concurent start, navigation to destination
Fifth year of this autonomous outdoor robot contest will be held on 18th
September 2010. It will take place in Slovakia in one of the preselected
parks in Bratislava. In contrast to previous years robots will get only map
and coordinates of destination. Note, that robots will not know their exact
starting position and interaction with operator will be reduced to entering
destination. Robot successfully solving this task should be able to demonstrate
its navigation in any park with corresponding map.
The objective of the Robotour contest is to encourage development of robots
capable of transporting you to work in the morning or to deliver the building
material you have just purchased in an online shop. The path to this goal is
neither easy nor short, but
we believe that the outcome is worth it .
In the previous years there was an abundant mapping of the environment shortly
before the contest itself. These maps spread from simple records of the traveled
distance (odometry) and direction (compass) to a non-trivial image analysis
saving notable points along the way.
This technique of navigation restricts the robots only to places where
their creator spent often several days of relatively tiring and exhausting
work to build a very specific map. It is relatively clear, that to create a map
for a robot to travel
from Písek to Opava
won't be a one afternoon job with this technique.
But there is a map available to the
, where many people cooperate on its creation and this way
the coverage is getting better every day. This is possible only because
everybody agreed on how the map should look like. If ever a small group of
people should create robot able to move in “our world” it is necessary that
this robot uses “our maps” — this means to use maps created by somebody
else than the robot's author. This is something we would like to endorse this
Motivation for year 2010
The fifth year of this contest should be a next step towards smarter and more
autonomous robots. In contrast to the previous years robots get only a map and
coordinates of the destination. The robots should be able to navigate around
the park even if they have never been there before. The map and the destination
should be the only information the robots get before the start. Robot
successfully solving this task should be able to demonstrate its ability with
a corresponding map in any park.
Robust robots able to carry a payload are preferred as in previous years. The
start will be concurrent from one place to increase spectators attractiveness.
There will be also new category WagonOpen to support novice teams.
Task The task for the robots is to deliver payload in given 30 minutes time
limit to destination as far as 1km. Robots must be fully autonomous, not leave
the road and choose correct path on junctions. The place of
start and destination will be the same for all robots.
Vector map of footpath in park will be based on vectorization of
ortophotomap and teams could further improve it. The basic idea is taken from
Open Street Map
. At the end robot could use
only this shared map
— all other maps are prohibited!
Robots Team can deploy only one robot this year. Every robot must have
EMERGENCY STOP button, which stops its motion. The button must be easy
accessible, red and must be fixed part of the robot (Big Red Switch), so it
could be used in case of danger. The team must show that it is easy to
manipulate with the robot — two people must be able to carry it several tens
of meters. There is also minimal size — robot has to carry 5l beer barrel (at
least an empty one).
Leaving the road The robots are expected to stay “on the road” which
means to stay on the paved passage ways. If any robot leaves the road, the
trial ends. The team has to take care of their robot and remove it
Obstacles There could be obstacles on the road. Besides natural obstacles
like benches there could be also artificial obstacles. A typical (artificial)
obstacle is for example a figurant, a banana paper box or other robot. Robots
may not touch an obstacle. Contact with an obstacle means end of the trial. The
robot may stop in front of the obstacle and visually or acoustically give
notice. Note, that the robot has to detect, that the obstacle is no longer
Robots Interaction In the cases where a faster robot catches up a slower one
won't be explicitly handled. The faster robot can handle the slower robot as an
obstacle, i.e. avoid it or wait until the „obstacle” disappears. In general
rules will be respected: right of way, avoidance to the right, passing on the
Start All robots will start simultaneously from the same park road.
A minimum width this road is 3 meters. Start
area for each team will have approx. 1.5x1.5 meters. Start areas will follow
another on one side of the road. In the start area each team can place its robot
as they see fit. The order of robots on start is given by the results the in
previous round (a better robot will be closer to the destination). The order in the
first round will be given by the order of successful homologation. Robots start
automatically via their internal timers. A minute before the start is allowed
no interaction with the robot.
Score The team whose robot manage best to proceed along the route wins.
Critical is the aerial distance of the last robot position (leaving the road,
a collision or a timeout) to destination. For every meter towards the
gets one point. If the team carries payload it is awarded twice (“points for
the payload”). Each robot can carry only one “payload”. Payload is 5liter
beer barrel (full). In every round a robot can get at most twice the aerial
distance of the start and the destination.
Organization The contest will consist of 4 trials for each team. The start
and destination will be different for every trial. The selected destination
will be announced to all teams 10 minutes before the start. The speed of the
robots is not important (actually it is limited to 2.5m/s). All points gained
during all trials will be summed together. The trial starts at a specified
time and ends after 30 minutes. The robot must leave the start area within
10 minutes of the start. If the robot does not move for a 60 second its trial
ends. Each team has to arrange for one person familiar with the rules that
will be part of the referee team during the competition.
Homologation A team can participate in the contest if it is able to score
at least one point. Necessary condition is the ability to travel 10 meters
long route fragment without collision with an obstacle. The start procedure
will be tested (automatic start) as well as the functionality of the EMERGENCY STOP.
Usage of liquids, corrosive, pyrotechnic material and live beings is strictly
prohibited. Every robot has to be accompanied by a team member, older 18 years,
who is fully responsible for the robot behavior.
Technical documentation Every team has to provide basic technical
documentation about their robot (for presentations, general public and
journalists). Three winning teams will be asked for more detail description for
website presentation and easier entry of novices in the next year.
Category WagonOpen Robots BODY a TAIL from previous years can participate
in a new category „WagonOpen”. Scoring of this category will be independent
of the main contest and the primary motivation is to give a chance to novice
teams. This contest will have 3 rounds and the goal is to follow a leading
robot. Every robot (wagon) will have a ramp for placing beacons to link
several robot in a convoy. Details will be specified in FAQ1. Robot restrictions
and score for intelligence and payload will be adopted from main contest, so
that the robot hardware could be used for the next year participation in the main
Basic differences between last and this year contests
- Simultaneous start of all robot from one, beforehand unknown, place.
- It is prohibited to map contest area before contest itself. Teams can
instead use shared map on which creation they can actively participate.
- Convoy of robots HEAD, BODY a TAIL is not supported.
- Every robot must be able to carry 5l barrel of beer (at least empty).
- Exact position of destination will be known 10min before start.
- Automatic start via timer.
- Instead of PAUSE button only EMERGENCY STOP button is required. It could be
used in any dangerous situation — for example in case of robot failure.
Pressing it means end of trial.
- For the Big Red Switch is not possible to use a keyboard (yes, it is remarkable,
that still after several years some teams do not get it). Just attach to your
robot easily accessible red switch. Without this BRS robot won't be accepted
to the contest.
- There is no restriction of an obstacle size. There could be even cases,
when the whole path is blocked and it is impossible to avoid it.
- There will be no extra beacon available.
- There will be no category „free style”.
- It is still possible to honk on an obstacle, but it will have effect only in
cases of curious grandma. On the other hand bench won't notice honking. The same
holds for other robots or banana paper boxes.
Where and when?
For the general public the contest will be held on Saturday September 18th
2010 in Bratislava/Slovakia, 10-17h in one of three preselected parks. In the
case of very bad weather the contest can be postponed to Sunday.
For the teams this will be three-day-event: there will be homologations on
Friday, contest on Saturday and a small workshop on Sunday (theme “what is
actually hidden in your unique machines”).
If you would like to participate in the contest, please let us know using
. The final dead-line
for registration is 31st of July 2010
If you would like to support this contest or you have something interesting to
offer, let us know
Also sponsored by: