Lab 10: Hidden RoboJoust

Head TAs: Allison Naaktgeboren , Jonathan Navia
Lighting: Michael Edelson
Webmaster: Igor Avramovic


The final lab is designed to be a fun experience, combining some elements of prior labs and homework assignments. The lab is very open ended as to encourage innovative and interesting designs.

Challenge Statement:

Each robotís goal is to autonomously find the opposing robot on the world and push the other robot off the world without damaging your opponent. Each robot will bear a light source to help you find your opponent. There will be barriers constructed around the edges of the world in order to make it easier for the robots to identify the limits of the world.

The world's size or shape will not be disclosed. All you need to know is that the world will be symmetrical and convex in its design. There will be no obstacles on the world, but the stability and grip of the terrain is somethining that should be considered.

More Details:

Building Specification

The robot must fit within an 8 x 8 x 7 (width x length x height) inch box, there needs to be one spot on the robot that's close to 7 inches high so that the lights can be attached to that spot. The lighting in itself takes up about 1 inch, but that will be the TAs problem to attach.

Movable appendages are allowed on the robot as long as they fit within the box requirements at checkpoint time. Keep in mind that if you use appendages to manipulate the other robot, that you are careful not to damage the other robot. The policiy is, if you break something, you buy it! No matter what the original intention of your design was.

The maximum weight that the robot can be, is 5 lbs. There is no reason that your robot should be heavier than that.

Building Materials

You are not limited to using lego parts, so be imaginative. The only bulding restrictions are:

  • No combustible parts
  • Electric Motors only
  • No prebuilt kits, cars
  • Handyboard has to be explicitly shielded inside the robot and cannot be used as any sort of shield. The handyboard has to be within the "belly" of the beast!
  • No material can cost more than $10 and the total cost cannot exceed $50.


    Below is a side and bottom picture of the light mounts that will be used on the robots. The light mounts will be omni-directional, so there is no need to worry about not seeing your oponenet. The light mount uses blue led lights and has its own batteries within the mount, therefore the teams don't have to worry about powering the light source. Study the light mount carefully, and remember to have at least one point on your robot of exactly 7 inches height that is big enough to mount the lights on it. Make your robot design so that the light can be easily attached.


    You will be evaluated on how well you pass the checkpoints prior to the competition as well as how well you perform during the competition. Note, once the competition starts, no changes to the robot will be allowed, unless a piece of the robot falls off or something is broken.

    Teams will be paired together successively in double elimination bouts until there is only one team left. That team shall be the grand champion. The grand champion will receive the prize designated by Professor Choset (a 100% on the final). Before the competition, each team will undergo a checkpoint. You may not enter the competition unless you have passed the checkpoint.



    The competition will be held in the REL on Wednesday May 3rd. All the teams should be present at 10:30 and be ready to start the competition right away. The competition will officially begin at 10:35.


    The enviroment will be an undisclosed shape. It will be made out of felt, edged in aluminum foil. The edges will be at least an inch and a half thick. The enviroment itself will be elevated off the ground. The fall from the enviroment's edges will be padded in order to prevent the robot from taking damage if it falls of the world.

    Rules of the Competiton

    The bouts wil begin with the TAs placing the two robots on the board and pressing the start buttons to activate both robots. Teams need to program their robots in such a way that they don't start moving until the start button is pressed. A bout ends if a robot has fallen of the edge of the world or if 5 mintues have elapsed. In the event of a tie, both robots will get a loss. This is done purposely in order to encourage more offensive rather than defensive designs. The tournament is a double elimination tournament, thus each robot needs to lose twice before it is taken out of the competition.Again, your robot must attempt not to hurt other robots. If your robot is deemed to be reckless, it will not be permitted to compete. If you have any questions about your robot design, e-mail or personally ask the TAs.

    Checkpoint Rubric

    Event Grade (points)
    Robot pushes light off world +25
    Robot doesn't fall off while pushing light +10
    Weight requirement +5
    Size dimension +5
    Robot detects edge of the world (stops at the edge if light is off the world) +15
    Robot follows a moving target +10
    Total 70 / 100

    Competition Rubric

    Since because of the competition design, some teams will lose and some will win, the teams that lose while giving a fight, shall be credited with points too. The points categories for losing a match are:

  • Lasting more than 30 secs - +1
  • Lasting more than 1 min - +5
  • Lasting more than 2 mins - +10

    Event Grade (points)
    Robot wins the first match +20
    Robot wins second match +10
    Robot wins third match Automatic 100
    Partial Credit for loss Read above
    Total 30 / 100

    Checkpoint Times and Grading Sheet

    Note: Checkpoints need to be done prior to competition day and have to be done during one of the scheduled times slots below. All checkpoints will be held in the REL

    Monday, May 1st, 8-10pm
    Tuesday, May 2nd, 7-9pm

    Grading Sheet
    Last updated 4/24/06 by Igor Avramovic
    (c) 1999-2006: Howie Choset, Carnegie Mellon