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2018 RoboSub Rules & Tasks

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  • 2018 RoboSub Rules & Tasks

    Throw your dice in and let's start a bet for when you think the rules will be released!

  • #2
    Attached are the 2018 RoboSub DRAFT Tasks.
    (released November 1, 2017)
    Attached Files


    • #3
      I'm in the process of getting all of the wonderful questions re-posted to the new forum.


      • #4
        2018 ROBOSUB DRAFT TASKS REVIEW (submitted on previous forum)

        Posted by: Stephen Cronin
        Thu, 11/02/2017 - 11:15pm TASK DRAFT REVIEW

        Overall, I am a bit conflicted about the introduction of these new tasks for sub. On one hand, the competition needs to increase in its difficulty with teams being to accomplish more and more of the tasks. However, it is concerning the potential impact of these changes on newer teams, or teams that have lost most of their primary (and knowledgeable) members. These teams can be overshadowed from the successes of others, and I would hate to see their potential to learn and grow be harmed in the pursuit of raising the bar for those who often perform well.

        Looking at the competition overall, what sub has excelled at in the past was the wide range of task difficulties that provided teams of varying capabilities to be able to shoot to achieve their own particular goals, whether that be just to drive through the gate all the way to multi-vehicle interaction and complex manipulation. While these new tasks in some respects have the capacity to the differing levels of difficulty, points could be awarded for hitting any buoy, or the fact that you don’t have to turn away from the gate, they also can create a barrier to entry. Rather than just buying an off the shelf buoy to test with, a team must build them. Rather than two unique gate tasks where some overlap in algorithms can be shared, the tasks have little to share between them. Finally, tasks that had multiple tiers of difficulty (torpedoes for instance) are now more restricted (requiring manipulation all the time). I think the core concept behind the new tasks could be good, but we cannot lose sight of the more nuanced successes of the old tasks.

        Looking beyond the particulars of the tasks themselves, I can certainly express my support for some of the higher-level goals this task structure is attempting to achieve. Just as we saw in the last RobotX competition, the integration of tasks with each other represents a focus on higher levels of autonomy. To truly be successful, the robot(s) must be cognoscente not just about how to solve a task, but also whether or not a task should be immediately accomplished or another task should be solved first. In terms of a complexity to learning potential balance, this approach is rather beneficial as a team can easily ignore the complexity of the big picture or they can dive into it completely. If I had any concern about this aspect of the competition, it would be that the course arrangement needs to facilitate this to be the most successful. Sub has typically had a linear structure (somewhat mandated by the Transdec), but for this idea to truly succeed the course must be arranged in a manner that demands a vehicle to search for potential task benefits rather than just using path markers to come upon them in a logical progression.

        As I’ve already drawn this post out for this long, I figure I can add a bit more. An approach used by a different AUVSI competition, IGVC, that has been used to great success in their event was two courses, and easy and hard. Teams had the potential to earn more points on the hard course (and had more difficult elements), but what it really provided was a consistent easy course. Teams that didn’t have the capability to move on the more difficult course could expect the same thing year over year, and grow at their own pace. The more challenging course is updated based on the team’s performances on it over time. Now, it is harder to implement in a fixed sized pool, but this division could provide the best avenue for any team to succeed and learn.

        Hope this feedback helps,

        Stephen Cronin
        Robotics Association at Embry-Riddle

        Posted by: Daveman
        Sun, 11/26/2017 - 7:36pm

        @Stephen Cronin: Embry-Riddle

        Thanks for your detailed post. As you have observed, I always try to structure RoboSub so that it continues to push teams who have been here a few (or more) times, while not discouraging new teams from entering. I try to layer the tasks so that there are "easy" one and hard ones. And even with the hard ones, I try to incorporate various ways to obtain points. For dropping or torpedoes, I will never require a vehicle to perform a manipulation in order to obtain points. There will always be something that's open that a vehicle can try to accomplish. We are also slowly incorporating learning/awareness of the vehicle to their surroundings. The random pinger tasks are the beginnings of this. We are trying to incorporate newer tasks, and because of the restricted area, we decided to eliminate some "similar" tasks. I also try to error on the side of cheap vs complex. So even if a team can't just purchase an off-the-shelf buoy, my goal is to make it simple/cheap enough to build (and I know how resourceful teams can be).

