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Cogito team is the winner of Robotour 2017!

Twelfth year of Robotour contest introduced new „delivery” rules, which we had to tweak a little bit on the way to Žilina and also during the competition. After that the satisfaction was both on the side of teams as well as organizers. And who managed the latest task the best? The team which tested the most … Czech/Swiss team Cogito! (Update 20/9: added new links and videos)



There were 15 teams registered this year but only 9 of them actively competed. ND Team did not come because of family reasons, team BII from Brno gave up shortly before the contest, Legendary Rover Team from Poland competed in parallel back at home in another Mars rover contest, local team Mota Sato broke-up and remaining members did not have enough energy to continue fighting with the steering control and the teams MART and Robosoft spent all Saturday by solving various issues
Overview map
Overview map
and although they both homologated in the end, they did not compete in the park.


Ľudovít Štúr park was OK. My original worry that the network of paths is actually only some kind of „ladder”, where there are two parallel roads from north to south connected by a few roads. But in reality it went quite well. The city even managed to repair part of the road on Friday (although it was Slovak national holiday). The park was nice, full-grown trees, newly seeded grass, clearly defined footpaths with concrete tiles. Moreover, the park was screened out from the busy road by stone gabions. Most of the day it was raining so another great feature of the park was motorway bridge under which we had a dry shelter.
  • A1 lat=49.212961 lon=18.744760
  • A2 lat=49.212677 lon=18.743991
  • A3 lat=49.212086 lon=18.745045
  • A4 lat=49.212746 lon=18.744444
  • A7 lat=49.211683 lon=18.745142
  • A8 lat=49.211185 lon=18.744557


It is time to get used to to wet Robotours. It was definitely not as bad as last year in Germany though! On the other hand, probably nobody was surprised and if the robots were not fully waterproof they made it with an umbrella(s) and/or raincoat.


The homologation on Friday checked the usual 10 meter autonomous navigation with obstacle detection, functionality of STOP button and newly also readiness of teams for load and unload of the payload.

Competition rounds

According to teams the new rules were less stressful, and so the whole contest was more easy going. Ondra Luks prepared server and WiFi access point robotour (password robotour), which served besides description of the current „order” with delivery place also QR code readable by smartphones (and smart robots, one day). There was no longer need to run around with soaking wet papers to distribute new coordinates.
New task was automatically displayed at 9:00, 10:00, 11:30, 14:00 and 15:30 , and it was valid for one hour only. There were two park roads from the service area, strategically placed under the bridge, and the teams could choose any of them. The place of pickup and delivery was specified by GPS coordinates and marked by traffic cone for the spectators. It was necessary to define „proximity” so extra lines were drawn on the road + small cones.
Delivered beer to location A7
Delivered beer to location A7
The original radius 5 meters turned out to be too narrow (and it is not primary goal of this contest) so we extended it to 10 meters in following rounds.
The robots reasonably navigated through the park for the whole contest day. Nevertheless there were still some funny and dramatic moments. I mean mostly front, side and back almost collisions when the autonomous robots met on the road. With one(?) exception, when the ARBot robot without the beer keg was almost invisible for the JECC-Fesl laser, the robots successfully managed collision avoidance.
There were also several comedy situations. Short Circuits Prague missed the turn right in 3rd round, detected this situation, turned 180 degrees and returned back to service area. There the team could fix/restart the robot but second attempt was with the same result. This was not so funny from the team point of view — the reason was non-functional new ublox8 GPS.
Another example was JECC-Fesl robot, which successfully loaded payload in second round, but then the robot just drove through unloading area and returned to loading area again. Here was a bug in their state machine code, which was not sufficiently tested.
The loading and unloading zones were defined from OSM map, for which we owe big thanks to Udo from JECC Fesl team and Istrobotics team. The selected places for each round were: 1st round A1-A2, 2nd round A3-A4, 3rd round A4-A8 and 4th round A2-A7.

Total Score

Place Team 1st Run 2nd Run 3rd Run 4th Run Total
1st Cogito 10 30 10 30 80
2nd JECC Fesl 0 10 10 30 50
3rd Istrobotics 0 0 10 20 30
4th-5th MRVK 0 0 10 10 20
4th-5th Short Circuits Prague 10 0 0 10 20
6th THD 0 0 0 10 10
7th Smelý Zajko 0 0 5 0 5
8th-9th ARBot 0 0 0 0 0
8th-9th JECC Lois 0 0 0 0 0
  • the points are multiplied by 10


The test of new rules went well, maybe with the exception of automatic loading. This option was, due to double bonus, too attractive for new teams so that they focused on this task instead of navigation on the road. Note, that this option will be removed from Robotour 2018 rules. Thanks for support of Amavet (Jozef Ristvej) and University of Žilina (UNIZA) we had permission for park, accommodation, joint dinner, and also conference room for Sunday workshop. Also thanks to (Richard Balogh) for the cup, medals, pizza and gas to generator. I think, that teams were leaving relatively satisfied. Various issues were rather of technical type, and were mostly related to insufficient testing. And finally combined workshop with PAIR'17 student conference was interesting — mixture of cultures. Thanks to all of you one more time!


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