Robocup Workshop

From the Robocup Workshop, 1st May 2015 - Information Relevant to Robocup Rescue

Introduction

This page provides as good introduction to Robocup Junior Rescue, and is similar to what was provided at the Robocup Junior Victoria workshop, with some extra resources provided by Club Engineer.

Who to Contact for Help

For information relating to Robocup Junior Victoria Rescue competitions, such as rules, competiton format or help running your own, in school Rescue competition, Contact Evan here.

For information relating to Club Engineers resources and online content, Contact Us Here.

Breakdown of Divisions

 

Riley Rover Rescue

Primary Rescue

Secondary Rescue

Open Rescue

Size Limit

27 cm x 27 cm

18 cm x 18 cm

18 cm x 18 cm

27 cm x 27 cm

Basic Line Tiles

Y

Y

Y

Y

Bridge, Seesaw

Y

Y

Y

Y

Speed Bumps, Water Tower

 

Y

Y

Y

Intersections

 

Y

Y

Y

90 mm Elevation

 

Y

Y

Y

180 mm Elevation

 

Y

Y

Y

270 mm Elevation

 

 

 

Y

Push Victim

Y

Y

 

 

Control Victim

 

 

Y

 

Lift/Place Victim

 

 

 

Y

Difficulty

Easiest

Harder

Harder Again

Hardest

Rules

Rescue Rules are available on the Robocup Junior Australia website here . Please also see the Victorian Rescue Variations document for rule changes that apply in Victoria only here. There is also an additional division in Victoria, Riley Rover Rescue, as shown in the above table. 

Buying an EV3 Kit

Consider purchasing your EV3 from Modern Teaching Aids, who are a long time supporter of Robocup Junior Australia. MTA have some packages to get you started, however here is Club Engineer's suggested pieces (to use with the Rescue Equipment we can supply, mentioned below).

Also see Mindsensors for some 'Flexicables' that allow you to build very compact robots. Mindsensors also have a selection of alternitive sensors that are worth looking into. Please note that the 'LineLeader' sensor is generally not acceptable to be used at Robocup Junior competitions, as it does the majority of the programming for you, rather than the students doing it themselves.

The Lego EV3-G Education Edition Programming Software is the easiest way to get started with programming EV3s. It is also compatible with many third party sensors.

Equipment

Building rescue equipment is tricky, time consuming and difficult to source the correct parts for. To help mentors, parents, teachers and students, Club Engineer can supply finished rescue equipment, delivered directly to your home, school or office. The equipment is comparably priced compared to purchasing the raw materials and building it yourself and is of very high quality. This equipment is like what will be used in the Victoria Robocup Junior Rescue competitions. 

The tiles are constructed using a lightweight, rigid, 10mm plastic material commonly used in outdoor signage. The tiles have been coated with a laminate finish to allow easy cleaning and protect the underlying vinyl. 

A standard set of equipment includes:

- Complete Rescue Tiles, including Bridge, See-Saw and Speed Bumps
- Water Tower
- Two Chemical Tanks (Silver Cans)
- Drop Zone Marker
- 4x 90mm Elevator Blocks
- 4x 180mm Elevator Blocks
- 4x 270mm Elevator Blocks
- Open Rescue Block
- Small Gate
- Large Gate

This costs $657.80, inclusive of GST and delivery to Inner Melbourne and nearby suburbs. We can also customise a package to suit your needs if you would like additional individual pieces, or don't require every piece in the standard set. Contact Evan for more information or place an order. Orders can usually be ready for delivery within one to two weeks of placement. 

Most of the pieces are pictured below (missing 270mm Elevator Blocks, Open Rescue Block, Large Gate and 2nd Chemical Tank (Silver Can)).

 

Robot Design

Programming

General Discussion

Colour sensors

Colour sensors are gaining popularity with the EV3 including them in the base set. Many students find it helpful to use the colour sensors in both colour sensor mode and light sensor mode throughout their Rescue program. In theory they should make it quite easy to detect the green squares at junctions and this has been slowly proving to be the case, however initial batches of EV3s seem to only recognise a narrow range of shades of greens. False detection can also be an issue and students should be encouraged to include checking algorithms in their code to be sure they are actually at an intersection when the robot has received an initial sensor input to indicate this is the case.

Turning on Green

There are a few methods to identify the correct direction to turn at the intersections. Using a pair of colour sensors in colour sensor mode is the simplest method and in our experience quite reliable when used on a rescue field where green is detected as green. A more advanced method is to treat the green as black and then once the sensors see double ‘black’ (one sensor over the green, one over the line), check which sensor is darker and turn in this direction, or switch to colour sensor mode and turn in direction of the green. This allows robots with light sensors to turn appropriately, or allow robots with colour sensors to follow the black line using light reflectivity mode, which has shown to be preferable, especially on sharp turns.

Subscribe to the Club Engineer Newsletter to be kept up to date with the latest on available Robotics Supplies and everything Club Engineer has to offer. This page is not written by Club Engineer to assist metors, students, teachers and parents with Robocup Junior Rescue, however is in no way endorsed by Robocup Junior Australia or Robocup Junior Victoria.

Finding the Victim

Each division has different requirements for rescuing the victim and provides different programming challenges:

Riley Rover Rescue, Primary Rescue: Push the victim until it is fully outside the green chemical spill area, as viewed from above.

Secondary Rescue: Control the victim in such a way that if the robot were to move in any direction, the victim would move with it, and take it fully outside the green chemical spill area, as viewed from above. The robot then should exit the chemical spill over the entry point and require the line. The robot must attempt to rescue the victim before points for exiting the chemical spill and reacquiring the line are awarded.

Open Rescue: Control the victim in such a way that the robot can place it on an elevated platform. The robot should place the victim on the platform and then exit the chemical spill over the entry point and require the line. The robot must attempt to rescue the victim before points for exiting the chemical spill and reacquiring the line are awarded.

There are a number of methods commonly used in Primary Rescue for finding the victim. These would also be suitable for Riley Rover Rescue. One method uses a random search. Basically the robot moves across the chemical spill until it sees white, backs up into middle, spins a random amount (can be time or rotations), goes forward again until it hits white and continues forever. The idea being that it will eventually knock the victim out. It is very easy to program, but isn’t the quickest way to find and rescue the victim. A second method uses a light source and measures the high reflectivity of the can. This can work quite well, but requires a third light sensor and a bright light source. The lamps that come with the robotics kits are not bright enough. The third method, for which programming code can be found at the RoboCup Junior Australia website, uses the ultrasonic sensor. This generally works quite well, but isn’t without its caveats. It is crucial that the distance detection limits are set so as not to pick up objects that are not on the course. This also means that all contestants must stand well clear of the end tile.

Another very important consideration for either a light detection or sonar detection program is the need to prevent the robot from running out of the chemical spill area. If your robot has detected the victim, there is still the possibility that it has not lined it up correctly and may not have successfully removed it from the chemical spill area. If this is the case, you would want it to continue the search routine. The other reason is more practical. The end tile may be elevated off the ground. If the robot does not stop at the edge, it could fall up to 18 cm (27 cm for Premier Rescue), which would not be good for the robot or the anxiety levels of the competitors. To prevent the robot from running out of the chemical spill area, whenever the light sensor sees white, have the robot back up and continue the search routine.

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