        We have discussed having a qualifying pool located near TRANSDEC in which teams can: A) try to qualify and B) perform some of the initial tasks. This would open up TRANSDEC for teams who have qualified and who wish to further refine their algorithms.


        • #5
          2018 ROBOSUB DRAFT TASKS REVIEW (submitted on previous forum)

          Posted by: Laura Lee
          Thu, 11/02/2017 - 11:45pm TASK DRAFT QUESTIONS

          The rules getting released this early is super exciting!

          We have have a few questions:

          - Multiple vehicle weight? Are multiple vehicles required to fit under the 125lbs or will it stay the same as in the past with each vehicle under its own weight contraint?

          - Could we get a preliminary distance between the yellow coin dispenser pusher and outlet? And what is the approximate travel required of the pusher to release a coin?

          - RoboSub Extreme doesn't have any rules (which is super exciting), but should a minimum battery voltage be enforced? We don't want anyone running their batteries down past the safe limit.

          - How many golf balls are you anticipating there being of each color?

          - Are there going to be any locators to the gold coin dispensers other than the paths and them being close to other tasks?

          - How many balls fit in each funnel?

          - For the slots lever stay down on its own or does it need to be held down?

          - Now that the paths are not straight, do the subs have to follow the crooked path?



          Posted by: Daveman
          Sun, 11/26/2017 - 7:36pm

          @Laura Lee: CUAUV

          We are currently discussing how to handle multiple vehicles. More details will follow.

          Golf balls: 2 blue (on vehicle), 1 gold/dispenser, 2-4 red/green. There is currently two dispensers that are located within the field of tasks. Any funnel will be able to hold all of the golf balls.

          In order for a vehicle to receive points for "following a path", it must follow the crooked path.


          • #6
            2018 ROBOSUB DRAFT TASKS REVIEW (submitted on previous forum)

            Posted by: Rumman Waqar
            Sat, 11/04/2017 - 2:56pm SHOOT CRAPS (BUOY ANCHORS) QUESTION

            We have a few questions for Shooting Craps task:
            • How are the buoys anchored to the pool floor? Will they be able to rotate?
            • Do we get the same points if we hit buoys for 7 or 11?
            • What are the dice dimensions?
            • Is the dice placement randomized (or similar to the diagram)?
            • What happens if you accidently hit a dice?
            • How far apart are the dice?

            Rumman (ARVP)

            Posted by: Daveman
            Sun, 11/26/2017 - 7:36pm

            @Rumman Wager: ARVP

            Craps. The buoys are anchored with cinder blocks. They currently only have one line, so they will rotate. We are thinking of making them 9" on a side. They will be randomly placed in x,y and height within a field. The size of the field has not yet been determined. You will receive points for hitting any dice, more points for hitting 7 and even more for hitting 11.


            • #7
              2018 ROBOSUB DRAFT TASKS REVIEW (submitted on previous forum)

              Posted by: Club Etudiant SONIA
              Wed, 11/08/2017 - 2:31pm CLARIFICATION QUESTIONS AND PROPOSAL

              Thanks for posting the rules early on!

              We have a few questions regarding the different tasks:
              • When are you thinking about posting the dimensions of the objects?
              • Regarding the ‘try the slot’ challenge are we compelled to pull the arm, or can we just shoot on the red opening closer to the floor? We would also want to know what is the angle of rotation of the push/pull arm?
              • Regarding the ‘cash in your chips’ challenge, are we to put the ball in the bin by surfacing from the water?
              • Is it possible to have the footage of the surrounding and the obstacles?
              • Is the random Pinger back this year?

              SONIA would like to propose that if a team decides to choose a random Pinger or flip the coin, that team is obligated to stick to that decision. However, failing to do so should result in losing points. We believe that this would eliminate the luck factor which makes it unfair for others.

              Posted by: Daveman
              Sun, 11/26/2017 - 7:36pm


              Only a few questions? That doesn't sound like SONIA.

              There will be a random Pinger

              Can you go into more details on the footage of the surrounding and the obstacles, and on a team obligated to sticking with their decision for the random Pinger and coin flip?


