Trinity College
Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest
2014 Rules

Copyright 2013 Trinity College
Edited by
Ed Nisley (ed.nisley@pobox.com)

Table of Contents

Part I. General Rules and Procedures

These rules and procedures apply to all Trinity College Fire-Fighting Home Robot (TCFFHRC) competitions.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions will be found on the Contest Website at http://www.trincoll.edu/events/robot/.
The PDF version of this document should be regarded as definitive; text and font conversion errors may affect other file formats. The HTML version may not include clickable cross-references. The chapter and section numbers have changed from previous years and versions; they will certainly change in the future.
If you find an error or inconsistency, please email the Editor (Ed Nisley ed.nisley@pobox.com) with a copy to the Contest Director (Dave Ahlgren david.ahlgren@trincoll.edu). We will defer problems reported after noon on the Monday preceding the Contest weekend until the next year’s Contest.

1 Registration and Eligibility

1.1 Mission Statement

The contest rules, spirit, setting, and tone derive from this statement of our mission:
The Trinity College robot contests are open, nonprofit events that require invention of autonomous, socially relevant robots. The contests promote creativity, teamwork, the understanding and application of STEM subjects, and the sharing of ideas.

1.2 Eligibility and Teams

Anyone may enter a robot.
There is no limit on team size.
In the rest of this document, the term “team” means either the group or the individual associated with a robot entered in the contest.
No more than 15 teams may register from any single country outside the United States. This restriction applies to the contest as a whole, not to the Divisions within it.

1.3 Unique and Customized Robots

In accordance with our mission, the Trinity College Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest and the RoboWaiter Contest, and their associated regional contests, encourage contestants to prepare original, unique robots of their own design. However, we recognize that some teams may wish to enter a kit-based robot, a commercial robot, or a robot that shares some design features with another robot entered in the contest.
Therefore the contest has two categories of robots, Unique and Customized, described below. In any Division, Unique robots will receive larger cash awards than Customized robots. See Section 4.1.1↓
Unique robots
Customized robots
Teams will designate their robots as Unique or Customized when they register for the contest.
Our inspectors will examine each robot when the team checks in. The inspectors will verify the category of each robot and, at their discretion, change the category if appropriate.
Note Any robot that the inspectors determine to be an unmodified commercial robot will not be allowed in the contest.

1.4 Multiple Entries

A team may enter more than one robot by paying a separate registration fee for each robot.
In order to qualify for a Unique robot prize, each robot must differ visibly and significantly from all other robots in at least some aspects of electronics or mechanics.
An individual, team or school must not register multiple identical robots as separate entries in the same Division: the Customized category does not allow identical robots.
Note: Non-functional items, such as paint, stickers, and other decorations, do not affect the robot’s category.

1.5 Registration

Registration for the TCFFHRC is available only on-line through the contest website. We will accept registration applications from 12:01 a.m. on January 15, 2014 until 11:59 p.m. on March 20, 2014. For further details check the Contest Website at http://www.trincoll.edu/events/robot/.
The steps in the registration process are as follows:
  1. Go to the registration web site at http://www.trincoll.edu/events/robot/Registration/default.asp.
  2. Create a user ID and password and set up the rest of the account information.
  3. Fill in all of the required information.
  4. The contact person provided on the form will receive email confirmation of your successful registration within three days.

1.5.1 Deadline

You must register for the contest between January 15 and March 20 (midnight to midnight), otherwise your robot will not be in the contest. There are no exceptions.
You have spent hundreds of hours and perhaps as much money on your robot. Register early!

1.6 Fees

A non-refundable registration fee is required for each robot entered into the contest. The fee must accompany each entry.
If you want to enter two robots, then you must build two robots: the same physical robot cannot be entered twice, even if two entry fees are paid.
We repeat: registration fees are non-refundable.
The fees for 2014 are:

1.7 Construction Schedule

Teams should build their robots and bring them to the contest ready to compete: this is not a construction contest where you build robots at the event!
Trinity will provide limited time and space for last minute changes, adjustments, and improvements. However, the robots should be completed (or very nearly so) by the time they arrive at the Contest.

1.8 Qualification Trials and Elimination Rounds

Every team registered for the contest will have the opportunity to run their robot in the Contest, assuming it conforms to the specifications given in these Rules. However, in all Divisions:
Thus, the first two rounds of the competition serve to eliminate unreliable robots.
NOTE Every team must demonstrate that its robot conforms to the contest specifications at the Robot Inspection Table (Section 2.8↓) before the robot can compete.

1.9 Contest Location, Dates, and Schedule

TCFFHRC events will be held at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, from Friday 4 April 2014 through Sunday 6 April 2014.
The full schedule of events for the contest weekend will be posted on the Contest Website at http://www.trincoll.edu/events/robot/.

2 Basic Rules and Procedures

The rules and information in this Chapter apply to all Trinity College robot contests, unless otherwise noted.
NOTE These rules change every year. Each team is responsible for reading these rules and building a robot that complies with them. Robots designed for previous contests may not be acceptable under the current rules.

2.1 Judge’s Rulings

The Chief Judge is the final and absolute authority on the interpretation of all rules and decisions.
A team may challenge any ruling or scoring of the Arena Judges by stating that they wish to appeal the problem to the Chief Judge. The Chief Judge will then be called in to decide the matter.
The challenge must be made before the team leaves the arena after the completion of a trial.
All results, scores, and decisions become irrevocable after the team leaves the arena.

2.2 Language Translation

Teams from around the world participate in the Trinity Contest. In order to facilitate communication between team members (who may not speak fluent English) and the Judges and Contest officials, the Contest will provide all translation services at the arenas and Judging areas.
Judges and Contest officials will communicate directly with the team members, not with team leaders or other translators affiliated with the teams. Team leaders and team translators may not accompany their team at the arena during the team’s trial runs.
If any members of your team require translation services, you must specify the language on the registration form.
The English-language version of this Rules document contains the definitive text.

2.3 Safety

Any Contest official may stop any robot at any time if, in their opinion, it is performing or is about to perform any action that could be dangerous or hazardous to people, facilities, or other equipment.
Robots must not use flammable or explosive materials to extinguish the flame.

2.4 Dimensions and Accuracy

The goal of the contest is to make a robot that can operate successfully in the real world, not just in the laboratory. Such a robot must be able to operate successfully where there is uncertainty and imprecision, not just under ideal conditions. Therefore, the arena dimensions and other specifications listed below will not be precisely what the robots will encounter at the contest: they are provided as general aids.
NOTE We recommend designing your robot to cope with with sizes 5 to 10 mm beyond any stated dimensions. Our experience has shown that robots designed with no margin for error generally suffer from the “But it worked in our classroom / lab / arena!” syndrome.
The size limits on robots are, however, absolute and will be enforced by the Judges.
Object dimensions are generally given as length x width x height, as the robot encounters the object.
In the RoboWaiter Contest, “deep” refers to the front-to-back dimension of shelves.

2.5 Arena Environment

Although the robot contest arenas present an idealized version of the real world, you must not assume:
Every robot must successfully handle small misalignments, inaccuracies, discolorations, and other arena imperfections. You must test your robot under less-than-ideal conditions and verify that it works properly.
NOTE Flash photography will occur during the entire contest. Your robot must withstand frequent sensor glitches from IR and UV impulses. If your robot operates incorrectly due to external interference, it will not be given another trial.

2.5.1 Arena Environment Checklist

The contest takes place in a gymnasium that will be quite different than your classroom, laboratory, basement, or living room. Some possible problems you should consider:

2.6 Practice Time

The contest arenas will be assembled and available for unscheduled test trials on Saturday.
Due to the limited number of arenas and the large number of robots, waiting lines can become very long.
You should use the practice time to calibrate sensors for the conditions in the gym and to troubleshoot any last minute problems. No team has ever accomplished extensive code development and hardware design on Saturday.
NOTE A robot’s practice run must not last more than 3 minutes. You and your robot must not occupy an arena while you are changing the program or adjusting the hardware: when you discover a problem, remove your robot from the arena.
Robots should be built, programmed, and ready to compete on arrival at the contest site. Get busy now!
There will be limited practice time on Sunday morning, with only a few arenas available.
Some teams bring entire practice arenas along to the competition. You may be able to wheedle your way into those arenas, but that depends entirely on your negotiating skills.
NOTE After leaving the arena to adjust your robot, you must return to the end of the line for the arena: you must not jump into the line ahead of anyone else. Other team members or adult advisors must not “hold a place in line” for anyone else. Team members observed jumping into the line will be reminded of proper Contest etiquette.

2.6.1 Damage During Practice Runs

Only one robot is allowed in a practice arena at any one time.
If two robots collide during practice in an arena and one is damaged, then either:
NOTE If you put your robot in an arena where another robot is operating and your robot causes irreparable damage, your team and robot will be disqualified from the contest.
The decisions of contest officials concerning:
are final and cannot be appealed.
Because we do not monitor practice sessions, you are responsible for the safety of your robot at all times.

2.7 Power and Facilities

Power will be distributed as 120 VAC 60 Hz. Your equipment must draw less than 10 A from a single US-standard 15 amp outlet.
You must bring along any voltage or frequency converters required to adapt that power to your needs.
You must bring along sufficient extension cords and outlet strips; you will have access to a single outlet that may be 10 meters from your assigned table in the pit area.
Because the power distribution involves cables laid on the floor, you must assume that power to your devices can be interrupted at any time: people occasionally stumble over the cables and circuit breakers may trip without warning.
NOTE Utility AC power will not be available in the arena area.
Teams must not bring extension cords or external power supplies, such as laptop power bricks, into the arena area. This applies during the Saturday practice sessions as well as the Sunday contests.
Contestants must bring any and all materials, parts, and test equipment that they may need. The Hartford area has very few retail suppliers of electronic and mechanical parts; those suppliers are generally closed during weekends.
The gymnasium is well-lighted, but it is not air-conditioned. Spring weather in Hartford tends to be warm and humid with occasional chilly rain, so plan your wardrobe accordingly.

2.8 Robot Inspection Table

We expect that your robot will meet the specifications described in these rules, so that it will compete fairly with other robots.
Each team must present its robot at the Robot Inspection Table (RIT) prior to the start of the Contest trials to verify that it meet these specifications:
A Judge will record the results on the RIT Checklist and explain any problems. You must correct those problems and present the robot again to verify that it meets the requirements.
NOTE You may present your robot to the Robot Inspection Table twice. A robot that does not pass its second inspection will not compete.
The most current version of the RIT Checklist will be posted at http://www.trincoll.edu/events/robot/. A sample Checklist appears in Appendix D↓.
We recommend that you have another person evaluate your robot using the RIT Checklist. You should resolve all discrepancies before the contest: do not bring a non-conforming robot to the Contest.
NOTERobot that do not pass the RIT inspection will not compete in the Contest.
The RIT will be open on Friday afternoon, most of Saturday, and early Sunday morning before the Opening Ceremony. Check the bulletin board at the Registration Table for the exact times.
NOTEIf your robot has not passed inspection before the RIT closes on Sunday, your robot will not compete in the Contest.

2.9 Trial Sequence

Each robot has an assigned number that determines the order in which it will compete in the contest. Robots make trial runs in the arena in ascending numeric order, so that the robots compete consecutively. When all robots have completed the first trial, the sequence repeats for the second and third attempts. Once assigned, the order of running will not be changed.
Contestants will have limited time between their trials for adjustments, modifications, and repairs to their robot. However, after the preceding robot has completed its trial, then your robot must be in the arena and ready to start within 1 minute.
The Judges will start a timer when they call for the next robot: that robot must be on the Judge’s Table before that clock reaches 1 minute. Any robot that is not ready to compete after 1 minute will forfeit its chance at that trial. It may still compete in any remaining trials.
NOTE If you are not ready, you will miss your turn.

2.10 Starting the Trial

The team will place the robot on the Judge’s arena table and give the Judge the Trial Options Sheet (Appendix E↓) when they arrive for their robot’s trial.
The Trial Options Sheet describes all of the Operating Modes applicable to the robot’s current trial run. Teams need not select Operating Modes for future trials; they may choose different modes for each trial based on how their robot performs.
Teams may not make any changes to the information on the Checklist after presenting it to the Judge. If a team discovers a mistake on the Trial Run Checklist after presenting it to the Judge, they must choose to either:
Team members must not touch the robot after placing it on the Judge’s arena table.
The team must not transfer any information to the robot regarding the layout of the arena, the starting position, or the position of any objects after placing the robot on the arena table. The team must download any required programs or firmware to the robot before arriving at the arena.
The Judges will use the robot’s Division and the selected Modes to determine the arena configuration, then place the robot and any objects in the arena. The team must not request special placement of objects or changes to the robot’s placement in the arena.
The Judge will determine when the trial begins and will activate the robot using either the Start Button or the Standard Sound Start Device, as required by the Division and Operating Modes.

2.10.1 Failure to Start

If the robot fails to start when activated, then the robot has failed the trial.
The Judges will wait for the time described in Section 6.5.2.2↓, then record a failed trial. Teams may decide that the robot will not move and terminate the trial before that time by informing the Judge.
This applies regardless of the reason the robot does not start. All that matters is that the robot does not begin moving after the Judge presses the Start Button or activates the Sound Start Device.
Teams must not request a re-run following a failure to start.

