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Re: Preparation for Proposal?

I ask students to first list on the blackboard what is required of
a robot to be a tag playing robot, in few words --- like MOVE,
have a beacon, etc, for each of the subsystems.  Some disagreement
ensues about just what is and is not REQUIRED, and some things are
relegated to being goals the group feels might be desirable.  
It is easy to disprove a requirement by thinking of even one 
concept that meets the mission requirement (playing tag) but
does not meet the requirement in question.  After we are all 
convinced we know what we need to do, you propose one concept 
in a sketch on the board and we discuss how it does or
does not meet the requirements, who it may meet goals and
how it incurs certain disadvantages or complexities.  In the 
case of tag, the largest discussion comes over mobility methods
and various tag strategies.  In considering tag strategies,
please do not get into head games of guessing what the other
robot might be thinking you are doing etc.  Assume your mechanical
design with its strengths and weaknesses in various situations ---
do not make the situations any more complex than you robot can 
perceive.  If it can only detect walls and perceive the direction 
to the other robot, consider cases of different interactions with 
walls and whether or not it might see the robot in certain
disadvantagous configurations.  Do not get into great algorithm plans,
instead describe the first move of the strategy in one sentence,
possibly as simple as "hope this doesn't happen or we will probably 
get tagged."  In doing this you will better appreciate the advantages 
and  disadvantages of choices in other parts of the design.  Finally,
one particular exercise I have been going through with all of the
tag groups is a sensor range one.  You know you have one of the 
longest (or shortest) sensor ranges and you are the pursuer (or
evader) --- 4 cases.  The reliable sensor range of the robots has
been the greatest variable in the past.  

Arrive as early as you can without skipping class, because people are 
beginning to realize there is no way to approve everyone in the 
hours that are left, and there will be an ugly stampede.  

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
M.J. Malone,  Assistant Professor
University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies
4925 Dufferin St., Toronto, Ontario, M3H 5T6
Email Address: malone@aerospace.utoronto.ca     **** Email is best!
UTIAS Office: rm 183, phone: (416) 667-7942
Downtown Off: SF4003, phone: (416) 978-3130  Fax: (416) 667-7799
http://www.aerospace.utoronto.ca   http://www.utias.utoronto.ca