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WHAT IS ROBORAMA?

The judges

The purpose of the RoboRama Robotics Contest is to provide a forum for DPRG robot builders to demonstrate their robots' capabilities in a variety of challenges. Demonstrating personal robots in a RoboRama contest will encourage others to build robots.

A competitor

Club members are encouraged to bring all robots for display regardless of sophistication, level of completion, or ability to compete in the contests. There will be a show-and-tell session at the end of the RoboRama.

 

ROBORAMA RULES

Revised Sep 2005

Revised 10 Feb 2009

Revised 8 sep 2010

The purpose of the September 2005 rule revisions is to facilitate faster runtimes, make the contests easier to judge, increase portability, and reduced setup time.

RoboRama has evolved to meet the following simple goals:

Faster Runtimes:
  • The RoboRama T-shaped course has been scaled down by 50% to match the size of robots entered in recent contests resulting in faster runtimes and more exciting contests.
Easier To Judge:
  • One Timekeeper to time events and check that simple contest goals are met
  • Contest sign-up sheet can be used as score sheet
  • Addition of new contests or deletion of old contests becomes a simple matter
  • Contest results are available very quickly (instantly if computer timekeeping program being used)

Note: The old RoboRama contests involved three judges, a data tabulation slave, and an incredible nightmare of judging forms to be handled not to mention multiple passes through the judging data to obtain time rankings which modified the score for the fastest three competitors in each competition.

Increased Portability & Reduced Setup Time
  • Contest course can fit in the backseat or trunk of a car versus requiring a truck.
  • Smaller contest course permits mock-up at home for robot testing.
  • Smaller contest course costs less to build.
  • A single person can setup portable course.
  • T-shaped course used for all contests (2005b). No need to modify the course in mid-contest.
  • Line following course rolls overtop main area of T-shaped course. No flipping paper mid-contest.

Events
Each RoboRama consists of several separate events, which may include:

  • Quick Trip - can your robot go from point A to B and back?
  • Line Following - can your robot follow a line along the floor?
  • Wall Following - can your robot follow the wall?
  • T-Time - can your navigate through a simple T-shaped course?
  • Can Retrieval - can your robot fetch a soda can?

Time and Location
DPRG holds two RoboRama contests per year, one in the spring and one in the fall. The exact time and location may vary — see the Calendar and Competitions for details.

Course

The new course fits in an area of about 12' x 8' (see diagram). The walls are are 3 1/2" tall and painted white. The course floor is flat black. The end zones and line following course are marked using 3/4" to 1" wide white tape.

 

Robo-Rama Contest General Information

Competitors: (Humans responsible for all actions of the robot)
  • The contests are open to all robot builders.
  • Absent DPRG members in good standing may enter their robots by proxy, designating another DPRG member in good standing to compete for them.
  • Non-DPRG members may enter robots and compete in the competition, and are eligible for award certificates. However, you must be a DPRG member in good standing to win any bonus prizes or awards. Membership applications will be available during event registration and must be turned in with full dues prior to the start of the event.

Robots must be:

  • Autonomous (self-controlled) and may use remote computer for control.
  • Built from scratch, assembled from a kit, or be a modified factory assembled robot or toy.
  • Less than 24 inches in width, 24 inches in length and 48 inches in height (dimensions include extended arms, feelers and the like). Builders should consider reducing width and length to make sure the robot can navigate contest course and endzone areas subject to allowances in course size.
  • Free of a drive system or expulsion of materials which will damage the contest course surface.
  • Non-hazardous to spectators, pets, or property.
  • Free of any form of combustion device(s) e.g. gas engines, rocket engines, flame throwers, candles.

General Contest Procedure:

  • Contestant is allowed 3 runs with a total of 5 minutes to complete the goal.
  • Timekeeper starts each run with "On your mark, Get Set, Go."
  • Clock starts when "Go" is called.
  • Robot must remain behind the starting line until "Go" is called.
  • The clock stops when goal is completed.
  • Timekeeper determines if and when the goal is met.
  • No penalty for touching walls.

Quick Trip

Quick Trip Contest

  • Robot starts in area A behind the line, travels to area B, completely crossing the line, then returns to area A completely crossing the line.

T-Time Contest

  • Robot starts in area A, B or C behind the line, travels to each of the other areas, completely crossing the line into each area, then returns to starting area, completely crossing the line.

Line Following Contest

  • Robot must follow line from beginning to end.
  • Radius of curves is limited to a minimum of 6".
  • Line is 3/4" black tape on white background

Wall Following Contest

  • Robot must start in an area A behind the line, traverse the walls maintaining less than a 1 foot distance from walls at all times traveling to area C then to area B completely crossing the line.
  • Alternatively the robot can start in area B, travel through area C then stop in area A.