2.10.2 Premature Start

If a robot begins moving before the Judge has placed it in the arena, it has failed the trial.
If a robot begins moving after being placed in the arena, but before the Judge presses the Start Button or activates the Sound Start Device, it has failed the trial.
Teams must not request a re-run following a premature start.

Part II. TCFFHRC: Junior, High School, Senior, and Walking Divisions

The Trinity College Firefighting Home Robot Contest (TCFFHRC) advances robot technology and knowledge by using robotics as an educational tool. A winning robot must respond to a fire alarm, discover the blaze, and extinguish it in the shortest possible time.
To accomplish that overall task, the robot must start on a signal (a simulated fire alarm), explore a typical family home (the arena), locate a fire (a burning candle), extinguish it, and optionally return to its starting point. The robot must operate autonomously during all parts of the challenge, without human intervention, using its own sensors, control logic, and actuators.
Each Team has the responsibility to build a robot that conforms to the rules applicable to the 2014 Contest.
Additional contests held during the TCFFHRC weekend provide different challenges, as described in these rules.
Direct questions and comments about the contest to the Contest Director: Dave Ahlgrendavid.ahlgren@trincoll.edu.

3 Fire-Fighting Contest Structure

3.1 Divisions

In order to make the contest accessible to persons of all ages and skill levels the TCFFHRC offers prizes in several Divisions:
Teams or individuals may also demonstrate their robotics knowledge by taking the Robot Olympiad exam (Part IV↓) and entering the Poster Contest (Part V↓).

3.1.1 Division Criteria

Participants who meet the criteria for a particular Division may, at their option, decide to enter their robot in a higher Division, however, they may not enter in a lower Division.
The Contest Judges may reclassify robots entered in an incorrect Division.
When registering for the contest, each team must specify the robot’s Division. If that Division is full, the robot will be placed on a waiting list.
In order to change Divisions, the team must re-register the robot and pay the appropriate registration fee.
Division entry fees will not be refunded after registration.
No single robot may be entered in two Divisions.

4 Scoring and Awards

The scoring system emphasizes reliability by grouping robots according to the number of successful trials.
Within each reliability group robots are ranked according to score. To earn a cash performance award, a robot must complete at least two successful trials. Within any contest Division only one prize will be given to any winning robot. However, a robot may win a prize in a contest Division and win one or more special prizes (Cost Effective, etc).
The TCFFHRC awards cash prizes provided by our contest sponsors and non-cash prizes provided by contest supporters. All prizes are described on the Contest Website at http://www.trincoll.edu/events/robot/.
Each team participating in the contest will receive a Certificate of Achievement and one official contest T-shirt.

4.1 Performance Awards

4.1.1

Each Division has two prize categories, as described in Section 1.3↑: Unique and Customized. First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in each category. To earn a cash performance award a robot must have at least two successful trials.
The Firefighting Performance Awards for 2014 will be:
Award Unique Robot Customized Robot
First Place $300 $200
Second Place $200 $125
Third Place $100 $75

4.1.2 North American Awards

The top North American robot in each Division will receive a special cash award of $100.
“North American” countries lie north of the Panama Canal.

4.2 World Champion Prize for Best Unified Robot Performance

The World Champion BURP Prize recognizes the best overall performance by an individual or team in the Junior, High School, Senior, or Walking Divisions. We will compute each team’s or individual’s BURP score by weighing
A team or individual must participate in the Contest, Olympiad, and Poster events to be eligible for the BURP award.
NOTE The BURP Prize does not include robots competing in the Assistive Robotics (RoboWaiter) Contest.

4.2.1 BURP Score Weighting

The ranking of the robots and teams within their respective Divisions determines their total BURP score. The actual contest scores are not used, only the rankings within the respective Divisions.
This weighting applies to the rankings:

4.2.2 BURP Scoring Example

Junior Division: Team 1
Total BURP score = 0.133 + 0.0625 + 0.0625 = 0.258.
High School Division: Team 2
Total BURP score = 0.089 + 0.068 + 0.146 = 0.303.
BURP Ranking
Team 1 has a lower score than Team 2, so its BURP ranking is better.

4.3 Special Awards

4.3.1 Spirit of an Inventor

Once Upon A Time, a creative engineer developed a unique two-legged firefighting robot. Even though the robot was not the fastest in the contest and and had no chance to win first prize, it made its way through the arena and extinguished a candle.
We were so impressed that we created a special award to recognize this engineer’s achievement: The Spirit of the Inventor Award. This award will be given in addition to any other prizes that the robot may win.
To qualify for The Spirit of the Inventor award, the robot must:
The robot need not successfully complete a trial run according to the rules of its Division.

4.3.2 Cost-Effective Robot

Robotics does not have to be expensive: spending more money does not guarantee success. In fact, some of the very best robots have been some of the least expensive. To award financial efficiency there will be a special prize for the best performing robot built with the lowest amount of money in material cost.
If you put in $50,000 in labor and destroyed $5,000 in parts finally getting it to work, but your final robot has less than $200 in actual parts in it, then it is a good contender for this prize.
It does not matter what you paid for the parts, but only what they are worth. A motor that originally cost $50, but is now for sale in a surplus catalog for $5 is now a $5 motor. However, if you got a $50 motor for free from a friend, then it’s still a $50 motor even though you got it for free. On the other hand, if you destroyed three $50 motors in building the robot, you only have to account for the one motor that is actually on the robot.
Evaluation Method:
  1. As part of the on-line registration process teams will indicate in a check box on the registration form whether they wish to be considered for the Cost-Effective Prize (CEP).
  2. Participating teams will prepare an inventory for their robot that lists all parts and their prices. You must submit an itemized record of your receipts and copies of the receipts to the Judges. If you do not have that material your robot is not eligible for the cost effective prize.
  3. Two Judges will inspect the robot and verify the inventory.
  4. Each robot will be put into a cost category (CC)
    • CC1: under $100 U.S.
    • CC2: $100-$150 U.S
  5. Robots will be ranked as follows:
    1. Compute Total Final Score (TFS) for only the two best trials using the scoring method described below.
    2. If any robots in CC1 were successful, the winner will be the robot with the best TFS.
    3. If no CC1 robots had successful trials, the winner will be the robot in CC2 with the best TFS.

4.3.3 Tiny Robot Award

Although the contest rules for each Division require robots to fit into a specified maximum volume, there is no minimum size. We challenge teams to build the smallest robot able to successfully complete at least one of its three trials. The robot may compete in any Contest Division.
Size will be determined by measuring the area of the robot’s projection on the arena floor - the smallest rectangle enclosing its chassis and all of the projecting sensors, wires, and appendages.
The Judges will measure all robots competing for this prize.

5 Specifications

5.1 Arenas

The arena dimensions and specifications listed below are not exactly what will be encountered at the contest: they are provided as general aids. See Section 2.4↑.

5.1.1 Dimensions

All arenas use a common layout, with dimensions as shown in Figure 5.1↓. In addition to those dimensions,
The location of any given point may vary by 2.5 cm from its nominal position. This is a non-cumulative tolerance: the distance between any two points will be within 2.5 cm of the nominal value.
Door openings do not have doors: white tape on the floor marks each door opening. The tape is 2.5 cm wide, extends across the entire door opening, and is aligned with the walls on each side. The tape may have gaps up to 2.5 cm on each side and may not be precisely aligned with the walls.
NOTE We strongly recommend that your robot should not depend on precise dimensions. Our experience shows that the intensity of a protest based on arena dimensions corresponds directly with the robot’s failure to operate at all. See Section 2.4↑.
The location of the doors in Rooms 1 and 4 will differ on each trial, as described in Section 6.5.1.10↓.
figure FF Arena Dimensions.png
Figure 5.1 Arena Dimensions(FF Arena Dimensions.png)

5.1.2 Materials and Finishes

The arena floor consists of plywood, painted flat black at the start of the contest. Our best efforts will be made to clean up after each robot, but there is no guarantee that the floor will stay uniformly black throughout the entire contest (Section s2.4↑ and2.5↑). The floor may also have small (3 mm diameter) colored dots on it to indicate potential locations for candles and other objects.
Arena walls consist of medium-density particleboard, painted flat white at the start of the contest. Angle brackets supporting a wall may extend about 4 cm into the hall or room, with screws into the wall and floor.
The white tape marking the doorways has a semi-gloss finish. It will become scuffed and discolored during the contest: your robot must detect the difference between a black floor and a white tape line regardless of their cleanliness.
NOTE Remove your shoes before stepping into the arena! Shoes produce hard-edged dust marks on the floor that may be mistaken for white tape. Stockings produce soft-edged marks that reduce the overall floor contrast. In either case, the arena will be as clean as you leave it.

5.1.3 Basic Arena

The Basic Arena presents a simplified model of a typical house, with high-contrast walls and floors, for the Junior and Walking Divisions.

5.1.4 Standard Arena

The Standard Arena Layout represents a decorated home that presents a more realistic fire-fighting environment for the High School & Senior Divisions. The Standard Arena has the same dimensions as the Basic arena, with these differences:
  1. Rugs will be placed in some or all of the rooms and hallways. There will be no shag rugs, but robots must navigate across 1 cm thick rug edges. The shaded areas in Figure 5.2↓ mark the allowed rug locations: not all rugs will be present and the locations and colors will be different in each arena.
  2. Wall decorations, including pictures, tapestries, and mirrors, will be hung from the walls of rooms and hallways. These will not protrude more than 1 cm from the wall. The walls may also have wallpaper in various patterns and colors, as well as painted surfaces in any color.
    Mirrors will not appear in the room where the candle is located.
figure FF Rug Locations.png
Figure 5.2 Allowed Rug Locations (FF Rug Locations.png)

5.1.5 Arbitrary Start Orientation

Except in Arbitrary Start Location Mode (Section 6.5.1.4↓), the robot will start at the Home Circle location marked by the H in Figure 5.3↓: a 30 cm diameter solid white circle, without the H, centered in the halls intersecting at the corner. The robot may begin motion in any direction it chooses.
NOTE The Home Circle is not anchored to the arena floor and may be dislodged by an accelerating robot. There is no penalty for this (and the crowd likes it), but the loss of traction may misalign the robot in the hallway.
The Judge will place the robot on the Home Circle so that the central axis of the robot body is aligned within 10 of either hallway axis and the robot’s front is directed toward the hallway The A and B arrows in Figure 5.3↓ show the possible orientations. The Judge will randomly choose the orientation for each trial.
NOTE In previous contests, the Judge always aligned the robot so that it faced toward the center of the arena, shown as Orientation A in Figure 5.3↓.
Other than the 10 limit, there is no specification for the actual angle with respect to the hallway axis. The robot must start and operate correctly when oriented at any angle within each 20 range.
The robot must determine which hallway it faces in order to navigate correctly; a single wall sensor may suffice. The robot may touch the wall to activate the sensor, but see Section 6.5.4↓ for the penalty applied for continuous wall contact.
NOTE Magnetic compasses do not produce reliable heading information. See Section 2.5.1↑.
NOTE A robot in Orientation B may be directly adjacent to and facing the Dog Obstacle. See Section 5.1.6↓.
NOTE Teams must not request a different orientation after the Judge places the robot.
figure FF Home Circle and Start Orientations.png
Figure 5.3 Starting alignments in Home Circle (FF Home Circle and Start Orientations.png)

5.1.6 Dog Obstacle

A large Dog will block one corridor of each arena. The robot must not move the Dog or continue along the blocked corridor.
The robot may contact the Dog to sense its presence, but must not move it more than 1 cm. A robot that moves the Dog more than 1 cm will incur 50 Penalty Points (Section 6.5.4↓).
A robot that goes past the Dog, even without moving the Dog, and continues along the hall will fail the trial.
NOTE A robot operating in Return Trip mode must not move or pass by the Dog.
Figure 5.4↓ shows a typical Dog. The Dog weighs approximately 500 g. It blocks between 50% and 75% of the hallway width.
figure Dog Obstacle - Doggie261.png
Figure 5.4 Sample Dog Obstruction (Dog Obstacle - Doggie261.jpeg)
The location of the Dog will change from trial to trial. Figure 5.5↓ shows the possible locations for the Dog. The Dog will not block the doorways in Room 1 or 4, but it may be directly adjacent to the edge of the doorway.
The Dog’s long axis will always be perpendicular to the hall; the picture and figures indicate only the locations.
figure FF Dog Obstacle Locations.png
Figure 5.5 Possible Dog locations (FF Dog Obstacle Locations.png)

5.2 Robot

The robot dimensions, hardware requirements, and performance specifications are absolute and will be enforced by the Judges.

5.2.1 Operation

Once turned on, the robot must be autonomous: self-controlled without any human intervention. Fire-fighting robots must not be manually controlled.
A robot may bump into or touch the walls of the arena as it travels, but it cannot mark, dislodge, or damage the walls in doing so. The robot must not leave anything behind as it travels through the arena. It must not make any marks on the floor of the arena that aid in navigation as it travels. Any robot that, in the Judge’s opinion, deliberately damages the contest arena (including the walls) will fail that trial. This does not include any accidental marks or scratches made in moving around.
NOTE Although a robot may bump the arena walls as it moves, it should not repeatedly crash into the walls at high speed. “Navigation by crashing” would not be acceptable in an actual house and is discouraged in this contest. If the robot crashes hard enough to move the arena walls, it will fail that trial.

