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No Autonomous?

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  • No Autonomous?

    I read something on Reddit and saw some posts on Twitter that part of the way through qualifications in Houston they did away with the auto beacons and automatically game both alliance 5 particles.

    Can anyone elaborate on this topic? If this did occur why did it happen and will it occur in St. Louis?

  • #2
    I don't have personal experience, was not there, but my understanding is that the lighting being used in the venue caused a large percentage of robots to be unable to determine the color of the beacons, and rather than change the lighting, they decided to 'level the playing field' by eliminating beacon scoring in autonomous. Hopefully someone can step in with an official statement, or provide firsthand knowledge of what was experienced and/or announced.

    This is quite disappointing, as this exact failure mode for some events was previously identified and discussed right here in the forums some months ago, indeed all the way back to October, along with reports of problems at state and super regionals from this issue. There was even an official answer in this thread: Click Here back in November indicating that this would be officially addressed at the super-regional and world events.

    Unless further actions are taken, I would expect that this will also be an issue in St. Louis.

    In my opinion, eliminating beacon scoring is NOT a way to ensure fair play, but indeed fundamentally changes the game being played, and unfairly penalizes teams who have gone to much effort to optimize play in autonomous.


    • #3
      In St. Louis they didn't eliminate the Beacon play. I know last year, the lighting was pretty bad, but this year our robot was able to push every single beacon we attempted correctly (18/18 in qualification matches). They definitely counted the beacons in the last matches as well.


      • #4
        The Division Finals and the Event finals were held at Minute Maid Stadium in Houston. The roof was closed, but there are large, west-facing windows in the venue. We tried to mitigate the problem with black pipe and drape behind the field, but the sunlight was still too strong. The alliances were tied up with one win each, and the field officials needed to make a decision that would be fair to all the teams. The robots could not identify the beacons, and we could not wait until after dark to run the matches. Giving all the teams credit for autonomous seemed the most fair, on the fly approach. Changing the sunlight was not an option. St. Louis did not have that problem because matches were held in the much more controllable environment of the Grand Ballroom at Union Station.