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Mars Colony Construction Competition Rules

Final Competition

(Although finalised, these rules may be subject to minor corrections)

  1. Competitions will take place in an arena (see diagram below) that will be set up in the laboratory.
  2. Each competition round will last for 6 minutes. This will be preceded by 3 minutes of preparation time where each team will position their robot in the correct starting square "base".
  3. Each robot will be randomly assigned to a base and a construction plan at the start of a competition round.
  4. At the start of a competition round there will be a 20 second grace period for each team to start their robot. If they touch their robot after this time the mark for Reliability (initially 15 marks) will be reduced by a 5 mark "touch penalty" on each occasion. After a touch, a robot must always be taken back to its allocated base. Duration for a touch is a maximum of 20 seconds. Longer touches will incur multiple demerit marks depending on how long they are. A maximum of 3 touches are allowed.
  5. When a competition is in progress, no team member is allowed to encroach into the arena. Each violation of this rule will incur a 5 mark touch penalty (reduction of the 15 mark Reliability score).
  6. No part of any robot is allowed to enter another robots' operational zone. If a robot crosses the boundary of another robot's operational zone, it must be returned to its allocated starting base with a 5 mark penalty reduction of the 10 mark Intermediate Navigation mark. An exception will be made for robots that are pushed into another robot's operational zone by another robot.
  7. If a robot does not, in the opinion of the judges, make "normal progress" then it will be disqualified from the round. The definition of "normal progress" that will usually be applied is that the center of the robot does not move at least one robot length from its initial position at the start of the 30 second period. Within this 30 second period, a robot may be touched and repositioned (with a touch penalty incurred) to its starting base to avoid disqualification. For robots that do not have a mobile base the definition of normal progress will include purposeful movement of the mechanism. Robots that have completed their task are not required to continue making normal progress.
  8. Construction materials are cylindrical pieces of foam with a diameter of around 6.5 cm and a height of about 2.5 cm. They are either red, green or blue. Initially, the pucks will be positioned in the centre of the arena in a jumbled pile.
  9. The robot task is to "read" a construction plan placed on the wall behind the starting base and to build a column or columns of pucks with colours and positions that match the plan. The robot must read the competition plan itself - manual entry is not allowed.
  10. Any one exclusive operational zone must not contain more pucks than are required to complete the construction plus one. Additional pucks will be removed by a staff member and returned to the centre of the arena.

About the Robots

  1. At the start and end of the competition each robot should consist of one unit. No robot will be allowed to start the competition in more than one piece and if it finishes in more than one piece the team will lose the 5 mark Robustness score. The definition of 'one piece' includes that the parts of the robot are structurally connected (so that if lifted a short distance all of the robot is raised up) and not just attached by strings or wires.
  2. The robots should be designed so that they do not damage the construction disks as they manipulate them.
  3. A robot is not allowed to manipulate pucks without touching them or by bulldozing them.
  4. Outside of its exclusive operational zone each robot is allowed to carry and manipulate no more than one puck at-a-time.
  5. A robot that has been designed to damage other robots (in the opinion of the staff judges) will be disqualified from the competition round.
  6. Each robot will start the competition within its allocated starting base (roughly 30 cm by 30 cm) marked out on the floor (see the diagram below). No part of the robot should extend beyond the starting square otherwise it will be disqualified. There is no limit on vertical dimension.
  7. A robot must be completely autonomous (no remote control from outside the arena allowed).
  8. Each team is allowed to spend up to $150 on additional items but these must be itemised and costed in the final report. Note that
    • You are only allowed to use parts which are currently commercially available for other teams to buy as well. This would rule out items bought some time ago, second hand items or items bought from friends at a reduced price.
    • If you buy an item but only use part of it then the full price of the item must come out of your allocated budget.
    • Additional items may not include any other sources of power such as compressed gas cylinders, or rocket motors, etc.
  9. As power sources, only alkaline or Ni-MH batteries are allowed. It is recommended that batteries should be used only in the demonstrations and competitions, and during the development you should use the bench power supplies and wires to power up the robots.

Final Competition Marking (worth 25% of final assessment)

1) Basic Functionality - did the robot find its way out of its exclusive operational zone?

5 marks

2) Basic Manipulation - did the robot manage to pick up a puck (any puck)?

10 marks

3) Basic Navigation - was the robot able to return to its own exclusive operational zone with a puck?

10 marks

4) Intermediate Navigation - did the robot manage to avoid straying into the exclusive operational zone of opposing teams? Score reduced by 5 marks for each incursion (no marks if the robot was disqualified for not making normal progress )

10 marks

5) Advanced Navigation - did the robot manage to place a stack of at least one puck in its construction area?

10 marks

6) Construction Accuracy - does the stack contain pucks but only of the correct colour? (assuming the final competition involves building a stack of four pucks 5 marks will be given for each puck which is the correct colour for its position in the stack)

20 marks

7) Reliability - was the robot able to function without being touched during the competition (provided the robot was not disqualified for not making normal progress)? Mark reduced by 5% for each touch. After the third touch no more touches allowed.

15 marks

8) Construction Completion - more points for each additional puck added to the stack but not necessarily of the correct colour. (assuming the final competition involves building a stack of four pucks this is 3 by 5 marks).

15 marks

9) Robustness – did the robot complete the competition in one piece?

5 marks

Maximum possible score which is worth 25% of the final assessment for the unit

100 marks

Bonus marks for the robot that scores the highest mark in the final competition. In the event of a tie the highest scoring robots will share the bonus marks.

10 marks

Robot Competition Area

  • Updated arena:
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
JPEGjpg Arena.jpg manage 138.2 K 2015-07-28 - 05:44 AndyRussell Andy's view of the arena
Topic revision: r6 - 2015-09-30 - AndyRussell
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