5.2.2 Dimensions

The robot must fit in a Bounding Box with a base 31 x 31 cm square and 27 cm high. If the robot has feelers to sense an object or wall, the feelers will be counted as part of the robot’s total dimensions.
Robots competing in the Walking Division may be up to 46 cm long. The width and height remain as described above.
NOTE A “walking” robot must support its weight on non-wheeled legs that are also used for locomotion.
NOTE Although a one-legged hopping robot is permitted, no part of the robot may exceed the maximum height limit during any part of its trajectory.
Robots must not exceed the maximum dimensions at any time, including while extinguishing the candle. This rule prohibits swinging snuffers, extending arms, and other devices that protrude beyond the allowable base or height dimensions while in operation. Team members must demonstrate the maximum extent of any extending devices to the satisfaction of the Judges prior to their first trial.
NOTE The actuators must be unable to move legs and other devices beyond the Bounding Box.
The robot cannot separate into multiple parts.
Contestants may add a flag, hat, or other purely decorative, non-functional items to the robot as long as the item has absolutely no effect on the operation of the robot. The item may exceed only the maximum height limit, not the width or length.
Unlike the arena specifications, the robot size limits are not approximate: robots must not exceed the given dimensions.
There are no restrictions on robot weight or materials.

5.2.3 Start Button

All robots, including those using Sound Activated Mode, must have exactly one Start Button switch that starts the robot.
The Start Button must have these characteristics:
NOTE If a robot does not have a Start Button meeting these requirements, it will be disqualified.
Figure 5.6↓ shows sample Start Buttons. You must provide a green background even if the switch is located on a green circuit board.
figure Sample Start Buttons.jpg
Figure 5.6 Sample Start Buttons. (Sample Start Buttons.jpg)
You may use a mechanical linkage from an actuating button located above all the other parts, as shown in Figure A.1↓, leading to an electrical switch inside the robot body. The actuator must meet all of the specifications described above and will be considered the Start Button.
See Appendix A↓ for examples of acceptable and unacceptable Start Button locations.
You must verify that your robot’s Start Button meets these requirements at the Checkout Table before the contest begins. See Section 2.8↑.

5.2.4 Sound Activation

As described in Section 6.5.1.3↓, the robot may operate in Sound Activated Mode: it will start when it detects a sound of a specific frequency and amplitude.
The robot’s microphone must have these characteristics:
The Judge will position the Sound Start Device (Appendix B↓) approximately 25 mm away from the microphone and will attempt to align it perpendicular to the microphone’s entrance port. Teams may not request any particular orientation or distance.
Figure 5.7↓ shows a sample Microphone with optional labeling. You must provide a blue background even if the microphone is located on a blue circuit board.
figure img_2247 - Sample Microphone.jpg
Figure 5.7 Sample Microphone with blue background (img_2247 - Sample Microphone.jpg)
The pictures in Appendix A↓ showing acceptable Start Button locations also indicate acceptable Microphone locations.
NOTE Experience has shown that robots detecting only the peak amplitude of the sound will start prematurely due to crowd noise or mechanical shock. See Section 6.5.1.3↓ for the scoring rules that apply to incorrect operation in Sound Activated Mode.
You must verify that your robot responds to the Standard Sound Start Device at the Checkout Table before the contest begins. See Section 2.8↑.
Firefighting robots using Sound Activation Mode must also have a Start Button as described in Section 5.2.3↑.
NOTE Junior Division robots must not use Sound Activation Mode.

5.2.5 Power Switch

The robot may also have a Power Switch that disconnects the robot’s batteries.
The team may turn the robot on using the Power Switch after placing the robot on the Judge’s table at the arena, but the robot must not move as a result.
We recommend that robots be turned on and ready to start before being placed on the table, unless that would cause an unsafe condition. Please discuss your robot’s operation with the Judges if you anticipate a problem.
NOTE The Power Switch cannot be the Start Button, because activating the Start Button causes the robot to begin operation.

5.2.6 Sensors

There is no restriction on the type of sensors that may be used as long as they do not violate any of the other rules or regulations. The robot must not extend any sensors beyond the dimensions specified in Section 5.2.2↑.
Robots using laser-based devices must take measures to prevent eye damage to team members and to observers. The Judges may require the team to remove the laser device from the robot if, in the opinion of the qualification Judges, effective safety measures have not been taken. The robot will be permanently disqualified from competing if the laser cannot be either removed or made safe.
Contestants are not allowed to place any markers, beacons or reflectors on the walls or floors, whether inside or outside of the arena, to aid in the robot’s navigation.

5.2.6.1 Sensor Interference

Ambient lighting in the contest room is a mixture of IR, visible, and UV light. During the course of the contest, sunlight may come into the contest room through open outside doors. The sunlight will not shine directly on the arenas, but may be detectable by very sensitive sensors.
During the course of the contest, Judges at other arenas will be lighting candles or lighters. These incidental flames will be above the arena and further away than the candle, but still may be detectable by an undiscriminating sensor. In setting up the arena, contest officials may put their arms into the arena and some very sensitive sensors may mistake that IR emission as the flame.
Many video and still cameras transmit infrared light as part of their automatic focusing systems. Flash units produce bursts of UV that may trigger the popular Hamamatsu UVTron flame sensor. The gymnasium will have many, many cameras at all times: verify that your robot will operate correctly when it’s being photographed.
If a robot uses light sensors to find the candle or detect walls or furniture, the robot designer must prevent unintended UV, visible and IR sources from interfering with its operation. Part of the challenge of this contest is to design a robot that can find the flame and ignore everything else.

5.2.7 Power

AC power is not available in the arena area.
See Section 2.7↑.

5.3 Fires

For obvious reasons of safety and economy, fires will be simulated by small candle flames.
The candle flame will be from 15 cm to 20 cm above the nominal floor level. The candle thickness normally will be between 2 cm and 3 cm. The exact height and size of the flame will change throughout the contest depending upon the condition of candle and its surroundings. The robot is required to find the candle no matter what the size of the flame is at that particular moment.
The candle will be placed at random in one of the rooms in the arena. The candle has an equal chance of being in any of the 4 rooms in each of the robot’s 3 trials. It is possible for the candle to be in the same room on two of the robot’s three trials. If it happens that the candle is placed in the same room for both the 1st and 2nd trials, then the contest officials will make sure that it is a different room for the third and last trial. Thus every robot will have the candle in at least 2 rooms and possibly 3, during its 3 trials.
The candle will not be placed in a hallway, but it might be placed just inside a doorway of a room. The Candle Circle will not touch the doorway line and this means that the front of the robot will be able to move at least 33 cm into the room before it encounters the candle.
NOTE The Candle Circle is not anchored to the arena floor and may be dislodged by a decelerating robot. There is no penalty for this, but the moving paper may knock the candle over and there is a penalty for that.
The contestants cannot measure or touch the candle before it is used. Violation will result in immediate disqualification of the team and the robot from the competition.
The candle will be mounted on a small wooden base painted semi-gloss yellow. This base prevents the candle from tipping over easily, but a robot can knock the candle over by bumping into it. Judges will give penalty points if that occurs (Section 6.5.4↓).

5.3.1 Extinguishing the Candle

The robot must, in the opinion of the Judges, have found the candle before it attempts to put it out. For example, the robot cannot just flood the arena with CO2 thereby putting the flame out by accident.
The robot must not use any destructive or dangerous methods to put out the candle.
The robot may extinguish the candle by blowing air or other oxygen-bearing gas. However, this is not a practical method of extinguishing a fire in the real world, so robots that do not use air streams to blow out the candle can operate in Non-Air Extinguisher Mode for an improved score. See Section 6.5.1.6↓ for details.
The robot must come within 30 cm of the candle before it attempts to extinguish the flame. There will be a white 30 cm radius solid circle (or circle segment, if the candle is near a wall) on the floor around the candle, and the candle will be placed in the center of the circle. The robot must have some part of its body over the circle before it extinguishes the candle flame.
Candle Location Mode omits the candle circle and minimum distance requirement. See Section 6.5.1.11↓. The robot need not be within 30 cm of the candle, but must demonstrate that it has detected the candle before extinguishing it. This may be by a distinctive action, an illuminated LED, or other means.
Robots that touch a lit candle with either the robot chassis or a sensor will incur a penalty as specified in Section 6.5.4↓.

5.3.1.1 Methods of extinguishing the flame

Robots may extinguish the flame using air, inert gas, water mist/spray, or mechanical means. The use of powders of any type is not allowed.
NOTE A robot must have only one type of extinguisher.
  1. Air
    A fan is an example of an air-based extinguisher.
    Any robot with a fan or blower cannot use Non-air Extinguisher Mode.
  2. Carbon dioxide (CO2)
    Robots may use a single metallic CO2 capsule containing up to 16 grams to extinguish the candle on each trial; larger CO2 containers are prohibited. The Judges will verify that CO2 is the extinguishing material.
  3. Water mist or spray
    Water is the only liquid allowed in this contest; foaming or gelling agents are prohibited.
    The water tank volume must be no larger than 50 ml. Judges will verify the tank volume. A robot using a container pressurized with air (i.e., a soda bottle), rather than a pump, must have a separate water tank of no more than 50 ml capacity.
    Any robot that floods the floor will fail that trial.
    Water must be applied only as a mist or spray, not a jet.
    Exception: A robot may aim a narrow water jet directly at the flame, with up to three water pulses containing up to 2 ml each. Contact us before you register to verify that your design will be accepted.
  4. Mechanical means
    A wet sponge or snuffer.
    The size limits described in Section 5.2.2↑ apply to mechanical extinguishers: the robot’s moving parts must not exceed the maximum size at any time.
Carbon dioxide, water mist, and mechanical means qualify for the non-air extinguisher deduction. See Section 6.5.1.6↓.

5.4 Trial Procedures

The robot must perform certain operations during each trial in the arena. This section describes the overall requirements for each Division. Other sections of this document provide further details.
The robot may use any of the available Operating Modes (Section 6.5.1↓) to improve its score for the trial. The robot may use different Modes in different trials, but the team cannot change Modes after a trial begins.
Each successful trial consists of the following sequence of steps.
  1. The robot must start when commanded by the Judge
  2. It must find the candle in one of the rooms
  3. It must extinguish the candle
  4. Optionally, it may return to its starting location if using Return Trip Mode (Section 6.5.1.5↓)

6 Scoring

Although the scoring system appears complex, it measures differing robot capabilities in different Divisions. The overall scoring flow follows this pattern, with some variations in each Division:
  1. The team presents their Trial Options Sheet to the Judge to select the optional tasks the robot will attempt; this determines the Operating Mode factors in effect for that trial.
  2. The Judge measures the Actual Time required for the robot to complete its trial.
  3. The Judge records any penalties.
  4. The Judge computes the Operating Score for the trial.
  5. The Judge computes the Final Score from the Operating Score and the robot’s Division.
  6. After all three trials, the Judge computes the Total Final Score from the Final Scores of all three trials.
See Appendix E↓ for a sample Trial Options Sheet.

6.1 Operating Score (OS) Computation

During the trial, the Judges will:
  1. Record the robot’s Operating Modes (OM.x) options (Section 6.5.1↓)
  2. Measure the Actual Time (AT) for the trial (Section 6.5.2↓)
  3. Determine the Room Factor (RF) for the path used (Section 6.5.3↓)
  4. Record any Penalty Points (PP) incurred (Section 6.5.4↓).
After the trial has completed, the Judges calculate the Operating Score (OS) from those values using this procedure:
  1. Multiply all of the active Operating Mode values together to find the Mode Factor. If no OM.x factors apply, then MF = 1.0.
  2. Add all of the Penalty Point (PP) values to the Actual Time (AT) to determine the Time Score: TS = AT + PP.
  3. Compute the Operating Score: OS = TS x RF x MF.
Although the“units” of the Operating Score appear to be seconds, they bear little relation to actual wall-clock time.

6.2 Final Score (FS) Computation

Scoring rules convert the Operating Score into the Final Score for each trial. The Junior and Walking Divisions share one set of scoring rules; the High School and Senior Divisions share a second set of scoring rules. The Final Score becomes a component of the Total Final Score (TFS) used to rank the robots for prizes and awards.

6.2.1 Junior Division

If the robot extinguishes the candle, then the Final Score for that trial equals the Operating Score. If it did not extinguish the candle, then the robot receives a score of 600 with credit for tasks completed during the unsuccessful trial by subtracting points as described below.
Although a robot with only two successful trials can therefore have a lower Total Final Score than a robot with three successful trials, the ranking described in the next section will award higher prizes to the latter.
Sound Activation
Junior Division robots must not use Sound Activation Mode.
Room Searching
TASK.search = -30 x number of rooms searched
Deduct 30 points for each room searched before finding the candle. The maximum reduction is 120 points because the candle must be in the fourth room.
Candle Detection
TASK.detect = -30
The robot must correctly signal that it detected the candle by lighting an LED or making an obvious motion.
Candle Positioning
TASK.position = -30
The robot must stop within 30 cm of the candle without touching it.

6.2.2 High School

The Final Score is equal to the Operating Score: FS = OS.

6.2.3 Senior

The Final Score is equal to the Operating Score: FS = OS.

6.2.4 Walking

The Walking Division uses the same scoring rules as the Junior Division. See Section 6.2.1↑.

6.3 Total Final Score (TFS) Computation

After all robots within a Division have completed their trials, the Judges compute the Total Final Score (TFS) for each robot by adding all three of its Operating Scores together.

6.4 Ranking Within Divisions

The Trinity Home Firefighting Robot Contest rewards reliable operation by grouping the robots according to the number of successful runs, then according to their Total Final Scores within each group. As a result, a more reliable robot with a worse TFS will outrank a less-reliable robot with a better TFS and be eligible for higher prizes.
The robots in each Division will be divided into four groups based on the number of successful trials: 3, 2, 1, or 0. Within each group the robots will be ranked on the basis of their Total Final Scores. The First, Second, and Third prizes in each Division will be awarded to the three robots with the smallest TFS in the first group. If the first group has fewer than three robots, then the prizes for that Division will extend to the robots with the smallest TFS in the second group, and similarly to the third group.
In all cases, a robot must extinguish the candle in at least two trials to be eligible for a cash award.

6.5 Score Components

These sections explain how the Judges assign values that determine the Operating Score.

6.5.1 Operating Modes (OM.x)

A robot’s overall performance depends on its ability to handle real-world situations. The Basic contest arena includes a level floor, high-contrast walls, and no obstructions, but additional operating modes allow you to improve your robot’s score by completing more difficult tasks.
Operating modes act as multipliers to the Actual Time required for the robot to find and extinguish the candle. If no Operating Modes are in effect for a trial, the Actual Time is multiplied by the Standard Mode, which is exactly 1.0.
The team can select different Operating Modes for each of the three trials. The candle and any furniture will be placed in different locations for each trial.
The modes do not apply to an unsuccessful trial, where the robot does not extinguish the flame or fails for any other reason. The score for an unsuccessful trial is 600, regardless of any operating modes applied to that trial.

6.5.1.1 Standard

OM.standard = 1.0
The team must inform the Judge of any operating modes for the current trial before the trial begins. In the absence of that notification, the robot will compete in Standard Mode and the Actual Time will be multiplied by 1.0.

6.5.1.2 Tethered

Robots tethered by wires to computers, power supplies, or other devices are not permitted, so there is no Tethered Mode.
Robots may communicate through a wireless link, but must operate autonomously. Remote control by a human operator is not permitted!

6.5.1.3 Sound Activated

OM.sound = 0.80
NOTE Junior Division robots must not use Sound Activated Mode.
The robot begins operation when it detects a sound signal of 3.8 kHz.
The Judges will begin timing the trial when the sound signal begins, not when the robot begins moving. The sound will last 5 seconds and will not be repeated.
The robot must not start until the Judge activates the sound signal. If the robot mistakenly detects ambient noise (even an activation sound from a different arena) and begins to move, then the trial will have begun, but the Sound Activated Mode factor will not apply to the robot’s score.
If the robot does not start in response to the sound signal it will not be given a second chance to use Sound Activated Mode for that trial. The Judge will attempt to activate the robot by pressing its Start Button, but the delay will be included in the robot’s Actual Time for the trial.
See Section 2.10↑ for a discussion of the starting procedure and penalties for incorrect starts.
Judges will use only Standard Sound Start Devices as described in Appendix B↓ during the Contest. Teams should build their own Sound Start Devices and use them during practice, but may not present them to the Judge during the contest.
NOTE The robot’s circuitry should detect the correct frequency and should not rely only on sound amplitude. We strongly recommend using an analog bandpass filter tuned to the starting frequency: the arenas are very noisy and a robot that detects only amplitude (triggered by whistling or clapping) will start prematurely during its trial.

6.5.1.4 Arbitrary Start Location

OM.start = 0.80
The Judge will place the robot in an arbitrary location and orientation within any room that does not have the candle, as determined by the toss of a die.
The robot may be facing a wall or pointed into a corner, but will not be trapped by furniture.
NOTE Teams must not request any particular orientation or position.
There is no “Home Circle” in Arbitrary Start Location Mode.
The starting room does not count as a searched room for the Room Factor calculation (Section 6.5.3↓). When the robot leaves the starting room, the next room it encounters is its first searched room.

6.5.1.5 Return Trip

OM.return = 0.80
The robot must return to its starting location after extinguishing the flame.
In Standard Mode, the robot must return to the Home Circle. It must stop with any part of its chassis within the 30 cm white Home Circle, but need not be in the same position or orientation as when it started the trial.
In Arbitrary Start Location Mode, the robot must return to the room it started from. It must stop with all parts of its chassis within the starting room, but need not be in the same position or orientation as when it started the trial. See Section 6.5.1.4↑.
The robot’s Actual Time (AT) recorded for the trial will include only the time required to find and extinguish the candle, not the time for the return trip.
The robot must return its starting location within 2 minutes; if not, then the Return Mode factor is not in effect.
The robot need not retrace its path in returning to the starting location or take the most efficient route, but it must not enter any other rooms along the way. It must not move or pass by the Dog obstacle during the return trip.

6.5.1.6 Non-air Extinguisher

OM.extinguisher = 0.75
The robot must extinguish the candle using inert gas, water, or mechanical means. See Section 5.3.1.1↑
In order to use the Non-air Extinguisher Mode, the robot must not have a fan or blower.
See Section 5.3.1.1↑ for details.

6.5.1.7 Furniture

OM.furniture = 0.75
Every room will have one or more pieces of furniture. This includes the room where the robot starts in Arbitrary Start Location Mode.
Furniture consists of semi-gloss yellow cylinders 11 cm in diameter, 30 cm high, and weighing more than 1 kg.
Furniture will always be placed to allow at least one path to the candle that is at least 31 cm wide. The furniture will not block the doorway and a maximum-size robot will be able to come into a room at least halfway before it encounters furniture. Furniture may block the robot’s view of the candle, so it must move to different locations to see the candle and plan a path to reach it.
The robot may have to go around the furniture to extinguish the candle or exit from the room. It may touch the furniture, but it cannot push it out of the way. Robots that push the furniture away lose the Furniture Mode deduction for that trial.

6.5.1.8 Coat Tree

OM.coattree = 0.80.
A small coat tree, shown with dimensions in Figure 6.1↓, may be placed in any room or hallway. Clothing items with various cloth textures and colors will hang on the coat tree.
The robot must not move the Coat Tree. Robots that move the Coat Tree lose the Coat Tree Mode deduction for that trial.
The Coat Tree will not block the robot’s passage through a hallway.
A Coat Tree within a room will follow the placement guidelines in Furniture Mode (Section 6.5.1.7↑).
figure CoatRACKDIMS.png
Figure 6.1 Coat Tree (CoatRACKDIMS.png)
The coat tree has a hardwood base and an upright made from a wooden dowel 1.6 cm in diameter. Four 3.5 cm clothes pegs are inserted into the dowel at a 45 degree angle 3.5 cm from the top. The tree is 25 cm high.

6.5.1.9 Uneven Floor

The 2014 Contest does not include the Uneven Floor Mode in any Division.

6.5.1.10 Variable Door Locations

OM.variabledoor = 0.45
NOTE Senior Division robots must use Variable Door Location Mode, so the Mode Factor does not apply in that Division.
This option changes the locations of the doors in Rooms 1 and 4, so that dead reckoning will not suffice to navigate the arena and search the rooms.
At the start of a trial the arena Judge will determine the door locations by tossing a die or using a computer-assisted method. Therefore, the robot may encounter a different door location on each trial.
Figures 6.2↓, 6.3↓, 6.4↓, and6.5↓ show all possible door locations.
NOTE Room 1 now has an additional door in the wall closest to Room 4. This door will remain open at all times and robots may use it to improve their route planning.
The arena configuration in Figure 6.2 applies when Variable Door Location Mode is not in effect.
figure FF Variable Door - Config 1.png
Figure 6.2 Variable Door - Configuration 1 (FF Variable Door - Config 1.png)
figure FF Variable Door - Config 2.png
Figure 6.3 Variable Door - Configuration 2 (FF Variable Door - Config 2.png)
figure FF Variable Door - Config 3.png
Figure 6.4 Variable Door - Configuration 3 (FF Variable Door - Config 3.png)
figure FF Variable Door - Config 4.png
Figure 6.5 Variable Door - Configuration 4 (FF Variable Door - Config 4.png)

6.5.1.11 Candle Location

OM.candle = 0.75
This option challenges robots to find candles without a candle circle. The Judge will place the candle at a randomly chosen location within a room for each trial.
The candle may be in any location within the room that does not block the doorway. A maximum-size robot can enter the room at least halfway before encountering the candle and there will be at least a 31-cm wide path around the candle.
The candle won’t be directly adjacent to a wall, to reduce the chance of damaging the wall by overheating. There is no specification for the exact distance from the wall.
NOTEThere are no other restrictions on the candle location in this Mode.
The Fire rules in Section 5.3↑ will be followed except that:
The Furniture Mode rules in Section 6.5.1.7↑ also apply in Candle Location Operating Mode. In particular:

6.5.2 Actual Time (AT)

If the robot extinguishes the flame the Actual Time is the number of seconds elapsed from robot activation to flame disappearance. The maximum Actual Time for such a successful trial is AT = 300. If the robot does not extinguish the flame within the limits set below, the Judge will terminate the unsuccessful trial and assign AT = 600.

6.5.2.1 Time Limits

The maximum time allowed for a robot to find the candle is 5 minutes, after which the Judge will stop the trial and assign AT = 600.
A robot operating in Return Trip Mode must return to the Home Circle within 2 minutes after extinguishing the candle, after which the Judge will stop the trial. The AT equals the time required to extinguish the candle.

6.5.2.2 Loops and Stalls

If a robot gets stuck in a loop and performs the same (or a similar) movement 5 times in a row without progress, the Judge will stop the trial and assign AT = 600.
Any time the robot does not move at all for 30 seconds, the Judge will stop the trial and assign AT = 600.

6.5.2.3 Functionality

A robot that fails at both of its first two trials will not receive a third trial.

6.5.3 Room Factor (RF)

The Room Factor (RF) adjusts the elapsed time based on the number of rooms searched. The more rooms a robot searches before it finds the candle, the lower the Room Factor for that trial.
When the candle is in:
First room searched RF = 1.0
Second room searched RF = 0.85
Third room searched RF = 0.50
Fourth room searched RF = 0.35
It does not matter in which order the robot searches the rooms. The only thing that matters is how many rooms the robot has searched before it finds the candle.
When the robot searches the room with the candle, whether or not the robot extinguishes it, the Judge records the Room Factor for that trial. The room factor will not change regardless of how many more rooms the robot searches.
Because some robots can detect the candle by looking in the doorway without entering the room to search it, when the robot passes a doorway for the first time the Judge will count that room as searched. If the robot has already searched a room and then goes past the doorway again on its way to a different room, that room will not be counted twice.

6.5.4 Penalty Points (PP.x)

Penalty Points (PP) will be added to the Actual Time (AT) of any robot that exhibits the behaviors described in this section.
Touching the Candle
PP.candle = 50
Any robot that touches the candle or its base, either deliberately or accidentally, while the candle is lit will have 50 penalty points added to its Time Score each time the candle is hit.
There is no penalty for a touch that occurs as part of the actual extinguishing process, i.e., smothering the flame with a wet sponge, or after the candle is extinguished.
Touching refers only to any part of the robot’s body, including feelers or probes, and does not include the water, air or other material that the robot might use to extinguish the candle.
Although there is no penalty for touching or knocking the candle over after the robot has extinguished the candle, we strongly recommend that your robot avoid doing that. The Judges may not agree with your opinion of whether the candle was extinguished before it began falling.
Continuous Wall Contact
PP.slide = (contact cm) / 2
Any robot that slides along a wall will have 1 point added to its Actual Time score for each 2 cm of wall it touches.
A robot may still touch a wall to orient itself, as long as the contact is not sliding.
There is no penalty for touching or sliding along the wall on the return trip to the Home Circle.
See the Note in Section 5.2.1↑ regarding “Navigation by Crashing”.
Kicking the Dog
PP.dog = 50
Any robot that moves the Dog more than 1 cm will have 50 penalty points added to its Time Score.
The robot may touch the Dog with a sensor probe, as long as the probe does not move the Dog.
NOTE A robot that bypasses the Dog and continues along the hall will fail the trial.

6.6 Scoring Examples

These examples illustrate how to calculate the Total Final Score under specific conditions for each Division. The Actual times, Mode Factors, and Penalty Points come from random number generators that exercise the entire range of possible choices, so any particular combination may not make sense for an actual competition.
Any disagreement between these examples and the rules given above will be decided by reference to the rules!

