General Discussion

General discussion related to the Robotics Competition


  • As asked on the other page, since it is not counting towards points, what is the need for the code, BOM, and component list. I agree with this being improper due to intellectual property rights without a proper justification for submitting the paper.
  • Re: Board Dimensions.

    Are the dimensions of the part of the playing field within the walls 96"x96" (subject to the 0.5" tolerance)?

    Will the height (smaller dimension) of the forest section be 48" (measured from the inside of the wall to the beginning of the city section?

    Could you supply pictures of a completed board?
  • Hi,

    My team was wondering if we are allowed to mount a camera on the robot at an elevation higher than 6"; i.e. see over the walls. The robot's size constraints are 1 cubic foot, but vision over the walls has been outlawed before.
  • Are any of these questions going to be answered??!?
    It has been two weeks since any activity by the admins in this forum.
    This seems very irresponsible
  • The following is in response to past posts on the competition rules section.

    October 11
    Hello, we have a few more questions about the design of the robot. Are we allowed to use pre-built components (e.g., SBC)? Are we allowed to use open-source software? Are we allowed to use a web-cam?

    Pre built components are acceptable as long as the entire robot is not off the shelf. Open source is acceptable. Web cam is also acceptable.

    October 19
    We also have questions about the exact dimensions, are the part numbers specified in the rules the materials that will be used to build the competition boards?


    October 19
    Can multiple robots touch and carry victims simultaneously?

    Yes, touching multiple victims is acceptable, no SINGLE robot can CARRY multiple victims

    October 30
    Why do the judges need competition robot code, BOM and prints for this? It has never been requested before this year. It seems to be unfair to allow the competition see all your code and drawings. This does not seem proper due to Intellectual property rights associated with the Students and the University. 

    I have to ask, what is the purpose of this request? What is this being used for? What are they trying to prevent? I would think non-disclosure agreements in order.

    It has been been done before. The purpose is to ensure that the robot does not violate any of the rules, i.e. wireless communication. The information will never be made public and will only be used for judging purposes. After it has been confirmed that it does not violate any rules we will mark your team off as not violating the rules and will delete the information.

    If you don't submit the information then your robot won't be permitted to compete. I've talked with several others and they agree that due to the nature of the competition it is not a violation of IP.

    If you still feel that it is, then you will have to submit a copy of the NDA with the information.
  • edited November 2015
    October 1 edited October 1
    We are planning to build a playing field soon. What are the lengths of the walls above each lane in the city section? These don't appear to be specified in the rules; visually, these are what I would estimate the dimensions to be:

    The dimensions he has listed in his original post are accurate. His original post is in the forum for the Robotics Competition Rules.

    November 5
    Re: Board Dimensions.

    Are the dimensions of the part of the playing field within the walls 96"x96" (subject to the 0.5" tolerance)?

    Will the height (smaller dimension) of the forest section be 48" (measured from the inside of the wall to the beginning of the city section?

    Could you supply pictures of a completed board?

    Little confused about the question but I think I get it. The playing field is divided into two sections each measuring 48" x 96". One section will be the outdoor section covered in fake grass and the other section will be the city section with the walls. In the rules there is a top down picture of the playing field, the green portion is the outdoor section, the other half is the city section.

    November 8

    My team was wondering if we are allowed to mount a camera on the robot at an elevation higher than 6"; i.e. see over the walls. The robot's size constraints are 1 cubic foot, but vision over the walls has been outlawed before.

    You may have the camera higher than 6" as long as the robot is capable of fitting within a single cuboid with a volume of 1 cubic foot. It should however not use anything it sees that is outside of the field to make a decision, i.e. watching somebody standing outside of the field using sign language to give it instructions. This is where it would be useful for judges to have the code to ensure cheating isn't occurring.
  • So if the code is required to be submitted a week before the competition "in order to ensure rule compliance", are you not allowed to change the code after that, or at the competition? If you aren't allowed to change it, what is the point of practice? Practice is a time to tweak the code to varying competition conditions. How can y'all ensure that this code that is sent to you is the code that is on the bot? Will you be uploading the code to the bot? There is no way to guarantee this.
  • Good point Mr. Jet plane, we will look into a rule update possibly requesting submittals of versions of code while robot is in quarantine before each round. Please let us know if you have any more questions.
  • The rules state there will be six possible fixed locations for the victims The footnote in the rules say they will be located a minimum of 6 inches from the nearest wall. Do the circles around the victim locations in the drawing provide tolerance bands for the victim locations Are the victims centered in the city lanes? Is there a maximum distance from the wall? Does the 6" clearance apply to obstacles and the river? Do you have any more specific details about the victim dimensions for the "fixed locations"?
  • I am using the camera on my robot, the lightning condition effects significantly to the results for detecting colors. Would you recommend the lightning condition that is similar to competition's location for testing?
    Do people (audiences and team members) allow to stay close to the competition board throughout the contest? If yes, what distance do they allow to stay?

