FLL Mission Overview Part 9 - Coal Mining

Objective: Get the Rail Car to roll down the track. Only when the car has touched the stoppers at the end, is the team allowed to retrive the cart by hand to Base.

Point Worth: 10 points

Mission Location: South (bottom) East (right) side of the mat.

Estimated Difficulty Level: 4/10

Time Length Rating: Medium

Unique Challenge Aspects: This mission in itself is not difficult. Bump the trigger, cause the car to roll down the tracks, and then pick it up. Then why the relatively high ratings for difficulty and time? The trigger is in the corner of the table. To achieve the presicion required to bump the trigger, the robot is going running a rather slow speed, so we have rated this mission a medium time length rating. Also, to get into the corner, bump the the trigger, and get out of there without getting tangled is why we have rated the difficulty 4 out of 10.

This mission is also rather unique, due to the unusual use of human hands. This was once done before, in Ocean Odyssey, when you were required to bump the pipeline. But in this case, the human hand cannot be shaky or hasty, or they may cause the car to spill all the coal! Which is a good question... "What happens to the coal that is spilled in the case the human hand splls it in an attempt to retrive the car?"

Finally, this mission is required in order to fully complete the Power Plant Supply. Another interesting aspect is in that somehow, either by human hand or by robot, the red coal must be sorted through the black coal, in which the black coal must be sent to the Power Plant Supply. When sorting, it has to be relatively quick in order to save time, not waste time sorting.

What appears to be a simple mission actually turns out quite complex...



Anonymous said…
"Which is a good question... "What happens to the coal that is spilled in the case the human hand splls it in an attempt to retrive the car?""
One needs to keep up to date on the Q&As - there are 70 or more now & still flowing - The answer to your question is found in: QA48 Fallen Coal
Q:When the coal car has rolled to the end of the track some of the coal pieces sometimes are propelled out of the car. Can these pieces be retrieved by hand along with the coal car or are they consider stray objects & you need to ask the referee to move them?
A: They're stray. Sometimes they land in Base, and that's cool, but either way, you only need 10+ pieces out of the 20 black ones for the power plant, so it shouldn't be a problem.
Robolab 2.9 said…
70 Q&A's! Last time I checked there were only 20 O_o I need to subscribe to the update emails...

Hmm... I still don't see a clear answer. What if you DO need more? Can you retrieve some?

Apparently you can't, even if you need them, since they're stray objects.

Joshua Heinzl said…
"What happens to the coal that is spilled in the case the human hand splls it in an attempt to retrive the car?"

If a human spills them (not spilled by the action of them falling down the rails and hitting the bottom) they can be picked up. Same case if a barrel accidentally rolls out of base. Rule 22.

Talking Chimp said…
By comparison, there were only 26 questions in the QA at this time last year. The QA topped out at 36.
Unknown said…

There are a lot more missions this year, and (I feel) that the mission writers left a lot of questions in all of them.
Robolab 2.9 said…
To Josh:

But the car never made it to Base... The scenario is something along the lines of: The car rolls down, you reach out but accidentally bump it and tip it, causing it to spill. It is not causing something to "leave or extend" out of Base. So I don't think Rule 22 could address the given scenario.


I'll email FLL support sometime today or tommorow.

Unknown said…

Don't knock over the cart then. Even the adrenaline of the competition couldn't make your hand that shaky...
Robolab 2.9 said…
Catpit Contractor,

Fine, then what happens if the car spills itself? (it hits the stoppers too hard and coal flies out?)

Anonymous said…

That has already been addressed in the Q& A, the one quoted in the first comment :-)

The coal that falls out of the coal cart because of it's forward momentum is considered stray. This is under the reasoning that there is an extreme unlikelihood of more than half the black coal falling out. I would assume that if the cart was derailed, the ref would give the benefit of the doubt that neither the robot, nor the robot handlers were responsible, and the ref would reset the mission. Pointwise, all the ref is doing is giving you another shot at a mission that failed through no fault of your own.

If the robot knocks it off the track, that's another story.

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