Robot Arm C

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bearasauras
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Re: Robot Arm C

Post by bearasauras » September 13th, 2012, 10:20 pm

chalker wrote:
bearasauras wrote:The plan last year was to make this easier the first year and thus the points were awarded in a way so that students would want to put the items to the closest goal box.
Which has been changed in this year's rules.....
Yup, hopefully this will add a bit of a challenge.

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Re: Robot Arm C

Post by retired1 » September 15th, 2012, 7:16 pm

chalker wrote: Obviously it'll help prevent it from being widely posted on the internet, but won't stop 1 person on a team from buying a copy and sharing it with everyone else on the team.
This is a direct copy from the national soinc site
"Can I make copies of the Science Olympiad manuals?

No, manuals may not be copied, although registered Science Olympiad teams may copy pages of rules to share with staff and students. See the interior page of the manual for copyright information."

This says to me that individual event pages may be copied for the event members.
I have no need to copy an entire manual, only the pages that apply to the events that I mentor. PS, I bought my own manual.

So, distributing the manual to bonafide buyers via email is essentially no different than the UPS delivered ones.

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Re: Robot Arm C

Post by chalker » September 15th, 2012, 9:01 pm

retired1 wrote: This says to me that individual event pages may be copied for the event members.
I have no need to copy an entire manual, only the pages that apply to the events that I mentor. PS, I bought my own manual.

So, distributing the manual to bonafide buyers via email is essentially no different than the UPS delivered ones.
I disagree (and perhaps wasn't detailed enough in my original statement). The situation you described generally requires a physical presence (i.e. people have to physically be in the same place to be able to hand off a sheet of paper) and has a nominal cost threshold (i.e. making physical copies has a non-zero price, and a non-trivial amount of time to operate the machine and physically move from one place to the next to distribute them). Thus while there is indeed copying happening for team usage, I suspect it's somewhat self limiting (e.g. few people copy the entire manual for everyone on their team.. rather they likely make a few copies of each event for just those students participating).

Contrast that with a PDF based solution as proposed, where it is trivial to email a copy to anywhere from 1 to 1000 people with a few key strokes (i.e. virtually no actual cost nor time required). The threshold for making copies is thus effectively zero. As a result, I'd imagine a lot more copying would take place, not just within a team at a particular school, but within friend and peer groups (i.e. a teacher sends a copy to a teacher at another school, a student sends a copy to another student they met at a summer camp, etc. etc.). This is particularly true in light of general attitude about copy rights that is prevalent in today's younger generations (i.e. most kids don't worry about getting in trouble with the RIAA/MPAA of music / movie file sharing.. they are going to be even less concerned about this).

One question I have as well is the cost associated with 'tagging' PDF files, which might actually be more than the cost of mailing physical copies. I know it's possible within the Adobe Acrobat program from a manual basis, but it's somewhat labor intensive (imagine how much of a backlog there would be if someone had to individually and manually 'tag' each PDF file with info from the website and then email it out). Anyone know of any automated systems to do this? There have been some analogies drawn to 'ebooks', which have various DRM schemes available. However I'm not aware of any PDF based ebook security scheme that is in widespread use. Most of the systems require the use of proprietary hardware or software (e.g. the Kindle, Apple iBooks).

As I said in my initial comments, I've been strongly advocating for an 'electronic rulebook' for many years within the organization. I believe it will happen in the not too distant future, and have done quite a bit of research and review of all the various technical and business issues in order to ensure I'm pushing the best solution. I believe that is a mobile app based solution (and even prototyped one previously and created a whitepaper detailing all the costs and technical issues). However if someone is able to provide me with a detailed technical and business case for another solution such as a PDF based one, I'd be happy to ensure it gets reviewed by the SO leadership.

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retired1
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Re: Robot Arm C

Post by retired1 » September 16th, 2012, 8:56 am

One alternative would be to allow E-mail copies to only go to the official team coach. All others would get their copy by UPS or USPS. That way the team can get them earlier and quicker and no shipping.

This should also allow the rules to be sent out in mid August when most schools start.

The assumption is that the coach is ethical.

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Re: Robot Arm C

Post by iwonder » September 16th, 2012, 9:06 am

Well, I'm sure chalker and the NSO committee are doing what they can to figure out how to publish an electronic version of the rules(e-book seems like the best way), until then we'll just have to wait.

Since other events have had changes posted, anyone care to enlighten us as to the bonus and such? :D
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Re: Robot Arm C

Post by ohiostar » September 16th, 2012, 9:20 am

If you look at the playing field layout on soinc.org, you can find a clue to the new scoreable item.

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Re: Robot Arm C

Post by illusionist » September 16th, 2012, 10:26 am

No more batteries? I've gotta say, I'm pretty happy about that. Of course it makes the event slightly less challenging (at least based on that one aspect, as I don't have rules yet), but eliminates the trouble we had with picking up the batteries last year.
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Re: Robot Arm C

Post by iwonder » September 16th, 2012, 12:30 pm

I think picking up ping-pong balls is a little harder though. An electromagnet could pick up the batteries no problem, a ping-pong ball seems like it's more difficult to get a grasp on...
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Re: Robot Arm C

Post by harryk » September 16th, 2012, 1:38 pm

iwonder wrote:I think picking up ping-pong balls is a little harder though. An electromagnet could pick up the batteries no problem, a ping-pong ball seems like it's more difficult to get a grasp on...
Ping pong balls will be harder, especially since they have a tendency to roll away at the slightest tap. Though I like this change since it emphasizes gripper design rather than arm strength.
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Re: Robot Arm C

Post by iwonder » September 16th, 2012, 3:56 pm

Well, there goes my plan about an electromagnet this year...

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