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Walking Robot Race
A walking robot must autonomously walk from Start/Finish Zone of the race course to the Turn Zone, turn around (180 degree turn), and then walk back to the Start/Finish Zone. The robot with the fastest total round trip time will be the winner.
Definition of a Walking Robot:
Robots must be autonomous.
The maximum length, width, height, and weight of a robot are not specified in this contest. The only requirement is that the robot must remain completely on the course during the event. It is the designers' responsibility to design the robot to accomplish this task.
Propulsion must be electrical in nature. No pneumatic, combustion, or other exotic propulsion devices will be permitted. All power must be carried on board the robot.
The race officials shall make the sole decision as to the suitability of a robot for this contest. Robots deemed a hazard to the course, competitors, or spectators will not be permitted to compete. The official's decision on this matter is final and is not subject to dispute.
The overall dimension of the walking race course is 3 feet wide by 7 feet in length. The course can be made from any material as long as it is flat, smooth, and there are no seams, edges, cracks, etc., that are greater than 0.06 (1/16) inches in height.
The entire course is divided into three areas, the starting area, the main track, and the turn area.
The contestant may position the wall at any distance beyond the turn area.
Additionally a contestant may place any target they desire as an aid to navigation on the wall. The entire wall and any targets must be placed entirely behind the Turn area.
External Environment and Course Variations
It is impossible to ensure that all practice arenas built at home will be exactly identical to the contest arena (in geometry, color, texture, and lighting conditions). All contestants must be aware that their robot may perform differently on the official arena than other arenas. It is the contestant's responsibility to ensure that their robot will operate on the official contest arena. Keep in mind that all robots will run on the same official arena, so all the robots will be running in the same environment. Robots that can adapt to their environment may perform better than robots than can not adapt to their environment.
Robots will be allowed an opportunity for a "test drive" on the track (or similar official test track construction) for testing and calibration prior to the contest. All test opportunities are on a first-come, first-served basis, one hour before the contest.
A robot must begin completely in the Start/Finish area, proceed to the Turn area, execute a 180 degree turn, and then return back to the Start/Finish area. A least one of the robot's feet must touch the surface in the Turn area or the run will not count. The run ends when the robot has completely reentered the start area.
Robots will NOT be allowed to restart a run if they have any electrical, optical, acoustic, mechanical, or software failures after the start of the time clock.
This is very simple, the robot with the fastest (i.e. shortest) time wins the race. All other robots will be ranking is based on time. The fastest is awarded 1st place, 2nd place goes to the next fastest robot, and so on.
There are times when not all robots complete the course. Ranking for these robots will be based on the total distance traveled, not on time. The robot that traveled the furthest will be ranked higher than the robot that traveled a shorter distance. All robots that have completed the race will be ranked higher than robots that have not completed the course. Any robot that failed to complete the 180 degree turn will forfeit any distance accumulated past the Turn area.
Additional races may be conducted at the discretion of the race officials. Additional races will not be conducted if there is not sufficient time for all of the robots to complete the additional races. If additional races are conducted, the robot's best overall score will be used in the final ranking.
Violations and Penalties
Any contestant violating any of the rules in this race will be disqualified.
Notes about Future Races
As robots improve in performance, handicapping rules may be added so that different classes of robots would be able to compete on equal grounds. The handicapping may be in the form of geometrical measurements. As the number of robots competing in this event, different classes will be added, such as bi-peds, quadra-peds, hexapods, polypods, etc. Obstacles may be added, and the length of the course will change. The goal of this event is to encourage people to build different styles of walking robots, and future rule changes will be based on increasing the number of the robots entering the event, and increasing the interest in this event.
The event committee, rules committee, and race officials reserve the right to clarify, augment, or modify these rules in the interests of fair play. Changes should be published prior to the event. But in some rare circumstances a change in the rules may be implemented during event if it is found that someone is trying to violate the spirit of the rules by using a technicality in the rules that was unforeseen by the rules committee. Any changes will be made in the interest of fair play for all of the contestants.
All decisions by the race officials are final.
The rules committee should be consulted prior to the event if a robot has some unique feature that might be questionable according to the published rules. All inquiries will be kept confidential. The rules committee will provide an answer if the unique feature is permitted to be used, guidance in the design of the unique feature to remain in compliance of the rules, or in some cases, changes in the written rules to specifically address the unique feature.
The rules presented here are based on the original walking robot race that was developed by the Portland Area Robotics Society (www.portlandrobotics.org) annual robotics event known as the PDXBot event. The original walking robot race at PDXBot event occurred in May 2003. The original rules had a handicapping method that was based on leg geometry.
Rev. A. Added a lot of clarification to robot geometry and execution of the event along with scoring data sheets.
Rev B. Added additional robot clarification. Dropped the handicapping method because there was no evidence that the original handicapping method actually provided any useful handicapping. Added ranking system based on time and distance traveled (for robots that did not complete the race). Made the 180 degree turn at the Turn area mandatory.