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FTC Florida News - November 10, 2011

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FTC Florida News - November 10, 2011

Post by Admin on Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:15 am

Hello Teams,

Please share this and all other team email blasts with your team. Unless you have made other arrangements with me, the only people on your team that receive this email are the main and alternate team contacts that are listed in the FIRST Team Information Management System that was used to register your team with FIRST. All of the Florida FTC team email blasts are placed in an email archive on the web site.

Topics covered in this email include:

1. Qualifying Tournament Information
2. Game Rule - 15-ball Limit

Attachments: None

1. Qualifying Tournament Information

- Our goal is to run 6 qualifying matches per team for a total of 24 qualifying matches at a 16-team tournament. The number of matches will be reduced if we are not able to start the Opening Ceremony on time due to team caused issues. Teams should arrive at the tournament on time, with a robot that has already passed a self-inspection.

- The Florida Championship has a limit of 32-teams due to FIRST guidelines. We are running 9 qualifying tournaments this season and each qualifying tournament advances one Tournament Host team. This leaves us with 23 remaining competition slots. This yields an average of 2.5 teams advancing from each tournament plus the host team. I received permission from FIRST to increase the size of the Florida Championship to 34 teams so that we can have a rational advancement plan. Smaller tournaments will advance 2-teams [plus the host team] and the 16-team tournaments will advance 3-teams [plus the host team]. The first two tournaments of the season will each advance 2-teams due to their small size and the remaining 7 tournaments will advance 3 teams each.

2. Game Rule - 15-ball Limit

Rule restricts a robot's ball holding capacity to 15-balls. The Bowled Over! Q&A forum contains many posts addressing this and other important topics. Two of the posts about rule are shown below for easy review. Teams should read the entire Q&A forum so that their robot and game strategy doesn't violate the Bowled Over! rules. Visit the forum at least weekly since it is updated daily, Sunday through noon on Thursday. The Q&A forum us located here:

Post #1
From the GDC: There have been many questions about the 15 Ball limit including asking if a certain design is legal or not, so let's try to put it simply. Robots that have the ability to hold more than 15 racquetballs in their Ball travel paths and storage areas will NOT pass inspection. Balls stored in Ball Crates and Balls that are NOT "held captive" with the robot powered off will NOT count towards the 15 ball limit.

Robot inspectors will observe while teams fill all of the Ball travel paths (intake, conveyor systems, etc.) and storage areas to their maximum capacity with the robot powered off. The robot can be powered on if needed to fill a conveyor system and then powered off while determining the ball capacity. Ball Crates will not be present during this test. Areas that hold Balls "captive" in a travel path or storage area will be counted towards the 15 Ball limit. Areas that always "shed" Balls due to gravity when the robot is in a powered off state will NOT count towards the 15 Ball limit. Examples of areas that shed balls are sloped PVC pipe, ramps, etc. that do not have a mechanism to block ball travel. If a robot has a mechanism for blocking ball travel, the robot will be tested with the mechanism in both the open and closed position. The state (opened or closed) that enables the robot to hold the most balls will be used to determine the ball holding capacity.

Tip from the Game Design Committee: This rule is in to disallow teams from hoarding balls. Rule violations that will disallow a robot to pass inspection is a very good indication that the GDC doesn't want teams to do this.

Post #2
Q: Our robot currently has a ball lift in which it is possible for a person to manually stuff 12 racquetballs, and we can store 5 in a separate area. However, in reality it would be impossible to collect such amounts. To get the twelve balls in our lift the way it is, we would have to drive over a straight row of three balls, four rows deep (12 balls in a perfectly spaced grid). Practically speaking, we can really only hold about 4 or 5 balls in our lift at a time. Also, we have no intent of breaking the 15 ball holding limit, as we only plan on collecting 3 or 4 in a match.

For all practical purposes our robot is not capable of collecting and holding 15 balls, but might the inspection group judge otherwise?

A: Robots that have the capability to hold more than 15 racquetballs will not pass inspection. The robot described in the post would need to be modified or the mechanism disabled in order to pass inspection.

Michael Coleman
FTC Affiliate Partner for Florida

Join date : 2009-04-06

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