Can Retrieval Contest

  • Robot starts in area C behind the line, locates and retrieves a can located in or near area A or area B, and returns the can to area C, crossing the line entirely.
  • The "course can" is an aluminum 12 oz soda can painted white or covered in white paper.
  • The contestant may substitute a can of approximately the same dimensions of a 12 oz soda can which may be painted a different color and/or made of steel and/or contain a beacon (e.g. sound and/or light emitting device).
  • The can is placed 12" or more from any wall and out of the direct starting path of the robot.

Square Dance Contest

  • Course comprises 4 corner-marker cones within a (minimum) 16’ X 16’ clear area. The cones are placed at the corners of an imaginary 8’ square such that their outside edges lie on the edges of the imaginary square. There is at least 4’ clearance between any cone and obstacles outside the course.
  • Robot starts in Starting Area and travels around the square in either direction, returning as close to its starting location as possible. The difference between starting and ending location is the robot’s score. Robots are ranked from smallest to largest score.
  • Before each run, the judge will pick any point on the robot (judge’s discretion) to use as a reference for how close the robot came to its starting location when the robot returns. (Thus, it is usually better for the robot to make the final turn to end up pointing in the direction it started.)
  • Robot is allowed to travel on any track, including travelling outside the course (but it may not hit obstacles, which will disqualify the run), or travelling within the imaginary square, but must travel around the outside of each corner marker. Hitting a corner marker disqualifies the run.
  • Beacons or other homing or positioning devices are permitted as long as they remain outside the course during the run. A robot may not start or finish in a dock. Competitors may not mark the course.
  • Time to complete the course is not considered in scoring, but must be less than 3 minutes or the run is disqualified.

Figure 8 Contest

  • Course comprises 4 corner-marker cones within a (minimum) 16’ X 16’ clear area. The cones are placed at the corners of an imaginary 8’ square such that their outside edges lie on the edges of the imaginary square. There is at least 4’ clearance between any cone and obstacles outside the course.
  • Robot starts in Starting Area and travels around two adjacent markers in a figure 8, returning as close to its starting location as possible. The difference between starting and ending location is the robot’s score. Robots are ranked from smallest to largest score.
  • Before each run, the judge will pick any point on the robot (judge’s discretion) to use as a reference for how close the robot came to its starting location when the robot returns. (Thus, it is usually better for the robot to make the final turn to end up pointing in the direction it started.)
  • Robot is allowed to travel outside the course (but it may not hit obstacles, which will disqualify the run), or travel within the imaginary square, but must not contact corner markers. Hitting a corner marker disqualifies the run.
  • Beacons or other homing or positioning devices are permitted as long as they remain outside the course during the run. A robot may not start or finish in a dock. Competitors may not mark the course.
  • Time to complete the course is not considered in scoring, but must be less than 3 minutes or the run is disqualified.

Table Top

  • Object: The object is to build a robot that can deposit a block into a shoebox while staying on a table. We want to show your robot in the best light possible, so you are free to embellish on the activities.
  • Phase I: Demonstrate a robot that goes from one end of a table to the other and back. For best score, some part of the robot should actually reach or pass the edge of the table.
  • Phase II: Have the robot push a block off the edge of the table. You can place the block anywhere (yes, right in front of the robot if you want), but the judge will award a better score if the robot does more (like get it from somewhere, or find it).
  • Phase III: Have the robot push the block into a shoebox mounted at the end of the table.
  • Robot: The Table Top Challenge rules are purposefully vague and simple in order to foster creativity and encourage participation. A "TableBot" is a robot designed to survive, live and play on a table or pay the price. In order to achieve more complex behaviors TableBots are built and graded in "phases".
  • Course: The size of the table is generally about 3x8, but may be smaller. It may be light or dark surfaced. A TableBot must deal with whatever the situation but one can bring their own table if desired. Generally the shoebox is mounted at one end of the table with the opening facing the length of the table but we do allow for the mounting of the shoebox in other positions based on the roboteer’s preference. Also the "block" is generally a 2" square but again there is no specification. An approx 2” white block will be provided, but one can bring whatever block it is they've used to train their robot. Our goal is to show your robot in the best light possible.
  • Scoring: Robots will be scored on how “well” they perform each phase. Judges will be able to take into consideration robot, table, block and/or box design and/or placement in making the final decision.
  • Judging: One or more judges will officiate the contest. They will ensure the spirit of these rules are followed and impose scoring penalties or remove a robot from competition if the robot is operating in an unsafe manner or not complying with the spirit of these rules. The decisions of the judges are final.
  • Safety: Since TableBots can fall from up to 3' we ask that they not weigh more than 5 lbs and preferably less then 1. If a robot is deemed "unsafe" it will not be allowed to participate. Participants can use "leashes" (rope, string, etc tied to robot) but their use could result in a lesser score.
  • Acknowledgement: These rules are a modified version of the HBRC TABLEbot Challenge, which originated with the Home Brew Robotics Club.
 

Robo-Rama Prizes / Awards

With increased number of contests, contest winnings may be awarded points. Points would be redeemable for prizes or cash awards subject to discretion of the contest coordinator.

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