Welcome to the
Old Pueblo Engineering Center
OPEC of the West
"OPEC of the West" was founded 2006.05 in Tucson, AZ. to explore Human/Robot Interactivity

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“Castles & Crosses”

a Capture The Flag & First Person Shooter game

Proof of Concept Video - high resolution version

- A Brief History of Capture the Flag -

Capture the Flag originated on a battlefield of some of the most deadly wars in history. In fact, that was exactly how all the soldiers knew when a battle was over - once the enemy's flag was captured, both sides considered the skirmish settled.

In the US Civil War, soldiers that were able to either capture the enemy's flag or save their own were rewarded with a Medal of Honor.

Nobody knows for sure when Capture the Flag took off as an outdoor activity, but Boy Scouts have been playing the game for over 60 years!

If you look at most sports today … Basketball, Football, Baseball, Hockey etc … pretty much all bring some basics from Capture the Flag … even children’s games like Kick the Can, can be traced back to Capture the Flag, as so many of the most popular computer games like Quake, DOOM, Counter-Strike.

“Castles & Crosses” v3.0+
“Virgins, Saints & Angels”

The R2PV1;

The R2PV1 has an eye to see and read … and can discriminate between colors.

The R2PV1 has a LaserShotGun to shoot at enemy targets, patterns, robots etc...

The R2PV1 has a gripper (mandibles) to grab onto objects like the enemy flag/game piece.

The R2PV1 has optional arms that will carry a hockey stick or a T-Ball bat and other things like rubber dart guns or plastic pellet guns etc...

The R2PV1 has several ServoPositions on the body for optional equipment to be added to the robot as needed for different games including headlights for dark or night-time gaming.

The R2PV1 has different slip-on skins to depict space monsters, cars, trucks, tanks, submarines, pirate ships … almost anything that can be imagined.

The R2PV1 has a "Gunner's Position" that is a second Camera and LaserRifle that is remotely controlled by the user/owner to shoot at enemy targets, patterns, MonsterBots etc...

The R2PV1 travels around the gaming arena autonomously looking for enemies and the enemy HomeBase. When the robot enters the enemy HomeBase the robot will seek out the enemy flag (game piece) for capture. If the flag is found the robot will attempt to take the flag either to a special CaptureZone or the robots own HomeBase. If there is no flag, then the robot will shoot the enemy HomeBase WallTarget then do a short VictoryDance before leaving the enemy HomeBase to follow-up as cover to the FlagBot (the robot that has captured the enemy flag) as the FlagBot attempts to take the enemy flag to either the CaptureZone or it's own HomeBase.

The R2PV1 is a MAARS (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System) class robot … using eye safe guided Laser ShotGuns.

When a robot captures the enemy flag the robot will broadcast through wireless connections to the JudgeBot as well as team players it has captured the enemy flag seeking support cover as it attempts to bring the flag to the CaptureZone or its HomeBase. Once flag capture has been broadcast the enemy "HomeBase" sensors also broadcast a confirmation to the JudgeBot to verify the team has scored a point.

When a robot shoots and hits a target, enemy robot or MonsterBot the team scores a point while it’s lights flash ON-&-OFF. The robot that got shot will enjoy a 5-second to 30-second DeadTime where the robot cannot move or play during the DeadTime also flashing its lights as visible acknowledgement of being shot. Once shot, if the shooter tries for a second cheap point during the DeadTime on the same target the judges will deduct a point for penalty.

When a robot successfully takes the enemy flag to either the CaptureZone or its HomeBase the team scores 5 to 10 points … depending upon initial JudgingBot settings.


As you can see there are more than the primary gaming robots, there are MonsterBots of which can be WallMounted or autonomously roving MonsterBots (random collision avoidance MonsterBot) and even remote controlled MonsterBots (basically a third team of cheaper, faster R/C MonsterBots (RCMB) with a user behind cameras and guns shooting and annoying members of both teams … but not earning points).

There will also be general targets mounted on walls that when shot will open a wall panel or ramp to allow access to more gaming arena areas (higher/lower levels and traps).

Then there are the GuardBots … these are typically line-following bots that act as a sentry in a specific area of the gaming arena to guard entry towards their teams HomeBase. When the collision avoidance sees an object within a specifid range the GuardBot will attempt a laser shotgun shot forward, but when shot by another robot or user the GuardBot will retreat to a specified location for 30-seconds allowing anything else to bypass its sentry point.

The JudgeBots will receive broadcasts from all the robots to keep score of all their shots taken and received … and verify when any bot has received a kill shot for team scoring and analysis of each robots gaming performance.

There will even be a BigBoard score board that displays in real-time the shots taken, points gained etc... It will also display random camera views as well as an overhead view of the gaming arena for spectators to watch and cheer.

The users will have either a hand controller, joystick or use their keyboard and mouse on either a PC (up to four users per PC same team) or gaming console. This includes the R/C MonsterBots and R/C GuardBots.

