DPRG List  

[DPRG] Revised RoboRama Rules

Subject: [DPRG] Revised RoboRama Rules
From: Bill Boyer daweasel at swbell.net
Date: Sat Sep 13 20:12:01 CDT 2003

OK folks, here are the revised RoboRama rules for your viewing pleasure.
These rules will be voted on and put into effect at the next meeting. If
you will not be at the next meeting, you may vote by proxy by emailing
me at daweasel at swbell.net. Remember, you must be a paid member in good
standing to vote.

The major changes are as follows:

* Clarifying current rule to clearly indicate our competitions are open
to all robot builders.

* Clarifying current rule on running robots by proxy. 

* Clarifying current standing rules concerning winners certificates and
prizes with respect to members and non-members.

* Adding rules to prohibit combustible power sources and unsealed
lead-acid batteries.

* Adding rules to prohibit competing with factory-built / programmed
robots and unmodified toys -- e.g. robot kits and toys with
pre-programmed behavior such as wall-following and line-following.

* Clarifying current size and weight limitations and adding rules to
allow judges to determine if the robot is too large or unstable, or has
a drive system which may damage the course.

* Grandfathering robots which have competed in past events, but which
may not meet the revised rules, so they may continue to compete provided
they are not modified heavily since their last competition under the
previous rules.

* Adding rules to to exclude non-members and members with unpaid dues
>from judging.

* Clarifying current rule to prohibit judges from entering any event,
either directly or by proxy.

* Clarifying current rules on event timing, number of attempts and being
ready to run when called.




Each RoboRama consists of several separate events:

      * Quick Trip - can your robot go from point A to B and back? 
      * Line Following - can your robot follow a line along the floor? 
      * T-Time - can your navigate through a simple T-shaped course? 
      * Can-Can - can your robot fetch soda cans? 
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 this web site for


The contest course boundaries are defined by 12" high walls. The walls
are non-metallic (wood) and are painted flat white. Course dimensions
shown are approximate and contestants should be prepared for variations
of up to 6" in any direction.

The course will be a dark-colored surface that has significant contrast
to the white walls, white lines, and white cans. The course is currently
constructed from photographic backdrop paper with the lines consisting
of 1-inch I/R refective white tape. However, course construction and
material may be changed without notice.


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.
Contestants: (The robots themselves)

      * Robots must be autonomous – self-controlled.
      * Robots may not be powered by any type of device that generates
        power by the combustion of solid, liquid or compressed gas fuel.
      * Robot batteries must be of a sealed type and incapable of
        leaking in any position. Robots using high-current batteries
        should contain some sort of fail-safe device, such as a fuse or
        circuit breaker.
      * Robots must be built from scratch or assembled from a kit.
        Unmodified factory-assembled / factory-programmed robots and
        unmodified toys are not allowed.
      * Robots must not rely upon human intervention during the contest
        except for starting, stopping, or emergency situations.
      * Robots may have on-board or off-board controllers, tethers are
      * Robots shall have base dimensions less than 48 inches in length
        and 48 inches in width in order to fit completely within the
        start / finish area of the RoboRama courses. Builders should
        consider reducing these dimensions to allow for variations in
        the course and to make sure the robot can turn around and stop
        completely within the start / finish area.
      * Robots shall be no greater than 96 inches tall. Tall robots
        which appear unsafe because they are unstable or top-heavy will
        be subject to inspection prior to being allowed to compete.
      * Robots may change dimensions or extend arms, grippers, feelers,
        sensors, etc..., but may not exceed allowed dimensions at any
      * Robots weighing more than 100 lbs or incorporating a drive
        system with the potential to damage the course (e.g. metal
        wheels, tracks or skid steering) will be subject to inspection
        prior to being allowed to compete.
      * Robots must not inherently present a danger to humans, other
        contestants, pets or property.
      * Robots must not leak or discharge materials that cannot be
        easily cleaned up.
      * Robots must not materially damage the course in any way.
      * Robots which have competed in RoboRama 2003B and earlier, but
        which do not conform to the revised rules, are exempt from
        meeting these criteria as long as they remain relatively
        unaltered from their original state.

      * Judges must be DPRG members in good standing.
      * Judges must be as impartial and accurate as possible.
      * Judges must be knowledgeable of RoboRama rules and scoring.
      * Judges must not be competing in any event, either directly or by
Order of Running

Prior to the event, a sign-up sheet and entry forms will be provided for
each contest. The order in which robots are called to compete is
determined by the sign-up sheet for each event. However, competitors
have the choice of placing their entries on any vacant position on the
sign-up sheet on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

Competitors with more sophisticated robots which are likely to
sucessfully complete the event are encouraged to sign up at the bottom
of the list in the spirit of good sportsmanship.

Competitors should be ready to run their robot when called. If a
competitor is not ready when called, the next competitor will be called.
If a competitor is still not ready when the last competitor on the
sign-up sheet is finished, they will forfeit their attempt at the event.

Judges my alter the order of running to allow competitors additional
time to prepare their entry, provided the contest is not delayed in any


Each event has a specified time limit. This is the maximum amount of
time allowed for the robot to accomplish the stated primary objective.
The timing begins when any part of the robot leaves Area A during its
first attempt. Should the robot fail to accomplish its primary
objective, it may be restarted without penalty provided the time limit
has not been reached. A maximum of three attempts are allowed, provided
they occur before the time limit is reached.

An official timekeeper will be designated by the judges. The timekeeper
will use a stopwatch or similar device to measure the time each robot
takes to complete a run. Timing of an individual run starts as soon as
any part of the robot leaves area A. Timing stops when the robot returns
to area A, completely over the line. Times will be reported only for
robots who complete their primary objective. Judges themselves may also
serve as additional timekeepers.

If possible (if the facility and the timing of the event allows it)
there will be practice/adjustment time immediately before the first
event. During this time competitors must share the course with all other
competitors who wish to practice.

More information about the DPRG mailing list