RE: Rules etc
I would like to add my two-pen'th to the 'touch discussion'.
Duncan recently introduced the idea of an infinite touch penalty (which
see) and, it seems to me - with all this talk of complicated rules, that
this is a VERY simple method of determining which mouse has actually
performed the best on the day.
It seems to me that there are two sorts of touch:
a. A 'proper touch' where the mouse is lifted out of the maze by the
handler and, possibly, replaced at the start square. This subject
seems to be covered by the rules already.
b. A 'nudge' where the mouse has 'got stuck' against a wall or post
and requires a limited amount of intervention by it's handler.
This type doesn't seem to be covered by the current rules.
My thoughts concerning this second type of touch are:-
1. No-Nudge mice beat One-Nudge mice and One-Nudge mice beat Two-Nudge
mice etc. with the run-time determining the placing in each 'category'.
This system is wholly unambiguous and would be simple to administer.
2. This is an entirely defensible position as any mouse that 'gets
stuck' will, left to it's own devices, NEVER finish the course. (Do we
not use words like autonomous and independent when describing mice?)
3. Derek's point concerning boredom is a little specious for two
a. provided that there are a number of high-speed, but perhaps not
very well behaved, entrants they will serve the purpose of 'audience
interest' (if this is regarded as important) - they just won't win.
b. the whole point of the competition is speed and so many, if not all,
mouse-builders will be trying to maximise this aspect. I think it
unlikely that a 'boringly slow but well behaved' mouse will ever
achieve first place.
4. Building a mouse that runs quickly in a straightish line is not hard
and we should be encouraging mouse-builders to think beyond just speed.
Ryan's non-contact mouse (Red Eye) has shown that a fairly fast mouse
_can_ be built and succeed in it's task without intervention - it just
didn't do that on the day this year.
5. If a mouse is fast, like Red Eye, and generally behaves well but, on
the day, requires a nudge then placing it behind slower, better behaved
entrants this year is surely a satisfactory result. A little work, or a
bit more luck, may gain it first place next year!
6. This scoring method _could_ be applied only to the Wall Follower
a. In general the rest of the world does not run WF competitions and so
there is no need for 'compatibility'.
b. It is likely that, having got stuck, any true solver is in such
serious trouble that a handler's nudge is unlikely to rescue it.
Any thoughts - Anyone?
Martin J. Barratt