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more difficult tasks in 2013

The rules for Field Robot Event 2013 are in many aspects similar to previous years. There are five categories again: basic, advanced, professional, free style and cooperation. The results in the first three categories define overall winner. Robots will compete in sunflower field this year. The strict full autonomy is required in advanced task now, and in professional task robots will detect weed and infected plants. The weed will be maize and oil seed rape.

The contest Field Robot Event (FRE) is different in a way that the playground field is not constructed, but it is planted . It will be the same case this year on testing fields of Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague. Sunflower will be seeded with pitch 75cm. The robots have to be fully autonomous. Touch and plant destruction is penalized. Robots are not allowed to leave the playing field defined by extension of 1.5m from the ends of rows.

Basic Task

The basic task is about navigation in long curved rows of sunflower field. On the headland, the robot has turn and return to the adjacent row. The command whether first turn is to the left or to the right has to be entered on the start (the direction is not a choice of the team!). The score is number of traveled meters within 3 minutes. The penalty points are per team intervention (3 points in row, 5 at the end of row) and destroyed plant (1 for each). If the end of field is reached the time is taken into account.

Advanced Task

The second task is defined by a sequence provided to team 10 minutes before the start. It's combination of numbers and letters defining pattern for field traversal. For example the code from FRE2010 was 2R-1L-2R-3L-4L-0(U-Turn)-2R-4R-1L, i.e. robot had to turn to second row on the right, then to the first on the left, then second to the right again … Notice number 0/U-turn — robot had to return to the same row.
If this sounds too simple there are also some damaged/missing plants. The gap should not be bigger than 1m. Moreover the row could be blocked by an obstacle, so robot has to backup or be able to turn in place in the row.
The big change/innovation is that team intervention (touching the robot) leads to return to start position! This rule is a consequence of bad experience from previous years when interruption of autonomous behaviour caused such a chaos that the winning strategy was to take robot and place is at the beginning of the correct row. Restart is also forced in cases when the pattern sequence is not followed and robot turns to wrong row or hits the obstacle.
The penalty points are only for damaged plants (1 for each) and they sum for all restarts.
The time is limited to five minutes and the best reached distance is counted.

Professional task

The task is to navigate in the field similarly to the basic task, but robot has to detect weed and infected plants. The weed will be this year real plant — maize and oil seed rape (canola). Also damaged sunflowers will be real plans, see photo.
In this task touch and destroying plant is 1 penalty point only. The correct detection is 5 points, incorrect 5 penalty points.

Free style

This task is for presentation of agriculture related ideas/demos. There is no particular restriction. The team has to introduce the idea within 5 minutes.

Cooperation task

This is the task for two cooperating teams. The pairs are picked randomly few days before the contest. The winner is the one with the most interesting demonstration of robots cooperation.

Pictures of mixed sunflower with maize (weed)

Note, that this was just a short overview of the FRE2013 rules. The detailed rules are available at If you find any problem or inconsistency, please let us know.