0689: "First Design"

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musashi1600
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby musashi1600 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:10 am UTC

If that design doesn't result in a disqualification, they'd probably win the Judges' Award.

Also, Team 831 2853 FTW.
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby lulzfish » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:16 am UTC

RISC is gonna change everything.

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby DarkFalcon123 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:17 am UTC

unfortunately, the design of this robot, albeit awesome, would actually break pretty much every rule in the book, for a FIRST robot.

also, it's cool to see all of you fellow FIRST alumni/competitors.
Team 1743 ftw.

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby dtilque » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:23 am UTC

ajosmer wrote:Heh, I love this! Unfortunately, having already had a quiz on the rules for this year's game in robotics, I have a couple of issues to point out:

1) Nothing may intentionally detach from the robot ("intentionally" is determined by the referees, not the teams).
2) That is WAY above the height limit for the robot at ANY point in the match (60" during most of the match, and 90" during the last 20 second Finale).
3) There are no bumps or towers on the field.

Other than that, I would totally steal that idea...


There's one other minor problem with the idea: fire sprinkler systems usually have a water flow detector in them. When it detects water flowing, it turns on the fire alarm.
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby dennisw » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:30 am UTC

sje46 wrote:Apparently the first three FIRST competitions were held in gymnasia at local high schools (in my state, NH), and the fourth one (and every one since then) at Disney World. That's kinda...a jump.

If you're talking about the national finals, one was held in Houston, a few in Orlando and all the most recent ones have been in Atlanta.
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:54 am UTC

dennisw wrote:
sje46 wrote:Apparently the first three FIRST competitions were held in gymnasia at local high schools (in my state, NH), and the fourth one (and every one since then) at Disney World. That's kinda...a jump.

If you're talking about the national finals, one was held in Houston, a few in Orlando and all the most recent ones have been in Atlanta.

Eh, they all equally suck. Srsly, Houston?
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Grave » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:00 am UTC

Ooh, FIRST. I did that in high school, soo... go Team 1740!

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby hansh » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:15 am UTC

Thanks for acknowledging FIRST, Randall! Though you seem to have forgotten your bumpers, this design is certainly more creative than what we've been prototyping.

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Richard. » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:31 am UTC

I wish they had this at my high school. All we have at mine is Business Professionals of America (Software Engineering Team GO!), nothing even close to the excitement of robotics :(
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Waffleman860
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Waffleman860 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:33 am UTC

This is eerily like my high school team's first year in the competition. It was actually the year before I got involved, but the robot was designed to position itself in front of the opposing control box where it used hydraulics to deploy a large sheet that completely blocked the controllers' view of the field. Needless to say, we were disqualified.

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby mirk » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:54 am UTC

Cool Idea, but the plan would never actually work.
Fire sprinklers only activate when something phsyically preventing the water from escaping fails due to heat. One of the more common designs involves a glass bulb, which upon reaching a predetermined temperature shatters, and unplugs the hole allowing water to escaped. What this means, is only sprinklers in which the glass has shattered will deploy. In this case, the one above the robot that set off the sprinkler, and, most likely, the one not above the other robot.

The are probably many reasons why they are designed that way, but the two that stick out for me are:
1) Maximum water pressure/water flow where the fire/heat is.
2) Minimize water damage. You may think that water isn't as damaging, but if that were true, people wouldn't care about floods. If sprinklers only deploy where the fire is, you keep the overall damage done to a minimum.

edit:
dtilque wrote:
ajosmer wrote:Heh, I love this! Unfortunately, having already had a quiz on the rules for this year's game in robotics, I have a couple of]
There's one other minor problem with the idea: fire sprinkler systems usually have a water flow detector in them. When it detects water flowing, it turns on the fire alarm.

Yeah, the pump is usually supposed to detect the drop in water pressure, activating both the pump and the alarm (hopefully)

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Chrisism » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:01 am UTC

Anyone else get the alt-text reference to "Hackers"? Haven't seen that movie in years :)

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Comrade42 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:38 am UTC

I desperately hope that umbrellas become a huge drive-team-fashion fad this season.

