Thursday, September 16, 2010

BrickCon 2010 Robot Competition

This year's robot competition at BrickCon will be a racing competition. Build and program a robot able to race around an irregularly shaped gradient track while avoiding obstacles on the track. The track is approximately two feet wide, with black in the center/inner edge, gradually changing to white at the outer edge. Racing will be in a clockwise direction. Obstacles, no wider than 8", will be placed anywhere on the track, and may be moving.

Here is an example of what the track might look like:

There will be multiple runs, each time getting more complex. The race will start
without any obstacles. Subsequent runs will have longer tracks, and more
obstacles. Finally the obstacles will start moving slowly, initially in the same
direction you are going. Your score will be based both on how fast you complete
each lap, and how well you avoid the obstacles. Touching and, even more so,
moving obstacles will add to your time.

Third party and custom sensors ARE allowed. Otherwise only LEGO elements may be
used for building. All robots must have a minimal ground clearance of 1/4" due
to the edges between various sections of the track. Only rotating wheels may
touch the mat itself. All sensors and other parts must be at least 1/4" above
the mat.

In order to encourage more people to try this, here is a sample program that
will accomplish at least part of the competition.

Build a robot with two motors, one for the left wheel, one for the right, put a
light sensor in front, and with minor tweaks, this program should at least get
your robot moving around the track. While the program detects the obstacles, how
to handle them will be up to you.

There are a few different types of awards for this competition, so your chances
of winning something are great! I hope to see you and your robot at BrickCon
2010. Remember, you need to register to participate.

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