Make your own free website on


SDRS events
     Contest rules
Rules for the 1 April 2000 Navigation Contest

These are the rules for the Navigation Contest Events held on 1 April, 2000 as amended and approved by the membership at the January, 2000 SDRS meeting.

San Diego Robotics Society Navigation Contest.
Date: Saturday, April 1, 2000


(NOTE: All terms in quotes have specific meanings or dimensions that are described in detail later in the rules.)

The navigation contest is divided into three separate events.

1. Basic Navigation Event: Robots will be required to start in a "Starting Block", near the bottom center of the rectangular "Playing Field". There will be four obstacles placed at the four corners of the "Inner Rectangle". Each robot must traverse an approximate rectangular path by passing to the outside of all four obstacles, while staying inside the "Playing Field", and return to the "Starting Point". Robots will have five minutes to complete each run. Time permitting, multiple runs will be scheduled.

2. Complex Navigation Event: Same "Playing Field" as the Basic Navigation Event above. Robots will be required to circle each obstacle in the order selected by random drawing, and return to the "Starting Point". The order for passing obstacles will be made available to all
participants one week before the event. Robots will have seven minutes to complete each run. Time permitting, multiple runs will be scheduled.

3. Mine Clearing" Event: The "Inner Rectangle" for the two events above will not apply to this event. In the upper two thirds of the playing area, eight to ten coin shaped objects will be placed at random. They will all look similar, however most of them will be inert dummies (non-magnetic), and three of them will be "mines" or magnets. Robots will have ten minutes to discover and "mark" as many mines as possible.
"Marking" a mine can be done in one of two ways: 1) By placing some small marker, such as a coin or small chip, within eight inches of the mine, and 2) By emitting an audible tone while the robot is within eight inches of a "mine". Should any part of any robot touch any "live mine" at any time, the mine will "explode". The robot shall then be considered damaged and will be assessed a penalty.

Calibration Period: Ten minutes before each of these events there will be an announced calibration period. This is the time for participants to make any adjustments, light readings or any other calibrations desired due to existing or changing ambient light or other conditions.

Starting Order: Robot starting order will be chosen by random drawing.

The dimensions of the playing field will be the same for all contests. Any minor differences in the playing field layouts will be described below.

There will be two classes for each event.

Totally Autonomous Class: Robots in this class must have all processing on board. There can be no external processors, beacons (described below) or telemetry between the robot and any device external to the robot.

Externally Autonomous Class: Robots in this class may communicate with outside equipment or processors through any wireless means. The outside processor, must however be autonomous in itself, i.e. it cannot be
controlled by a human except for a single signal, such as pressing the return key on a computer keyboard, to start any event.

Robot Specifications:

Size: There are no size restrictions.

Weight: There are no weight restrictions.

Power: Robots must have self contained, quiet, non-polluting power sources.

A beacon is defined as any device that transmits, receives, or reflects any energy, such as acoustic/sonar, microwave, radio wave (HF, RF, UHF, etc.), light, laser (eye safe lasers only!), or infrared energy. Beacons
must be placed prior to a robot starting an event and must be removed immediately thereafter. No power will be available for beacons, so any required power must be self-contained in beacons. Any numbers of beacons
are allowed as long as they are placed as described in the next paragraph.

Beacon Placement Area: All beacons must be placed in one of, BUT NOT BOTH, of the following configurations:
1. All beacons are placed outside the playing field, and may not extend more than one foot outside the playing field, or be higher that eighteen inches.
2. Beacons may be set on top of the any of the four 4" X 4" X 5" obstacles at the corners of the inside rectangle.


The playing field is a 22 X 30 foot rectangle, on a flat linoleum floor, with the North and South sides being the 22 foot dimension. "North" as used here is an approximate direction, not an exact North. One foot
outside this playing field will be a one foot high wall.

Using X, Y coordinates, the parts of the playing field are:

Outside Boundary: (One foot high wall) 24 X 32 feet

SW corner:.-1, -1
SE corner:..23, -1
NE corner:..23,31
NW corner:..-1,31

Outside Playing Field Boundary: 22 X 30 feet

____________X Y
SW corner:..0, 0
SE corner:..22, 0
NE corner:..22,30
NW corner:..0,30

Inner Rectangle: 12 X 10 feet. (Imaginary; not drawn on playing floor. Four obstacles (4" X 4" X 5" wooden blocks) will be placed at the corners.)
____________X Y
SW corner:..6,12
SE corner:.16,12
NE corner:.16,24
NW corner:..6,24

Starting Block (Marked with tape):
_____________X Y
SW corner:..9, 1
SE corner:..13, 1
NE corner:..13, 5
NW corner:...9, 5

Starting Point (Small dot on the floor):
_____________X Y
..................11, 3

The room containing the playing field is an approximately 30 X 40 foot room with six-foot high windows from waist high up, along the East wall. The room has tenet ceilings with standard 4 foot long 40 watt fluorescent bulbs, three per receptacle, spaced at about six feet. The windows have blinds that can be drawn, and they will be drawn for the events, however they are not "light tight" and there is no guarantee
that outside sunlight will not cause interference with individual robot sensors. It is up to each participant to properly calibrate any equipment for ambient light conditions.


Basic Navigation Event and Complex Navigation Event:
Each robot will be required to have a mounted "pointer". The pointer shall be an obvious appendage pointing to the ground directly below any part of the robot. An example would be a three-inch pencil taped to the
right front corner of the robot with the point down. The point of the pointer should be approximately one inch off the ground.

At the end of each run, when the robot stops, or when time runs out, the judges will measure the distance from the bottom of the robot pointer to the "Starting Point". That distance (in inches) shall be the score for
that run. For two runs, the score will be the sum of the distances for each run. For three or more runs, the score will be the best of all but one run (throw out one). Final rankings will be first place for the shortest cumulative distance, to last place for the longest cumulative
distance. In the event of ties after multiple runs, the tie shall be broken in favor of the robot with the shortest single distance. Time for runs will not be a factor in determining final place positions.

"Mine Clearing" Event:
The mine clearing robots will accumulate points as described below, with the lowest point score being the winner.

0-420 points...Points for time for each run shall be given at one point per second, up to a maximum of seven minutes, or 420 points.

-200 points.....Locating and marking all three mines and returning to the "Starting Block" in under seven minutes.

-100 points.....For each mine located and marked.

10 points........One or more robot wheels or legs touch the outside boundary line of the playing field.

100 points.......Robot completely exits the playing field. (All parts of the robot that normally touch the ground while the robot is moving are outside the playing field.)

200 points.......Robot wheel runs over a "mine".

Judges: One or more judges will be assigned for each event. Judges may not participate in any event in which they are participants. Judges decisions are final.

This page was last updated on Apr. 25, 2000