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby rawrr » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:54 am UTC

dennisw wrote:
sje46 wrote:Apparently the first three FIRST competitions were held in gymnasia at local high schools (in my state, NH), and the fourth one (and every one since then) at Disney World. That's kinda...a jump.

If you're talking about the national finals, one was held in Houston, a few in Orlando and all the most recent ones have been in Atlanta.
my team went to the one in houston after we won something in toronto, maybe best design or something similar. that was so long ago, looking back now that competition is pretty lame haha

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Dr Zoidberg » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:50 am UTC

Gracious professionalism, motherfucker, do you consider it in your design?

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby a386 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:52 am UTC

Kaldra wrote:I'm reminded of one of the early episodes of Pokemon when Pikachu beats Onix by zapping the sprinkler system :D
I like it!

man right upon reading this i thought to myself "is that where he got the inspiration"

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Ammar » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:55 am UTC

Dear Mr. Munroe
That's just fantastic ! You realize what you just did ?
Now umbrellas will become standard robot equipment in this year's competition !
XD
and maybe even faraday caging if people read this thread ..
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby rath358 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:06 pm UTC

I am loving this comic, and think that we very well might mount an umbrella to our robot this year. It is really nice to see all you robotics nerds registering to post here, I hope some of you stick around, we don't bite (well, most of us).

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby acidcj » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:10 pm UTC

I remember participating in the FIRST Lego League... we got 0 points out of 200 or something, even though you were supposed to get 30 automatically :oops:

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby joshz » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:19 pm UTC

Heheh. Awesome, Randall.

/me runs to show his FIRST team (MOE 365, with the most distinctive color scheme ever! http://moe365.org/shirts.php )
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby doive » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:21 pm UTC

Wahey - i miss FIRST!

i was in the first british team to enter, still have a union jack wasitcoat from it kicking around somewhere :D

go systemetric 759

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby SirPhobos » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:28 pm UTC

As a FIRST Referee I can tell you this is highly illegal :p
However as a FIRST participant for 10 years this is AWESOME!!, you know we all wanted to do this at some point

... And as a XKCD fan created a forum account just to comment on this

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Glastafarian
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Glastafarian » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:47 pm UTC

BTW Those of us in "The Rest of the World" have probably never heard of this Rube Goldberg???

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Sebastian » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:16 pm UTC

Moin Moin

Great comic, as I'm a fan of robotics competitions.
And with the reference to the film Hackers (btw. am I the first one mentioning the name of that film here ?) in the alt text it's even better.

But when thinking of Hackers, why didn't the bot use wlan to hack the buildings fire alarm. I don't think there's a rule against it.
On the other hand I've never seen a buildings fire alarm including all the waterpipe stuff beeing hooked up to a network.

A strong auto targeting laser could be an other approach to replace the match, but surely there is rule that forbids burning down the spectators.

Sebastian

PS:
As a mythbusters fan I'd also consider a flame thrower .... muhahah
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby ZeltArruin » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:24 pm UTC

Awesome, FRC is great fun, I hope I can get to mentor a team some day.
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby CyberianSun » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:25 pm UTC

HACK THE PLANET!

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Finnisher 117 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:41 pm UTC

I love you even more now!!! there is already an entire thread devoted to this comic on our forums, and it is getting mentioned everywhere! In the time it took me to register an account, there were an additional 2 posts. I am sad to say that a flamethrower is out of the question, as that could be considered propulsion, and that is illegal. Secondly, you would want to do no permanent damage to other robots, because enemies this match could be allies the next, and winning by a landslide earns you very few seed points, and lowers your ranking :( I'm going to try very hard (although I probably won't have to) to make umbrellas part of the uniform for at least this year. Gearheads rule, go 1189!
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby dennisw » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:44 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:
dennisw wrote:
sje46 wrote:Apparently the first three FIRST competitions were held in gymnasia at local high schools (in my state, NH), and the fourth one (and every one since then) at Disney World. That's kinda...a jump.

If you're talking about the national finals, one was held in Houston, a few in Orlando and all the most recent ones have been in Atlanta.

Eh, they all equally suck. Srsly, Houston?

What's wrong with Houston (and Atlanta)? I've never been to Orlando, so I can't say whether I think it sucks.