              • #8
                2018 ROBOSUB DRAFT TASKS REVIEW (submitted on previous forum)

                Posted by:
                Thu, 11/09/2017 - 10:27pm FEEDBACK ON PRELIMINARY TASKS

                Thanks for the draft tasks! We had the following questions about the RoboSub preliminary tasks:
                • Will the specific hue of international orange be specified?
                • How will the method be pre-called to determine either black or red? Do teams pick?
                • Segmented Gate -> How wide is the gate, and can you pass under the black/red middle marker?
                • Craps -> What is the distance between dice, what happens if you unintentionaly hit two dice that do not combine for a sum of 7 or 11?
                • Gold chips -> How many chips can you get from one dispenser, how much force is needed to actuate the plate, what is the appearance of the plate?
                • Slots -> Does the arm stay down, how many torpedos, how far do you need to push down the lever, are the slots colored boxes, do we shoot torpedos or golf balls?
                • Roulette -> How to the balls stay on the rotating disk, what are the size of colored regions?
                • Cash in -> If we have blue chips, does it make a difference if they are placed in green / red hoppers?
                • Robosub Extreme -> is this a separate competition and do we get points in the RoboSub competition for participation?

                Thanks! AUVs at Berkeley

                Posted by: Daveman
                Sun, 11/26/2017 - 7:36pm


                We will specify the hue of orange

                Teams will pick either black or red (more details below)

                The gate is 10 ft wide, and TRANSDEC is 16 ft deep. You can pass under the black/red markers. We are deciding if you have to pass between the black/red to obtain points for that tasks.

                Cash in, blue chips: Good question. I'll have to give it some thought.


                • #9
                  2018 ROBOSUB DRAFT TASKS REVIEW (submitted on previous forum)

                  Posted by: Daveman
                  Sun, 11/26/2017 - 7:36pm WONDERFUL!

                  Thanks for all the comments and questions! Sorry I've been slow to respond. It's been a busy week/month/night/weekend (choose all of the above).

                  The goal of the SUB tasks release is to give you (the competitors) a sense of what to expect in the 2018 competition. Since some of these are just "thoughts" they don't have any hard physical dimensions. Part of this discussion is for you to help us decided on the size/shape/color of tasks. From there we can design the tasks and pass the dimensions along to all of you.

                  RoboSub Extreme: This is designed to be a separate competition from RoboSub (proper). There will be more requirements that every entrant must follow, and those will be release in the future. This initial release is to give everyone a heads up on the second, separate, competition, and to collect thoughts and feedback.

                  Some more details/thoughts about the tasks:

                  Enter the Casino

                  A team may choose either black or red. They will received more points for traveling through the colored side of the gate of their choice. This choice is also carried through to Roulette. So if you pick red, you must pass through the red half of the gate for Enter the Casino, and drop your blue chips on the red (or green) portion of the roulette wheel.

                  Shoot Craps

                  Randomized dice locations (x,y and height). Field size TBD (suggestions). You will receive points for touching any buoy (the points will only count once, so if you hit three buoys, you will only get points for touching one buoy). If the last two buoys you touch add up to 7, you will receive more points. If the last two buoys you touch add up to 11, you will receive even more points.

                  Buy a Gold Chip

                  A vehicle will be able to obtain 1 gold chip per dispenser (but they could dispense more). The force on the plate and the distance from the dispenser are TBD (suggestions)? There are currently two dispensors, one located near Craps, and one located near the Slots

                  Try the Slots

                  The bottom "coin slot" (red rectangle) is always open. The amount of rotation, force and if it stays down are all TBD (suggestions?) If the level does move on it's own, it will be a slow upward movement, so that you don't need to hold the arm down in order to fire through the open slots (provided that you are quick enough with alignment and firing).

                  Play Roulette

                  There will be walls around the edge, and in-between each segment to keep the blue golf ball inside the roulette table. The black and red are of equal area, while the green is smaller. The size of the green is TBD (suggestions?).

                  Cash in your Chips

                  The funnel opening is at the surface of the water (please comment on this, because I'm not a fan). There will be 2-4 red golf balls in the red basket (and the same number of green in the green basket). You will receive points for dropping any golf ball within a funnel. More points for red/green in their correct colored funnel. Even more points for gold golf balls in the gold funnel.

                  Random Pinger

                  For the tasks marked only with Pingers (Roulette, Cash in your Chips), a team may chose which pinger is active. A team will score more points for requesting a random pinger. A random number is generated, and either the Roulette or Cash in your Chips pinger will be activated. The vehicle must determine where it is, and what it must accomplish when it arrives at the random active pinger.

                  Hopefully, this has answered some of you questions/comments. Please continue to post on these tasks so that there are not questions left unanswered. Let me know if I missed anything.


