Lab 10: Robot Shootout

Lead TAs: Nishant, Zack, Sam, Brian, Zachary, Sarah, Rauhit, and Hannah

Due Date: Wednesday, April 30th

Grading Sheet: Click Here

Videos of Final Demo: YouTube Playlist

Lab Purpose

Use sensors and all of your accumulated knowledge in the course to duel it out!


Using only the lego parts available to you within your kit, shift left and right along a rail, and locate and fire at the opposing robot. Try to avoid the opposing robot's shots as well. The robots will be on fixed rails (as shown below), so only one degree of freedom is available as far as movement is concerned. The objective of this lab is to shoot and hit the opposing robot and/or target above the rail. The robots will have mounted targets, to aid those who choose to use the ultrasonic sensor, as well as to increase the target surface area.

Demo Details

The demo will start with an individual demo, where you must demonstrate your robot autonomously hitting a fixed target. Your performance during this phase will determine whether you will participate in the tournament portion of the demo.

  1. The robot will be started in a random location on the rail and there will be two robots running at once.
  2. Each demo will be limited to 3.5 minutes in duration (including setup time). A round ends when one robot hits the other or the time limit (1 minute per round) is surpassed.
  3. The first robot to hit the other will win the round. There will be 3 rounds in the qualifying tournament.

Each team will take part in a double-elimination tournament, where every team in the tournament must lose 2 matches (of 3 rounds each) in order to be eliminated from the tournament. The teams will be pitted against each other based on the team's bracket from eliminations. In this way, it is possible for teams that lost in the beginning to end up winning the tournament. So never give up, never surrender!


Shift left and right along a track, and locate and fire at the opposing robot. Try to avoid the opposing robot's shots as well. The robots will be on fixed tracks (as shown below), so only one degree of freedom is available as far as movement is concerned. The robots will have a fixed minimum and maximum possible distance between them, so your robot should hopefully be able to fire and hit targets in that range. The robots will have mounted targets, to aid those who choose to use the ultrasonic sensor, as well as to increase the target surface area.


Rule Summary

  • Mount your 4"x6" target onto the robot aligned with the edge of the rail and 5" above the rail.
  • You cannot extend into the dead zone of the field before or during the round.
  • Your robot must move autonomously for each round throughout the entire competition.
  • You are only allowed to use lego parts within your kit (this includes sensors). Some exceptions apply; see below.
  • Hit the opposing team's target/robot first to win the round.


  • Use rubber wheels to grasp onto the rail.
  • Use an ultrasonic sensor to detect the other robot.
  • Use either light/touch sensors to detect the barriers of the rail.


You will have to complete set checkpoint tasks to score points. These tasks include: hitting a stationary target in any of your 3 trials, hitting another robot in any of the 3 qualifying rounds, and proceeding to the semi-finals and finals. For each of these tasks, you must complete the previous task in order to attempt the next one.

For more details, see the grading sheet.

If a team fails to follow all of the rules listed below, the team automatically loses that attempt or that round of the tournament.


  • The rails are 2x4's, laid flat, such that the long side is downward. Your robot must move along this rail. Remember, the dimensions of a 2x4 are 1.5x3.5 inches!
    • Note that the rails are mounted on a plywood sheet, so you will not be able to hook under them.
  • A 4"x6" target must be mounted on your robot. It must be mounted 5" above the rail, upright and facing the opposing robot's side, and aligned to the edge of the rail closest to the dead zone. The 6" (longer) side should be oriented horizontally.
    • You may not obstruct the target in any way.
    • You may not make any modifications to the target other than tape for mounting.
      • This tape cannot protrude out more than 2mm from the target (no tape balls).
    • Targets will be made out of cardboard.
    • Targets must be securely attached to the robot - they cannot fall off during/before the round.
    • Targets may not extend beyond the boundaries of the rails during the match.
  • Your robot may only extend 2.5 inches forward beyond the front of the rail before and during the match (the front is the side closest to the dead zone).
    • Your robot may extend as far back or up from the course as you want. There are no guarantees about the dimensions or the existence of the back of the course.
  • At the end of the rails, there are stops/barriers which are approximately 4" high, and 3.25" inches wide.
  • Along the rails there will be a gradient so that robots can localize themselves using a light sensor.
    • The gradient is on the floor of the field. It is made of paper and covered by packing tape for durability. If you decide to use the gradient, it is recommended to set the light sensor to active so that the LED is on and reflected light is measured.
    • Note that this is not required, but can be used to a team's advantage.
  • You can preload your robot with up to 2 ping-pong balls, but once the match begins, you cannot reload your robot.
  • You must be able to load and remove the robot easily onto the rails (without taking apart your robot).
  • You can ONLY use lego parts given to you within your kit (you are not allowed more sensors than your are given).
    • The exception for this is tape or zip ties to mount your target on your robot.
    • You are allowed to use weights if you find your robot slipping off of the track.
    • Extra rubber bands are allowed.
  • "Hitting" another robot consists of shooting your ping-pong ball(s) and making contact with the robot or target.
    • The ping-pong ball cannot touch/bounce off of the ground before making contact with the opposing robot.
    • The contact with the opposing robot must be above the rails.
  • You will be put in a random starting location per round at the discretion of the TAs.
    • This may or may not include directly facing the other team's robot at the start of the round.
  • You cannot have contact with the robot when the round begins - the rounds must be completely autonomous.
  • You cannot intentionally lose any mass from the robot other than the ping-pong ball.
  • For both the stationary target test and the tournament rounds, you will have 3 rounds/attempts.
    • In the tournament rounds, the team that wins 2 of the 3 rounds wins the match. In the event of a tie, the first robot to hit the other wins the match.
  • The first robot to hit the other robot wins the round.
    • If both robots fail to hit each other within the time limit or both run out of ammo, the round ends in a draw and neither robot wins that round.
    • If both robots hit each other at the same time according to the TAs discretion, then neither robot wins that round and the round ends in a draw.
  • In the event that the time limit is surpassed and no clear winner has been decided, the winner of the match will be decided by a coin flip.


If you have any questions, please contact the lead TAs!