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Topics - MarvinMan

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Challenges / Mini challenge: Extreme hill climb
« on: April 05, 2017, 11:12:57 pm »
Extreme hill climb mini challenge!

Here's a quick challenge while we wait for the new version of Rawbots to surface. The goal is simple: make it to the top of the ramp, complete the zero-G hairpin and safely get down again.

Easy mode: anything goes. Use jets for as much free propulsion and downforce as you want.
Hard mode: no active downforce. Only use fins for downforce, so you have to keep going or you'll drift off into space.
Extreme mode: none of the above. Show off some more exotic solutions to the problem.


Challenges / Planetary ACL
« on: December 07, 2016, 08:51:42 pm »
I've been thinking about where ACL can go next. Full 3D dog fighting in space would be cool, but represents a huge step change in difficulty and rules. I think that holding ACL matches on planets with a reduced rule set would make ground based combat more interesting and provide a smoother transition to art-to-air engagements. All the current ACL bots would still be viable, perhaps with some tweaks for longer range accuracy, so any bots built for the new format would have something to compete against immediately.

The rules could probably be cut back a lot, just keeping the parts limits and some restrictions on homing projectiles/suicide attacks. All types of ground, hover and flying bots would be allowed providing they stay within the gravitational field of the planet. Almost all types of weapons, including lasers, grenades, mines, missiles and plasma cannons are allowed, with some limitations on homing projectiles.

Overall, planetary ACL should be much faster and more dynamic, with less of the point-blank cannon spam that happens currently.

Any ideas/suggestions?

Screenshots & Videos / Marvins Creations
« on: November 30, 2016, 08:40:35 pm »
Twin rotor helicopter 'Gemini' version 1.0

This is my latest attempt at building a working helicopter. Previous iterations used a fully mechanical cyclic to overcome limitations in code speed. The result of this was a large assembly under each rotor and the helicopter was barely controllable when it ever managed to generate lift for long enough to get off of the ground.

This version is much more light weight and uses a software cyclic which works much better. The system to synchronise the interleaved twin rotors is also massively improved and completely prevents collisions even with asymmetrical loading on the two rotors. The result is a stable platform that replicates all the key functionality of a real helicopter.

It turns out that the tail isn't really necessary, and actually negatively impacts the performance when not flying forward. The bare V shaped rotor assembly would probably happily fly on its own.

C/T- Throttle: This sets the speed of rotation of the rotors, and should be set to full while the helicopter is in operation. The currently set operating speed is by no means optimal, but provides a satisfactory compromise between generating enough lift and not outpacing the cyclic control code.
G/H- Collective: Alters the pitch of all of the rotor blades to increase/decrease the amount of lift generated.
Y/I- Cyclic pitch
F/P- Cyclic roll: The cyclic control individually varies the pitch of each of the rotor blades over the course of each revolution. This causes one half of the rotor to generate more lift than the other, creating torque that alters the attitude of the helicopter.
D/U- Yaw: Acts as a rudder to change the heading of the helicopter by increasing the pitch of one rotor while decreasing the pitch of the other, creating an unbalance in the torque between the two rotors.


And here's what makes it tick. The two big blocks are the phase shifts and sine functions to calculate the correct angle for each blade. On the left are a couple of basic controllers to keep the helicopter roughly level, and the code going to the bottom of the screen is to sync the two rotors.

Close, but no cigar. Really, I'm just impressed that it managed to lift something so huge that far without falling out of the sky.

Challenges / Autonomous Racing League
« on: April 09, 2016, 08:59:36 pm »
Welcome to the Autonomous Racing League!

This thread is dedicated to battles races between autonomous bots in Rawbots. It is intended to be a fun and friendly competition between bots and bot builders while providing a bit of spectacle to the Rawbots Club community. Building and programming an autonomous bot requires a fairly high level of effort, so be respectful to your fellow Rawboticists and above all have fun!
Competition/Construction Rules (subject to significant change):
  • No damage causing weapons. Ramming and flipping is allowed, but remember this is ultimately a race.
  • Jets, propellers, mass drives and other thrust sources are banned, both for propulsion and downforce.
  • 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)
  • Ensure your bots are capable of reliably driving up and down ramps without assistance.
  • All bots must at least try to remain in contact with the track floor. (Getting airtime coming off ramps is fine, constant hovering is not).
  • Bots must be able to fit on a standard terrain hex. (actual dimensions up for debate)
    • The entry must consist of a single blueprint
    • Bots should be bluprinted in the correct orientation to be placed on the start grid
  • Make note of any special conditions with using your bot (keep these to a minimum!)

  • Give your bot a name. It is much easier to refer to a bot called “Buzzcut” then “PressureLine’s bot with the laser saw.”
  • Choose a color. The ‘color_a’ of Floaters and ‘highlight’ of Continuums are good part choices for making your bot visually distinctive.
  • It is recommended to use a drive system that avoids unnecessary contact between bots to prevent a pile up right off the start line.

Creating Arenas:
  • Outer walls should be at least 2 hexes higher than the local track surface.
  • Ensure any switches or buttons are protected from the battle area to prevent accidental activation/deactivation.
  • Please note if the arena contains jumps or other more extreme obstacles where bots may flip.
  • Large amounts of grass can cause slowdowns, use it as a garnish only.
  • The start grid should be oriented the same way on all tracks to simplify placing bots on the grid
  • Bots cannot detect Lava or Ice separately from Earth/Metal. Use caution when placing these hexes in your arenas.

These are currently a draft set of rules. Please suggest any changes that you think would make races better.
Running races:
  • Download and use XFM v0.5, a mod that contains various fixes and rebalancing to make combat more interesting, as well as the addition of inverse trig functions (which will cause the game to crash if used on an version of Rawbots which does not have the functions availible)
  • Simply download the bots and the tracks, set up the bots on the grid and press Go!
  • Take pictures and videos, write battle reports and review competitors.

It is probably worth keeping this thread for entry announcements and results discussions. Please use the link coming soon for discussing the construction and programming of competing bots (feel free to debate the merits [or otherwise] of bots and tracks here though).

Blueprints / Dumping blueprints and save files
« on: March 13, 2016, 07:36:17 pm »
Cupid wanted to see some example combat bots, and it turns out my entire save folder is uploaded to dropbox, so I thought I'd share it here.


That is over 200MB of unsorted blueprints and maps including many of the combat bots. The folder includes most of the challenge maps and my entries, a few bots that others have shared on the forums, and likely a load of broken save files too. I've not removed any previous iterations or old versions of save files, so it should be possible to look through and see how a given bot was built.

I won't guarantee that any of the bots work properly, and most of them will be mapped to Dvorak keyboard.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'll try to remember the answer, but some of this stuff goes back to the days of stardust.

Robotics / Things you've built/invented/programmed (or want to)
« on: March 10, 2016, 10:55:02 pm »
This is a place to share and discuss your own hardware and software projects.

Feel free to post or ask about anything vaguely related, from your first attempts at controlling servos to building your own terminator army.

It's good to see the mod is still around. Even if we don't have enough members to revive the automated arena yet, the mod includes several useful changes, particularly allowing longer arcs to be created.

If anyone's not used the mod before, I'd definitely recommend it, especially if you find yourself eternally sticking the wheels back onto your bots.

On the subject of further work on XFM, how hard would it be to remove the starry background on the lower graphics settings (or make the terrain not transparent)? For some reason the terrain becomes mare transparent the lower the graphics are set. I'd not really had an issue with it before, but I'm currently having to run on the lowest graphics setting to get anything resembling a playable framerate.

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