The 17th year of Robotour contest for autonomous outdoor robots will take place
in the garden of castle Vrchlabí in Czech Republic on 17th September 2022.
There are 5 teams registered (CZ, DE, SK) and "registration" is still open.
The park is open to public and there will be 4 rounds as previous years
(at 10, 11:30, 14 and 15:30). Update: 19/10/2022 — Webinar Video
The rules are the same as last year. They are available on GitHub with tag
There is no registration form for this year - simply send us email (ideally till the end of July 2022) to webmaster-at-robotika.cz
with subject Robotour 2022 - TEAM NAME
Team Istrobotics reported inconsistency between Google maps and OpenStreetMap:
We can confirm this — there is a narrow sand path and the inner circle is even for bare feet only! so not for robots.
Nevertheless the outer circle is interesting as it contains tunnel, see the pictures. The OSM map was updated
The winner of Robotour 2022 in Vrchlabí is the Czech team ARBot which scored 84 points!
The 2nd team Istrobotics from Slovakia was comparable competitor but had bad luck couple of
times. Smely Zajko was fighting to „undust” their robot (rather the software as it was almost
permanently raining this year), and during the last round they managed to autonomously navigate to the pick-up area.
This was already unofficial run, as the batteries died "on the bridge" and after fitting new ones
the laptop battery died when robot was navigating to delivery area around the lake.
The testing round was not only testing for the teams but also the whole contest organization.
And it failed. The good news was all 3 robots were able to read the QR code directly from the phone.
It was very cold and rainy and the paper would quickly be unusable anyway, but this was better.
Unfortunately this year I was the only organizator and there are people needed on pickup and delivery
areas to show robots next destinations … and it is hard to be at 3 places at once. Yeah,
so we had to hack it a bit with partial success. Finally the automation server on live.robotour.cz
does not present testing round as other rounds (it is just for testing and the results are not counted)
so we used instead of delivery directly HOME (service area) location and thus 21 was the maximal
number of points. Both ARBot and Istrobotics performed without any mistakes.
The first round had a pickup point near the lake and delivery near the south exit from the park. Again
both ARBot and Istrobotics performed very well and scored maximum points (31). At this stage I was wondering
what I will do if both teams will have the same maximal total score …
I would call it the „formule 1 race” as both leading teams started in similar time and were really racing on
the park roads. This was already on the way to delivery point (pickup was on the slope of one of side roads).
At one moment ARBot got too close to Istrobotics, trying to pass it, but suddenly the other robot was in blind
zone (later I was told that not for sensors but for empty road evaluation polygon), and hit the other robot
with right wheel. ARBot stopped and Istrobotics continued but with warning beeping of battery low. The agreement
was that they will switch the battery on delivery point (50 meters to go?) but they never reached it. The robot
was a couple of meters ahead of the group of observers when suddenly I heard a loud crash sound, and I expected that
some branch from the old oak trees fell down. No, it was Istrobot lying on the back side due to sudden battery cut-off,
where the computer was turned off but the controller had still a moment to speed up to max … but with the payload
it did not have enough balance. So again ARBot scored as Istrobotics 11 points.
There was relatively long pause for lunch and recovery, but would it help? The next pickup zone was more to the
west forcing the robots to second road from the start. There was a short pavement and cca 10cm drop. It was still
in semi-autonomous area, where the team can restart their robot if needed, but still. ARBot had hard time to
find the narrow spot, where it was possible to leave the pavement. On the other hand Istrobotics managed this part
without any issue.
The pickup was close to „Krtek building” and it was hard to select the road from police parking lot. Istrobotics
chosen rough road with wet stones and bits of grass and the robot was really not happy about that. It decided to
turn (car-like vehicle, so you have to do several maneuvers to turn 180 degrees), and still did not like the
road until it backed up into the grass, scoring only 1 point for successfully leaving the start area.
ARBot was more lucky, choosing a different road and managed both pickup and delivery. But the return to the start
was hard again. Yes, the pavement and narrow place where the robot could climb up back to continue. The robot was
running there around for 15 minutes(?) when suddenly the orientation was good and it did it — 31 points, so
this was the decision moment when the two leading teams scored differently.
The last round was supposed to be across the whole park to the northest point near the monastery. I am still not
sure if I made a mistake or simply overlooked that the pickup point is very close to the delivery point from the 2nd round.
The experience for the robots was not the same — the weather changed and there was strong sun casting sharp
shadows and reflections from the wet surfaces. All robots hate it! OTOH almost all 3 robots reached the pickup
area and scored first 11 points. But then Istrobotics went to check the entrance to the police station with an
access ramp for wheelchairs. The first circle looked like fun, but the second finished with hard crash. It is surely
on the police security camera but there is also at least one video from team members (to be published later).
This run was bad also for ARBot which lost direction and ended outside the park road.