Manual map deletion after LOP considered as changing the program?

Hello everyone!

My team would sometimes like to clear the robots internal map after a Lack of Progress whilst also keeping the power supply turned on. That would have to be done by pressing a button. Is that allowed?

The Rescue Maze 2017 Rules state:

3.6.3 After a Lack of Progress, the team may reset the power supply (turn the robot off and on) and subsequently restart the program. The team is not allowed to change the program, give any information about the field to the robot, or repair the robot.

By clearing the map, we obviously don’t “give any information about the field to the robot”.
However, since we already press a button after a LOP to tell the robot that he’s now on the last checkpoint(so that seems to be allowed), I’m not sure, if a manual map deletion after a LOP is considered as changing the program and therefore not allowed.

Best, Joshua

Hello Joshua,

this is considered a reset of the program and is therefore allowed. It was already done by several teams this way. It is just important that you reset the program or turn the robot off/on always the same way.

I agree that this is not very clear in the rules. They imply that a reset of the power supply is the same as a reset of the program. The images below this rule seem to distinguish between normal power on/off and reset. This question was actually already asked in the old rcjcommunity that was deleted and since then this rule was not clarified.
I think this should be updated as well @RCJ-RescueTC by defining that a reset does not necessarily mean reset of the whole program, but resetting to the last checkpoint. But it is definitely different than turning off/on.

Best, Jan

EDIT: I misunderstood your question. So you will have two different buttons, one for telling the robot that a LOP happened and one for clearing the map? What is the difference between clearing the map and turning of/on the robot?

Hello Jan,

Yes, our plan is to have two buttons: One that tells the robot he’s now standing on the last visited checkpoint while also keeping the map, and another button that simply clears the internal map.

In our peculiar case, the robot’s power supply sometimes randomly turns off and on again during a run which causes the program to restart and we couldn’t find the cause of it. That’s very bad as it used to delete the map and ruin a clean run with an exit bonus.

Now we want to bypass the problem by constantly saving the robots map during the run onto an SD card and load it from there into RAM at powerup.
That’s why switching the power supply off and on again doesn’t clear the map for my team.

Sometimes during a run, the robot messes up its map and my team doesn’t have an option to clear it anymore, as the messed up map always gets reloaded from the SD card.

I hope I’ve made the problem clear and this method can be regarded as legal.

Best, Joshua

Hi Joshua,
I will confirm it before answering.
Do you have a restart button ?
What happens when I press the restart button after LoP?
Is not not your program going to stop ?

Naomi (2018TC )

Hi Naomi,

I’m going to clarify exactly what my team will do after a LoP.

Once a LoP was called during a run, any button on the robot will be pressed to simply stop the motors and pause the program. That way, the team captain can safely put the robot onto the last visited checkpoint. Once he’s done that, he has two options:

  1. Press button A, which tells the robot to keep its map and that the robot is now standing on the last visited checkpoint. The program immediately continues.

  2. Or press button B, which lets the robot clear its map and immediately continue the program.

As explained earlier, switching the power supply off and on again isn’t an option as the map from the SD card is loaded. After powerup, the robot automatically starts running.

Best, Joshua

Hi Joshua,

this is quiet hard to tell. If you look at the map the robot created and compare it to the real map and decide based on this information that the map the robot has created is erroneous, you actually give the robot some kind of information about the maze (you are telling him that the map stored in your robot does not match the real maze).

On the other hand other teams can do exactly this by either pushing a reset button or completely powering off and on their robot. It’s the same.

The problem is that the rules are mentioning a reset or a power on/off. I think a reset in the rules means that you can push a button and by this tell the robot that a LoP happened. This is common. Now you will have another reset button that does something else and that is different from the power on/off button.

I think generally this is okay, but there needs to be a limit to what teams are allowed to tell their robot and what not. If we allow to have two different reset buttons the next team might ask for a third reset button that for example only resets the robot to the last checkpoint but keeps all the map data. If we say that clearing the map in some cases is not giving explicit information about the maze, then this also does not count as giving information about the maze. Then there are already three cases the team can decide on what to do based on the current situation. Do you understand my point? Where is the limit?

In my opinion it would be the fairest for all teams if the rules explicitly define a reset button that can be pressed in the case of a lack of progress and possibly a button to clear the map in the case the team wants to restart completely. The latter can be a power button or anything else. It is just important that the team then only uses one of these two buttons in the case of a LoP. This way your suggestion would be valid. Something to think about for the TC. :slight_smile:

Best, Jan

Hi Jan,

I completely agree with you. If you take the rules VERY precise, clearing the map could be regarded as passing information about the maze to the robot.

But this can’t really be prohibited, as teams are already doing it by switching the power supply off and on again.

Because of this, I support Jan’s suggestion to explicitly allow map-clearing.

Best, Joshua

Hi Joshua,
In 2017 international competition, we didn’t allow such action.
After each LoP team captain will start a robot with same action.
For example.
After the first LoP you push button A for restart.
Then after the second LoP you push button B for restart.
A judge will think you changed program.
In the rule of 2017, such a case is not specified clearly.

It was the international convention that I did not approve. I don’t know how the operators of the tournaments you participate will decide.

2018 TC

Hi Naomi,

then I think it should be stated in the rules that always the same button has to be pressed after a lack of progress :slight_smile:

I suggest to change the rule

3.6.3 After a Lack of Progress, the team may reset the power supply (turn the robot off and on) and subsequently restart the program.

into something like

3.6.3 After a Lack of Progress, the team may reset the program or the robot. The resetting action performed by the team always has to be the same during one scoring run.

The images visualizing this below this rule can probably stay as they are then.


Hi Jan,
Thank you for your suggestion.
We already add a sentence in final version.
Thank you

1 Like