RoboColumbus-Plus Remote Location Guidelines and Rules Update

The RoboColumbus-Plus competition page has been updated with guidelines detailing how to join this year’s competition from a remote location. DPRG hopes that the many friends and potential friends who can’t travel to the local Dallas competition can join by setting up a remote course and using Google Meet to participate in the fun and challenges of an outdoor rover competition.

The RoboColumbus-Plus rules have been updated to add a new contest category and challenge. Participants now have the option of running their robot in the “robot-planned” category and taking the 3-waypoint challenge. In this challenge, the robot must depend completely on it algorithms to complete the course with only 3 target waypoints. The robot’s owner is not allowed to pre-walk the course during the competition or use additional waypoints besides the 3 given by the judges.

Virtual Robot Competition Results! – 12/12/2020

DPRG’s first virtual competition held on December 12th, 2020 was remarkably fun. A true spirit of competition hung in the air during the different events. The Freestyle / Open Style video contest highlighted some remarkable robots. While the line following competitions showed many unique approaches in robot design and sensor arrays to accomplish the objective of following a line.

The Winners are:

  • Freestyle / Open Style Robot Video Contest:
    1. Jesse Brockmann,  Title: Sparkfun AVC Rover, Video: AVC Rover
    2. David Anderson, Title: Odometery test, Video: RCAT Odometery
    3. Carl Ott, Title: HoverSim, Video: HoverSim
  • Novice Level Line Following:
    1. Doug Paradis, 14.87 sec
    2. Jesse Brockmann, 15.4 sec
    3. Ron Grant, 19.1 sec
  • Advanced Level Line Following:
    1. Ron Grant, 31.99 sec
    2. Doug Paradis, 43.36 sec
    3. Jesse Brockmann, 56 sec
  • Challenge Level Line Following:
    1. Chris Netter, 52.1 sec
    2. Ron Grant, 108.09 sec
    3. Carl Ott, Time: 108.13 sec

Competition Master of Ceremony slide deck: 

Click to access 2020-Dec-12-DPRG-Monthy-Virtual-Robot-Contest.pdf

Article in Sparkfun News by Jesse Brockmann, Sparkfun ambassador and contest competitor. .

Virtual Competition Reminder!

On Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 1:00 PM CT, dprg_logo_250x225Dallas Personal Robotics Group (DPRG) will conduct its 1st virtual / simulation based competition in response to the covid-19 pandemic. The competition allows hobbyist roboticists from around the world to compete. There are two contests: Free Style / Open Style, and Virtual Line Following.

See Competition Details

How to join meeting:
• Join Hangouts Meet
• Or join by phone ‪+1 405-586-5598‬ ‬ PIN: ‪682 931 335 #‬

Compete or just watch, everyone is welcome.

Note: The competition will be recorded and later posted on the DPRG YouTube channel. By joining the Google meeting where the competition is held, you’re giving consent to be included in the recording.

Fall Competition 2019 Highlights

The FALL competition for 2019 has come and gone. It was casual, exciting, and a lot of fun. Great progress was shown by several competitors.

Some highlights were:

  • Ross Melbourne’s Donkey Car completed 20 flawless laps (score: 80) within the 5-minute time limit of the Donkey Car competition on a course with an inside boundary length of ~50 feet (course is visible in the image above) . Unfortunately we lost the video of the 1st run, but see the video for the 2nd run below.
  • Carl Ott, Ray Casler, and Clay Timmons were all able to finish the Challenge Line Following course with 4 interventions. Each competitor showing great progress from previous attempts. Carl was able to reach block 5D before requiring an assist.
  • Carl Ott debuted his modified version of the 2016 Club Robot in the Quick Trip competition, taking first place with a perfect score of 7 in a time of 14.77 seconds.
  • Scott Gibson continued to rule the 6-Can competition, collecting all 6 cans in 1:42 minutes.

Roborama 2019 Gallery

Nothing gets the enthusiasm going like a good robotics match. The enthusiasm at Roborama 2019 was epic. Everyone was excited and enjoyed themselves. 

DPRG would like to thank all the competitors that participated, all the members who helped manage the event, and our sponsors. A particular shout out goes to: Mouser, Pololu, Rev Robotics, and Tanner Electronics for their support. 

Here is a gallery of some of the sights at the competition. Click on the images to see an expanded view.

Roborama 2019 Pre-registration


Pre-registration Time is NOW!

With Roborama 2019 less than a month away (May 11th), it is time to pre-register your robot team. If you tried and ran into problems, those problems are now fixed. Try again. Pre-registered teams get the best pit area placements. This year’s competition has several contests that will test your robot’s skills. Come compete, win, and take home great prizes.

  • Plastic Fastener-only Sumo – a student only event. Pits your robot in a contest of strength and strategy as you attempt to push your opponent from the arena. 
  • Line Following – with contests for beginners through advanced competitors and a special student only contest. Tests if your robot can follow a line around the course.
  • Quick Trip – an open event. Can your robot go straight? Can it make a 180 degree turn? This contest tests a fundamental skill of your robot. Never been in a robot competition? This might be your contest.
  • Four Corners – an open event. So your robot can go straight and turn, can it maneuver a large square and come back to its starting location? How close can it come?
  • Table Top (classic) – an open event. This contest is for the daring. Your robot moves around a table top with nothing to keep it from taking the plunge to the floor as you perform three tasks.
  • Can-Can Soccer – an open event. Race another robot to collect cans while not getting confused or hitting your opponent. 

