Author Topic: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop  (Read 1315 times)

PressureLine

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Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« on: March 19, 2016, 11:34:49 am »
Welcome to the Autonomous Combat League Bot Workshop

This thread is a place to share your ideas & WIPs, and get help with construction, coding or any other aspect of building a combat bot for the ACL. To recap:

Competition/Construction Rules:
  • One Flux Capacitor per Plasma Cannon
  • Grenades may only be activated once per launch and must be carried on the bot when it is spawned from the blueprint.
  • Bind a key to start/stop the drive, weapons and aiming systems (use ‘X’)
  • Link a ‘spare’ Continuum to the rest of the bot via code (the ‘highlight’ color input is a good way to do this) so that the Continuums can be connected together to start all the bots simultaneously. Make it obvious which Continuum is the ‘spare’ one.
  • No Hypercube/Hypercannon weapons (possibly subject to revision if someone can come up with a convincing reason to allow them)
  • Some arenas may not have detectable floors, please make cliff/edge detection systems on/off-able.
  • Ensure your bots are capable of reliably driving up and down ramps without assistance.
  • Flying/Hovering bots should remain within the confines (vertically AND laterally) of the arena. Going out of the top of the arena by a little bit is no big deal, but no flying way out of the arena to make an attack run.
  • An entry may consist of several separate bots that may operate individually or co-operatively.
    • The entry must consist of a single blueprint
    • The total part count of all of the bots in the entry determine the weight class (see the Classes section below)
  • Make note of any special conditions with using your bot (keep these to a minimum!)

Classes:
  • Parts used to: Connect different sections of a multi-part bot, provide altitude control or provide central on/off control are not counted towards the part limit.
  • Lightweight: <=25 parts
  • Middleweight: 26-50 parts
  • Heavyweight: 51-75 parts
  • Unlimited: >75 parts
  • Unlimited class bots may also include bots which don’t comply with some of the other rules.

*edit* 29/03/2016: Weight classes update
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 02:40:45 am by PressureLine »
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PressureLine

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2016, 12:20:07 pm »
Currently working on a Lightweight hover entry. Looking pretty good so far, just gotta nail down some of the parameters for the code, and possibly see if I can fit a little bit of armoring on it.



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MarvinMan

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2016, 02:26:23 pm »
That looks like it should be pretty effective. What sort of speed can it get up to compared to wheeled bots?

What about making a version with 3 sets of jets instead of 4 to free up a few parts to use for armour or a second cannon. It should be possible to replace all the down-pointing jets with a single central one too without affecting the overall balance.

Is there any rule regarding number of weapons? I thought it used to be limited to something like 2 weapons per bot, although nothing so far seems to be abusing the lack of a rule.

cupid_the_conqueror

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2016, 04:29:24 pm »
speaking of getting help with the code, how do we go about making the grenade blow up only once? I tried setting a -1000 on the grenade if it wasn't attached to its rocket booster, but even at -999 it would still go off!
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MarvinMan

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2016, 04:38:02 pm »
You mean that the grenades are still going off with the detonate input less than 0.5? Try ANDing your detonate signal with the output of the connectivity check. That will force the detonate input to zero when the grenade is not connected.

PressureLine

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2016, 07:51:32 pm »
Is there any rule regarding number of weapons? I thought it used to be limited to something like 2 weapons per bot, although nothing so far seems to be abusing the lack of a rule.

I think partcount limits end up serving much the same purpose as a hard weapon limit would, especially for the smaller classes. There's a practical limit to how many cannons you can actually fit, even on a 60 part bot.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 09:57:27 pm by PressureLine »
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PressureLine

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2016, 09:56:48 pm »
Decided to double down on the cannons, which allowed me to also move most of the targetting code into the top of the turret.

Provisional name "Canary" Partcount: 20



« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 09:59:45 pm by PressureLine »
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MarvinMan

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2016, 12:23:07 am »
It really is impressive how quickly you manage to build all these bots, as well as working on XFM and running the ACL stuff.

I had a go at building a simple 6 part bot today. It manages to navigate the map fairly well, backing away from walls and following its target, but the lack of hooks means it takes a while to deal with walls between it and its target. It's quite nice that the cannon has enough recoil to work as a self-righting mechanism. The whole thing isn't too effective on its own, but 6 of them should be difficult protect against.

PressureLine

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2016, 12:51:45 am »
Canary is basically half the original hoverbot with improved targeting and the jet on the bottom to provide some target-directed movement.

The real challenge for me is making the code capable without making it too intricate and fragile, even more so with a lightweight bot where the physical deficiencies caused by the low partcount have to be made up for in the code.
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PressureLine

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2016, 02:45:51 am »
That minibot is cool, but what gives me the willies is how vulnerable each minibot is. All of the parts (except maybe the capacitor) are critical, so swarm/distraction/sacrificial tactics are the only way to go.
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cupid_the_conqueror

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2016, 04:06:33 am »
I feel minibot would have its lethality greatly increased by a being armed with a single dumbfire rocket. it points, it fires, it kills!
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z26

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2016, 05:01:53 am »
your minibot is clever, shoots THROUGH the body.  funny clipping buisness.  Youll need to increase the continuum mass to absorb recoil. tho.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 05:21:19 am by z26 »

MarvinMan

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2016, 10:53:23 am »
The real challenge for me is making the code capable without making it too intricate and fragile
I know what you mean. I had tried to keep the code for the micro bot as small as possible, but it's ended up with loads of delay timers to make the reverse & turn function work properly. It's also acquired the same glitch with the targeting system as my last bot that makes it disappear off into space. I would have thought that bigger bots would be harder to code as they have a larger footprint to collide with stuff, and the weapons systems tend to be more complex.

The continuum is the most critical part, as everything else it attached to it. This does make creating a swarm easier though as a single connectivity check can identify if a part is connected to another friendly bot. I think someone did build a very similar bot armed with a grenade that worked as a land missile.

Firing a 10 capacitance shot does make the bot go backwards by several body lengths, but that is quite helpful to stop it crashing into the target. The cannon is mounted back there to allow the camera to look down the barrel, keep the bot low-profile, and help with the balance. An extra benefit is that in protects the continuum a little.


MarvinMan

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2016, 10:13:49 pm »
I've been working on making a viable ACL entry, and have come to the conclusion that building combat bots is hard.

Perhaps I'm over thinking things, but it seems to be an exceedingly difficult problem to avoid crashing into or getting stuck on terrain/other bots, while also trying to identify a valid target, follow it (but not too close) and aim weapons at it, all using very limited sensor inputs. Then you have the extra problems of having to do all that while under fire, often from multiple sources, plus trying to fit the bot into a given part count.

I'm thinking it might be better to stop trying to be clever and just build a big enough gun to brute-force the problem.

So, how do other people go about building a combat bot (or anything similarly complex)?

cupid_the_conqueror

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Re: Autonomous Combat League - Bot Workshop
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2016, 10:16:17 pm »
well in my case, you don't!
At the end of the day, love conquerors all.