidentally fly through on a hit rebound. it would probably make battles more tactical as the pusher would have to find the opponent's weak spot and/or outdrive them well in order to get them into a good enough position to score the knockout. this makes more sense to me than having no drop off at all as that just innevitably favours spinners.
Featherweight under construction.

Antweight to build list: 4Wd lifter, new clusterbot, secret project, walker of some description.

Team Hectic.

suvv
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:55 am
Location: scotland

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by suvv » Wed May 13, 2015 10:32 pm

i still feel that some form of active wall that drops away after a minute or whatever time is set to prevent random first 3 second fails due to driver error or lucky spinner hits but as someone correctly pointed out it would need to be super reliable im currently doodling ideas for a screw mechanisum that lowers them but its still doodles at the moment
how hard can it be???
Robots: Optimistic chances of self decimation (ant), Super generic box ant that everyone builds yehhh (ant)

User avatar
EpicentrE
Posts: 1079
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Coventry
Contact:

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by EpicentrE » Thu May 14, 2015 8:11 am

That sort of thing really isn't necessary at all. An aspect of the arena changing after a set amount of time only encourages defensive driving until the arena swings to your favour.

Getting back on topic, the consensus thus far of the people who've commented in the thread seems to be that we want a ~1m square arena surface, and no more "low walls" - just two dedicated pits on opposite sides of the arena which jut out from the main box. How wide would we want these to be? Somewhere between 20-30cm?

There's another aspect which no-one as of yet has commented on which is that all three of the arenas Mike linked appear to have thick "barriers" running around the outside of the arena surface. I suppose these serve a similar purpose to the spike strips on the outside of the BattleBots arena; so that robots are able to immobilise their opponents by propping them up against it or on top of it. I'd be interested to know from Mike if these are an intentional design choice or are just there for mechanical strength, and what effect they have on battles.
Scott Fyfe-Jamieson, Captain of Epic Robotics. Champion of AWS38/41/42.
http://www.epicrobotics.co.uk

User avatar
Shakey
Posts: 1047
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: Reading

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Shakey » Thu May 14, 2015 11:45 am

One thing we'd need to do is put plates in the corners so that the corners have a 45 degree section. This stops people just backing into a corner with no way for the other opponent to get them out of the corner.
Nuts And Bots - For all your components and ready built antweights!

Alex Shakespeare - Team Shakey / Nuts And Bots / Team Nuts:
AWS 44, 45, 49, 51 & 55 Winner - Far too many robots!

User avatar
Rapidrory
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:54 pm

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Rapidrory » Thu May 14, 2015 12:07 pm

I dunno, we've had 90 degree corners in the arena before and it wasn't a huge problem; it's only pushers which particularly struggle, but even then you seemed to have little trouble Stanley-ing people with the walls in :P
Adding 45 degree corners can bring problems of their own if they're too low.

I wouldn't write off low walls just yet Scott; I think they have good and bad points and can help balance arenas if used appropriately. But the plan sounds good. 30 cm seems a decent size; better to start wider and then can be made narrower if need be.
Rory Mangles - Team Nuts

Robots: Nuts 2 and many more...

NanoTwo Motor Controllers: https://nutsandbots.co.uk/product/nanotwodualesc

User avatar
Remote-Controlled Dave
Posts: 3716
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:30 pm
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Contact:

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Thu May 14, 2015 1:04 pm

I'm the one who doesn't like low walls. They swing bias towards flippers and spinners. If we're trying to make an arena that isn't bias towards and particular design then low walls gotta go, same as drop off needs decreasing.
I don't see a problem with 90 degree corners either. Backing into a corner can be as much of a tactical disadvantage as an advantage. Plus it doesn't favour any particular type of machine.
Die Gracefully Robotics
Winner - AWS 39

User avatar
EpicentrE
Posts: 1079
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Coventry
Contact:

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by EpicentrE » Thu May 14, 2015 1:15 pm

While I agree with Dave's sentiment, I think that's only true if you have low walls around a large potion of the outside of the arena. What if, instead, you had an arena similar to the one we've been proposing, but as well as the 2 pits on opposite walls, in the centre of the other two walls you had the same arrangement but with a 5-10cm high wall blocking entry to the pit?
Scott Fyfe-Jamieson, Captain of Epic Robotics. Champion of AWS38/41/42.
http://www.epicrobotics.co.uk

User avatar
Rapidrory
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:54 pm

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Rapidrory » Thu May 14, 2015 2:18 pm

Bit more engineering involved in the extra pits, but could be retro fitted if it was felt to be needed.. Otherwise could have something like a 40cm wide pit either end with a short low wall in the middle of it, but that's starting to get similar to what we have now. It's hard to say without trying it out, but opportunities to do so are few and far between... Looking forward to seeing what the results of the event in wales are though; should give us something more to go on. Also if we manage to do another small event in Reading after the exams we can hopefully try out a few ideas then.

Another feature I'm interested in trying out are pegs near the drop off; I had two of them either side on my test arena near each wall ( it was made from an Ikea desk which happened to have pegs either side), and Alex and I found they actually made a surprising amount of difference to the fights despite being only 20mm high and 5mm wide, and generally made for more interesting battles..
Rory Mangles - Team Nuts

Robots: Nuts 2 and many more...