                  • #10
                    2018 ROBOSUB DRAFT TASKS REVIEW (submitted on previous forum)

                    Posted by: AUV IITB
                    Tue, 11/28/2017 - 2:36pm QUERIES ABOUT TASKS:

                    Qualifying Maneuver:
                    • Can you provide the clearance region around the fixed marker? Would it be sufficient enough for any vehicle to go around it?
                    Enter the casino:
                    • Will the top of the gate be colored red and black as was the case till now?
                    Shoot Craps:
                    • Does touching the buoy necessarily mean have to tilt it by 100? Can we just displace the buoys?
                    • Spacing of the dice in each view. (Do the dice overlap in any view?)
                    Buy a gold chip:
                    • Can you provide the exact shape of the plate where the chip comes out?
                    • How to detect the pushing plate? Is it possible to have a color code?
                    Try the slots:
                    • Are the openings covered (fully colored), or a through hole (colored on the borders)?
                    • Are the objects (the fruits) shown in the design finalized?
                    Play Roulette:
                    • Distance between the pinger and roulette
                    Cash in your chips:
                    • Are the baskets and funnels fully coloured? (both inside and outside)

                    Posted by: Daveman
                    Sat, 12/09/2017 - 3:54pm MORE ANSWERS

                    Qualifying Maneuver: Don't touch the fixed marker. Whatever distance you decided to maneuver around the fixed marker, just don't touch it.

                    Enter the Casio: Good question. The current gate is black (just because of the material we use). I can create a red wrap that can be secured around the red section of the gate

                    Shoot craps: If you just touch the dice, you will receive some points, but you will received the maximum points if you push the dice by at least 10 deg. If all goes well, there will be something that is relased from the top of the bouy to indicate (to the spectators and the judges) that the buoy has been push far enough.

                    The dice will most likely overlay in all of the "side" views (i.e. you are at the same depth as the dice), so front, sides, and rear.

                    Slots: The openings will be through holes with a backing (open, with a offset red/yellow backing). Nothing is finalized (including the fruit).

                    Pinger distances: see below

                    Cash in your chips: The baskets and funnels will be fully colored (inside and outside).


                    • #11
                      2018 ROBOSUB DRAFT TASKS REVIEW (submitted on previous forum)

                      Posted by: yoav bar david
                      Wed, 11/29/2017 - 6:05am SOME MORE QUESTIONS..

                      Hey guys!
                      This our firts year here, so we are very excited, and we also have a few questions...

                      Shooting craps: does it count if we touch the buoys from above and not from the side?

                      Buy a gold chip: how big is the tray on which the golf balls roll?

                      Slot machine: how many torpedos is the sub allowed to shoot?

                      Technion Israel Institute of Technology team

                      Posted by: Daveman
                      Sat, 12/09/2017 - 3:37pm WELCOME!

                      Welcome to the competition and the forum!

                      I copied your questions from the other thread, so that I can answer everything in the same place

                      1. I wanted to know if there is any instructions about the size\weight\Buoyancy of the torpedos.

                      2. how big is the arena of the "cash in the chips" mission?

                      3. where exactly are the pingers located?

                      You can grab the rules for the previous competition (<>), which will answer #1, and probably a few other questions you haven't asked yet.

                      The dimensions for the tasks will be given at a later date. But we are open to suggestions, so if you have a thought on the size, post it!

                      The pingers are task specific, so for Roulette, the pinger will be located within 3ft (<1m) of the task. For the Cash in your chips, the pinger will be located in the center of the square floating on the surface.

                      Shooting craps: You can touch the dice (buoy) from any direction. If all goes well, there may be a marker (possibly held with an electromagnet) that is released from the top, which might interfere with your vehicle if you are over the top of the dice.

                      For markers, a vehicle may carry a maximum of two dropped markers, and two torpedoes.


                      • #12
                        2018 ROBOSUB DRAFT TASKS REVIEW (submitted on previous forum)

                        Posted by: yoav bar david
                        Mon, 12/25/2017 - 1:40pm A FEW RANDOM QUESTION


                        few more questions

                        1. what are the pingers frequncies?

                        2. Do you know what the water aproximate temprature will be?

                        3. What is the distance between the casino gate and the dock? Will the sub be able to see the gate from the starting point?

                        Thanks and merry christmas!

