DroidFreak Lego Robotics Competition 2012 - rules

Welcome to the first DroidFreak Lego Robotics Competition. This competition will be conducted over the internet, so anyone can enter by building a Lego robot and posting it online. Spread the word to anyone who might be interested so they can enter too.

See my playing field post for some of the basics.

There will be three categories in the competition:

NXT only:
This category allows only the electronics from one Lego Mindstorms NXT set to be used, the sole exception being an IR receiver sensor if you wish to control your robot via IR. This places all contestants on a reasonably level playing field, though it will be difficult to make a 3-motor robot perform all the functions (That's why I allow going around the obstacle).

This category allows the electronics from one NXT set, IR receiver and/or IR link sensors, and Power Functions electronics consisting of 1 battery box, one receiver, and the number of motors Lego recommends to be used with a battery box (2 XL, 1 XL + 2M, 4M). By giving robots a few extra motors this category makes it much more feasible to perform all the game's functions.

All Lego:
This category allows any and all Lego electronics. Have fun building a complicated machine that can use any number of NXT, RCX and PF motors, not to mention all the other Lego electronics. If you have enough Lego electronics you could build a robot for this category that performs extremely well in the game.

Here are a few Robot rules:

Parts restrictions:
You can use any non-electronic Lego components when creating your robot. You can also use non-Lego rubber bands (for traction or for "springing" mechanisms) and the electronics mentioned above.

Size restriction:
Your robot must fit within a 10 by 10 by 10 inch cube at the start of each match, though it may expand to any size during match play. 10 inches is 25.4 cm or 32 Lego studs, I suggest using a 32 by 32 stud baseplate to measure your robot.

Now for the match rules:

Set up: At the start of each match you must set up the playing field as described in my playing field post. Your robot may be placed in any position, provided that it is not touching the cubes.

Autonomous match play:
At the start of each map is a period a maximum of 30 seconds long (starting when you start your robot's program(s)) in which you earn no time penalty (see scoring) but your robot must operate without any human input. During this phase your robot can only be operated by program(s) running on the NXT and/or RCX bricks in your robot. Use of Bluetooth or IR control is strictly prohibited during autonomous match play, using any form of control will result in the start of Tele-op match play.

Tele-op match play:
This is the main section of each match. Play time is unlimited, but you accrue a 1 point penalty for every second of match play, making the theoretical upper limit around 6 minutes 15 seconds (anything beyond that earns negative match score.

Match play disqualification: Your robot will be disqualified if it intentionally moves the goal or the obstacle during match play. An unintentional bump would not disqualify you, but if you push or pull them a long distance you will be disqualified.

  • You receive 25 points for scoring a cube within the goal.
 This is the only way to earn points, so it is vital that you make your robot capable of grabbing cubes and scoring them. A cube is considered scored when part of it is below the plane of the goal's top and it is completely inside the vertical region defined by the box's perimeter.
  • You are penalized 5 points for entering the zone next to the obstacle.
 This provides an incentive to climb over the obstacle. Note that this penalty is less than the amount scored for each cube, so it could still be worthwhile to go around the obstacle if it lets you score.
  • You are penalized 5 points for every 5 seconds you stay in that zone.
 This is to prevent robots from staying in the zone to avoid the above penalty.
  • You are penalized 1 point for every second of tele-op match play.
This allows you to play each match as long as you want but rewards you finishing it quickly. This will not make up for a lack of scoring, but it will help differentiate between robots based on speed.

The match score is computed with the following formula:
([number of cubes scored] * 25) - ([number of zone penalties] * 5) - [seconds of tele-op match play]


To submit your project, you must post it online somewhere (Various locations are available, including NXTlog , YouTube, and Blogger) and post a comment on this post here with a link to your project. 

Project postings should include:
  • A text description of your robot. This should be fairly extensive and can be either typed text or verbal explanation in a video.
  • Pictures and/or video footage of your robot. This should show overviews and some of the specific features of your robot.
  • Video footage of match play. You can shoot this footage multiple times to get a better score, because I will judge your match score (or disqualification) based on what I see.
  • Anything else you want to add, such as close-up videos of features in action or program(s). Anything you add can help you towards the best presentation award.

Awards will be presented when the competition concludes, sometime in late 2012. All award winning projects will be featured on my blog and will be able to put it on their resumes =).
  • Champion award: Awarded to the robot in each category with the highest match score. Submissions will be disqualified from this award if they lack basic description, but other than that only numerical match score is considered. In the case of a tie both robots receive the award.
  • Best robot award: Awarded to the robot with the best design and/or program in each category. The winner of this award is evaluated based on descriptions, pictures/videos and other media, so it is not necessarily the winner of the Champion award.
  • Best presentation award: Awarded to the robot with the best presentation (Out of all the categories). The design and function of the robot will not be considered for this award, only how well the robot was presented through the project posting.

Note: These rules are subject to change (only if I find a problem with them).

1 comment:

  1. Well, I've had no entries or interest, so I guess this is the official notice that the competition is closed.