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SourceBots 2018 Competition Retro

We ran a good competition!

Carpet tile alignment

  • Tiles aren't actually square
  • Rolls might work?
  • Place boards underneath tiles
  • Double sided tape?

Seat Slats

  • Potential safety hazard
  • Look better
  • Remember to do them next time

Arena Network Cables


  • Ran out of coloured tape
  • Keep a larger backlog

Kit storage

  • All mixed up

Team pits / fire exits

  • Don't block fire exits
  • There's a regulation for people per exits, which we were probably far from

Measing from sides is inaccurate

  • Measure from absolutes
  • Use chalk line like method for straight lines

Trolley Return

  • Remember to do this!

PXE boot

  • Might be worth trying for comp system

Table for cutting wood

  • We got moaned at a little for cutting on bar tables
  • Get a workmate

Piza on signage

  • Be more careful
  • Better organisation

Columns falling over

  • Better measurements would mean velcro made more contact with carpet than tape

Volunteer Scheduling

  • Better specs

Hot mornings

  • Fans worked well
  • Turns fans on earlier
  • Open door on balcony sooner to let air escape

Communicated well

  • Dispite a lack of radios (or alike), there were no communication issues

Livestream was cool!

Cable through door

  • Network cable to bar 2 screen was running through door, and got worn down
  • Not very safe
  • This was installed by crew

Team given red taped arduino

  • Quality control
  • Seemed to work fine for a while, was the tape right?

Timelapse obstructed

  • SUSUtv obstructed timelapse camera when setting up rigging / livestream camera
  • Plan better


  • Radios would be nice, so we're not running around to find certain people

Network went down

  • Firewall prevented DHCP connections
  • Run DHCP ourselves, as we've done before

Nobody looked into socket issue in robotd

  • Issue was known, but not reliably reproducable
  • Should have been looked into before
  • No issue tracker
  • No one knew the correct place to log these issues

Wristbands tightening throughout the day

  • Teams cut them off saturday night, and just walked into venue
  • Use crimped ones
  • Remind teams the wristband is required for entry

Sharp cable ties

  • Point them down
  • Cut closer

No score entry training

  • Jobs didn't have a location
  • Little to no documentation on some jobs

Overhead view

  • Overhead view looked great
  • Means those on balcony could see better

Teams seemed happy

  • Besides some kit issues, teams looked to have fun

Bar 2 / Cube flow

  • Cube wasnt crowded
  • No rush moving between pits and arena

Issue handling

  • Get a possible fix for an issue rather than trying to find the correct solution
  • Teams missed some (league) matches

Zone sticks

  • Teams claimed zone sticks were causing their robot to stop too early, and didnt want to use them
  • Zone sticks should be mandatory in arena matches
  • Investigate issues correctly, and announce to put teams minds at ease

rematch necessity

  • Some volunteers were overworked
  • Better efficiency
  • Software has support for delays for exactly this reason

Handling of a rematch

  • rematches are possible
  • Don't go into a state of panic
  • Calm teams as required
  • Judges decision should be sought sooner

Volunteer parking

  • Team parking was documented, volunteer was not
  • Friday parking is hard to find

Match points vs league points

  • Teams didnt understand the difference
  • Teams should be given a briefing, ideally separate from the intro briefing

Packdown plan

  • No plan for what needs doing during packdown
  • Only 1 person knew what had to be done
  • We need to plan this

Road closure

  • Common road into university was closed for marathon
  • Should have known and warned teams


  • Lighting caused some tokens to be too dark to be read
  • Phones read fine, webcams didn't
  • Test using actual kit
  • Think more about possible lighting issues
  • Be prepared to run matches with all lights on sooner
  • Pi cams?
  • Additional scaff lights to become part of standard setup

Practice carpet

  • Teams wanted a place to test that isnt in the arena
  • Give them a test area of carpet

Pi system clock

  • Teams claimed issues with times on pis (match timeout)
  • Research into
  • Log times in logs?
  • Network Pis, serve NTP?

Account for collisions

  • Game mode was designed for all teams to get to other side of arena as quickly as possible
  • 4 way collisions very likely

Cloth wrapping of scaff looked bad

  • Cloth wrapping was done incorrectly, leaving large lumps and exposed scaff
  • Installed by crew
  • Meant to be looped around, rather than cable tied around

Kit owner

  • Didnt keep separate kit which was personal, SB or SUSU
  • Lead to confusion when packing down

Better scaff tools

  • Only had 1 Socket wrench, which went missing during takedown
  • Only 3 hammers
  • Need more scaff tools to be more efficient

No music to motivate during takedown

  • Audio kit was packed away early
  • Keep an audio jack around so we're not working in silence