DESCRIPTION: The object of this event is to design and build a robot capable of performing certain tasks on a prescribed playing field. Each team may enter only one robot that must be built prior to the competition.

A TEAM OF UP TO: 2 students

APPROXIMATE TIME: 5 minutes/team



a)       The robot may be constructed of any material.

b)       The robot may be controlled remotely or with a control panel that has wires leading to the robot.

c)       At the start of the competition, there is a size restriction for the robot. The robot must be able to fit into a cube that is 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm, with the exception of the wires that connect to the student control box. Antennae for communication with wireless controllers may extend beyond the 30x30x30 cube.

d)       The robot circuits must be energized by one or more commercial batteries with a voltage not to exceed 9 volts. Each robot function (such as drive train, arm, etc.) may have its own independent circuit, source of energy, and control mechanism. All robot circuits must be powered by one or more commercial batteries. Each robot function (arm, drive train, etc.) may have its own separate circuit, control mechanism, and power source that does not exceed 9 volts. The robot and control system may use an unlimited number of batteries as long as they are not connected together to produce more than 9 volts (between any two points).

e)       If the robot is "radio-controlled", it may be controlled by more than one transmitter. Each transmitter must be energized by one or more commercial batteries with a total voltage not to exceed 9 volts. Radio control equipment used for this event must operate on frequencies designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations for surface devices (cars, boats, etc.) Model Aircraft frequencies may not be used. For more information go to: Teams are responsible for complying with this rule in order to comply with FCC regulations. The judge will not measure the frequencies.

f)         Since the event is a student construction event, use of complete commercially available units will not qualify. Commercially available objects, such as remote control cars, may be cannibalized in the construction of a vehicle, but may not be used intact. Specifically, an existing chassis with drive train and steering and control cannot be used as a single unit to qualify.



a)       The playing field for the robot shall be marked on a piece of carpet approximately 4 feet by 8 feet.

b)       The playing field will be a rectangular configuration one meter wide by two meters. It will be further divided into two zones by a line running through the center of the rectangle, making each zone one meter wide by one meter long. One zone will be Zone A; the other zone will be Zone B.

c)       In the approximate center of zone A, there will be an equilateral triangle. Each side of the triangle will be 30 centimeters in length with the side nearest the centerline being parallel to the centerline of the playing field.

d)       The playing field will be marked on the carpet with ink or paint. Each line on the playing field will be approximately 1/2 inch wide.

e)       A region approximately 3 feet wide around the carpet will be marked off for the operators of a robot. The operators are not allowed to walk on the carpet.



a)       Prior to the competition, all robots and control systems will be impounded by the event supervisor and not released to the team until after the competition.

b)       At the start of the competition, the event supervisor will place in Zone A, the following objects: 6 Ping-Pong balls (approx. diameter 38mm), 3 35mm film canisters without lids, and 3 cardboard cylinders (empty toilet tissue roll tubes) approximate size 39-42 mm diameter x 115 mm length.

c)       A cardboard cylinder will be placed on each corner of the equilateral triangle.

d)       The film canisters (open side up) will be placed on each corner of the equilateral triangle inside the cardboard tube.

e)       Two Ping-Pong balls will be placed inside the cardboard tube on top of the film canister.

f)         The robot will be placed inside of the playing field at the center of the end boundary line of Zone B. A team will be given the opportunity to set up the vehicle, and will tell the judge when it is ready. Nothing that is not attached to the robot may be used to prop up portions of the robot in order to fit within the 30x30x30 cube at time of start. It is the team's responsibility to ascertain that it will fit in the cube before they tell the judge to check. The team will not be given multiple chances to reconfigure the robot if it doesn't fit the first time. The only reconfiguring allowed will be if the judge disrupts the robot in the process of checking.

g)       A box with inside dimensions of 30 cm x30 cm x 30 cm will be placed outside of the playing field adjacent to the robot in Zone B. The box must be made of Plexiglas or wood.

h)       During the two-minute competition, the robot must pick up the items that are in Zone A and place them in the box. It may pick up the items individually or collectively. At the end of two minutes, points will be awarded based on the number and types of items that were placed in the box.

i)         If a scorable item (ping pong ball, film canister, or cardboard cylinder) is moved from Zone A to Zone B by the control wires, it will become out of play and may not be used to attain any points.

j)    If a student touches the robot or uses the wires or control box to physically move the robot or a scorable item, the competition ceases at that point and the score will be determined prior to the violation (touching the robot). The controller(s) must be held by the team members during operation. Touching control actuators that are attached to the robot which are not held by the operator(s) will be considered a touch of the robot, and will terminate competition.

k)       An object accidentally touched / moved by the control wires will not necessarily trigger the item j end-of-competition. However, if the control wires move an object to the advantage of the robot, the judge will be predisposed to view it as a violation. Take for example a robot that must first knock over the tubes in order to load them onto a horizontal spike. If the control wires knock over some tubes while loading other tubes, this would provide an advantage to the team. The judge will use his discretion at declaring whether such an event will trigger the end-of-competition. Accidental movement of an object that does not move it from one zone to the other, and provides no net-benefit to the team will not trigger end-of-competition.

l)         If competition stops due to a violation, the full 2 minute time will be recorded for that team, independent of the actual time utilized.

m)     The clock will only be stopped when no scorable objects remain on the playing field. (i.e. all objects have either been deposited into the box or knocked off the playing field).



a)       Any scorable item that leaves the playing field is out of play and may not be used to attain any points.

b)       A team will receive the following points for each item placed in the box:

         Ping pong ball = 9 points, maximum 54 points

         Film canister = 5 points, maximum 15 points

         Cardboard cylinder = 3 points, maximum 9 points

c)       For every scorable item removed from Zone A and placed in the box or in Zone B, the team will receive 1 point (maximum 12 points).

d)       At the end of the competition, if the robot (parts touching the ground) is completely in the playing field, the team will receive 10 points. At the end of the competition, the event supervisor will allow 10 seconds for the robot to "come to rest" with the power off to determine if any parts are touching the ground outside of the playing field.

e)       The team with the most points will be the winner. In case of a tie, the team that completed the task in the shortest length of time will receive the more favorable score value.

f)         If teams have identical scores, the tie will be broken by massing the robot without the control system. The robot with the least mass will receive the more favorable score value (ranking). Because the batteries used to power the vehicle may be a significant portion of the total mass, if the drive mechanism of the robot (including motion, steering and object handling) is powered by batteries that are mounted on the controller(s), the controllers will be weighed with the robot.

g)       Robots that fail to meet all of the specifications under "Materials" will be ranked behind those that do

h)       Robots that fail to meet the qualifications described in 3F (fitting into the 30 cm cube) will be allowed to compete if they meet all of the other specifications; however, they will be ranked after all robots that meet material specifications and size requirements.

i)         Maximum score:

         All items removed from Zone A = 12 points

         6 ping pong balls = 54 points

         3 film canisters = 15 points

         3 cardboard cylinders = 9 points

         Robot in Playing field at the end of the 2 minute event =10 points


j)         An object that goes off the playing field is out of play and unscorable. It will be considered off the playing field when it is entirely beyond the outer edge of the boundary line. An object that is partially on the line is still in play.

k)       An object that is held by the robot, entirely off the surface of the playing field, will be considered live, even if the robot goes out of bounds.

l)         An object must be entirely beyond the middle line to be considered to have been moved from Zone A to Zone B.

m)      Objects must be inside the box at the point that the time expires to be scored. An object held by the robot when time expires, that is released as the robot comes to rest will not be scored.