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September 2016


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VA-DC Referee Advisor <[log in to unmask]>
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VA-DC Referee Advisor <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 6 Sep 2016 09:26:47 -0400
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Frank and coaches,

  When discussing the Service Dog Action mission, M02, I don't think that
it is more restrictive than many other FLL missions, this year and in the
past.  It may be a matter of perspective.  The challenge of this mission is
to navigate through a constrained curved path, and the triggering of the
dog is the indication that you've succeeded.  (Going west is required
because of the design of the triggering mechanism.)  This is not inherently
an "operate a machine to obtain a desired result" mission (although that is
part of it, of course).

  Your teams have the freedom to decide how that traveling is accomplished,
as well as freedom of design to ensure that the fence is triggered,
sequencing of actions, and so on.

  In regard to the mission constraint that the fence must be down "because"
of the travel and "after" the travel, some actions are definitely not
allowed.  Examples:
   a)  robot sitting in Base, triggering the Warning Fence, and then
driving between the barriers later.  The team would not earn points for M02.
  b)  robot driving east of the fence, pulls it down and then, without
stopping ,continues and drives through the barrier path from the west.  No
  c)  requiring the robot to be shorter than the distance between the
easternmost barrier and the fence, so that the fence isn't triggered until
after the robot has passed all of the barriers--not reasonable.
  d) What about a 20" long segmented bendable robot that enters the
barriers from the south entrance and triggers the fence while a substantial
part of the robot is still on the northward section of the
barriers--probably okay.  (and cool--send me your pictures!)

  VA-DC FLL will be having its annual head referees conclave later this
month, and we'll definitely talk through exactly what we understand "after"
to mean for the mechanics of this mission, and how we will rule on it.
 "Because" seems pretty clear to me, and easy to adjudicate.  GP2 says to
use the common conversational meaning.

  As usual, Rule D04, Robot, doesn't distinguish between the Robot and most
active attachments. I think that everyone understands that.

Steve Scherr
Virginia-DC FLL Referee Advisor

P.S.   Except for purposes of tournament registration, we prefer "Advisors"
or "Facilitators" or "Organizers" to "Overlords".  (Except occasionally
during tournaments, c.f. R19, bullet 1, last sub-bullet, moderated by GP5,
#4)  :-)

On Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 12:32 AM, Frank Levine <[log in to unmask]>

> Hi All,
>   I'm having a heck of a time figuring out the constraints for M02
> (Service Dog Action)
> *"The Fence must be down because the Robot completely crossed it from the
> west, after traveling between the Barriers"*
> If my team wants to design an attachment to push the fence down and then
> cross it... is the fence down *because* the robot completely crossed it?
> I don't think so... it's down because the robot pushed it down... *then* the
> robot crossed the fence.  It's certainly not down because the robot crossed
> it.  It seems to me that the only legal solution is to have the robot push
> the fence down crossing from the west.  This seems very 'un-FLL', in that
> there is no freedom to interpret... the method is completely specified.
> Any clarification from our FLL overlords would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Frank Levine

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