Robot Mission 2011

1. Objective

The  goal  of  this  competition  is  to  provide  an  event  that  requires  students  to  use  their imagination  and  creativity to  solve  various problems using commonly available  items such  as popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and simple tools such as scissors and hammers. The students are not allowed to use any other items or tools. Hence teams with more expensive hardware do not have an automatic advantage. The game is inspired by the exploits of MacGyver (a popular American TV series in the 80s) and the Junkyard Wars reality TV shows.

2. Leagues

Junior and Challenge League

3. Team

1 person per team

4. Game Methods

  1. The  robot  mission  challenge  event  starts  with  the  construction  phase.  During  the construction phase children will enter the construction zone with a set of allowed items and tools.
  2. The competition will start with the referee giving a description of the challenge task.
  3. The referee will also give a description of the scoring formula used for this event.
  4. The  referee  will  also  announce  any  special  restrictions  or  rules  that  may  be  in  effect during the event.
  5. The referee will also announce the duration of the construction phase.

Decisions

  1. An example of possible tasks as described in 4.2 is: Build a robot that can carry a 500g weight for 1m, can dive and pick up the following treasure from the bottom of the water pool, can climb over a 1m tall wall, and/or can lift a 2kg weight.
  2. An  example of  a  scoring rule  as described  in  4.3 is:  The  robot  must  carry three  metal balls across the water as quickly as possible. If a robot looses a ball, then a 60 second penalty will be added to the time.
  3. The  scoring  system  (see  4.3  must  as  much  as  possible  be  based   on  quantitative performance measures such as time taken to complete the task, distance travelled, or weight  carried.  However,  in  special  circumstances,  the  scoring  system  may  include  a knock-out  competition  (e.g.,  a  soccer  match)  or  even  a  subjective  evaluation  (e.g., judges score the dance performance of a robot).
  4. An  example  of  a  special  rule  or  restriction  as  described  in  4.4  is:  children  can  have  a maximum of five metal pieces cut with a band saw by an assistant referee, or the robot must use more than three rubber bands.
  5. The duration of the construction phase as described in 4.5 is usually three hours. The duration   may   be   different   for   a   specific   event   to   obey   local   constraints   and requirements.

5. The Items and Tools

  1. Before entering the construction zone at the start of the competition, each team will be informed about the set of items, tools, actuators, and sensors that they will be allowed to use. The limitations on these are not known by the students before the competition.
  2. The  maximum  number  of  continuous  revolution  motors  allowed  in  a  challenge  will always be less than or equal to four motors. This includes standard DC motors or motors that provide position feedback (e.g., Lego NXT motors). This number is an upper limit on any  robot  mission  challenge;  however,  a  specific  robot  mission  challenge  may  further limit the number of continuous revolution motors.
  3. The maximum number of servo motors allowed in a challenge will always be less than or equal  to  four  servos.  This  number  is  an  upper  limit  on  any  robot  mission  challenge; however,  a  specific  robot  mission  challenge  may  further  limit  the  number  of  servo motors.
  4. The maximum number of IR sensors allowed in a challenge will always by less than  or equal to six IR sensors. This number is an upper limit on any robot mission challenge; however,  a  specific  robot  mission  challenge  may  further  limit  the  number  of  infrared sensors.
  5. The maximum number of two ultra-sound sensors allowed in a challenge will always by less  than  or  equal  to  two  ultra-sound  sensors.  This  number  is  an  upper  limit  on  any robot mission challenge; however, a specific robot mission challenge may further limit the number of ultra-sound sensors.
  6. The maximum number of two touch sensors allowed in a challenge will always by less than or equal to four touch sensors. This number is an upper limit on any robot mission challenge; however, a specific robot mission challenge may further limit the number of touch sensors.
  7. Teams  are  allowed  to  bring  and  use  their  own  commonly  available  tools  during  the competition. However, the  organizers  may restrict  use  of  certain tools if they deem  a tool unsafe or for other reasons.
  8. By allowing a tool to be used by the student in the construction area, the team leader certifies that the children know how to operate this tool safely.

6. The Playground

  1. The  makeup  and  dimensions  of  the  playing  field  depend  on  the  exact  challenge  that students must solve.
  2. During the construction phase, each team can request access to the playing field to test their  robot. The  referee will grant  access to  the field for  short  periods of  time  in  first come first served manner. If a challenge task requires significant setup time for testing, the referee may choose instead to create a schedule for testing.

7. Game Rules

  1. The   teams   are   allowed   to   bring   and   use   commonly   available   materials   without restrictions. Such items include:
    • Paper, cardboard, laminated paper, Styrofoam,
    • Popsicle sticks, chopsticks, wooden clothes pins,
    • paper cups, paper plates,
    • plastic cups, plastic plates,
    • paper clips, binder clips, hair pins, needles,
    • wires, strings, ropes,
    • scotch tape, duct tape, electric tape,
    • pens,
    • cable ties in various sizes,
    • rubber bands.
    • Special purpose items such as ballast tanks, DC motors, gear boxes, switches, propellers,
    • resistors, and remote controls may be provided by the competition organizers.
  2. The teams are allowed to bring and use their own commonly available and safe tools. Examples of such tools include:
    • scissors,
    • knives,
    • wire cutters,
    • instant glue, and/or wood glue,
    • staplers,
    • screw drivers,
    • pliers,
    • hammers.
    • Special purpose tools such as soldering irons or drills may be provided by the organizers if they are deemed necessary to complete the challenge.
  3. This document lists items and tools separately as a convenience for organizers. However, the use of tools and items is not limited by their classification. For example, a team may choose pliers (designated as tools) to add weight to their robot (used as items), or use pens (designated as items) to drill holes into popsicle sticks (used as tools).

8. Violations And Disqualifications

  1. Only  team  members  are  allowed  to  enter  the  construction  zone  or  the  playing  field during the competition.
  2. Team  members  are  not  allowed  to  leave  the  construction  zone  or  the  playing  field without prior permission of the referee.
  3. Any   team   whose   members   or   associates   violate   rule   5.1   to   5.2   or   4.4.   Will   be disqualified.
  4. Any  team  whose  members  use  additional  items  except  those  as  specified  by  the organizers  will  be  penalized  by  the  referee.  The  sanctions  imposed  by  the  referee include time or points penalties (for example, the final score is reduced by 30%), or in serious cases may also lead to disqualification of a team. The severity of the penalty is decided on the sole discretion of the referee.
  5. Any  team  whose  members  use  additional  tools  except  those  as  specified  by   the organizers  will  be  penalized  by  the  referee.  The  sanctions  imposed  by  the  referee include time or points penalties (for example, the final score is reduced by 30%), or in serious cases may also include disqualification of a team. The severity of the penalty is decided on the sole discretion of the referee.
  6. A team that continues building or modifying their robot after the construction phase will be disqualified.

9. Method of Scoring

  1. At the end of the construction phase, all teams must finish building their robot and bring it to the playing field.
  2. At that time, the referee will test the performance of the robot and will calculate the resulting score given the scoring formula.
  3. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, awards will be awarded based on the point score.

10. Tie Breakers

The scoring formula for the specific event will describe the methods if any that are used to break ties.

11. Safety Issues

The  safety  of  the  children  is  of  utmost  importance,  hence  dangerous  materials  (e.g., aggressive chemicals) or tools (band saws) must not be used.


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