Roboports may request bots

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JackGruff
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Roboports may request bots

Post by JackGruff » Sat May 24, 2014 5:44 pm

Problem: There is no way to directly order your bots around. I wished for this when I needed to clear away forest some distance from my main robot network. I wanted to take about 20 construction bots with me and one roboport. But to find the construction bots that are docked is a pain, you have to look at each port and collect them.

There are a number of ways to solve this.

Ports could request bots from the network, the source could either be docked bots in other ports or bots sitting in the inventories of chests. Here is a mockup:

Image

This would cause 10 construction bots to bring themselves to dock with the port or logistic bots would bring 10 from any chest inventories they find. This would mean you could also order them directly to the player inventory as you normally would with other things. The logistic system could also see the ports as chest inventories. I imagine this would be easier to implement as you don't have to program the construction bots to fly themselves to fulfil an order, the logistic bots would just grab them from the ports. Then you don't even need to have the ports request orders, you can.


A workaround I found was to place some things and a storage chest close to a roboport and issue a deconstruction plan on them, bring the construction bots to that area so that they would dock with that specific port when they were done. Then you can just collect them.

Chthon
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Re: Roboports may request bots

Post by Chthon » Sat May 24, 2014 5:52 pm

If you really want to waste bots and power, you could just use inserters to fill ports up with bots. That way they would eventually fill completely, and bots would have nowhere to land.

Unfortunately this is functionally similar to what you propose with Logistics delivering deactivated bots. Bots don't look too far when finding a place to enter sleep mode. If the roboport it charged at is full and it has nothing else to do, it will simply fly around the port and keep needing charging. If it can't get charging in time, then it will crash and be destroyed. I'm not sure if I can support this part of your suggestion.

However requesting already active bots to return might be a good thing. If a robo port is in in an area that needs construction frequently however, usually the construction bots already hang their hats there.

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Re: Roboports may request bots

Post by JackGruff » Sun May 25, 2014 11:21 am

I rambled a bit. In the end of the day, I want to be able to order bots which may also be docked.

Example: I order 10 construction bots using my player logistic slots.

The only 10 construction bots are currently docked in a port.

They fly themselves to me and put themselves as items in my inventory.

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ssilk
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Re: Roboports may request bots

Post by ssilk » Sun May 25, 2014 4:01 pm

The issue is a good example, how to use construction bots (pick up some and bring it to another port). The same is with logistic bots. I think the idea about ordering bots goes into the right direction. There are some more issues: How to insert enough bots into a logistic network and so on?
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Teurlinx
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Re: Roboports may request bots

Post by Teurlinx » Sun May 25, 2014 4:04 pm

As for the OP's problem: I find that the easiest way to deal with this is to have a construction bot assembler and have them store the output in a chest. I have not tested if this allows logistics bots to pick them up.

My main problem is that I haven't found a way to count the amount of construction robots in my network. The only way seems to be to manually check all the 100ish roboports for bots. With logistics bots you can see the number hovering over a logistics chest. I suggest this should be possible as well for construction bots.

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Re: Roboports may request bots

Post by Chthon » Mon May 26, 2014 12:00 am

Teurlinx wrote:As for the OP's problem: I find that the easiest way to deal with this is to have a construction bot assembler and have them store the output in a chest. I have not tested if this allows logistics bots to pick them up.

My main problem is that I haven't found a way to count the amount of construction robots in my network. The only way seems to be to manually check all the 100ish roboports for bots. With logistics bots you can see the number hovering over a logistics chest. I suggest this should be possible as well for construction bots.
That is what I'd find logical, but my assertion still stands. You have it set to request 10 construction bots. Everything is good until those bots go out for repairs, and it requests another 10. This continues until there are too many bots on the network and they start crashing and burning.

Instead I would propose a universal logistics network control. You request the control to maintain X active bots of each kind at all times. If one should crash, then another is brought from a provider chest to roboport to be activated and replace it. Then you can add weighting to the roboports for each kind of bot. E.g. you have 10 roboports and one is set to have 5% construction and 20% logistics, when bots decide to deactivate they check to see if any port is in need of more bots (as a % of the total network amount) and if so they fly there to dock. This control should be accessed via any roboport terminal, and only encompasses that logistical network.

Seriously, I would never use the first method as that would cause massive waste. The second however would be very handy, and you would have excellent control over how many bots are active at once.

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Re: Roboports may request bots

Post by Gammro » Mon May 26, 2014 12:21 am

In the 0.10 update, expanded circuit logic is something that may be added(otherwise 0.11):
Could a solution be to not have a dedicated "request" on the roboport, as you propose, but incorporate "amount of bots in logisticsnetwork" into the signal network? This way you can attach a smart inserter to roboports.

This could mean(depending on implementation) however that you still can't control the amount of bots that should consider it their "home".
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JackGruff
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Re: Roboports may request bots

Post by JackGruff » Mon May 26, 2014 12:35 am

Chthon wrote:That is what I'd find logical, but my assertion still stands. You have it set to request 10 construction bots. Everything is good until those bots go out for repairs, and it requests another 10. This continues until there are too many bots on the network and they start crashing and burning.
I suppose bots can have an attribute describing their home port. If a port is set to request 10 construction bots and it knows how many consider it home, then it won't request more. I don't see the use of that, though and regret my original post. We shouldn't have to worry how bots spread themselves. I only want manual control for when I need to take bots out of their network.

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