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comp.robotics.* Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) part 2/5

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Archive-name: robotics-faq/part2
Last Modified: Mon Sep 16 01:00:38 EDT 1996

This FAQ was compiled and written by Kevin Dowling with numerous
contributions by readers of comp.robotics. Acknowledgements are listed
at the end of the FAQ.

This post, as a collection of information, is Copyright 1995 Kevin
Dowling. Distribution through any means other than regular Usenet
channels must be by permission. The removal of this notice is

This FAQ may be posted to any USENET newsgroup, on-line service, or
BBS as long as it or the section is posted in its entirety and
includes this copyright statement. This FAQ may not be distributed for
financial gain. This FAQ may not be included in commercial collections
or compilations without express permission from the author.

Please send changes, additions, suggestions and questions to:
Kevin Dowling tel: 412.268.8830
Robotics Institute fax: 412.268.5895
Carnegie Mellon University net: [2]
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 url: [3]

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
    This FAQ may be referenced as:
   Dowling, Kevin (1995) "Robotics: comp.robotics Frequently Asked
   Questions" Available as a hypertext document at 90+ pages.
   Last-Modified: Thu Dec 7 16:40:11 1995
    [4]Kevin Dowling <>

                       [5] Conferences and Competitions
   [3][5.1] Conferences
   [4][5.2] Competitions
   There are dozens of international conferences in the areas of
   robotics, artificial intelligence, control and related areas. This is
   a compilation of many of these.
[5.1] Conferences

   There are a wide variety and number of conferences related to robotics
   and automation. Some are focused on industrial applications, many are
   researchy in nature and most are a mixture of both. Proceedings should
   be available in most good libraries or by interlibrary loan. Most
   conferences now also have ftp: and web locations from more
   information. Also see [5]news:news.announce.conferences for many
   postings on conferences.
   An excellent www page for Robotics, AI and Control related
   conferences, is also at [6]conf-list.html
   This page mainly consists of those conferences/symposia/colloquia that
   have had CFP's put out on the various news groups such as
   comp.robotics, sci.engr.control, news.announce.conferences, etc. The
   entries are sorted by date, and more detailed info can be obtained by
   clicking on the conference name. Some have links to their own WWW
   pages. A wonderful compilation of conferences can also be found at
   [7]The Virtual Library on Conferences Once there, do a keyword search
   on 'robotics'.
   For IEEE conferences, this site lists all the robotics and automation
   related conferences that they sponsor: [8]IEEE Robotics and Automation
   Conference list
  Summary list of conferences:
   [9]MFI'96: 1996 IEEE/SICE/RSJ International Conference on Multisensor
          Fusion and Integration for Intelligent Systems
          October 1996
   [10]27th International Symposium on Industrial Robots.
   October 6-8, 1996
   Milan, Italy
   [11]American Nuclear Society 7th Topical Meeting on Robotics and
   Remote Systems
   April 27 to May 1, 1997
   Augusta, GA
MFI'96: 1996 IEEE/SICE/RSJ International conference on Multisensor Fusion and
Integration for Intelligent Systems

Main topics: - Algorithms for sensor fusion and integration
             - Sensing Architectures
             - Implementation
             - Applications
Further info.: Masatoshi Ishikawa
               Department of Mathematical Engineering and Information Physics
               University of Tokyo
               Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113, Japan
               TEL: 81-3-5800-6569
               FAX: 81-3-5800-6969

   See this page for more details:
The American Nuclear Society 7th Topical Meeting on Robotics and Remote Systems

   The American Nuclear Society 7th Topical Meeting on Robotics and
   Remote Systems will be held in Augusta, GA from April 27 to May 1,
   1997. This international meeting will include a technical program, an
   exhibition, a technical tour, a student competition and numerous
   special events. The event is expected to include over 120 expert,
   technical papers and over 50 exhibitions from robotics technology
   leaders around the world. Abstracts for papers are due by July 1,
   1996. [14]ANS Web Site
Other Conferences

   In addition to those listed above many other annual conferences are
   held. Here are some:
     * Annual International Conference of IEEE on Robotics and Automation
     * Annual Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
     * Annual Symposium on Industrial Robots
     * International Symposium of Robotics Research
     * Autonomous Intelligent Systems
     * International Conference on Computer Vision
     * British Machine Vision Conference
     * IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Conference
     * IMAC/SICE International Symposium on Robotics, Mechatronics and
       Manufacturing Systems.
     * American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
       Probably the largest and most prestigious conference on AI. Now
       sponsoring a robot competition at the annual AAAI conference.
   Last-Modified: Wed Aug 14 13:27:00 1996
    [15]Kevin Dowling <>


