Gladstone Open - Photos

Congratulations to all the teams for an outstanding tournament. Special thanks to the tournament organizers and volunteers for putting it all together. The Gladstone and Exothermic teams really stood out, and the final match, where even the HIGHEST high goal was filled to overflowing was a good sign that the Pacific Northwest will be well represented in Dallas.

Most exciting, however, was the success of some of the newer VRC teams in BC, with Cambie and Lake Trail schools pushing deep into the elimination rounds, and returning teams from Moscrop, West Van and David Thompson also being well represented in the elims.

Photos are up at www.photobucket.com/vrc_gladstone_09

See for yourself!

Jason

Thanks for posting the pictures. I really need the full size shot of picture 77 (575 in full flight with arm raised and flags snapping in the wind). (OK, I’m sure the 'bot wasn’t going *that *fast, but it’s a great shot.)

I took a bunch, too: http://s655.photobucket.com/albums/uu273/rhtyler/VRC%20Gladstone%20Open%202009/?albumview=slideshow

I made my editorial comments about this tournament in another thread, but I’ll second what Jason wrote. It wasn’t the same competition we saw at West Vancouver in December.

Considering how well our bot did, I’m a bit worried about imitations. There are a few photos in those albums that show a bit more about our bot than I’d like. I’ll stand by my comment I made a few weeks ago.

“I hate facing a bot that looks like what my bot looked like a few weeks ago.”

Sorry to single you out but DT’s a good example of it. They almost got beaten by 893 on vancouver island and their cube collection and then at Gladstone, all of their bots had a system to hold cubes that looked almost exactly like their bot from vancouver island. We will be refining our bot from now until we go down to washington but as the year goes on, incremental improvements and refinements don’t do as much as they did previously

I’m not sure whether you were addressing Mr. Brett or me, but I’ve gone through my Photobucket album and deleted anything that I think showed useful details of 721’s robot.

For what it’s worth, there is a lot more to a winning team than their mechanical design. Driving skills, strategy, and software are all invisible in photos but make the difference between a good team and a great team. I believe you don’t have quite as much to worry about as you think. If nothing else, you have great strategy (trust me, I’m an avid Gladstone strategy analyst :slight_smile: ) and superb drivers. I think you’d still be better than another team who copied your robot.

And you can see all the good that copying an idea did! I believe it is crucial for teams to know that their ideas will be copied… otherwise why would they feel the need to improve on a winning idea?

Ideally you would enjoy facing a robot that looks like yours DID because you would have improved upon yours… no?

That said, I did delete one photo of 721 at their specific request… but now that I think about it, I probably should not have.

Jason

This is just me, but being “good” doesn’t quite cut it. It’s being better that matters… I’m never satisfied.

Yes, ideas are bound to be copied, but this is a worldwide competition (not an exhibition) after all and I think we are entitled to limit how readily available a new design is for the hundreds that browse the site specifically for the purpose of “acquiring” new ideas.

And yes, some improvements are in the works.

For me, I’m not worried about my robot’s pictures being up. My team complete took apart our robot today. Time for a redesign :smiley:

You’re lagging. Our teams started Saturday.

This is getting completely out of hand… :eek:

Just a few points to ponder on this topic, for at a base level I support your desire to be the best and to win the competition… but…

Do you really think that in any worldwide competition you can both use your idea AND keep it secret*? Would you want it to be that way? (“Sorry there Microsoft, but you can’t copy the idea of a GUI… Apple already did it.”) Think of how many things you use today that are the result of marginal and incremental improvements, modifications, and even outright knock-offs of previous designs and whether you would want to do without those improvements?

Why do teachers, volunteers and sponsors get behind this competition… is it so that one team can win, or so that all teams can learn?

Sometimes teams learn that it makes sense to copy a good idea, but usually they learn that it makes more sense to improve upon it.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the improvements will bring in the next round of design… I’m betting that speedy little Exothermic 'bot is going to have some influence on drive train designs!

Jason

I’ll second the comments made that the mechanical design is only part of a winning effort.

has been said by a number of people in history. If you look up Shoulders of Giants in Wikipedia you get a definition: “One who develops future intellectual pursuits by understanding the research and works created by notable thinkers of the past.”

Team 721 did that, they stood on the shoulders of giants to get where they are today. And by showing their design, they get to pay back that chance to stand on the shoulders and to pay forward a huge improvement in design.

In the last four years I’ve seen huge leaps forward in what roboteers create. We’ve gone from simple robots with a few motors and gears to robots with 10 motors and dozens of gears. From simple programming to autonomous programs using two or three sensors.

… standing on the shoulders of giants.

We’ve all looked at prior design ideas and have incorporated it in our design ideas. I’ve gone through all of the Peterson books and built her robots to learn more. She gives us a chance to improve her robots. I dig through the postings here and look at the designs to see what ideas we can use. Another chance to improve, another chance to stand on the shoulders of giants. But we don’t just copy or duplicate, we improve, enhance, synthesize other ideas into a new idea, a new giant.

Elevation is a game, the challenge is can we be giants to others?

Really guys… is this the first time anyone has ever used a “dual tank tread bot” honestly tons of teams in Worlds last year had at least one tank tread… There were even teams that used two belts. So as far as I am concerned everyone needs to suck it up about everyone stealing designs, and to just say that someone stole the design from “team x’s robot” thats just nonsense. Everyone has seen a robot with dual tread. You were not the first one to think of the idea. If someone wanted to build a dual tank tread bot they would find one of the other 100’s of pictures/videos of elevation bots. Just my two cents, take it or leave it.

The problem with that is that our bot didn’t quite follow that design. Our original did but for the Gladstone open, we used a different design that was truly unique so far this year.

Except for the robot that 575 brought to West Van which had an expanding vertical storage box on a 4-bar link…

Truthfully I dont think your idea is unique as you claim, i looked saw a couple of photos and I think it one of the first designs a team would come up with if they wanted to arrange the cubes as you do before scoring. Although I do not participate anymore (oh how i wish i did) I think any team of a decent calibur could design the same thing.

This was one of the very first design ideas that we had last year. But after serious considerations, we rejected it as being too complicated and too slow.

Whether or not and idea is unique different or the same doesn’t matter. If a team feels that they have something that someone else could benefit from then they have the right to REQUEST that other teams not post pictures of their robot. Now I say request for a reason. When you enter a competition with your robot you are giving up the right to keep your robot hidden. Yes you can keep is under a blanket. However when the robot is on the field there is nothing stopping another person from taking a picture. What that person does with the picture is their own business. If they choose to post it on the internet for others to see then you can request they take it down. They are under no obligation to take it down though.

It works similar with patents. Once you publicly display your product or invention you have 1 year to patent it or it’s fair game.

If you don’t want others to copy or learn from your design don’t compete in public.

Where I have some sympathy for teams not wanting photos and videos posted is where other teams in other parts of the world have competed at qualifying tournaments that are not as well documented or shared.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to include a rule for next year that all qualifying tournaments are required to film and post video of the final elimination rounds within one week of the tournament in order to be considered a qualifying tournament. That way we would make sure that all champion/finalist teams were contributing to the collective knowledge and experience of the VEX community. It would also make sure that the teams with the most to show are the teams who most want to make sure that it gets shown!

However I don’t consider the photo of the robots to be the best indicator of what the Pacific Northwest is likely to be sending to Dallas… I consider the photo of the highest goal stacked to the top with alternating Red and Blue cubes and the score of the final matches to be a far better indicator.

Jason