6.6.1 Junior Division

First example
—Example  13 Trial 1 Junior——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 63.314 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.extinguisher = 0.75.......No Air Extinguisher 
  (2) OM.furniture = 0.75..........Furniture Mode
  (3) OM.coattree = 0.80...........Coat Tree
  (4) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
  (5) OM.variabledoor = 0.45.......Variable door location
Room Factor:
  RF =   1.00   1 room was searched
Reason for Termination:Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.extinguisher x OM.furniture x OM.coattree x OM.candle
  TS =  63.314 + 0.00
  OS =  63.314  x 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.45
Final Score
  FS = 9.616 <===
—Example  13 Trial 2 Junior——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 183.792 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.start = 0.80..............Arbitrary Start
  (2) OM.extinguisher = 0.75.......No Air Extinguisher 
  (3) OM.coattree = 0.80...........Coat Tree
  (4) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
  (5) OM.variabledoor = 0.45.......Variable door location
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.50   3 rooms were searched
Reason for Termination:Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.start x OM.extinguisher x OM.coattree x OM.candle x RF
  TS = 183.792 + 0.00
  OS = 183.792  x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.45 x 0.50
Final Score
  FS = 14.887 <===
—Example  13 Trial 3 Junior——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 160.904 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.extinguisher = 0.75.......No Air Extinguisher 
  (2) OM.variabledoor = 0.45.......Variable door location
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.50   3 rooms were searched
Penalty Points:
  PP.slide =  4   robot contacted wall for 9 cm.
  Total PP = 4 points
Reason for Termination:Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.extinguisher x RF
  TS = 160.904 + 4.00
  OS = 164.904  x 0.75 x 0.45 x 0.50
Final Score
  FS = 27.828 <===
​
TFS = [FS(trial.1) + FS(trial.2) + FS(trial.3)]
TFS = [  9.616 +  14.887 +  27.828]      =   52.330 
Second example
—Example  35 Trial 1 Junior——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 38.005 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.start = 0.80..............Arbitrary Start
  (2) OM.return = 0.80.............Return Trip
  (3) OM.extinguisher = 0.75.......No Air Extinguisher 
  (4) OM.coattree = 0.80...........Coat Tree
  (5) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.85   2 rooms were searched
Penalty Points:
  PP.slide =  2   robot contacted wall for 4 cm.
  Total PP = 2 points
Reason for Termination:Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.start x OM.return x OM.extinguisher x OM.coattree x OM.candle x RF
  TS =  38.005 + 2.00
  OS =  40.005  x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.85
Final Score
  FS = 9.793 <===
—Example  35 Trial 2 Junior——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 196.755 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.extinguisher = 0.75.......No Air Extinguisher 
  (2) OM.furniture = 0.75..........Furniture Mode
  (3) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
  (4) OM.variabledoor = 0.45.......Variable door location
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.85   2 rooms were searched
Penalty Points:
  PP.candle = 50   robot touched a candle 1 times.
  PP.dog = 50      robot kicked a dog.
  Total PP = 100 points
Reason for Termination:Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.extinguisher x OM.furniture x OM.candle x RF
  TS = 196.755 + 100.00
  OS = 296.755  x 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.45 x 0.85
Final Score
  FS = 47.887 <===
—Example  35 Trial 3 Junior——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 98.797 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.start = 0.80..............Arbitrary Start
  (2) OM.coattree = 0.80...........Coat Tree
  (3) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
Room Factor:
  RF =   1.00   1 room was searched
Penalty Points:
  PP.slide =  5   robot contacted wall for 11 cm.
  Total PP = 5 points
Reason for Termination:Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.start x OM.coattree x OM.candle
  TS =  98.797 + 5.00
  OS = 103.797  x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.75
Final Score
  FS = 49.823 <===
​
​
TFS = [FS(trial.1) + FS(trial.2) + FS(trial.3)]
TFS = [  9.793 +  47.887 +  49.823]      =  107.503

6.6.2 High-School Division

First example
—Example   5 Trial 1    HS ——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 112.430 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.sound = 0.80..............Sound Activated
  (2) OM.return = 0.80.............Return Trip
  (3) OM.extinguisher = 0.75.......No Air Extinguisher 
  (4) OM.furniture = 0.75..........Furniture Mode
  (5) OM.coattree = 0.80...........Coat Tree
  (6) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
  (7) OM.variabledoor = 0.45.......Variable door location
Room Factor:
  RF =   1.00   1 room was searched
Reason for Termination:Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.sound x OM.return x OM.extinguisher x OM.furniture x OM.coattree x OM.candle x OM.variabledoor
  TS = 112.430 + 0.00
  OS = 112.430  x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.45
Final Score
  FS = 10.928 <===
—Example   5 Trial 2    HS ——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 147.002 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.sound = 0.80..............Sound Activated
  (2) OM.start = 0.80..............Arbitrary Start
  (3) OM.furniture = 0.75..........Furniture Mode
  (4) OM.coattree = 0.80...........Coat Tree
  (5) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
  (6) OM.variabledoor = 0.45.......Variable door location
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.35   4 rooms were searched
Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.sound x OM.start x OM.furniture x OM.coattree x OM.candle x OM.variabledoor x RF
  TS = 147.002 + 0.00
  OS = 147.002  x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.45 x 0.35
Final Score
  FS = 6.668 <===
—Example   5 Trial 3    HS ——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 209.509 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.start = 0.80..............Arbitrary Start
  (2) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
  (3) OM.variabledoor = 0.45.......Variable door location
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.35   4 rooms were searched
Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.start x OM.candle x OM.variabledoor x RF
  TS = 209.509 + 0.00
  OS = 209.509  x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.45 x 0.35
Final Score
  FS = 19.799 <===
​
​
TFS = [FS(trial.1) + FS(trial.2) + FS(trial.3)]
TFS = [ 10.928 +   6.668 +  19.799]      =   37.395
Second example
—Example   9 Trial 1    HS ——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 64.437 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.sound = 0.80..............Sound Activated
  (2) OM.start = 0.80..............Arbitrary Start
  (3) OM.extinguisher = 0.75.......No Air Extinguisher 
  (4) OM.furniture = 0.75..........Furniture Mode
  (5) OM.coattree = 0.80...........Coat Tree
  (6) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
  (7) OM.variabledoor = 0.45.......Variable door location
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.85   2 rooms were searched
Penalty Points:
  PP.slide =  8   robot contacted wall for 16 cm.
  Total PP = 8 points
Reason for Termination:
  AT=600 because robot repeated same pattern 5 times.Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.sound x OM.start x OM.extinguisher x OM.furniture x OM.coattree x OM.candle x OM.variabledoor x RF
  TS =  64.437 + 8.00
  OS =  72.437  x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.45 x 0.85
Final Score
  FS = 5.985 <===
—Example   9 Trial 2    HS ——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 146.881 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.sound = 0.80..............Sound Activated
  (2) OM.return = 0.80.............Return Trip
  (3) OM.furniture = 0.75..........Furniture Mode
  (4) OM.coattree = 0.80...........Coat Tree
  (5) OM.variabledoor = 0.45.......Variable door location
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.85   2 rooms were searched
Penalty Points:
  PP.candle = 200   robot touched a candle 4 times.
  PP.slide =  8   robot contacted wall for 17 cm.
  Total PP = 208 points
Reason for Termination:Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.sound x OM.return x OM.furniture x OM.coattree x OM.variabledoor x RF
  TS = 146.881 + 208.00
  OS = 354.881  x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.80 x 0.45 x 0.85
Final Score
  FS = 52.125 <===
—Example   9 Trial 3    HS ——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 97.919 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.sound = 0.80..............Sound Activated
  (2) OM.start = 0.80..............Arbitrary Start
  (3) OM.return = 0.80.............Return Trip
  (4) OM.extinguisher = 0.75.......No Air Extinguisher 
  (5) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
  (6) OM.variabledoor = 0.45.......Variable door location
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.85   2 rooms were searched
Reason for Termination:Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.sound x OM.start x OM.return x OM.extinguisher x OM.candle x OM.variabledoor x RF
  TS =  97.919 + 0.00
  OS =  97.919  x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.45 x 0.85
Final Score
  FS = 10.787 <===
​
​
TFS = [FS(trial.1) + FS(trial.2) + FS(trial.3)]
TFS = [  5.985 +  52.125 +  10.787]      =   68.896

6.6.3 Senior Division

First example
—Example   1 Trial 1 Senior——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 35.213 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.sound = 0.80..............Sound Activated
  (2) OM.start = 0.80..............Arbitrary Start
  (3) OM.return = 0.80.............Return Trip
  (4) OM.extinguisher = 0.75.......No Air Extinguisher 
  (5) OM.furniture = 0.75..........Furniture Mode
  (6) OM.coattree = 0.80...........Coat Tree
  (7) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.85   2 rooms were searched
Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.sound x OM.start x OM.return x OM.extinguisher x OM.furniture x OM.coattree x OM.candle x RF
  TS =  35.213 + 0.00
  OS =  35.213  x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.85
Final Score
  FS = 5.172 <===
—Example   1 Trial 2 Senior——————--
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.50   3 rooms were searched
Reason for Termination:
  AT=600 because robot search exceeded 5 minutes.
  FS = OS = 600 <<<<<
Final Score
  FS = 600.000 <===
—Example   1 Trial 3 Senior——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 264.012 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.return = 0.80.............Return Trip
  (2) OM.extinguisher = 0.75.......No Air Extinguisher 
  (3) OM.coattree = 0.80...........Coat Tree
  (4) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
Room Factor:
  RF =   1.00   1 room was searched
Penalty Points:
  PP.dog = 50      robot kicked a dog.
  Total PP = 50 points
Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.return x OM.extinguisher x OM.coattree x OM.candle
  TS = 264.012 + 50.00
  OS = 314.012  x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.80 x 0.75
Final Score
  FS = 113.044 <===
​
​
TFS = [FS(trial.1) + FS(trial.2) + FS(trial.3)]
TFS = [  5.172 + 600.000 + 113.044]      =  718.216
Second example
—Example   9 Trial 1 Senior——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 171.161 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.sound = 0.80..............Sound Activated
  (2) OM.start = 0.80..............Arbitrary Start
  (3) OM.extinguisher = 0.75.......No Air Extinguisher 
  (4) OM.furniture = 0.75..........Furniture Mode
  (5) OM.coattree = 0.80...........Coat Tree
  (6) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.85   2 rooms were searched
Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.sound x OM.start x OM.extinguisher x OM.furniture x OM.coattree x OM.candle x RF
  TS = 171.161 + 0.00
  OS = 171.161  x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.85
Final Score
  FS = 31.425 <===
—Example   9 Trial 2 Senior——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 227.495 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.extinguisher = 0.75.......No Air Extinguisher 
  (2) OM.furniture = 0.75..........Furniture Mode
  (3) OM.coattree = 0.80...........Coat Tree
  (4) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
Room Factor:
  RF =   0.50   3 rooms were searched
Penalty Points:
  PP.candle = 50   robot touched a candle 1 times.
  PP.dog = 50      robot kicked a dog.
  Total PP = 100 points
Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.extinguisher x OM.furniture x OM.coattree x OM.candle x RF
  TS = 227.495 + 100.00
  OS = 327.495  x 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.80 x 0.75 x 0.50
Final Score
  FS = 55.265 <===
—Example   9 Trial 3 Senior——————--
Actual Time 
  AT = 55.857 Sec
Modes used:
  (1) OM.sound = 0.80..............Sound Activated
  (2) OM.start = 0.80..............Arbitrary Start
  (3) OM.candle = 0.75.............No candle Circle
Room Factor:
  RF =   1.00   1 room was searched
Time Score
  TS = (AT + PP)
Operating Score
  OS = TS x OM.sound x OM.start x OM.candle
  TS =  55.857 + 0.00
  OS =  55.857  x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.75
Final Score
  FS = 26.811 <===
​
​
TFS = [FS(trial.1) + FS(trial.2) + FS(trial.3)]
TFS = [ 31.425 +  55.265 +  26.811]      =  113.502

6.6.4 Walking Division

Scoring in the Walking Division follows the same algorithm as in the Junior Division. See Section 6.6.1↑.TCFFHRC: Expert DivisionDue to low turnout in 2013, there will be no Expert Division Contest in 2014.
We will revise the rules to offer an improved challenge in subsequent years.

Part III. Trinity College Assistive Robotics Contest: RoboWaiter

The RoboWaiter Contest challenges teams to create a robot that can retrieve a plate of food and transport it to a table in a reliable and efficient manner. The arena simulates a home kitchen with the usual fixtures and a pair of dolls representing humans served by the robot.
The Assistive Robotics Contest (a.k.a RoboWaiter) was founded with support from the Connecticut Council on Developmental Abilities.

7 Contest Structure

7.1 General Setting and Task

The competition presents a situation where Grandpa, a person with a disability, wants a container of food from the Refrigerator. He sits at the kitchen table in his wheelchair. The arena represents a household kitchen, with Grandma, a second chair, a sink, and the refrigerator.
In the Junior and Standard Division, a simple shelf represents the refrigerator. The robot must pick up a plate, optionally containing simulated food, from the shelf.
The Advanced Division arena refrigerator consists of an enclosed box with an automatic door and two shelves. One shelf will hold a plate and the other a single-serving fruit juice box.
When directed by a signal from the Judge, the robot will move to the refrigerator, pick up the correct container, and place it on the Table, while avoiding obstacles within the kitchen. Optional tasks include returning to the starting point and moving the container from the Table to the Sink.
As in all Trinity Robotic Contests, the robot’s action must be fully autonomous.
The Judge will measure and record the time from the start signal until the robot places the plate on the table. Various Operating Modes reward successful completion of more challenging tasks by improving the overall score.

7.2 Divisions

The RoboWaiter Contest has three Divisions.
The Junior Division is open to students up to and including Grade 8. The Junior Division operates in the Basic Arena (see Section 8.1.1↓).
The Standard Division is open to everyone. The Standard Division arena (see Section 8.1.2↓) includes a chair obstacle and a doll obstacle .
The Advanced Division is open to everyone. Advanced Division robots must use precision navigation and accurate timing because the Arena (see Section 8.1.3↓) includes these challenges:
Appendix C↓ presents details of the refrigerator hardware. The Contest Website at http://www.trincoll.edu/events/robot/ may have additional details.
NOTE The same rules apply to all robots, whether Unique or Customized, in each Division. Walking robots compete on the same basis as wheeled or tracked robots.

