As we discussed earlier this year, we have been wanting to incorporate tasks into the lanes for a while and have demonstrated embedded apparatuses for several years. Based on feedback, it sounds like the time was right to do this now. Of course, the old rules and scoresheets aren’t going to work when teams can do any number of tasks partway through a lap.
There are many different approaches to achieving this, each with different advantages and disadvantages relating to fairness, complexity, flexibility, and ability to achieve a balance between different teams with different, equally important, specializations.
Over the past months we have experimented with and playtested a wide variety of approaches. I’ve put together a one-page form and one-page rule summary that attempts to encapsulate the ideas that have been put forward by myself and the rest of the RoboCupRescue Robot League committee.
The intent is that one piece of paper, form on one side, rule summary on the other, can facilitate the vast majority (possibly all) runs in the competition. There is also a third FAQ page that seeks to provide answers to some of the questions about the choices that were made, but that is not necessary to know how to run a mission.
Of course details of how to actually build and run a lane also exist in separate documents, this is just about how to run and score the mission itself.
Many thanks in particular to Adam for so many new ideas, and for many hours of collaborative playtesting, bouncing around ideas, pointing out problems, suggesting radical solutions, and pushing for simplicity. Thanks also to Ann for looking over earlier versions of this and providing constructive input. This form and rules also incorporates some ideas from rule proposals put forward by Johannes and Martin.
I should stress that this is NOT the final form or set of rules. It is my concept draft - an example of a datapoint within the space of possible rules that seems to provide a balance between all the competing interests in the competition.
This is also not the final list of tests available so if you have suggestions we’d love to hear them! The form even has space for write-ins on both Mobility and Tasks.
I also encourage others who have been considering this to also present their concept drafts, in the form of a scoresheet and rule summary, that we can all playtest and consider over the coming week.
My hope is that we can discuss this week and get input from as many of you as possible so we can consider and, hopefully, come to some sort of final decision, perhaps even in as early as a week or so. So we welcome the constructive input of everyone in the League! The FAQ page, in particular, has discussion points that I am actively seeking input on. Please post here (or, if it’s lengthy, open a new thread) if you have input to provide!
If there is demand, we can also have some online meetings with teams, individually or in groups, to discuss this.
I will also remind everyone that there will be the first RoboCupRescue Robot League roadmap workshop, after the German Open, this coming week. The focus of the workshop is on the direction of the league past 2023, rather than this year’s rules. We encourage everyone who can’t make it in person to join me in participating in the hybrid meetings remotely.