RoboColumbus-2023: Results and Robot Interviews

DPRG’s RoboColumbus Outdoor Rover competition for 2023 was held on November 18. The competition was hosted by the Edward’s family, which is greatly appreciated by DPRG. The morning started out with the course layout. Donuts and coffee were provided for the judges and competitors. While the course details were finalized and the cone waypoints handed out, competitors made final checks on their robots and used the practice cones to set up vision systems. At midday, pizza was served, then the competition started. Each competing robot was allowed 3 runs. Winners were based on the best runs of each robot. Everyone had a good time.


Competitor / RobotRun 1Run 2Run 3
Scott Gibson / B.E.L.C.H
1st place
Targ 3
Chall 3       6
Home 0
Targ 3
Chall 3       8
Home 2
Targ 3
Chall 3       6
Home 0
Ray Casler / Not Named
mug winner
Targ 0
Chall 0       0
Home 0
Targ 3
Chall 0       3
Home 0
Targ 0
Chall 0       0
Home 0
Paul Bouchier / MowBot
2nd place
Targ 0
Chall 0       0
Home 0
Targ 2
Chall 0       4
Home 2
Targ 2
Chall 0       5
Home 3
Scott Gibson / T.U.R.D
3rd place
Targ 0
Chall 0       0
Home 0
Targ 3
Chall 0       4
Home 0
Targ 0
Chall 0       0
Home 0
Raj Prabhakar / Not NamedTarg 0
Chall 0       0
Home 0
Targ 0
Chall 0       0
Home 0
Targ 0
Chall 0       0
Home 0

Robot Interviews:
Paul Bouchier – MowBot:

Raj Prabhakar – not named: 

Ray Casler – not named:

Scott Gibson – B.E.L.C.H:

Scott Gibson – T.U.R.D:

Robot Run Videos:

Paul Bouchier – Mowbot run-1:

Ray Casler’s un-named robot run-1:

Ray Casler’s un-named robot run-2:

Scott Gibson’s B.E.L.C.H. robot run-1:  Run not recorded

Scott Gibson’s B.E.L.C.H. robot run-2:

Scott Gibson’s T.U.R.D. robot run-1:

Robot run videos are very helpful in showing the unexpected tribulations that the robots endure while attempting the tasks of the competition. Even runs that did not go well often have lessons. Additional run videos will be uploaded later.

Roborama 2023

Roborama, DPRG’s May indoor competition, was held on May 13th. There were three competition contests conducted:

  • Quick Trip– Robots drive in a straight line to a location and return to their starting point.
  • Four Corners– Robots navigate a large square and compete to see who can come the closest to their starting point.
  • Six Can– Robots race to remove 6 cans from an arena.

The results were:

Contest Place Contestant Robot Name Score/Time
Quick Trip 1st Harold Pulcher JimBot 7 – 12:53
Quick Trip 2nd Scott Gibson Can Man 7 – 18:00
Quick Trip 3rd Mike Williamson 6 Pack 7 – 21:53
Four Corners 1st Carl Ott HoverSim 0.75”
Four Corners 2nd Doug Paradis Club Bot 1.75”
FourCorners 3rd Mike Ivison BenTher 6.00”
Six-Cans 1st Scott Gibson Can Man 6 – 2:07
Six-Cans 2nd Ray Casler Tin Man 6 – 5:28

A good time was had by all.

Roborama – 2022, Video and Results

DPRG held its first non-virtual robot competition since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic on June 18, 2022. The pandemic brought many bad things, but one good outcome was the many friends that the club gained in its weekly virtual meetings. This year’s competition included a method for competitors which do not live in Dallas area to compete by submitting YouTube videos on the day of the contest of robot runs at their location. It worked very well. We hope to grow the number of remote competitors in future competitions.


• 4 Corners Local: 1st Scott Gibson (1-5/8″), 2nd Doug Paradis (2-1/4″). 3rd Carl Ott (4″)
• 4 Corners Remote: 1st Pat Caron (1-1/8″),
• 4 Corners Spinning/Pirouette Demo Local: 1st David Anderson (16-1/2″), 2nd Carl Ott (94″)
note: Local course was 9′ per side, Remote course was 8′ per side.

• 6-Cans: 1st Scott Gibson (6 cans – 1:52), 2nd Ray Caster (6 cans – 2:30), 3rd Jack Jones (6 cans – 5:30)

Next Competition

RoboColumbus, an outdoor autonomous rover contest, will be held in October of 2022. See competition tab for details.

RoboColumbus-2021 Results

DPRG’s RoboColumbus-2021 competition was exciting and successful, with over 30 attendees and 7 competing robots. In an exciting climax, 2nd place was taken by Raj Prabhakar in the very last run of the competition. This is the first year that RoboColumbus included remote location competitors. Pat Caron competed from Baldwin Ontario, Canada. This is definitely a contest feature we will be repeating next year. The local course was laid out by the competition’s site host, Steve Edwards, and he denies adding extra potholes. A special thanks goes to Trina Edwards, Steve’s wife, for hosting the event at their home and property. Trina made sure that the robots and their keepers all had lunch, snacks, and drinks throughout the day.

Competition Results:
Place        Robot Builder                       Robot Name
1st            Scott Gibson                          T.U.R.D.
2nd           Raj Prabhakar/Carl Ott          Duct Tape & Bailing Wire
3rd           Ted Meyers                             Skipper

A lot of video was taken at the contest, which will require much editing. Look forward to a highlights video and photo gallery in the near future. When available it will be placed on the site as a separate post.


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.