Robotour 2011 results
Czech and Slovak meeting of roboteers in Vienna
There were fifteen registered teams for Robotour 2011 contest from five countries, but only eight of them
arrived and were able to pass the homologation test. Smelý Zajko
represented Slovak Republic and the other ones were „troupers” from Czech Republic.
The contest went well besides this high mortality ratio and the show was
positively received by wide spectrum of Vienna public: from small children to
old people on a walk in a beautiful Türkenschanzpark.
The group of organizers arrived for homologation test on Friday around 1pm. Meanwhile some teams were already
nervous and called us, were are we (even though the official beginning was at
2pm). The other extreme were teams which come shortly before the end of homologation at 7pm. Those late comers
brought the promised sponsor gift from
— 15 barrels of beer, so everything was
A week before the contest had the usual evolution: Polish team 4future
its participation on Tuesday (they did not get necessary financial
support from their school),
followed them on Wendnesday (after the robbery at the beginning of
September they did not fully manage to cover the lost of a notebook … maybe we
could start some kind of shared off-site code repository on robotika.cz for
teams source code??). The final „splash” surely came the day before contest,
when bad news delivers the mail from Slovenia team The Experts
too much time on development of hardware that were was not enough time left for
software integration), Slovak B-Team
(a conflict between finishing
presentation for RIE conference and the robot for Robotour) and Austrian team
(sickness). From the newbies there are still in a game Czech
(their mail with apologize came on Friday) and Austrian team KART
KART team arrived with their P3-AT
, but the robot did not behaved as expected.
More over organizers had a problem with the power generator and the KART robot with many sensors
and hungry computational power quickly depleted its own batteries. The charging at BOKU (University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna)
helped a little, but that was not he only weakness of the robot. A complex
program was replaced by a trivial one for homologation only: go 10 meters, if there
is an obstacle stop and continue as soon as the obstacle disappears. It turned up during
the testing that the sonar data are completely nonsense. At the end
KART team gave up after whole day fight.
Any conclusion? Well, there were homologated seven Czech teams and one Slovak team for the "international" contest Robotour 2011 in Vienna …
The contest started with a „training” round on Saturday at 9am. We should
rather call it the „warm-up” round for the next years to avoid questions like „why do I have
to be there and discharge my batteries if the results do not count”? We thought of
the following motivation: the order from the training round will be used for start placement
in the first scored round. And how was it? As expected, complete chaos. Several
robots showed at the very last moment, others did not start or did not manage
to enter goal coordinates in time. It was surely a good idea to have this training
round — it is absolutely necessary and hopefully we overcome our laziness
the next year again.
The first official round at 10am went just perfectly smooth. The start was near the teams
base area and the goal was in the south-west corner of the park, on the crossing with
Marschner-Denkmal. There were several reasonable routes, so for example
Short Circuits Prague took the main wide road while Eduro Team took a steep
slope down to ping-pong tables area and sand castle for kids. Roboauto went
back and forth on the crossing, no idea which way to go. The champion was Eduro Team.
Their robot was stopped due to 30 minutes time limit, approximately 18 meters from the
The second round started close to one of the many small lakes and the goal was on the
other side of the park, near beach volleyball area. This round was already recorded by
Austrian TV ORF
. Spectators could see another
dramatic concurrent start of all robots accompanied by yells of kids whenever a
robot got enough courage to safely start and go. The robot Eduro ends up near hydrant.
The lead was taken over by Roboauto Quido, which aggressively started with their
creators running after it. The reason was that the maximal speed was changed by
factor two in order to reach the start area in time, but they forgot to change it
back again. Later they commented that the robot did not have enough time to
think about the road and that was good
. So what was the stopper for Quido about 100
meters from destination? Empty batteries, again!!!
The start of the third round was under the bridge. Simply, we could not resist
to use such a tricky navigation feature. Besides we got a tribune for the spectators and
a test for robots with worse GPS quality signal. The majority of robots handled the start correctly
but none of the robots picked the right junction near the end leading towards destination
bridge near waterfalls. The champions for this round were both robots from
The last goal must be from a principle on the top of the hill, i.e. near the
entrance to the brick tower. There were many routes, but almost all robots
picked the shortest with a steep hill. This was a torture for Roboauto as well
as for Eduro. Surprisingly this hill did not cause any troubles to a small ARBot robot
(this time it was unofficial run, the robot left the road sooner), and
Short Circuits. The best score had Eduro, which was so excited after finishing
the steep hill that it crossed the main road and fell of the road. The target
Paulinenturm remained symbolically in a distance, so demanding Robotour contest
still remains serious outdoor delivery challenge.
We completed the whole competition with winner announcement: the first place
Roboauto Quido, second place Eduro Team and the third place Roboauto Karlík. Because
this year almost every team had accommodation in different place, the
celebration and informal discussions took place in the park itself. Pizza and
beer . The drivers were not very happy because of this
arrangement so shortly after dusk the teams continue near their hostels …
The Score Table
||Short Circuits Prague
There was a workshop for the teams on Sunday morning. It was in English even those
who would not understand Czech could be counted on fingers of one hand. The
workshop took place at HappyLab, a place where every roboteer would be happy.
CNC machine, 3D printer, machine for T-shirts print, laser cutter, tools for
development of printed boards … shortly everything you can think of that it
could be useful for the robot development. The members pay 20EUR a year to HappyLab
plus the price of material. After some training course the members can get their own keys and if they want they
could be there for 24hours a day, if their family and employer let them …
well, this is a little bit off topic now.
Roboauto had joined presentation. They showed usage of their simulator in a combination
with the planner. If the road is not traversable, the planner finds an alternative and
the robot continues towards the goal with another road. Unsolved issue was the case
when the alternative road was also blocked. In that case robot replans the road
and „forgets” about the original blockage. This could lead to an infinite oscillations
until one of the obstacles disappears. The team plans an
integration of collected data into a globally consistent map for the next year.
Jiří Iša from Eduro Teamu used his one line presentation and the rest of the
time he commented the video of robot's adventure (by the way, you can see a part of it
in the TV shot of ORF). It was clear from the video which parts robot considers
to be traversable road and which are considered obstacles. More over it was very nice
presentation of all robots as they bypassed Eduro or Eduro bypassed them.
After advertisement break, a TV wanted to shot a video of some robot details,
there was a presentation of Short Circuits Prague. Pavel Jiroutek showed integration
of testing tools into Google Earth, where he could see OpenStreetMap
layer together with the current GPS position, the snapped position on the road and the odometry
The last presentation was again joined, Radioklub Písek and HACKERSPACE PISEC.
It is clear now that besides robots and enthusiasm both teams share also a sense
of humor . Very nice and funny presentation.
The whole workshop was finished with the planes for Robotour 2012. It will probably
take place in Czech Republic again. The rules will remain the same as this
p.s. we talked also about news related to Robotour:
If you consider this competition interesting and you would like to participate next year let us know. Also if you have some interesting pictures/videos please use our