                        Posted by: Daveman
                        Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:55pm A FEW RANDOM ANSWERS

                        Sorry about the slow reply, holidays, travel, work, etc., etc.

                        Where you able to find the rules for last year? That will answer #1 for you.
                        1. see 2017 rules (let me know if you have problems finding them)
                        2. I would say between 65-75 deg F. But if you need to know I can ask
                        3. It's ~38ft (11.6m) from the edge of the dock to the starting gate. The sub should be able to see the gate from the starting point.


                        • #13
                          2018 ROBOSUB DRAFT TASKS REVIEW (submitted on previous forum)

                          Posted by: Cuauv Leader
                          Mon, 01/15/2018 - 12:03am HOPE YOU HAD A LOVELY HOLIDAY

                          Hope you had a lovely holiday and off to a great start of 2018!
                          Do you have an estimate of when we can expect an updated set of rules and missions?

                          Also, any updates on whether the funnels will be above vs below the water? We feel strongly towards them being below water level due to all the changes in missions already. Additionally, any word on rule changes to having multiple vehicles?

                          Posted by: Daveman
                          Sat, 01/20/2018 - 10:42pm HOLIDAYS AND NEW YEAR

                          @Cornell. Thanks very much. The time "off" was nice, but I can always use more.

                          An update to these rules, or a final set of rules? I'd like to do one more push for comments, and then (hopefully) finalize them.

                          The funnels, as currently drawn are at the surface. Some of us would rather have them below the water, so if your part of that school of thought, please don't be shy and express your desire.

                          I submitted my thoughts on how to handle multiple vehicle almost two weeks ago. We are having an internal discussion, and I am going to push to have it finalize by the end of this month (January). I'll post 'em almost instantly after that.


                          • #14
                            2018 ROBOSUB DRAFT TASKS REVIEW (submitted on previous forum)

                            Posted by: AUV IITB
                            Mon, 01/15/2018 - 1:55pm NEW YEAR QUERIES

                            Buy a Golden Chip:
                            • How to detect the pushing plate? Is it possible to have a color code?
                            • Can you provide the exact shape of the plate where the chip comes out?

                            Try the slots Hit the Jackpot:
                            • Can we have some color other than black(as shown in the draft) for the lever arm?
                            • What is the height from the floor, of the hole that is always open? We suggest that sufficient clearance of 5ft be there from the floor for a vehicle to safely attempt the task.

                            Cash in your Chips:
                            • Adding to @CUAUV, on taking the funnel below water, the surface up task might lose its significance since this is the first time surfacing up has been associated directly with a task. It might also be a hindrance during navigating to locate the pinger since the vehicle might run into the funnel.

                            • When are the dimensions and colors going to be finalized? It would be great if it is done as soon as possible.

                            Posted by: Daveman
                            Sat, 01/20/2018 - 10:42pm HOLIDAYS AND NEW YEAR

                            @AUV IITB

                            Golden Chips

                            How would you like to detect the pushing plate? Don't forget, the whole purpose of this forum is for everyone to have a say in how tasks are designed.

                            The exact dimensions will be released as soon as we have a final design.


                            Lever arm other than black? Sure, what color? (see how this works. )


                            Wouldn't there be more of a chance to run into the funnels if they were underwater?


                            It's a tricky balance, I want to give the teams enough time to think about the new tasks so we can finalize them, and try to minimize the number of iterations necessary to "get it right" so that they are going to actually work well in the competition. I really do value and appreciate your input.


                            • #15
                              2018 ROBOSUB DRAFT TASKS REVIEW (submitted on previous forum)

                              Posted by: Cuauv Leader
                              Tue, 01/23/2018 - 12:39pm FURTHER TASK COMMENTS

                              Golden Chips

                              For the pushing plate, perhaps making the plate highly visible (using a bright color or reflective tape?).

                              Addtionally, how do we find the dispensers? I'm assuming there will not be additional pingers in the water. Will there be easy ways to find them other than just driving around hoping our cameras pick one up?


                              Having the lever offset would also be nice. The way they are drawn right now seems to be a straight lever along the side of the board. Perhaps adding an offset so it is not directly alongside the board (so we have more room for manipulation) or adding additional "prongs" for us to grab onto would help.


                              The chances of running into the funnels aren't any greater than running into any other field element. Having them below water would allow us to see them much better with our cameras, sonars, echolocation, etc. Also makes manipulation much easier. You can also run into them if they are at the surface level because they extend below the water.