The Course

The course is located on the walkway in front of Wean Hall, in the area with the two bicycle ramps. The track consists of a wavy, white painted stripe approximately two inches in width, and has a minimum turn radius of 36 inches measured at the center of the stripe. The track will lead through a number of wicket-style gates which straddle the stripe. To proceed successfully, a vehicle must pass through each gate in numbered order.

Gates are wicket style, bent from one-half-inch electrical conduit ("EMT", 0.71-inch outside diameter, galvanized steel) and have an inside opening 18-inches square (+/- 1/2 inch). The two top corners have an inside radius of approximately 3.5 inches due to the bends in the conduit. (Note that these bends intrude slightly on the 18-inch square opening.) Each gate is supported on a 12-inch-long horizontal leg (inverted T) on one side of the wicket such that the inverted T is perpendicular to the plane of the wicket (i.e., the 12-inch leg is nominally parallel to the track). A prototype wicket is available for viewing in Newell Simon Hall 4217 or in Wean Hall 4101.

The gates stand sturdily and are not trivial to knock down. However, if one is bumped hard it will move out of position (as defined below) or fall, ending the run.

Gates are positioned nominally perpendicular to and centered on the stripe to within plus-or-minus one inch. Pairs of white circles which straddle the stripe mark potential gate locations along the course. Each gate is placed with its two downward legs centered in a pair of circles. The circles define the extent to which a gate can move if bumped by a vehicle. The run for a vehicle ends if the downward leg of a gate leaves the circle in which it is placed or if the gate is knocked over.

On the lower part of the course (below the bicycle ramps), there are decision points (forks) on the track. Vehicles must make correct decisions at the forks in order to continue successfully. A map showing the location of all gates on the course will be available to participants at least 48 hours in advance of a race.

There are numerous gaps along the track on the concrete sidewalk. The allowable size of these gaps affects the mechanical vehicle design (e.g., wheel diameter) and sensor design (e.g., ability to accommodate loss of stripe for a short distance). Though it is not practical for "normal" gaps (about one-half-inch wide) between concrete sections to be filled in, any gaps substantially wider will be filled prior to the official competition. Any necessary patches to the course will be made in early spring, because such repairs would probably deteriorate during the winter.

The course will be repainted two to four weeks before race day. No further repairs or changes to the course will be performed unless deemed necessary by the Mobot Committee. The paint used is Krylon Flat White #1502. Contestants should be aware that the optical (reflective) properties of the stripe may change with time and wear, as well as weather conditions (e.g., dampness). Mobots must be designed to handle any and all such variations.

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