The problem is that they are often abused. I think in order to prevent abuse, the rules should actually be more lenient. By making the punishment something like “Automatic loss of autonomous and subtraction of any points scored during autonomous from final score” then refs would be more likely to call teams out on violations like this.
Right now, teams abuse the re positioning because they know most refs won’t call them out on it unless it’s really egregious because refs don’t like to disqualify people.
I guess only those of us who want to learn something in vex want them gone. I had thought that was the point of the program, but perhaps I was mistaken. You don’t learn muh by having it drive for 2 seconds and then manhandle it. Just my thoughts.
A well designed game has autonomous strategies that **any **team can accomplish to score points without repositioning. Maybe not the most possible but some. Toss up is no exception, and may be one of the most accessible without using repositioning. (The only recent FTC or VEX game that did not have “easy” autonomous points this was FTC Ring It Up)
I’m having trouble digesting the subtext of your post.
Is it impossible to learn ANYTHING from an autonomous mode in which re-positioning is allowed?
Is it that a competition which allows re-positioning reduces the opportunity for everyone to learn, including those who don’t re-position?
Is it that all those who “want to learn” hate re-positioning? Or is it that only those people who agree with you “want to learn”?
I don’t agree with the sentiment of your post.
There are many participants in the VEX Robotics Competition who have plenty to learn from even the simple autonomous routines you describe. The VEX forum users are a small subset of the community, and that subset skews towards the higher-end of the overall VRC user base. The challenge is scaled such that more advanced routines are possible, encouraged, and rewarded.
As always, the VRC GDC on behalf of the REC Foundation is working to achieve a balance which encourages learning and growth at ALL levels.
You define it.
(Every program defines it differently.)
There are some simple activities possible without re-positioning in most games, yes – but by allowing re-positioning it opens up ways for teams to be more impactful for the full autonomous period – even if they don’t have the ability to do advanced routines. At the same time it encourages and rewards growth to more advanced routines.
To quote the platitude…
We’re trying to raise the floor, not lower the ceiling.
I didn’t write the original post but I’d like to respond to some of your semi-rhetorical questions
The problem is that re-positioning makes “going to the next level” not seem worth it because then your program doesn’t need to turn; all you’re doing is adding “waits” and more drive forward or backward routines. If you want to go beyond driving forward and backward, then you need to learn how to do it automatically.
It doesn’t reduce the opportunity, it reduces the motive because there isn’t as much of a benefit to learning if you don’t need to.
All those who “want to learn” won’t use repositioning because it makes the autonomous period boring and less impressive. We purposely have never taken advantage of it, even our first year (and we managed to consistently score in gateway with only a week of programming work and no former robotics experience.) I feel I learned much more having to use line sensors rather than driving forward, backward, turning the robot, driving forward, and dropping the object which would have been much easier.
I don’t disagree with this, but this subset skews toward the higher-end because we took the step beyond just using repositioning even though the practical benefits aren’t that great, especially with such a short time period.
Perhaps the reward should be more tangible, like getting an extra 5 points for winning autonomous without using re-positioning.
Or the other alternative is making the levels more tangible and only allowing re-positioning for middle school teams.
Alright there ya have it. I suppose that was more than 2 cents, but there it is.
Error is additive so the longer you go in programming challenge the more error you can get. It can take quite a bit of programming to get long distance error control accomodated.
The repositioning allows for teams to adjust for that. Gateway it seemed a bit too easy in the fact teh colored tiles were fairly short hops from each other. Sack attack had two and two and then a big gap.
Toss up seems the same way. Going over the hump in Toss Up seems like a good place for repositioning where your encoder based positioning could be trhown off with some wheel slip/spin. Sonars at close range can be wacky too so manual reposition seems like a good compromise.
I wasnt a member of Syntax Error until this year. I had previously been on Mainframe Meltdown the last few years. Syntax had fantastic robots with limitless capabilities both of those years…I was merely taking into account the qualities and strengths of each robot on the “Dream Team”
It’s more reasonable for the programming challenge, I do admit that, because it’s practically impossible to do well without more advanced programming. However, for the 15 second autonomous, re-positioning is just flat out annoying and highly abused.
See, I would go the other way. The competition is called “Programming SKILLS.” Not “Repositioning Skills.” It’s supposed to be wicked hard to do well. I would support removing repositioning from that more than I do the competition.
Something I’ve seen teams do is put bumper switches on their robot that run different, 13 second routines. At the start of the match they can point their robot whichever way they want and go for it, adding a bit of surprise to what their plan is. That wouldn’t be as easy without repositioning. I know it’s possible (we had routines to go under all four troughs and block them from both starting squares while starting straight forward), but it takes a lot longer to write. It’s there for the reason that not everyone wants to spend 25 hours coding routines just to make them perfect. Repositioning makes it a heck of a lot simpler, especially with an LCD screen giving gyro readings.
Even though this is COMPLETELY off the topic of the thread, I must say that, while you don’t learn as much from re-positioning the robot, there has to be an entry level within the competition. If you started out and there was no interaction what so ever, a new team may be discouraged from using autonomous entirely. Since the idea of the competition is indeed to teach students new skills and such, it is important for students who have no programming knowledge at all to be able to start somewhere. Once people have learned basic programming, the incentive to not touch the robot would be that you don’t need to have the robot come back to the starting tile to re-position the robot. This allows you to do even more with your autonomous. So, I would think that a team that doesn’t have to re-position would have more time to score points or even block then a team that has to re-position. Yes, you are going to see many more teams using the re-positioning method, but this is because they are content with an average autonomous or they didn’t have time to develop a really good autonomous. To be honest though, I liked this thread more before it turned into an autonomous positioning debate. Yes, the interaction that occurred in the video was probably illegal, but no one caught it (tee hee). I was sitting on the bleachers watching this match and I didn’t even see it happen, so it was just human error that it slipped by. I don’t think this calls for any reworking of rules.
Without repositioning they can use a jumper in the port that triggers the autonomous mode they want. If they care that much about the “surprise” then they should face the robot the same way each time and have it turn to face the starting direction it needs to be in once the match starts.
Without repositioning you can’t change autonomous routines half way through autonomous. I personally like the ability to have a few small routines that can be picked and chosen depending on what other teams are doing.
More complicated coding and uses repositioning so its a win win