All users will be able to look away from their gaming console into the gaming arena to asses team schemes ("Johnny", "Go left and we'll catch him in the crossfire.") Or to asses if their robot may have broken down or got stuck …

If a robot has broken down or got stuck the user can alert the Judges who will then send a yellow or red FlagAlert which to halt or pause all gaming robots while either the user or an official retrieves the affected robot from the gaming arena. After the problem is removed or repaired the Judges will then lift the alert pause and the gaming will continue where the gaming left off.

Summing it all up …

The idea of this gaming system is that it encourages kids to develop good social skills while learning teamwork and they’re accidentally getting an extended education while learning and practicing future job skills. The game playing robots take kids offline away from the solitude of playing First Person Shooter games against unknowns online where they are mostly learn hate, violence, sexual perversions and talk to child predators.

Combining Arts & Crafts, Math and Robotics helps bring the whole family together to build and create a fun gaming arena … or at lest the boy with the robot might enlist the help of his sister to help him build and decorate a gaming arena.

As gaming arenas evolve they can be expected to become so sophisticated that the gaming arenas will also include model railroads and slot car sets to recreate a miniature world similar to a surrounding small city or town where the gaming robots will have to interact with even more complex gaming rules. This being the precursor to modeling humans (bipedal robots) in a miniature world … or the bipeds may just join in the fun sooner than expected.

Fair Play because any robot that is trying to use any cheats would be checked and eliminated from the competitions.

Teamwork because as individuals are monitoring their positions to guard and protect their robot and HomeBase they see things other players might not see and can call on a teammate for assistance at a moments notice and by being side-by-side each can rapidly asses the merits of a command from a teammate to aid in more creative combat situations. This helps to move the weakest personalities a step forward and to assert confidence in their decisions.

Education because everybody associated with the gaming system will be a part of a team that is learning Arts & Crafts, Math, Robotics, Computer Programming, Artificial Intelligence, Electronics, Mechanics, the importance of the PreFlight and Game Planning, Telepresence and finally, they will be developing social skills by working as teammates and playing games against other live users in the same vicinity.

Breaking down the education a bit more …

Arts & Crafts … Building and decorating the gaming arena and customizing their robot skins.

PreFlighting … to set the gaming parameters in the robot before playing.

Math … Measuring the angles of turns in the gaming arena while assessing the whole maze looking for optimal preflight settings in their robots. This is the most basic trigonometric lessons with angles and a triangle to develop an simple understanding of how to use and measure angles and calculate associated angles using a pencil, a protractor compass, a calculator and the robot.

Calculating the battery capacity needed for best performance of their robot. The user learns the important relationship between power needed, battery capacity and time.

Robotics … Learning how robotic systems work and how to use them in everyday situations including the basic gaming scheme as well as simple to complex arm and gripper systems and the primary sensors (Camera Eye, IR RangeFinders, Sonar. PIRs etc…)

Programming … How to program the robot preflight, then later how to program the BASIC MonsterBot routines while in middle-school, further on in high-school or jr. college with “c” to alter the gaming programs and write new gaming programs … and further on in college to writing robotic function sub-routines like Pattern Recognition, Speech Recognition etc…

Artificial Intelligence … The most basic steps into AI start with the R21PV1 and the user setting the AlwaysLeft or AlwaysRight rule, the EyeLevel, “DME” etc… these allow the user to best-guess optimizing the robot to traverse the gaming arena. The next step is to turn ON the AI where the robot starts using the user settings, but as the robot traverses the gaming arena, it will record and learn the gaming arena setup to figure more optimal settings and adjust its own rule set appropriately. At the end of the session the results will be available for study by the user so they may learn how to minimize what the robot has to learn.

Telepresence … By having the Gunners’s Position atop the robot the user begins to learn and adjust to telepresence mangement which includes developing their eye/hand coordination. As users become comfortable with using telepresence they become comfortable with more and more complex telepresence systems like remote medical procedures or remote mining or remote construction projects like building shelters on the Moon or Mars.

Electronics … As the kids become more interested learning about the different functional systems on the robot they learn some basic electronics about how to connect servos and other electronic gadgets to the robot … and as they continue the studies with the robot they learn about the sensors and servos and how the electronics connect the sensors with analogue and digital signals to the microcontroller etc… Even later maybe begin designing their own new sensors improving on existing technology.

Mechanics … as the students look at how the robot is assembled and use the various optional arms and extensions they begin to see how mechanical systems interact. While studying the design of the “box” they learn how to create interlocking pieces to minimize the use of screws, washers, spacers and nuts to build new mechanical designs.

Designing new gaming arenas with movable ramps and wall panels … draw bridges etc… the mechanical world will be replicated by practice and the clockworks that make things happen will also be explored.

The Autonomous and Remote Control Robot Gaming systems being developed at “OPEC of the West”
(OPEC = Old Pueblo “Tucson, AZ” Engineering Center)

HOME . . . . . Arts&Crafts . . . . . Preflighting . . . . . Castles & Crosses . . . . . Software . . . . . RoboParts . . . . . Videos . . . . . Contact
R2Pv1.com . . . . . R2Pv1.org . . . . . R2Pv1.net . . . . . LRobotorium.com . . . . . LRobotorium HobbyShop . . . . . ARGA . . . . . RoboToons

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