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The Playing Field:

First of all, there are two teams and each team gets one ally which helps them to win the match. Each of the robots start off touching the wall and sitting over the the white line. The bonus balls on the sides, if knocked over, will release the balls on the hopper to fall down on to the playing field. These balls, worth five points, can be gathered up by the robots and fed to the human player through the ball chute. The human player can shoot the balls into the stationary goal or into the mobile goals. The 2x balls, which start off on top of the mobile goals and below the bar, can be used to cap off the top of any goal and double the the point value of all the balls in the goal. The last thing on the field is the 10 foot high bar on which a robot can hang at the end of a match and earn 50 points.

The official FIRST playing field specifications can be found at http://www2.usfirst.org/2004comp/3-TheArena.pdf.

The Game:

There are 2 teams of 2 robots on the playing field during each match. Each match is exactly 2 minutes long. The first 15 seconds of each match is an autonomous period. During this period, each robot has to run completely by itself. It must operate entirely with pre-programmed commands and with no human input.

The main method of scoring is moving the small balls found around the field into one or both of the teamís 2 goals on the field. There are 4 goals on the field, 2 small mobile goals and 2 large stationary goals. One mobile goal and one stationary goal are assigned to each team. Every small ball put into the teamís goals will count as 5 points. In addition to the 6 small balls in each playerís station and the 18 balls found in large baskets above the playersí stations, there are 2 bonus balls located on pedestals just outside the playing field boundaries. These are the only objects outside the playing field that the robots are allowed to touch during the match. In addition to each bonus ball counting as 10 points when placed in a goal, if the balls are removed from their pedestals during the 15 second autonomous period, then the baskets above the playersí stations will dump their balls onto the field. If the bonus balls are not removed during the autonomous period, then the baskets will dump their loads automatically after 45 seconds.

Besides the small balls, there are also 3 very large multiplier balls located around the field. They are so large that they cannot fit inside the goals, but they can rest on top. These balls are not worth any points by themselves, but they can multiply the points scored by the small 5-point balls. If there are 10 small balls in a goal (50 points) with a multiplier ball on top, then the score is doubled, making the score 100.

The last method of scoring points involves the chin up bar. If the robot can grab the bar and suspend itself off the ground at the end of the match, then that robotís team receives 50 more points.

The official FIRST scoring system can be found at http://www2.usfirst.org/2004comp/4-TheGame.pdf.

If you think that seeing a video may help you understand how the game works, you can watch the official FIRST video at http://robotics.nasa.gov/archive/video.htm.

The Competition:

Beachbot will be participating in two regional competitions, plus the national competition in Atlanta.

Event    Dates    Location
Arizona Regional    March 11-13    Arizona Veteranís Coliseum
Southern California Regional    March 25-27    L.A. Sports Arena
Nationals    April 15-17    Georgia Dome


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