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  • UAV Challenge Points

    Out of curiosity, what is the incentive to use the much more difficult UAV to place one of the four objects instead of having the ASV place all of them? I assume that there are some bonus points, but it is unclear how many. Thank you!

  • #2
    I would love to see the objects need to be retrieved and dropped one at a time by the drone, having to fly back to the boat each time. Obviously the point incentives would have to skyrocket to support the complexity of that, but it'd be cool and interesting

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    • #3
      It would be good to know the approximate size and weight of the objects within the first few months at least, so that we can plan our boat size and buoyancy accordingly. If students are invited to make suggestions about the size, it would be helpful to know where the objects are coming from.

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      • #4
        Gregory Su For this task, if the UAV dropped the object there would be more points associated with such a behavior (when compared to the USV). The USV would still get points, just not as much. This point structure is still being determined. What kind of point scheme would you assign to this task (UAV vs. Boat)?

        Ryan Draves I suppose you would have to continue participating at RoboBoat (2021 and beyond) to see this evolution.

        Patrick Sherry We are open to suggestions from the students. I was thinking something the size of a ping pong ball (or squash ball). It needs to be something that is lightweight and floats in the water. More so, it should not be too bouncy (imagine you drop in the center and it bounces over the wall to the outside (less points). It should also be cheap enough that teams can have enough on hand in case we are not able to retrieve it between runs. Thoughts?

        Also, I see you three have taken the divide and conquer approach of posting on the forum, bravo.

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        • #5
          When the UAV is done with its task, should it land on the boat or the dock? If either, are there significantly more points for landing on the boat since it is much harder and riskier?

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          • #6
            With that in mind, would the incentive of using a UAV be to get more points and ultimately simplify the task? I'm guessing that if one at a time retrieval is not in the plans, then the drone would be allowed to carry all 4 payload objects at once to the center, versus the boat having to place objects one at a time at corners? I'm not sure what that kind of point structure would look like, but that's my guess as to what incentivizes creating a UAV.

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            • #7
              Ping pong balls have good benefits being cheap, buoyant, and light enough for a drone to easily carry them. I wonder if the bounce factor could be reduced by putting sand or some fabric cushion on the target.

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              • #8
                I'm not sure if where the objects come from has been established yet, but one idea would be for some points, the boat/drone could get the pingpong balls from a dock (a human hands the boat the ping pong ball), and for several more points, it could get it from a slowly rotating carousel, ie, 2-4 rotating arms with bins of ping pong balls at each end. The carousel would be something like a modification of the follow the flag event as far as scale goes, where the ping pong ball bins are as far from the center as possible while the arms are still feasible to build. However, the carousel would be rotating so slow that once the boat has found the bin, it is relatively easy to pick up the ping pong ball without the boat having to worry too much about staying with the bin. Alternatively, the boat would be allowed to grab onto part of the bin to get the ping pong ball (the point of the carousel is the challenge of the boat finding the moving bin).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gregory Su View Post
                  When the UAV is done with its task, should it land on the boat or the dock? If either, are there significantly more points for landing on the boat since it is much harder and riskier?
                  Gregory Su What the point structure for this behavior looks like is yet to be decided but knowing and understanding the complexity of landing a UAV on land versus a moving object (ASV in this case), more points would be awarded for the latter (landing on ASV).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ryan Draves View Post
                    With that in mind, would the incentive of using a UAV be to get more points and ultimately simplify the task? I'm guessing that if one at a time retrieval is not in the plans, then the drone would be allowed to carry all 4 payload objects at once to the center, versus the boat having to place objects one at a time at corners? I'm not sure what that kind of point structure would look like, but that's my guess as to what incentivizes creating a UAV.
                    Ryan Draves I cannot speak to whether using a UAV simplifies the task due to the different variables each team will encounter (too many to list here).

                    The idea is that the autonomous system (UAV or ASV) would start out with 4 objects onboard.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Patrick Sherry View Post
                      Ping pong balls have good benefits being cheap, buoyant, and light enough for a drone to easily carry them. I wonder if the bounce factor could be reduced by putting sand or some fabric cushion on the target.
                      Patrick Sherry Sand would get washed with those afternoon showers. Might be easier to install a piece of turf (similar to once of the dock ramps) but doing so will definitely mess with your vision system. Any workaround you can think of?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Patrick Sherry View Post
                        I'm not sure if where the objects come from has been established yet, but one idea would be for some points, the boat/drone could get the pingpong balls from a dock (a human hands the boat the ping pong ball), and for several more points, it could get it from a slowly rotating carousel, ie, 2-4 rotating arms with bins of ping pong balls at each end. The carousel would be something like a modification of the follow the flag event as far as scale goes, where the ping pong ball bins are as far from the center as possible while the arms are still feasible to build. However, the carousel would be rotating so slow that once the boat has found the bin, it is relatively easy to pick up the ping pong ball without the boat having to worry too much about staying with the bin. Alternatively, the boat would be allowed to grab onto part of the bin to get the ping pong ball (the point of the carousel is the challenge of the boat finding the moving bin).
                        Patrick Sherry To minimize the logistics, we currently plan on letting the vehicle (ASV or UAV) carry the objects onboard when starting out. Autonomous pickup of objects is something we could do in 2021 or beyond. Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on this.

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                        • #13
                          Thank you for taking the time to get back with each of us. We're just concerned that the drone challenge may not be sufficiently rewarded for the additional (and exciting!) challenge it brings to the competition. Given that the task can be completed with only the boat, we're trying to get an idea of the incentives behind using the drone.

                          Regarding sticking the obstacle, turfing shouldn't pose too much of an issue if everyone knows ahead of time what it should look like (more of less a QR code with the turf layout). Color matching felt could also minimize this. Maybe, instead of a spherical object, a cubic one could be used? A couple years back FTC used this as their game obstacle, which would be fairly ideal for minimizing roll off, while still having the potential to slide for less-than-carefully-placed attempts at the challenge. A scaled down version of that could be easily carried by drone and boat alike.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ryan Draves View Post
                            Thank you for taking the time to get back with each of us. We're just concerned that the drone challenge may not be sufficiently rewarded for the additional (and exciting!) challenge it brings to the competition. Given that the task can be completed with only the boat, we're trying to get an idea of the incentives behind using the drone.

                            Regarding sticking the obstacle, turfing shouldn't pose too much of an issue if everyone knows ahead of time what it should look like (more of less a QR code with the turf layout). Color matching felt could also minimize this. Maybe, instead of a spherical object, a cubic one could be used? A couple years back FTC used this as their game obstacle, which would be fairly ideal for minimizing roll off, while still having the potential to slide for less-than-carefully-placed attempts at the challenge. A scaled down version of that could be easily carried by drone and boat alike.
                            Ryan Draves I understand your concern and appreciate you voicing it.

                            Please know that I understand the complexity involved in using a UAV for that task versus an ASV. Knowing that, I will do my best to ensure the points reflect the increased level of autonomy, behaviors and work required.

                            To accurately gauge your thoughts on the points structure for this task, let's try a "what if" scenario. If accomplishing this task with the ASV is worth 100 points, how much do you think this task would be worth with a UAV (assume perfect execution of the task)?

                            I think a think sheet of foam (think yoga mat) might work better for shock absorption and also allow me to layer something on top for vision recognition purposes (scratch the turf idea).

                            Curious to hear thoughts on a cubic object from the rest of the teams.

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