   1. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/copyright.html
   2. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/TOC.html
   3. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.html#5.1
   4. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html
   5. news:news.announce.conferences
   9. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.html#MFI'96: 1996 IEEE/SICE/RSJ International Conference on Multisensor
  10. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.html#ISIR96
                              [5.2] Competitions
   There are a number of robot gatherings where robot builders can bring
   their creations to show and compete with others.
  Competition List
   [3]AAAI Robot Competitions
   [4]AUVS International Aerial Robotics Competition
   [5]AUVS Ground Robotics Competition
   [6]BEAM Robot Olympics
   [7]Hong-Kong Robot Ping Pong Competition
   [8]IEEE Micromouse Competitions
   [9]IJCAI Robot Competition
   [10]International Festival of Science and Technology
   [11]International Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest
   [12]Robot Symposium and Navigation Contest
   [13]Robot Wars
   [14]SAE Walking Machine Decathalon
   [15]Sumo Robot Competition
   [16]Western Candian Robot Games
   Steve Rainwater also maintains a robot contests and competitions list
   that is posted regularly to comp.robotics
   net: [17]
   fax: 214-650-1929
   bbs: 214-258-1832
   url: [18]
AAAI Robot Competitions

   Each year, starting in 1990, at the annual meeting of the American
   Association of Artificial Intelligence a robotics competition is
   sponsored. Rules and locations vary from year to year. See conference
   announcements for details.
AUVS International Aerial Robotics Competition

   The home page for the AUVS ground, air, and undersea competitions is
   at [19]AUVS Competition Home Page The AUVS International Aerial
   Robotics Competitiont is a competition sponsored by the Association
   for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (See above) to encourage aspiring
   engineers and scientists to pursue careers in fields allied to
   unmanned system technology, particularily in the more difficult realm
   of unmanned aerial vehicles. It is a yearly competition held on the
   campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA.
   The general goal of the competition is to create autonomous flying
   vehicles capable of carrying out a set of predefined tasks. The
   vehicles must compete based on their ability to sense the structured
   enviroment of the Competition Arena. They may be intelligent or
   preprogrammed, but they must not be flown by a remote human operator.
   The 1996 International Aerial Robotics Competition rules are different
   this year. Fully autonomous air vehicles must start at the corner of a
   60 by 120 foot arena and find a simulated toxic waste dump somewhere
   within the confines of the arena. The dump consists of five partially
   buried 55-gallon drums with various orientations.
   The vehicle must map the coordinates of each drum with one meter
   accuracy and further must read the labels on the drums to determine
   which ones contain radioactive waste versus biohazard waste. Finally,
   a sample must be taken from one of the drums and returned to the
   launch point. The sample is simulated by finding and acquiring a small
   (3-inch) orange spool-shaped disk that has been placed on one of the
   Each team has one hour to complete the mission. As many data-gathering
   may be attempted during the hour as feasible in order to demonstrate
   the best possible performance, but all mapping data, drum
   identification, and sample return must be completed in a single run.
   Points will be scored based on the best run during that hour. Up to
   $10,000 will be awarded to the winning team. The official AUVS Aerial
   Robotics Competition page is at
AUVS Ground Robotics Competition

   The home page for the AUVS ground, air, and undersea competitions is
   at [21]AUVS Competition Home Page The objective of this competition is
   to build a completely autonomous vehicle capable of navigating itself
   around a grass track outlined with white lines. There are also
   obstacles on the track to avoid. Red and white hay bales, and a sand
   pit last year.
BEAM Robot Olympics

   Contact: Mark Tilden [22]
   BEAM stands for Biology, Electronics, Art and Mechanics -- which were
   the original concepts behind BEAM. Draw from biology into electronics
   and mechanics and make it artful. Tilden advocates using the parts
   from discarded electronics items such as Walkmans, disk drives, etc.,
   to make machines that moved. He avoids the use of computers and
   microcontrollers in his machines. The original SolarRunner consisted
   of parts from a Walkman, a solar cell from a solar calculator, some
   brass tubing, part of a printer roller, a couple of transistors, a
   zener diode, a capacitor and a resistor. Most, if not all, of Tilden's
   machines are solar powered and autonomous.
   BEAM Rulesets, entrance forms, information, etc. accessible in four
   ways: by email, the World Wide Web (WWW), anonymous ftp, or real-mail
    Articles on the BEAM Olympics
     * Dewdney, A.K. Photovores: Intelligent Robots are Constructed From
       Castoffs. Scientific American Sept 1992, v267, n3, p42(1)
     * Maylon, John. At the Robot Olympics. Whole Earth Review. Spring
       1992, pp 80-84.
     * Smit, Michael C., and Mark Tilden, Beam Robotics. Algorithm, Vol.
       2, No. 2, March 1991, Pg 15-19
Fourth International BEAM Robot Games
May 4-7, 1995.
Conference Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