NanoTwo Motor Controllers: https://nutsandbots.co.uk/product/nanotwodualesc

User avatar
Remote-Controlled Dave
Posts: 3716
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:30 pm
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Contact:

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Thu May 14, 2015 3:18 pm

Pegs I approve of, as they can be negotiated with driving skill. Or maybe even an ever so slight ramp up to the drop off, so you need a bit of force to push them over? Could lessen accidental drive-outs. But I do think any new arena has to address the issue of simply being thrown out from the centre (either by pneumatics or elastic or vertical spinners or whatever). You shouldn't just be able to fire something high up in any direction to get it out. This is why I like the American designs. All types of robot have to do some "aiming".
But then I also think its short sighted of me to think that changing the arena will suddenly correlate with an upsurge in new designs. That's down to the builders too!
Die Gracefully Robotics
Winner - AWS 39

User avatar
Rapidrory
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:54 pm

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Rapidrory » Thu May 14, 2015 3:29 pm

Don't worry Dave, my list of crazy upcoming new designs isn't about to run out any time soon.. Maybe one of them'll even be competitive :P I guess the problem for most people is that if you're putting time and effort into a robot, it's tempting to keep it safe and stick with what works.. I just hope some of my designs expands the list of designs that work.. One day it might happen :P

But yeah, anything that can be done to reduce the proportion of luck in the 'luck-robot-driving skill' equation for winning fights is gonna be good; nothing more frustrating than loosing a fight due to bad luck..
Rory Mangles - Team Nuts

Robots: Nuts 2 and many more...

NanoTwo Motor Controllers: https://nutsandbots.co.uk/product/nanotwodualesc

User avatar
Shakey
Posts: 1047
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: Reading

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Shakey » Thu May 14, 2015 3:58 pm

Rapidrory wrote:I dunno, we've had 90 degree corners in the arena before and it wasn't a huge problem; it's only pushers which particularly struggle, but even then you seemed to have little trouble Stanley-ing people with the walls in :P
Adding 45 degree corners can bring problems of their own if they're too low.

I wouldn't write off low walls just yet Scott; I think they have good and bad points and can help balance arenas if used appropriately. But the plan sounds good. 30 cm seems a decent size; better to start wider and then can be made narrower if need be.
90 degree corners are fine if one of them is low. It's a tall 90 degree corner that is an issue. Last time we had an arena with one of those quite a few fights ended up with one hiding in the corner and the other unable to turf it out. Just something like in the corner of my test arena would be good.
Nuts And Bots - For all your components and ready built antweights!

Alex Shakespeare - Team Shakey / Nuts And Bots / Team Nuts:
AWS 44, 45, 49, 51 & 55 Winner - Far too many robots!

MikeNCR
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:05 am

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by MikeNCR » Thu May 14, 2015 9:57 pm

EpicentrE wrote:There's another aspect which no-one as of yet has commented on which is that all three of the arenas Mike linked appear to have thick "barriers" running around the outside of the arena surface. I suppose these serve a similar purpose to the spike strips on the outside of the BattleBots arena; so that robots are able to immobilise their opponents by propping them up against it or on top of it. I'd be interested to know from Mike if these are an intentional design choice or are just there for mechanical strength, and what effect they have on battles.
The motivation's a bit simpler than that. The main purpose of the barriers at the bottom is to keep most of the spinner to wall impacts off the lexan without hurting the visibility too much. A few inches of bumper is usually enough to take care of 95% of the hits that'd otherwise be wearing out the most expensive part of the arena.

Hogi
Posts: 948
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:47 pm
Location: basingstoke

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Hogi » Fri May 15, 2015 6:20 am

that might become necissarry for us if we're gonna be seeing more spinners like bad idea. :)

if we're gonna be changing the arena, an issue that might be worth raising is judging guidelines. limiting drop off to a 20-30cm pit will almost certainly lead to more fights going the full
three minutes. i have been told that at the moment the judging is literally based on “who won?” but what constitutes a winning performance? could non damaging but controlled aggression out do damage causing spinner hits? does good driving win you points? if more matches are going to be decided by a judges decision it might be better to have a set of solid guidelines to decide the winner as oppose to just a general “who won?” just a thought.
Featherweight under construction.

Antweight to build list: 4Wd lifter, new clusterbot, secret project, walker of some description.

Team Hectic.

User avatar
Remote-Controlled Dave
Posts: 3716
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:30 pm
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Contact:

Re: Dominance of pushers at AWS46

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Fri May 15, 2015 4:37 pm

Its always been the 4 Robot Wars criteria (damage, aggression, style and control) with damage as the overriding factor. So if one robot wins 3 of the 4 criteria, they win. If its 2 - 2, then the one who wins damage wins. If there is no damage to either, then its whoever wins 2 of the other 3. That's always been my understanding anyway. Damage is the overriding factor because that is kinda the point of the sport! But if you lose damage and still win aggression, style and control, you can still win a decision.
Having said all that I'm not sure we'll see a huge increase in 3min fights. Though I'd still be an advocate of making the fights a maximum of 2mins.
Die Gracefully Robotics
Winner - AWS 39

Post Reply