I would guess that they held it in Houston in part because of the strong involvement of NASA in FIRST. Plus Houston is one of the largest metro areas (and the fourth largest city) in the US. And I think Atlanta, which is a great city, has a very strong convention industry.
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby crzyn8 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:57 pm UTC

dennisw wrote:
sje46 wrote:Apparently the first three FIRST competitions were held in gymnasia at local high schools (in my state, NH), and the fourth one (and every one since then) at Disney World. That's kinda...a jump.

If you're talking about the national finals, one was held in Houston, a few in Orlando and all the most recent ones have been in Atlanta.


First off, love the comic! I've already made a wallpaper version for my desktop!

As far as championship events go, the first few were at a high school in NH, then they went to Disney World Epcot until 2002. After one year in Houston(2003), they've been at Atlanta through this year(2010). FIRST has already announced that the next three years of championship events(2011-2013) will be in St. Louis, MO. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make it to a championship since they left Disney.

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Aubron » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:07 pm UTC

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Team 900 from Durham, NC just got this emailed to them from our adult mentor.

Loved it, hoping for the best in nat'ls this year. Are you going to stop by the competition Randall? I think we'd probably happily sign you on as an adult mentor for our team if you needed it. :wink:
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby TheChimneysweep » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:14 pm UTC

Haha! I've printed this to show to my entire team, despite having graduated last year. This is too awesome to pass up. Half of my team adores xkcd and then to find this. fffff This made my day and most likely my team's day too once I bring it to them.

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby mooncow » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:34 pm UTC

Although XKCD does sometimes have some local-centricity that takes a little understanding in the rest of the world, this is one of the only cartoons I have really not understood until looking things up. FIRST appears to be a US organisation and is virtually unknown outside the US as far as I can tell. A UK and elsewhere approximate equivalent might be Robot Wars --- the advantage of Robot Wars is that even if you haven't heard of that specific activity the name gives the idea away pretty clearly, which is not the case with FIRST.

Rube Goldberg is also a bit of a US-only phenomenon. Rube Goldberg drew weird machines rather like W. Heath Robinson. So to say that something is "Rube Goldberg" in the US is like saying it is Heath-Robinson-ish elsewhere in the world.

What I really love about cartoons like this one, once I understood it :-), is all the people who then come on this forum to say (enable stockbroker voice at this point) "You know, this idea contravenes rule 314(a)(iii) and rule 14(c)(iv) Part B, but otherwise this is very funny" (disable stockbroker voice). Priceless.

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Lunar Savage » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:39 pm UTC

If ever I get into a match like that, I'm definitely building that. :twisted:
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lihan161051
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby lihan161051 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:42 pm UTC

mooncow wrote:Rube Goldberg is also a bit of a US-only phenomenon. Rube Goldberg drew weird machines rather like W. Heath Robinson. So to say that something is "Rube Goldberg" in the US is like saying it is Heath-Robinson-ish elsewhere in the world.


Is "Heath Robinson" used much outside the UK? ;)

joexiii007
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby joexiii007 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:53 pm UTC

This is FANTASTIC!!! Reminds me yet again of the lone championship bot we have, with the mini that did not detach but still was quite mobile.

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby TheChewanater » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:05 pm UTC

I will mentally laugh if when I see everyone with umbrullas on their 'bots.

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby essence220 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:06 pm UTC

lol I'm on FIRST Team 365. we just sent a mass email to the whole team about this comic. its hilarious because no doubt, someone, somewhere, thought that exact idea up while brainstorming.

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby EvilRSA » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:10 pm UTC

stardek wrote:I love that movie :)


Me and my wife love it so much we named our son Dade.....even doing searches on the net, there really are only a handful of people with that name, maybe 5 total.

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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby ellbur » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:13 pm UTC

Take just the first panel and you have a pretty accurate comic. Or the second to last. (Also a few robots got rained on at Annapolis a few years ago because the roof leaked. It was not sabotage I promise).

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Lagren
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Re: "First Design" Discussion

Postby Lagren » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:19 pm UTC

"Nothing can intentionally detach from the robot."
This makes me wonder what the definition of "detach" is that they're using. For example, would harpoon guns be allowed? :)


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