SOLAROLLER:     Self-starting robot dragster race.
PHOTOVORE:      Robots face a close "world" and each other.
AQUAVORE:       Robots face the terrors of a fish-tank.
HIGH JUMP:      Robot creature leaps, lands on feet.
LONG JUMP:      Robot creature leaps, lands, for distance.
ROPE CLIMBING:  First up, first down, self-starting.
LEGGED RACE:    Walking creatures run for the money.
INNOVATION MACHINES: Electronic chopsticks, for example.
ROBOART/MODIFICATION: Aesthetics that move.
ROBOT SUMO:     Push/Bash an opponent out of a ring.
LIMBO RACE:     How low can you build?
NANOMOUSE:      A smaller and simpler form of the...
MICROMOUSE:     Where metal mice race for aluminum cheese.
AEROBOT:        Build a self-contained, flying dive-bomber.

CLASSES:        Autonomous and Remote-Control.
SIZE:           Must be smaller than a "standard upright refrigerator".
AWARDS:         Sponsor supplied material and cash awards in all
    1. To use the email information server, send mail to
       [23] with the string "info" somewhere in the subject
       line (case insensitive). You will be sent instructions on how to
       receive specific information about the 1995 BEAM Games via email.
    2. The WWW site for the 1995 BEAM Games is
    3. Anonymous ftp- [25] or
    4. Info or Guide request letter (see below) to:
    BEAM Games
    c/o Mark W. Tilden,
    MSD449, LANL,
    Los Alamos, NM 87545,
   OBTAINABLES: 120 page updated, illustrated Guidebook available from
   above address for $20 (local and international): cheque or money order
   made out to "BEAM: Un. of California". BEAM Kits are available from
   either (Miller, 274 Erb St. W. Waterloo, Ont.
   Canada, N2L-1W2), or [27] (Dave Hrynkiw, #103 915 -
   13th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2R-0L3).
   PITCH: The International BEAM Robot Games, now in it's fourth year, is
   a forum for robot enthusiasts both amateur and professional to present
   their designs to each other, the press, and the public. Any and every
   robot will be considered so long as it does not come exclusively from
   a kit or store. Robots of similar ability will be pitted against each
   other in organized competition, but generally robots will be judged on
   sophistication of behavior, novelty of design, efficiency of power
   source, and quality of hardware innovation.
   The Robot Games feature 15 basic competitions ranging in difficulty
   from simple to complex. A 120 page illustrated Guide is now available
   for $20 (local and international, includes shipping) which contains
   competition rules, "get-started" instructions, Artificial Life (Alife)
   discussions, prior show details and winners, and full information on
   registration, travel, schedules and etc. The event is open to the
   public and the press for a $5 entrance fee per day.
   All venues are open to the interested, young or old, so grab your
   soldering iron, raid the junk pile, and we'll see you there.
   Sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory
          2300 Zanker Rd
          San Jose CA 95131
          tel: 408.943.9773
          fax: 408.943.9776
   [From Chuck McManis - 2/6/95]
   Alltronics sells the MicroMo DC motors. These are 12 mm by 12 mm (.5"
   long, .5" in diameter) with a nominal voltage rating of 2.7 volts.
   There part number is 92M002 and there catalog lists them on page 40
   for $14.95 each.
   These motors were removed from pagers and have an off center weight on
   the shaft. You can remove the weight by heating it with a match or my
   favorite, an Aim-n-Flame, and then using a flat bladed screw driver
   push the weight off the shaft. The easiest way to use this to power a
   "solar roller" type micropower bug is to get very thin wheels with a
   rubber tire and mount them so that the shaft sits against the tire.
   The motors draw 60 to 250 mA (stall) and run unloaded off a super cap
   for about 2 seconds.
Hong-Kong Robot Ping Pong Competition

   Contact: Robin Bradbeer
IEEE Micromouse Competitions

   In 1979 the IEEE Spectrum ran the first micromouse competition and
   many hundreds of these contests are run every year. Some are still
   under the auspices of the IEEE but many more are not.
   Official IEEE/ABEC Rules and much more are located here:
   There is an Australian ftp site with some good mouse stuff including
   older copies of the rules:
   [30] A copy of rules
   (a bit old) may be found at
   Micromouse mazes are available at:
        IEEE Robot Olympics and MicroMouse Competition Committee
        BEAM/IEEE Robot Olympics and MicroMouse Competition Committee
        BEAM/IEEE Robot Games
            or [34] 
        c/o Edward Spike
        E  & CE Dept. University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario,
        Canada, N2L3G1.   (519)888-4567, X-3716, fax:(519)888-6197