7.3 Eligibility and Registration

RoboWaiter is open to any team registered in the TCFFHRC. To register for RoboWaiter, check the box on the registration form. Teams may enter Unique or Customized robots, as defined in Section 1.3↑
A team may enter a robot into the RoboWaiter contest without entering a robot in the TCFFHRC.
See Section 1.5↑ for registration and fee information.

7.4 Prizes

Each Division has two prize categories: Unique and Customized. First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in each category. A robot must have at least one successful trial to earn a cash performance award. There will be a special prize for the most successful walking robot in each RoboWaiter Division.
The RoboWaiter Awards for 2014 will be:
Award Unique Robot Customized Robot
First Place $300 $200
Second Place $200 $125
Third Place $100 $75
The best robot from North America in each Division will received a special award of $100; “North American” countries lie north of the Panama Canal.

8 Specifications

8.1 Arenas

The competition takes place in a square arena that simulates a kitchen. The arena is 2.5 m on each side, with a black floor and white walls that are 30 cm high.
A Home Circle marks the robot’s starting point for the trial. The circle is white and 30 cm diameter. It will not be secured to the arena floor.
The Judges will position the robot on the Home Circle with its front surface (the end with the plate grippers) approximately facing the shelf or refrigerator. There is no specification for the exact orientation.
NOTE Teams should identify the robot’s front surface, but may not specify an exact position or orientation.
NOTE The Home Circle is not anchored to the arena floor and may be dislodged by an accelerating robot. There is no penalty for this (and the crowd likes it), but the loss of traction may misalign the robot.
The starting position will vary for robots competing in Arbitrary Start Location Mode (Section 9.2↓). As in Arbitrary Start Location Mode in the Firefighting Contest (Section 6.5.1.4↑), there is no Home Circle.
The contest may use several RoboWaiter arenas. While all of the various parts, furniture, and figures in the arenas will be within the stated tolerances, teams must assume that all arenas will be different. See the Note about tolerances in Section 2.4↑.
NOTE Teams must not request that their robot run in a specific arena.

8.1.1 Basic Arena

Junior Division robots will run in the Basic Arena, as shown in Figure 8.1.
figure RWBasic2014-1K.png
Figure 8.1 RoboWaiter Basic arena layout (RWBasic2014-1K.png)
The Basic Arena contains the start circle, the shelf, the sink, and the table. The chair and doll obstacles present in other RoboWaiter arenas will not be used in the Basic Arena.

8.1.2 Standard Arena

Figure 8.2↓ shows the arrangement of the Standard Arena.
figure RWStdScaled.png
Figure 8.2 RoboWaiter Standard Arena overview (RWStdScaled.png)
The Chair is always present. It will be located as shown in Figure 8.2↑, with its back against the wall, approximately at the midpoint of the wall.
The Grandma doll is always present. It will be located and oriented at the positions shown in Figure 8.2↑.

8.1.3 Advanced Arena

Figure 8.3↓ shows the arrangement of the Advanced Division arena.
figure RWAdvanced12.png
Figure 8.3 RoboWaiter Advanced Arena layout (RWAdvanced12.png)
The Chair is always present. It will be located as shown in Figure 8.3↑, no more than 75 cm from the wall between the Home Circle and the Refrigerator. It may be oriented at any angle.
The Grandma doll is always present. It will be located at a random position along the line shown in Figure 8.3↑, at most 75 cm (to the doll center) from the wall. its exact location and orientation along that line will vary for each trial run. It will not block access to the refrigerator or Sensor. As mentioned in in Section 8↑, if the robot touches the Grandma doll, the robot fails the trial.

8.2 Occupants

Dolls similar to these will be used in the arena. For historic reasons, we refer to the doll at the table as Grandpa and the doll standing in the arena as Grandma, but your robot should expect similar dolls of either gender at either location.
Because robots must operate safely around humans, a robot that touches any part of a doll will incur severe penalties.

8.2.1 Grandpa

The Grandpa doll and wheelchair (Figure 8.4↓) will be positioned at the table.
figure GrandpaWheelchairSM.jpg
Figure 8.4 The Grandpa doll seated in wheelchair (GrandpaWheelchairSM.jpg)

8.2.2 Grandma

The Grandma doll (Figure 8.5↓) is optional in the Standard Division and required in the Advanced Division.
Grandma will be positioned on the floor in the arena as described in Section s9.1.2↓ and9.1.3↓.
figure GrandmaSm.jpg
Figure 8.5 The Grandma doll (GrandmaSm.jpg)

8.3 Arena Furnishings

8.3.1 Plate

The plate is located on the shelf or refrigerator as described below.
The plate is round: 10 0.3 cm in diameter. It is a pet-food can cover, Curtis Wagner Plastics Corp. Item #PF-4200 (http://hometownusastores.com/product_info.php?products_id=1814). See Figure 8.6↓.
A steel washer glued to the base of the plate adds weight. Also fixed to the bottom of the plate are four plastic feet, which help prevent slippage of the plate on the shelf. The total weight of the plate, including the steel washer and the plastic feet is 50 grams. See Figure 8.7↓.
NOTE The robot must not include a metal detector to sense the plate.
figure RW_PlateSM.jpg
Figure 8.6 RoboWaiter Plate (RW_PlateSM.jpg)
figure RoboWaiter Plate 16.jpg
Figure 8.7 RoboWaiter Plate bottom showing weight and feet (RoboWaiter Plate 16.jpg)

8.3.2 Juice Box

The juice box container will be located on one shelf of the Refrigerator described in Section 8.3.7↓.
NOTE The juice box appears only in the Advanced Division.
figure Juice Box_1505a.jpg
Figure 8.8 RoboWaiter Juice Box (Juice Box_1505a.jpg)
The juice box is soft-sided and approximately 4.5 x 5 x 7 cm.
It may contain up to 125 g of juice, but may be partially or entirely empty.

8.3.3 Shelf

The shelf supporting the food container is 40 cm deep (front-to-back) and 45 cm wide (left-to-right). The top of the shelf is 20 cm to 24 cm above the floor. The shelf height will change from trial to trial, so the robot must cope with an unknown shelf height. See Section 2.4↑ regarding dimensional limits.
There are three bright red light-emitting diodes fixed to the edge of the shelf, separated by 2.0 ± 0.1 cm center-to-center (Figure B). The mid-point of the container’s edge is aligned with the middle LED. Figures 8.9↓ and8.10↓ show the LED and plate arrangement.
The Juice Box will be aligned similarly, with the robot facing the widest part of the box.
figure ShelfFrontViewSm.jpg
Figure 8.9 Refrigerator Shelf front view showing Plate and LED positions (ShelfFrontViewSm.jpg)
figure HOF Maze 8.jpg
Figure 8.10 Plate on Refrigerator Shelf above LEDs (HOF Maze 8.jpg)

8.3.3.1 LED data

8.3.4 Table

The table is 70 cm wide (left-to-right) and 50 cm deep (front-to-back), with one bright red LED (Section 8.3.3.1↑) at the center of each visible side. The top of the table is 20 to 24 cm above the floor. See Figure 8.11↓.
figure HOF Maze 15.jpg
Figure 8.11 Picture of Table (HOF Maze 15.jpg)

8.3.5 Sink

The sink serves as an obstacle and has the same footprint as the table. The sink is 25 cm high. A single blue LED centered on the front edge marks the center of the sink bowl.
See Figure 8.12↓.
figure Sink&BlueLED.jpg
Figure 8.12 Sink with blue LED (Sink&BlueLED.jpg)

8.3.5.1 LED Data

The blue LED is available from Mouser: 941-C503BBCNCV0Z0462 or Cree C503B-BCN-CV0Z0462.

8.3.6 Chair

The chair has a footprint of 20 x 20 cm. See Figure 8.13↓.
figure HOF Maze 12.jpg
Figure 8.13 Picture of Chair (HOF Maze 12.jpg)
Figures 8.2↑ and8.3↑ show the possible chair positions.
NOTE The chair orientation will vary in the Advanced Division arena.

8.3.7 Refrigerator

The RoboWaiter Advanced Division arena has a simulated refrigerator in place of the Shelf.
The refrigerator has two shelves in an enclosed box, with a door that opens and closes under the robot’s control.
This section describes the refrigerator’s physical dimensions and characteristics. The next section describes the sensor that triggers the door operations.

8.3.7.1 Overall Dimensions

The refrigerator exterior is 20 to 25 cm deep (front-to-back) x 45 cm wide (left-to-right) x 42 cm tall.
The refrigerator shelves are 16 to 21 cm deep (front-to-back) x 42 cm wide (left-to-right).
The shelf tolerances allow for slight variations in refrigerator construction: all refrigerators will be slightly different. If the contest has more than one Advanced arena, teams must assume the refrigerator shelves will be at different heights.

8.3.7.2 Refrigerator Door

A continuous, modulated infra-red LED beacon, aimed perpendicular to the face of the door, is located within 1 cm of the center of the refrigerator door. Figure 8.14↓ gives the dimensions and Figure 8.15↓ shows the beacon in visible light.
figure DoorClosedFrontViewSm.jpg
Figure 8.14 Refrigerator Door dimensions - Front View (DoorClosedFrontViewSm.jpg)
figure BeaconOnDoor 218 - scaled.jpg
Figure 8.15 Refrigerator Door Beacon in visible light (BeaconOnDoor 218 - scaled.jpg)
The beacon consists of five IR emitters and one visible emitter on a small circuit board taken from a 6-LED flashlight. Five of the six LEDs were replaced by IR emitters; the remaining visible LED indicates that the device is working.
The beacon emits approximately 300 mW of 880 nm IR with a beam width of approximately 30 degrees. Designers should not assume a uniform or Gaussian intensity distribution within the beam.
The driver circuitry modulates the beacon at 8.0 kHz 10%.
A simple IR phototransistor mounted in a flashlight reflector readily detects the beacon from a distance of more than one meter.
See Appendix C.1↓ for details of the beacon design.
Robots may use wall-following techniques on the open door while navigating into and out of the refrigerator, but they must not touch the door while doing so.

8.3.7.3 Shelves and Plates

Each shelf has three LEDs as described in Section 8.3.3↑.
Figure 8.16↓ shows the front view of the Refrigerator interior.
figure DoorOpenFrontViewSm.jpg
Figure 8.16 Refrigerator front view with Door open - Front View (DoorOpenFrontViewSm.jpg)
Figures 8.17↓ through8.19↓ show top views of the Refrigerator with the Door in various positions.
figure FridgeTopViewShutSm.jpg
Figure 8.17 Refrigerator Door closed - Top View (FridgeTopViewShutSm.jpg)
figure FridgeTopViewPartialSm.jpg
Figure 8.18 Refrigerator Door partially open - Top View (FridgeTopViewPartialSm.jpg)
figure FridgeTopViewOpenSm.jpg
Figure 8.19 Refrigerator Door completely open - Top View (FridgeTopViewOpenSm.jpg)
A plate will be located on each shelf, aligned as described in Section 8↑, Item8.3.3↑.
The robot must fetch the correct plate as part of a successful trial: if the robot takes the plate from the wrong shelf, the robot has failed that trial.
The robot may touch the shelf (but not the door!) while aligning itself to the plate’s position. However, mechanical lever-action switches may not trip reliably on contact with the shelf, particularly at nearly perpendicular approach angles. If your navigation algorithms depend on switch closures, test your mechanical linkages very carefully under worst-case conditions, because that’s what your robot will encounter at Trinity!

8.3.7.4 Refrigerator Door Floor Sensor

Advanced Division robots must open and close the refrigerator door by triggering a sensor module embedded in the floor directly in front of the refrigerator. The sensor module lies in the center area of the refrigerators door beacon pattern, 65 cm from the outside surface of the closed door.
The sensor module contains three bright white visible LEDs that shine directly up from the floor and a Sharp GP2D120 IR proximity sensor. The LEDs are in a line 3 cm from the proximity sensor, parallel to the front of the refrigerator. The entire sensor module is embedded in the floor and will not impede robot motion.
NOTE The robot must not use a metal detector to locate the Floor Sensor.
Figure 8.20↓ shows the LED and GP2D120 arrangement within the sensor module. The refrigerator is located 65 cm from the upper edge of the rectangle in the figure.
figure SensorModuleSm.jpg
Figure 8.20 Refrigerator Door Sensor Module detail view - Top View (SensorModuleSm.jpg)
See Appendix C.2↓ for details of the sensor construction
The proximity sensor is connected to the refrigerators embedded microcontroller. When the microcontroller first senses the presence of a robot, it will open the refrigerator door. When it senses the robot again, it will close the door. Therefore the sensor acts a toggle switch that controls the doors opening and closing.
A large robot or one that holds the plate in front of its main chassis may trigger the sensor before it has cleared the path of the closing door. The robot must avoid contact with the door, because the robot will fail the trial if the door touches it while closing.

8.3.7.5 Door Operation

The door will begin opening or closing within one second of the time the sensor detects the robot.
The door will open or close completely within five seconds from the start of motion.
The robot must move completely off the sensor module for at least 5 seconds while extracting the plate.
The refrigerator door will operate only one time during a trial. The robot must ensure that it does not trigger the door-opening sequence before it is ready to extract the plate.

