2009 - Lunacy
Images courtesy of the FIRST website
Mission control, this year's game has been released. Please proceed with explanation. Over.
Welcome to Lunacy! This year's game is inspired by the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. The game's objective is to get more points than the opponent by throwing "orbit balls" into the opponents' trailers. The field is called "the crater" and the surface of the field is made from a polymer material called Regolith that is designed to reduce the friction when combined with a special kind of wheels that are required on the robots this year.
Each alliance is compiled of 3 teams, each containing 3 team members. The positions have been renamed this year. The commander is the drive team coach. The pilots are the drivers for the team and the payload specialist is the human player.
The game lasts 2 minutes and 15 seconds, with two periods of game play: the autonomous period and the teleoperated period. Before a match begins, robots are hooked up to a trailer that is the scoring basket for the other alliance. Then the robots are set up along six different launch pads along the corners and sides of the field. Each robot can start up with 7 "moon rock" orbit balls on their robot at the beginning of the match.
The main game piece this year is balls called orbit balls. There are three types of orbit balls: moon rocks, empty cells, and super cells. The moon rocks are the orange and purple balls that are worth 2 points in the opposing alliance's trailer. The empty cells are the orange and blue balls. If they end up in the opposing alliance's trailer they are worth 2 points, but getting the empty cells there isn't the best strategy. It is often best to get the empty cells from the outpost station on the sides of the field to the fuel stations in the corners of the field. Then the empty cells are exchanged with the referee for super cells. Super cells are green and purple balls that are worth 15 points if they are in a opposing alliance's trailer. But super cells cannot be thrown into the crater until the last 20 seconds of the match or else that alliance will be penalized.
The game starts with the autonomous period. The autonomous period lasts for 15 seconds and the robots are fully operating on their own. The payload specialists from each alliance can try to throw moon rocks into the opposing alliance trailers.
At the end of the 15 second autonomous period, the teleoperated period begins and lasts for the remaining 2 minutes. At this time the pilots take the controls of the robots.
At the end of the match, the final score is determined based on the scored orbit balls in the alliance's trailer. The lowest score an alliance can receive is zero, even after penalties are given. This year, at the end of a match, If one alliance has 2x more points before penalties are considered, then each team on that alliance will either get one less empty cell or one less super cell. If one alliance completely dominates the other alliance with 3x more points not including penalties then those teams get either 2 less empty cells or 2 less super cells in there next match. This should ensure that no one dominates the scoring without some penalty
See you all at the regionals! This is mission control; signing off. Over.
... END TRANSMITION.
2008 - FIRST Overdrive
Images courtesy of the FIRST website
FIRST robotics teams start your robots!!! This year's competition is called FIRST overdrive! The objective of this game is to score as many points by going counter-clockwise around the field while also pushing and throwing a 40 in. Trackball around the field.
Each alliance consists of three teams. the drive teams for each teams are consisted of 4 team members. The drive coach, The 2 drivers, and a new position: The robocoach. The Robocoach provides help during the hybrid period by giving them signals to change the robot strategy.
There are two time periods in overdrive equaling a total of 2 minutes and 15 seconds: The hybrid period and the teleoperated period.
The Hybrid period is the first 15 seconds of the match. During this period, driver control is not allowed. The robots can move based on sensors and programs put in the robot. The only external control is from the alliance's robocoaches. The robot can only respond to four external controls from the robocoaches. The hybrid period ends when there is zero seconds in the period.
The teleoperated period is the last 2 minutes of the match. At the beginning of this period, drivers take control of their robots for the remainder of the game. Robocoaches may still send signals to their robots during this time. The teleoperated period ends when there are zero seconds left in the period.
Last but not least, we have the scoring. During the Hybrid period, alliance's score 4 points for each lane marker, opponent's finish line, and your finish line. Your alliance also gets 8 points for getting the trackball off of the overpass and hurdling (throwing your alliance's trackball over the overpass)the trackball over your alliance's overpass. You also get 2 points during the hybrid period by crossing under the overpass with the trackball.
During the teleoperated period, alliance's can get 2 points for each time they pass their alliance's finish line. Alliance's get 8 points each time they hurdle their alliance's overpass. You get 2 points for crossing the trackball under the overpass. At the end of the game, if the alliance's trackball is on top of the overpass, then they get a bonus of 12 points.
That about wraps this game up. good luck to all teams and we'll see you at the regionals!
2007-Rack n' Roll
Image courtesy of the FIRST website
The 2007 US FIRST Robotics Competition game is called Rack 'n' Roll. The game pieces this year are plastic inner tubes. There are three different types of tubes: the keepers, the ringers, and the spoilers. Each of them has a special part in this year's game.
Ringers are just plain red and blue inner tubes depending on whose alliance they belong to. Each alliance starts the game with 18 ringers of their color. Nine of them are set up leaning against the wall of the opponent's alliance station wall and the other nine are at the stacked in the home alliance zone. A robot can get a ringer from the field or from the human players.
Keepers are the second type of inner tubes. They are similar to the ringers, but the keepers have a broad white band inscribed with the FIRST logo. Each alliance starts the game with three keepers, one for each robot. The keeper can only be scored with and only be used in the autonomous period. Keepers that have been scored during the autonomous period cannot be covered by another game piece or a spoiler. Any game piece placed on the same spider leg after a keeper (including another keeper) will be ignored when determining the match score. After the autonomous period ends, no robots may place keepers on the spider legs for the rest of the match. Any keepers that a robot may possess must be dropped to the floor immediately. If a robot puts a keeper on a spider leg after the autonomous period ends, the robot is disqualified.
The third and final type of tube is called a spoiler. The spoilers, like the other two types, are similar in size and shape but are different in color. The spoilers are colored black instead of the red and blue ringers and keepers. Each alliance starts out the match with two spoilers that are both located in the alliance zones. The spoilers are used to spoil one ringer on the rack. When a spoiler is put on a ringer, it cancels the effect of the ringer. Unlike the other tubes, spoilers can be moved from one spider leg to another.
The main field game piece is known as the rack. The rack is where the both teams place the game pieces on. The robots hang the inner tubes on the spider legs to score points for their alliance. Before the beginning of a match starts and all 6 robots are in their starting positions and the drive teams are in their alliance zones, the rack is moved a little bit to make things a little interesting. the scoring arms, called the spider legs, can hold two inner tubes.
The game is split into three periods; the autonomous period, the teleoperated period, and the end game.
The autonomous period is the 15 seconds long period at the start of a match. during this period, human control is not permitted at this time. The robots can only move on the sensor input and commands programmed into the robot. During the autonomous period, only the keepers can be used.
The teleoperated period is 2 minutes long and comes after the autonomous period. The drivers begin to operate their robot at the beginning of this period. For the rest of the match, the drivers will continue to remotely operate their robot. During this period, the only game pieces used are the ringers and the spoilers. Also at the beginning of the teleoperated period, all robots must drop any keepers they might have in their possession.
The last period of the game is called the end game. The end game is the last 15 seconds of the teleoperated period. No robot is allowed in the opposing alliance home zone during the end game. The main purpose of this period is to let alliances try to score bonus points without interference. An audio signal will sound five seconds before the start and again at the start of the end game period.
Finally, we have the scoring. The main way to score points in Rack 'n' Roll is to basically put the inner tubes on the spider legs of the rack. The more rows of tubes you create, the more points you get. A single inner tube (also known as a singleton) is worth 2 points. A row of two tubes is worth 4 points, three in a row is worth 8 points, four in a row is worth 16 points, etc. The basic equation for calculating the point value of a row of inner tubes is 2n power. The n represents the number of inner tubes in a row.