AAAI ’04 – Final Rounds

As I mentioned in my previous post, we didn’t get that many points in the first of our final rounds. We won’t be able to see our detailed score analysis for a while, because the final day on Wednesday was too packed for the NIST team to do anything else, particularly since they were busy taking down the USR arena.

The second of our final rounds was probably the best performance we’ve ever had. We started in the orange arena, and I drove Frodo deeper in towards the red arena, finding two victims in orange and red respectively. I switched back to Gollum, the robot we had equipped with a microphone, and investigated the first victim Frodo had found to check for any sound. Then I took Gollum back into the yellow and found two of the victims I had missed, in addition to the rather obvious kicking-leg victim that I had found in the first final round.

As it turns out, this second round was (I believe) the best performance that Swarthmore has ever fielded, since we found 5 victims, and did a fairly thorough analysis of the situation of each of them. We also covered nearly the full length of the area of the arena we could even navigate, given our Magellan Pro chassis.

In the last round, we started in a confined space in yellow, which required taking Gollum through a space only slightly larger than the diameter of the robot. Thanks to Fritz’ new nav module, it only took about 30 seconds of wiggling and coaxing to safely work through that space. I then spotted an orange victim with sound and in a reflection in a mirror, plus the same twitching hand and waving arm that I had found in orange and red in the previous run.

All in all, it was an excellent experience. More on this later…