8.4 Robots

8.4.1 Dimensions

The functional parts of the robot must fit into a Bounding Box measuring 30 cm on a side and 50 cm tall at all times, except for grippers while manipulating and transporting the food container.
If any other part of the robot can exceed the Bounding Box, it will not pass the Robot Inspection Table process and will not compete in the Contest.
NOTE The actuators must be unable to move any parts of the robot, except the grippers, beyond the Bounding Box.
A flag, hat, or other purely decorative, non-functional item may exceed the maximum height limit. The item must not be a structural part of the robot: the robot must operate correctly without the item. Judges may disallow any item if, in their opinion, it forms a functional part of the robot.
Although the robot may deploy grippers beyond the starting envelope while transporting the plate, the “no contact” rules apply to all parts of the robot.
NOTE A robot must not deploy any sensors, other than container contact sensors on the grippers, beyond the initial dimensions.
NOTE The robot must not deploy its grippers until it faces the food container. If the robot deploys its grippers before that time, it will fail the trial.
The robot need not retract its grippers after placing the container on the table, but that would be a nice touch.

8.4.2 Starting Signal

8.4.2.1 Standard Division

All robots in the Junior and Standard Divisions must have a Start Button as described in Section 5.2.3↑.
Optionally, the robot may start with the sound signal used to mark the lower shelf in the Advanced Division, as described in Section 8.4.2.2↓. However, there is no Sound Activated score deduction.
NOTE If a robot uses Sound Activation to start the trial, it must also use Sound Activation for the Cleanup task.

8.4.2.2 Advanced Division

Sound activation is required for robots competing in the Advanced Division. A Start Button is not required for robots in the Advanced Division, because (unlike in the Firefighting competition) if the robot fails to start in response to the Standard Sound Start Device, it will fail the trial.
The sound frequency indicates which food container the robot must retrieve from the refrigerator:
NOTE The sound frequency indicates only the shelf and does not indicate the type of container. The robot must recognize the container on the shelf and pick it up with the appropriate type of manipulator or grabber.
The starting signal will be a Standard Sound Start Device as used in the TCFFHRC (Section 6.5.1.3↑), with an additional audio output at a different frequency to specify one of two container locations. See Appendix B↓ for details of the Standard Device.

9 Rules

The general rules described in Chapter2↑ apply unless otherwise noted below.

9.1 Trial Procedure

This section describes the overall procedure of a RoboWaiter contest trial.

9.1.1 Junior Division

  1. The Judge will place the robot in the arena.
  2. The Judge will start the robot and begin timing the trial.
  3. The robot must fetch the plate from the shelf.
  4. The robot must deliver the plate to the table, place it on the table surface, and completely release the plate. The plate must be entirely on the table, without overhanging the table edge, but need not be centered on the surface.
  5. The Judge will record the elapsed time when the robot has stopped moving after releasing the plate.

9.1.2 Standard Division

  1. The Judge will place the robot in the arena and configure any optional obstacles.
  2. The Judge will start the robot and begin timing the trial.
  3. The robot must fetch the plate from the shelf or refrigerator.
  4. The robot must deliver the plate to the table, place it on the table surface, and completely release the plate. The plate must be entirely on the table, without overhanging the table edge, but need not be centered on the surface.
  5. The Judge will record the elapsed time when the robot has stopped moving after releasing the plate.
  6. In the optional Cleanup Mode, the Judge will start the robot, which will move the plate from the table to the sink.

9.1.3 Advanced Division

These rules apply in addition to the Standard Division rules in Section 9.1.2↑.
  1. The robot must start in response to the Standard Sound Start Device (Appendix B↓). The trial timing begins when the sound signal starts, not when the robot begins to move. If the robot does not start, it will fail the trial.
  2. The robot must decode the tones, as described in Section 8.4.2.2↑, to know which shelf holds the food containerin the refrigerator.
  3. The robot must open the refrigerator door before attempting to retrieve the container. However, as described in Section 8.3.7.5↑, the door will operate only once for any trial. If the robot inadvertently opens the door, the door will close when the robot activates the sensor a second time and, consequently, the robot will fail the trial.
  4. After determining that the refrigerator door is open, the robot must extract the proper container. The robot will fail the trial if:
    • The robot touches the refrigerator door while entering the refrigerator
    • The robot extracts the wrong container
    The robot may touch either refrigerator shelf, perhaps to align itself with the container, without penalty. However, it must not touch the door at any time.
  5. The robot must close the door and indicate that it has done so by lighting an easily visible LED. There is no penalty if robot indicates that it has sensed a closed door before the door is completely closed.
  6. The robot must deliver the container to the table as described above.
  7. The Judge will record the elapsed time when the robot has stopped moving after releasing the container.
  8. After the robot returns to the start position, the Judge will direct the robot to move the container from the table to the sink, completing the run. The robot has a maximum of three minutes to complete this operation. See Section 9.2.5↓ for details.

9.2 Operating Modes

The Operating Modes described in this section will result in reduced time scores, by multiplying the Time Score by the Mode Factor (MF) for each of the listed premiums, when the robot has successfully accomplished the task. Each trial may use a different combination of Operating Modes.
Table 9.1↓ summarizes the Operating Modes and Mode Factors available in each RoboWaiter Division:
Mode Junior Standard Advanced
Arbitrary Start Not available Option, MF=0.85 Option, MF=0.85
Food Option, MF=0.80 Option, MF=0.80 Required, MF=1.0
Grandma Not available Option, MF=0.75 Required, MF=1.0
Return Trip Option, MF=0.80 Option, MF=0.80 Required, MF=1.0
Cleanup Not available Option, MF=0.70 Required, MF=1.0
Table 9.1 RoboWaiter Operating Modes and Mode Factors

9.2.1 Arbitrary Starting Location

OM.start = 0.85
The Judge will choose the robot’s starting location and orientation at random and place the Home Circle at that position. This arbitrary starting location will not be physically closer to the plate (on the shelf or in the refrigerator) than the standard starting location. See Figure 9.1↓ for possible locations.
figure RWArbStart12.png
Figure 9.1 RoboWaiter Standard and Arbitrary Start Locations (RWArbStart12.png)

9.2.2 Food Premium

OM.food=0.8 (Advanced = 1.0)The robot will earn the premium by delivering the plate to the table without dropping or spilling the food. The food will be actual food, such as cereal or pasta, that does not stick to the plate and does not add any significant weight to the plate.
NOTE If the robot bumps the plate after placing it on the table and knocks it off the table or spills food on the table or floor, the Food Premium will not apply.

9.2.3 Grandma

OM.grandma = 0.75 (Advanced = 1.0)
If this option is selected, the Grandma doll will be located as shown in Figure 8.2↑. If the robot touches the Grandma doll, the Grandma Operating Mode factor will not apply to that trial.
The Grandma doll is always present in the Advanced Division. If the robot touches the Grandma doll, it fails that trial.

9.2.4 Return Trip

OM.return = 0.80 (Advanced = 1.0)
The robot must return to the Home Circle position where it started the trial. The robot need not be in the same orientation as when it started the trial.
The robots Actual Time (AT) recorded for the trial will be the time required to transfer the plate to the table, not including the return trip. However, the robot must return its starting location within 2 minutes; if not, then the Return Mode factor is not in effect for that trial.

9.2.5 Clean Up

OM.cleanup = 0.70 (Advanced = 1.0)
After the robot has returned to the Home Circle and ceased all motion, the Judge will restart the robot using the 3.8 kHz Standard Starting Device tone. The robot will return to the table, pick up the plate, transfer it to the sink, then return to the Home Circle again.
The plate will remain where the robot left it on the table, with the food in place. However, the robot may inadvertently move the plate while releasing it or while backing away from the table, so the Clean Up algorithm should not assume an exact plate location. The judges will not reposition the plate after the robot releases it.
The plate may be dumped into the sink in any orientation, but it must remain either on the top surface of the sink or within the bowl.
If the robot is operating in Food Premium Mode, then it must not spill any food onto the floor while transferring the plate to the sink. Food may spill onto the surface around the sink, but not onto the floor.
NOTE If the robot spills any food while transferring the plate from the refrigerator to the sink, the Food Premium will not apply to the trial. However, the robot must not spill any remaining food on the floor while moving the plate to the sink in order to successfully complete the Clean Up operation.
The robot must complete the Clean Up operation and cease all motion within 4 minutes of the second Start Signal. That time is not added to the total time: the Clean Up Mode factor is applied to the original time required to place the plate on the table. In effect, by completing the Clean Up operation, the robot receives a significant scoring advantage.
However, if the robot fails to complete the Clean Up operation, it will fail the entire trial.
NOTE Clean Up Mode requires that the robot must also operate in Return Trip Mode.

9.3 Tasks

The judges will tally the number of additional tasks completed by each robot during the three trials. The task tally will be used to rank robots that do not complete one trial successfully (and are, therefore, not eligible for prizes and cash awards).

9.3.1 Junior and Standard Divisions

  1. Found shelf
  2. Picked up plate
  3. Transported plate at least 20 cm.
  4. Found table

9.3.2 Advanced Division

  1. Opened refrigerator door
  2. Found correct shelf
  3. Picked up correct container
  4. Closed refrigerator door
  5. Transported container more than 20 cm
  6. Deposited container on table
  7. Returned to starting position

10 Scoring

Each robot will compete in three trials, with the Judges recording the time required to complete the trial. Section 9.2↑ describes the Operating Modes in detail. Section 10.1↓ provides examples of scoring calculations.
A trial is successful when the robot completes all requirements of its Division. To be eligible for a prize or cash award, a robot must successfully complete at least one trial.
Successful robots will be divided into three groups, based on the number of successful runs, to ensure that the most reliable robots receive awards. The ranking within each group will be based on the robot’s final score for all three runs. The groups are:
  1. Most Reliable group: successful on three trials.
  2. Moderately Reliable group: two successful trials.
  3. Least Reliable group: one successful trial.
Winners will be taken starting with the highest-ranking robots in the Most Reliable group, then continuing with the Moderately and Least Reliable groups, until the three winners have been identified.
Examples:

10.1 Scoring Examples

10.1.1 Junior Division

Trial 1
Robot finds plate and delivers it to the table. Food Operating Mode not chosen.
Measured Actual Time AT = 89 s.
Success = 1
Time = AT = 89 s
Trial 2
Robot operates in Food OM, finds plate, delivers it to table, returns to start.
Measured Actual Time AT = 77 s.
Success = 1
Time = AT * OM.food *OM.return = 77 * 0.8 * 0.8 = 49.28 s
Trial 3
Delivers plate without food to table, returns to start.
Measured Actual Time AT = 119 s
Success = 1
Time = AT *OM.return= 119 * 0.8 = 95.2 s
Result
Success = 3
Time = 89 + 49.28 + 95.2 s = 233.48 s
The robot is placed in the Most Reliable group with three successful trials. Its ranking will be determined by comparing overall time scores within that group.

10.1.2 Standard Division

Trial 1
Robot starts at home position, finds plate and delivers it to the table. No food on plate. No mode options completed.
Measured Actual Time AT = 78 s
Success = 1
Time = AT = 78 s
Tasks completed: 4
Trial 2
Robot starts at home position, finds plate with food on it, delivers plate to table, returns to start.
Measured Actual Time AT = 56 s
Success = 1
Time = AT * OM.food *OM.return = 56 * 0.8 * 0.8 = 35.84 s
Tasks completed: 4
Trial 3
Robot starts at arbitrary position, delivers plate with food to table, returns to start, and completes cleanup option.
Measured Actual Time AT = 109 s
Success = 1
Time = AT * OM.start*OM.food * OM.return * OM.cleanup = 109 * 0.85 * 0.8 * 0.8 * 0.7 = 41.507 s
Tasks completed: 4
Result
Success = 3
Time = 78 + 44.8 + 41.507 s = 182.1 s
Tasks completed total = 12
The robot is placed in the Most Reliable group with three successful trials. Its ranking will be determined by comparing overall time scores within that group.

10.1.3 Advanced Division

Trial 1
Arbitrary Start not selected. Robot successfully finds and delivers the food container and returns to start.
Measured Actual Time AT = 35s
After receiving sound signal from the judge, robot completes cleanup operation within the three-minute time limit.
Success = 1
Time = AT = 35 s
Tasks completed = 7
Trial 2
Arbitrary Start not selected. Robot successfully finds and delivers the food container but fails to returns to start and consequently does not complete the cleanup operation.
Success = 0
AT = 600 s
Tasks completed = 6
Trial 3
Robot starts at arbitrary position, delivers plate with food to table, returns to start, and completes cleanup option.
Measured Actual Time AT = 109 s
Success = 1
Time = AT * OM.start*OM.food * OM.return * OM.cleanup = 109 * 0.85 * 0.8 * 0.8 * 0.8 = 41.507 s
Tasks Completed: 7
Result
Success = 2
Time = 35 + 600 + 41.507 s = 676.507 s
Tasks Completed Total = 20
The robot is grouped with other robots having two successful trials. Its ranking will be determined by comparing overall time scores within that group and secondarily by the number of tasks completed.