More information and rules to the contests can be found at:

Fall Indoor Competition Results

DPRG held the club’s Fall Indoor Competition on November 10th at the Dallas Maker Space. The Fall competition is very informal and provides a chance for competitors to check their progress achieving new capabilities without waiting for the bigger Roborama competition held in May. The competition was lively with a good  turnout and nice prizes. Everyone had a good time.

The featured image above shows the competitors in the challenge line following contest. Left to Right: Clay Timmons, Ray Casler, Carl Ott, Ron Grant, James LeRoy. Contest winner was Carl Ott. His robot, Technical Debt, advanced the farthest along the course. Carl’s robot was also able to complete the course’s circuit with three robot assists. The challenge course still has not been completed without assists.


Advanced line following competitors, left to right: Ron Grant, Clay Timmons, Doug Paradis, Michael Ivison, James LeRoy, Carl Ott.  The contest winner was Doug Paradis, with Clay Timmons placing 2nd.

Basic line following competitors, left to right: Ajaya Dahal, James LeRoy, Matt Britt. The contest winner was James LeRoy, with Ajaya Dahal placing 2nd.

Six Can competitors, left to right: Doug Paradis, Jack Jones, Scott Gibson, Ray Casler. The contest winner was Scott Gibson, with Doug Paradis placing 2nd and Jack Jones placing 3rd.

Quick Trip competitors, left to right: Scott Gibson, David Anderson, Doug Paradis, James LeRoy. The contest winner was David Anderson, with Scott Gibson placing 2nd and Doug Paradis placing 3rd.

Rules for the contests can be found at rules.

Fall Competitions Schedule and Details

DPRG has several competitions scheduled for this fall. Below is the competition schedule with details.

Added this year is a competition showcase at the Dev Fest Weekend conference. The date is October 13th. The location is the Microsoft campus located off of President George Bush Turnpike in Irvine. For the latest updates, please keep an eye to the DPRG Meetup Group,  That site will include the latest updates, including a registration page if you’d like to compete.


RoboRama – 2018 Contests

ARM based Subsumption – Monthly Meeting Topic – August 11th, 2018

DPRG’s monthly meeting for August is on Saturday, the 11th, at the Dallas Maker Space. The meeting starts at Noon.

This month, long time DPRG member David Anderson will review recent upgrades made to his infamous “leaf blower” RCAT robot. Dave has completed a port of the robot’s subsumption architecture and LMX, a light-weight cooperative round-robin multi-tasking executive, to an STM Nucleo F411 board. The result is a dramatic improvement in performance. David will also highlight a custom printed circuit board, a joint effort between Ron Grant and David, that facilitates signal and power breakout for clean wiring layout. David will provide details on how to obtain a copy of the board.

As part of the presentation, Dave will also touch on the subsumption architecture used in this and many of his competition winning robots.

Roborama 2018 Results

On May 12th, student and non-student roboticists tested their robots in a variety of contests at the 23th annual Roborama held by DPRG. Located at the Dallas Maker Space, the competition provided experiences covering the spectrum of thrilling surprise victories to the disappointment of mechanical failures. All contests at Roborama require that competing robots run autonomously.

The prize table                                                                                    Eric Gibson, the chief judge

Will Kuhnle looks at prizes while Brandon Flores
of Mouser hands out swag.

In the student contests, Plastic Fastener Sumo and Student Line Following, competition was strong with competitors from four schools competing. The winning  robot in the Plastic Fasteners Sumo was  “Grizzly”. Grizzly’s owner received a complete VEX Robotics IQ Starter Kit as a prize for his accomplishment. This impressive kit was provided by VEX Robotics. Competitors from Grand Saline Middle School overwhelmed all competition in student contests. In Student Line Following, the winning robot “Thunder” traveled the 19.4 foot course twice in 54.6 seconds for a robot speed of 8.5 inches per second. Thunder’s owner choose a Leap Motion gesture motion control donated by private donor.  The 2nd and 3rd place winners in the student contests happily received great prizes from Pololu, Tanners Electronics, and other sponsors. There was much joy.

Competitors prepare for Can-Can  Soccer                                           Clubby the robot

Steve Edwards starts Quick Trip run

In the open contests, Scott Gibson continued to dominate. He won basic line following with “quicky” achieving a robot speed of 10.8 inches per second. He also won Wall Following, Four Corners, and Can-Can Soccer.  Scott achieved a start to finish distance of 0.428 inches in Four Corners. The student team, TechoKids, placed 2nd in Four Corners with a start to finish distance of 2.875 inches, a great achievement. Quick Trip was won by Doug Paradis with his robot “Clubbie”, which uses the DPRG club robot (v2016) design. Clubbie made some impressive runs in Can-Can Soccer. However, the robot’s success was limited due to an intermittent bad connection, later found to be a bad ground wire.

KISS the robot                                                                         David Ackley, a happy prize winner

Several members vowed to come back next time stronger and better than ever to give Scott a true run for his money.

Complete contest results are available in the DPRG Hall of Fame. For privacy reasons the name of student winners are limited to their first name.

The featured image at the top of this post is TechnoKids in the pit area working on their robot. All images were provided by either Mary Mathias or Doug Paradis.