  • edited January 2016
    -Question revoked-
  • Are these questions being answered somewhere else? I would also like to know about the tolerance bands and any more specific details about victim dimensions that would go with the above questions.

    Can the lighting conditions of the competition room be posted here or a recommendation to something similar that can be used for testing purposes?

    In addition to the above questions, will the tops and bottoms of the victims be painted or will they be left bare?
  • In between quarantine and the start of a round, is there any time to calibrate sensors?
  • Regarding Lighting: We do not have an exact Lumen value for the hotel ballroom. I would expect that the facility is in compliance with minimum OSHA and IES standards for lighting requirements. Robot should be designed to adapt to any reasonable lighting conditions for an indoor setting. Perhaps googling images of the ballroom will give you an idea?

    OSL7423 - once the robot is in quarantine no modifications are allowed until after the round. Tops of the victims are painted the bottoms are not.

    Holmes4946 - see lighting answer above....spectators will have to stay at least 3' away from the track area during competition.
  • Attached is a picture of the ballroom lighting.
  • We appreciate the assistance so far. One minor clarification: on page 10 of the rules, the deadline for submitting documentation is specified as March 31, 2015--we assume this should say March 31, 2016, correct? Thanks
  • Hello. My team is constructing a practice board. We were wondering if you could attach a picture of the official competition board. Thank you.
  • The rules state that the victims are in six "fixed" locations, but the footnote states that the victims are at a minimum of 6" from any wall. Will the victims be located exactly where they are located in the diagram? Are we allowed to ask for the exact location of the victims? What is the distance tolerance from the location of the victim as seen in the diagram?

  • In the rules there is a paragraph stating teams must submit documentation or they will be disqualified. First, the date on the rules says March 31, 2015 which I am assuming is March 31, 2016 but secondly, can there be clarification on what needs to be submitted, how it needs to be submitted, where it needs to be submitted, and to whom it should be submitted.
  • We have a couple of questions regarding victims. Are the victims going to be in any specific spatial orientation (standing upright or laying on a side or either)? Also, if they are in the upright position, will they be attached to the board via velcro? We're trying to decide what functionality our rescue mechanism will need to perform. Thank you.
  • The deadline is March 31, 2016, that was a typo.
    The submissions will require an overview of the robot with a description of each sub components function, a parts list of major components, and why the component was needed on the robot.

    Along with the hardware there should be a section for the code, actual code does not need to be present. It will suffice to give a simplified breakdown of the code and how it functions to accomplish the task.

    The locations of the victims will be as they are noted in the track diagram. The diagram is to scale. The two "fixed locations" in the city are meant to mean there will always be victims in those locations. The footnote regarding 6" from the wall is to give a rough idea of how much space to expect around the victim. They will be placed flat side on the track (looking like a really short flag pole).
  • Thanks for the update.

    Could we still get some info on where to submit this documentation i.e. a mailing address or email address?
  • Reposting from Competition Rules thread. Will a victim count as dropped off if it is placed on top of another victim already in the drop off zone, as pictured, or must it be placed directly on the ground? Thanks
  • The victims can be stacked on top of each other within the drop off zone. They will count towards your points as soon as they cross the outer boundary of the zone.

    For submission of papers send them to

    With the submission include your university, team Representatives, and team name if you have one so that we can cross reference it during team registration at the conference.
  • Our school's teams reused two halves of an old playing field to construct the one for this year by covering one half with the artificial turf. As a result, the two halves are not entirely level, and we are unsure if this matches the fields that will be at the competition. Are the surfaces of the competition playing field level, or does the robot need to climb from the bare surface of the city section onto the turf of the off road section?
  • Hello,

    How long for the break is between each round? Do we allow to work with the robot that may include tuning, calibration, fixing the defective parts, etc. during the break time?

  • How many competition boards will be available for the "Practice Session"?
  • We filled the intent to compete form but we have two questions.
    1) How do we actually pay and register for the competition?
    2) If we want to add one more person to the team coming (still 5 or less).
  • Hello, so the boards but themselves will be level so the robot will have a small lip it will have to climb over to get onto the turf.

    Adjustments to the robots in between the round and quarantine are allowed. The current schedule is the call for round 1 (quarantine) begins at 7:45 and the actual round begins at 8. Then we're estimating each round will take 1.5 hours. Add 15 minutes in between and the call for round 2 begins at 9:45. Round 2 begins at 10 and estimated to end at 11:30. Then we break for lunch. Call for round 3 begins at 1:15 and round 3 begins at 1:30 and should end at 3.

    2 boards will be available from ~5 to 8, then all four will be available.

    You don't have to pay for the competition, just for the convention. The intent to compete form was purely for gauging interest in the competition. You can add a team member by mentioning his or her name with the documentation and then also having them registered at the competition itself.
  • Are there specifics on the hospital box? It would be helpful to know if the open side of the hospital to place the blocks in is completely open or if it has a lip around the edge, or maybe just on the bottom to bring the blocks over.
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