Part IV. Robot Olympiad Exam

The TCFFHRC Olympiad exam consists of about ten questions, each presenting a real problem that might arise during robot design projects. Each question requires a solution based on theoretical background and practical experience.
The exam takes 50 minutes.
The Olympiad is open to any registered team or individual, and prizes will be awarded to teams and individuals in Junior, High School, and Senior Divisions.
Check http://www.trincoll.edu/events/robot/ for the 2014 Olympiad schedule.
Questions about the Olympiad may be directed to:
Igor Vernerttrigor@tx.technion.ac.il
David Ahlgrendavid.ahlgren@trincoll.edu

Part V. Technical Presentation Competition

Contributed by David Pietrocola, Lifebotics LLC
The ability to effectively communicate technical ideas and designs is an increasingly important skill for engineers and scientists. The 2014 TCFFHRC technical presentation competition aims to encourage the development of such communication skills. The competition is optional for all teams. We encourage teams to summarize and convey their efforts by designing and delivering a presentation that explains the design and functionality of the robot.
Teams will present using a traditional scientific poster format, which involves designing a poster following established scientific poster templates (see below).
Entries will count toward the teams BURP score, which allows teams to be rewarded for effective communication abilities in addition to successful engineering design (please see the BURP section for scoring examples).
Guidelines
  1. The poster presents the design of the teams firefighting or assistive robot. Posters must include the following sections and components, using a traditional scientific poster template:
    • Abstract and Introduction
    • Problem description and definition
    • Design process
    • System design or schematic
    • Results
    • Conclusions and future improvements
    • Informative diagrams and photos.
    Visit http://posterhall.org/igert2012 for many examples of common scientific posters, designed by graduate students from across the United States.
  2. Teams will register for the poster competition as part of our web-based registration process.
  3. Maximum poster size is 1 m wide x 70 cm high. Minimum poster size is 80 cm wide x 60 cm high. Poster stands will be provided to those who register for the poster session.
  4. The competition is split into two rounds:
    1. Judges will assess displayed posters
    2. The top 10 teams will deliver a five-minute oral presentation using the poster as a visual aid.
    A maximum of two team members may present the poster to the Judges, who are engineers and university faculty. Presentation of the physical robot to the Judges is not permitted. A two-minute question & answer period between the presenters and the Judges will follow.
  5. All posters must use English. However, teams for whom English is a second language may request to have an official contest-provided interpreter who can assist during the presentation. If you wish to have an interpreter at your poster presentation, please check the appropriate box on the registration form and indicate the language. Unofficial interpreters affiliated with the team are not permitted; their presence will be grounds for immediate disqualification of the team from the robot competition.
Judging Criteria
Posters are judged based on the following criteria:
  1. Content — 40%
    • Problem appropriately described with context given
    • System architecture and overview described
    • Appropriate level of detail provided
    • Appropriate usage of the English language in a scientific context
      • grammar
      • style
      • tone and cadence
  2. Visuals — 30%
    • Easy to read and see
    • Obvious logical sequence of material
    • Useful and appropriate diagrams, photos, etc.
  3. Presentation — 30%
    • Appropriate overview, focus, preparation, and delivery
    • Good articulation
    • Appropriate response to judges questions
Scoring
Each criterion (content, visuals, presentation) will be judged, with each specification earning a score of 0, 5, or 10 points. The points will be summed to produce a total score up to the maximum 100 points.
The poster’s final score will be the average of the individual score values determined by each Judge.
Common Mistakes
Although a good poster will build on the points mentioned above, you can make your poster better by following these guidelines:
  1. Create a technical poster, not a personal ad for your robot.
  2. Use plain backgrounds. Avoid busy patterns and bright colors.
  3. Use large, simple fonts. If you cannot read every word on your poster from a distance of 2 meters, neither can the Judges.
  4. Describe your robot and project, not your school, your hometown, your friends, or the funny team mascot you made.
  5. Do not include large photos of you, your team, or your school. Only the robot matters.
  6. Do not include inside jokes about your team. They belong within the team and have no place in a technical presentation.
  7. Include technical details of your project, not just a list of robot components. Describe your unique algorithm that processes sensor data, the special wheels you built, or the mechanical innovation that distinguishes your robot from the others.
  8. Do not glue robot parts to the poster. Use a camera and include only photos.
Oral Presentation Guidelines
  1. Be prepared to explain your team’s design decisions and how each component or subsystem functions. The Judges may ask about sensors, navigation algorithms, motor control, propulsion mechanisms, or any other feature of your robot.
  2. Practice, practice, practice! If two team members will present the material, practice both the roles and the transitions between them.
Suggestion
A good way to determine whether you have made an effective poster is to hand it to someone who has never seen your work before. Leave the room for five minutes while they look at your poster. When you return, ask them to describe your project to you. If your poster effectively presents the information about your robot project, they will be able to give you a reasonable overview of your work.

Part VI. Regional Contest Events

Starting an Official Regional Event

Trinity College’s Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest rules are published on the Contest Website at http://www.trincoll.edu/events/robot/.
We invite you to use these rules without charge for the limited purpose of use as the basis for a non-profit educational project or to organize your own non-profit firefighting robot contest. You acknowledge and agree by your use of these rules, whether for an official regional contest or an unofficial contest, that Trinity College assumes no responsibility or liability for such use of the contest rules by you or any third parties. These rules are provided “as is” without any warranty of any kind.
If you plan to use the Trinity rules, we request that you send a 50-100 word description of your activity to the contest Director via email.
Your use of the Trinity rules does not automatically qualify your robot to participate in the official Trinity College Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest (“TCFFHRC”) to be held at Trinity College.

Requirements

Official regional contests are public events based on the Trinity rules found on the Contest Website at http://www.trincoll.edu/events/robot/. The characteristics of official regional contests and Trinity’s relationship to them are listed below.
In order to hold an official regional contest, the contest should meet these requirements:

Procedure

In order to become an official regional contest and to obtain the benefits listed above, please send the contest director an email message indicating your interest and confirming your agreement to the requirements described above. In turn you will be sent an application form that asks such information as name and date of event, expected participation, contest Divisions that you wish to offer, and names of sponsors.
When planning your event please note that normally regional contests are held within eight weeks prior to the official Trinity College Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest to be held at Trinity College.
Requests for new regional contests should be sent to the Director at least six months before the next Trinity contest.

Part VII. Appendix

A Start Button Locations

Section 5.2.3↑ describes the requirements for the Start Button. This Appendix provides examples of acceptable and unacceptable Start Button locations.

A.1 Mechanical Linkage

Figure A.1↓ shows a mechanical linkage between a Start Button at the top of a robot and an electrical switch located on the body. The top of the linkage must have a flat button-shaped actuator on the rod or shaft.
figure dsc00871 - Mechanical Start Button Linkage.jpg
Figure A.1  Mechanical Start Button Linkage (dsc00871 - Mechanical Start Button Linkage.jpg)

A.2 Acceptable Locations

Figure A.2↓ shows an ideal Start Button location on the highest part of the robot, above all other parts, with clear identification and color coding.
figure dsc00892 - Start Button Location 2.jpg
Figure A.2 Ideal Start Button Location (dsc00892 - Start Button Location 2.jpg)
Figure A.3↓ shows an acceptable Start Button location. The white sensor housing at the front of the robot is less than 2 cm above the Start Button.
figure dsc00884 - Start Button Location 1.jpg
Figure A.3 Acceptable Start Button Location (dsc00884 - Start Button Location 1.jpg)

A.3 Unacceptable Locations

The Start Button in Figure A.4↓ will not be acceptable in the 2014 contest, because it is below the top of the fan blade tips and more than 2 cm below other mechanical parts.
figure dsc00887 - Unacceptable Start Button Location 1.jpg
Figure A.4 Incorrect Start Button Location (dsc00887 - Unacceptable Start Button Location 1.jpg)
The Start Button in Figure A.5↓ will not be acceptable in the 2014 contest, because it is not on the top surface of the robot and more than 2 cm below other mechanical parts.
figure dsc00933 - Unacceptable Start Button Location 2.jpg
Figure A.5 Incorrect Start Button Location (dsc00933 - Unacceptable Start Button Location 2.jpg)
The Start Button in Figure A.6↓ will not be acceptable in the 2014 Contest, because it is below the top of the fan blade arc, not on the top surface of the robot, and more than 2 cm below other mechanical parts.
figure dsc00913 - Unacceptable Start Button Location 3.jpg
Figure A.6 Incorrect Start Button Location (dsc00913 - Unacceptable Start Button Location 3.jpg)

B Standard Sound Start Device

Judges will use only the Standard Sound Start Device during the contest. Teams may not bring their own devices to the arena during trials.

B.1 Operation

The Sound Start Device emits two selectable tones: 3.8 kHz and 2.5 kHz.
The specified sound modules produce approximately 90 dB SPL at 1 foot. The SPL will be higher at the microphone, due to the closer distance, but there is no specification for the actual intensity.
The selected tone will sound for at least 5 seconds after the Judge presses the Tone button.
The robot must start with the Sound Start Device approximately 25 mm from the robot’s microphone. The Device has a 25 mm rod indicating this distance; the rod will not touch the robot.

B.2 Hardware

Figure B.1↓ shows a Standard Sound Start Device.
figure Standard Sound Start Device - StartBox-12_030.jpg
Figure B.1 A Standard Sound Start Device (Standard Sound Start Device - StartBox-12_030.jpg)
Figure B.2↓ shows the dual-frequency Standard Sound Start Device used in the RoboWaiter Advanced Division.
figure Standard Sound Start Device - RoboWaiter - SB_RW_Advanced033.jpg
Figure B.2 A dual-frequency Standard Sound Start Device for the RoboWaiter Advanced Division (Standard Sound Start Device - RoboWaiter - SB_RW_Advanced033.jpg)

B.3 Schematic

Figure B.3↓ shows the schematic diagram of the circuitry inside the Sound Start Device.
figure StartBoxSchematicBW.png
Figure B.3 Standard Sound Start Device Schematic (StartBoxSchematicBW.png)
Figure B.4↓ shows the component layout inside the case.
figure Standard Sound Start Device - Interior - StartBox12_031.jpg
Figure B.4 Interior view of Standard Sound Start Device (Standard Sound Start Device - Interior - StartBox12_031.jpg)

B.4 Parts List

Table B.1↓ lists the parts required to construct a Standard Sound Start Device.
The circuit can be hand wired on a prototyping board or laid out on a custom PCB to suit your enclosure; we do not provide a PCB layout.
Part Manufacturer Manuf. Part Number Mouser P/N
SW1 pushbutton switch E-Switch PS-1040A-RED 612-PS1040A-RED
SW2 on/off switch
Battery holder (6 x AA) Eagle 12BH364-GR 12BH364-GR
Buzzer (2.5 kHz) Mallory PK-20A25WQ 539-PK-20A25WQ
Buzzer (3.8 kHz) Mallory PK-20N38WQ 539-PK-20N38WQ
IC1 NE555N (various) NE555N 511-NE555N
R3 100K 10% pot Bi Tech 68WR100KLF 858-68WR100KLF
R1,R2 100K 1% res Xicon 100K-RC 271-100K-RC
R4 402K 1% res Xicon 402K-RC 271-402-RC
C1 0.01 uF/50V cap Vishay D103Z25Z5VF63L6R 594-D103Z25Z5VF63L6R
C2 10 uF/15V tantalum Kemet T322C106K015AT 80-T322C106K015AT
AA batteries x 6
Case
Printed circuit board
Table B.1 Standard Sound Start Device Parts List (StartBoxPartsList.ods)

B.5 Construction

Adjust trimpot R3 for 5 second sound duration after each press of switch SW1.
Add 25 mm nonconductive rod near the buzzer to maintain the correct standoff distance from the robot’s microphone.

C RoboWaiter Refrigerator Hardware

C.1 Refrigerator Door Beacon

C.1.1 Hardware

Figures C.1↓ and C.2↓ show the LED array and driver circuit board.
figure BeaconBoard 216 - scaled.jpg
Figure C.1 Refrigerator Door LED array (BeaconBoard 216 - scaled.jpg)
figure BeaconIRs 217 - scaled.jpg
Figure C.2 Refrigerator Door LED array in IR light (BeaconIRs 217 - scaled.jpg)

C.1.2 Schematic

Figure C.3↓ gives the beacon driver schematic and parts list.
figure Beacon Schematic - scaled.png
Figure C.3 Refrigerator Beacon Schematic and Parts List (Beacon Schematic - scaled.png)

C.2 Refrigerator Door Sensor

C.2.1 Layout

Figure C.4↓ shows the sensor module installed in the black-painted arena floor.
figure Floor Sensor 215 - scaled.jpg
Figure C.4 Refrigerator Door sensor module (Floor Sensor 215 - scaled.jpg)

C.2.2 Schematic

Figure C.5↓ shows the sensor schematic and parts list.
figure Floor Sensor Schematic - scaled.png
Figure C.5 (Floor Sensor Schematic - scaled.png)

D Robot Inspection Table Checklist

All robots must pass an inspection at the Robot Inspection Table before competing. See Section 2.8↑ for more details.
The sample RIT Checklist on page 1↓ itemizes some physical and performance requirements, but your robot must comply with all the requirements of this rules document.
figure Robot Inspection Table Checklist - Appendix Image.png
Figure D.1 Sample RIT Checklist Form (Robot Inspection Table Checklist - Appendix Image.png)

E Trial Options Sheet

The Trial Options Sheet specifies all of the Operating Modes that apply to each of a robot’s Trial Runs in a Contest arena.
Teams competing in the Junior, High School, and Senior Divisions must present a Trial Options Sheet, similar to the sample on page 1↓, to the Judge at the arena when they arrive for their robot’s trial. The sheet must contain the options for the current trial; teams do not need to select options for future trials.
figure FF Contest Trial Options - Appendix Image.png
Figure E.1 Sample Trial Options Sheet (FF Contest Trial Options - Appendix Image.png)