Robo-Magellan is a robotics competition emphasizing autonomous navigation and obstacle avoidance over varied, outdoor terrain. Robots have three opportunities to navigate from a starting point to an ending point and are scored on time required to complete the course with opportunities to lower the score based on contacting intermediate points.
The robot must not be constructed in such a way as to damage the environment or other robots. See "Safety" for other restrictions. No robot may weigh more than 50 pounds nor may it use an internal or external combustion engine. The robot must fit inside a 4’ x 4’ x 4’ cube for the entire duration of its run.
Robots must be autonomous. Remote control is not allowed, with the exception of the remote control safety switch(es).
The course will be outdoors with both natural and manmade terrain and obstacles. The terrain may include pavement, dirt, small rocks, grass, hills, gullies, trees, curbs and weeds. This list is not exhaustive. The robot will not need to traverse a water obstacle to complete the course although weather conditions may make some surfaces wet and/or soggy. The contest will not necessarily be postponed in the event of inclement weather.
Robots will be placed at a designated starting point prior to each run. The destination and bonus waypoints will be designated with latitude/longitude coordinates and marked by 18", orange, plastic traffic cones. Waypoints will be specified as degrees and minutes with minutes carried out to three positions right of the decimal point (N 47 22.124 W 122 32.049). The datum is WGS84.
The total straight-line distance between the start and destination will be less than 300 feet however the shortest route may be longer due to obstacles. The route taken from start to destination, including bonus waypoints, may be significantly longer than 300 feet.
The latitude and longitude of the start, destination and bonus waypoints will be announced at the start of the contest along with other considerations such as safety matters and course boundaries. Contestants will then have 30 minutes to make software and hardware modifications to their robots. At the end of 30 minutes, a judge will signal the start of the race. Each robot will be given three chances to complete the course and 30 minutes will be provided between attempts for software and hardware modifications.
During the initial 30 minutes between the announcement of the course and the start of the contest, contestants will be able to walk the course to take measurements. Acceptable measuring instruments include a hand-held GPS, tape measure, wheeled measuring device, etc. However, the actual robot will not be allowed on the course. Please see Intended Rule Evolution in the appendix for more information.
Judges will determine the maximum number of robots that can run at once. If more than one robot will be run simultaneously, judges will stagger the start times to minimize the chances of robots interfering with each other. Judges will also designate the order in which robots will start. Consideration will be given to robot speed, intended route, safety features and other factors when determining the starting lineup.
Each robot will work their way toward the destination waypoint following the course its operator deems appropriate. Boundaries will be set and, if a robot crosses a boundary, it will be immediately stopped and no score will be awarded for that attempt. Robots must touch bonus waypoint cones to score bonus points.
Robots must touch the destination waypoint and stop in order to complete the course. Robots that do not complete the course will receive no score for that round (see exception under Scoring).
Each robot is given 15 minutes to complete the course on each of its three attempts. Each attempt is scored individually. After three attempts, the best (lowest) score for each robot will be recorded as that robot’s final score. Thirty minutes will be given between attempts to allow for software and hardware modifications.
Robots do not need to travel the same route for each attempt. Contestants may try alternate routes in an effort to improve their score or chances of finishing.
Robots will receive a score corresponding to the number of seconds needed to travel to the destination.
Bonus waypoints are assigned multipliers (between 0.1 and 0.9) prior to the start of the competition and will reflect the difficulty of the terrain, distance from the start/destination and any other factors the judges consider relevant. A robot must physically touch the orange traffic cone marking the waypoint to receive a scoring multiplier. If a robot successfully navigates to more than one bonus waypoint, all applicable bonus multipliers will be applied. For example, if a robot requires 500 seconds to complete the course and visits two bonus waypoints with multipliers of 0.5 and 0.1, the final score for that attempt will be 500 x 0.5 x 0.1 = 25.
If a robot does not finish, it will receive a score indicating the distance remaining to the target cone, along the shortest practical path to the destination (not necessarily a straight line between the robot and the destination cone). Robots that complete the course at least once will always place higher than robots that do not complete the course.
Scoring will be at the sole discretion of the judges.
One or more judges will officiate the contest. They will ensure the spirit of these rules are followed and impose scoring penalties or remove a robot from competition if the robot is operating in an unsafe manner or not complying with the spirit of these rules. The decisions of the judges are final.
Each robot must demonstrate a suitable fail-safe stop mechanism before it will be allowed to compete. Suitable safety stop mechanism: The robot builder is responsible for devising the safety stop mechanism. Some possibilities:
In any case the safety stop switch must be fail-safe: The robot handler must demonstrate that by dropping, or letting go of the stop mechanism the robot comes to an immediate stop and makes no further movement. The stop mechanism does not need to cut primary power as long as it can be demonstrated that the robot reliably comes to a complete halt.
The RoboMagellan rules are owned and maintained by the Seattle Robotics Association.