        This year's Australian Micromouse Championship, OZ Mouse '94,
        is to be held in Sydney on Sunday 27 November, hosted by the
        Universities of Queensland and Wollongong in conjunction with
        the IEE and IEEE. For more details contact:
        Gordon Wyeth [36]

  WORLD MICROMOUSE CHAMPIONSHIPSAs part of M2VIP '95 (see conferences above) it
  is planned to hold the 1995 World Micromouse Championships. Micromouse, being
  the embodiment of mechatronics, is a well established international event.
  It is expected that around 30 of the world's top 'mousers' will be in Hong
  Kong to enter the event, which will take place after the conference, on
  15th-16th September.
The Second annual Picnic Day Micromouse Contest at UC Davis

Saturday, April 22, 1995
        URL: [37]

Last year for this event, we packed a 450 person lecture hall to the
bursting point.  We had closed circuit TV set up so that even the
people in the back could see at least reasonably well.  It was a real
blast last year, so don't miss out on the fun this year!  This contest
helps provide a trial run for new mice, so that they will be well
prepared to enter officially sanctioned IEEE contests.  In our case,
the local contest will take place two weeks following Picnic Day.

This is an open contest, and anyone may participate.  Last year, we
had about 8 participants, one from as far away as UC San Diego (~600
miles).  The mazes, as last year, will be created by a neutral third
party, and will not be revealed until shortly before the start of the

If anyone thinks they may be interested in participating, I would
appreciate a quick reply, so that I may add you to my mailing list.
If anyone has contacts (pref. e-mail) with any school active in
micromouse, I would very much appreciate a quick note.

Last year, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) sponsored this contest and
provided a trophy for the winner.  (Last year, that was University of
Nevada, Reno.)  I am hopeful they will do likewise this year.

More information will be forthcoming as the time approaches.  This
will include an online copy of the rules under which the contest will
be run.

Jeff Collins [38]

        For more information on Micromousing (rules, past mazes and
        times, etc.), contact the North American Micromouse
        Association (NAMA) at:
        aka. Sue Rosenbaum
        1086 Central Ave.
        Plainfield, NJ 07061
        tel: 908.757.6749

IJCAI-95 Robot Competition

Raja Chatila, [39],
and Dave Miller, [40],
are robotic events co-organizers for IJCAI-95 in Montreal next August.
If you think you might be interested in participating in any of the
events described below, or would like some additional information,
please feel free to drop Raja or Dave a line. To get on the mailing
list for these events send email to Dave Miller,

1) Robot Competition 95:
        This event will be similar to the robot competition held at
AAAI-94.  Research robots will compete in a set of generalized
navigation and navigation/manipulation tasks.  As in the 94 contest,
the bulk of the trials will be done offline, and the finals and an
exhibition will be held during a public session for the conference.
David Kortenkamp, [42]
is the point of contact for more details on this event.

2) Intelligent Wheelchair Competition:
        This is another robot contest, but this time the focus is on a
particular application: robotic mobility assistants for the severly
disabled. The competition tasks will include things such as room to
room navigation, speed trials down crowded hallways and through
doorways, and docking with desks and tables.  Each robot must be able
to carry a human user, and all communications with the robot must be
done by the user (no radios, etc).  The contest goals are to see who
can make the most capable chair with the best user interface (if a
user could type well, or operate a joystick competently, than an
ordinary wheelchair would do!). Contact:

        To encourage participation in this new event, especially in
institutions that have not yet dealt with assistive robotics, KISS
Institute for Practical Robotics ( has assembled a
low-cost intelligent wheelchair starter system and is selling it, at
cost, to schools interested in this IJCAI event. Send them some mail
for more info.

3) Robot exhibition (not-so-stupid robot tricks)
        This will be a time and place for some unique robot systems to
show off their stuff. The participants in this event should have a
demonstration that is dynamic and of wide appeal. Examples might
include: bi-pedal walking robots; robot teams playing soccer
(football); robot interpretive (non-random) dance. This is not meant
to be an industrial robot show, and product demonstrations will not be
strongly discouraged. This is meant to be an intelligent and
innovative robot show.

More information on all of these events will be forthcoming, but his to get
everyone started thinking. Hope to see you all in Montral,

David P. Miller                         7525 Colshire Drive
Principal Scientist                     MS Z421
MITRE Corporation                       McLean, VA 22102, USA
voice: (703) 883-7667                   FAX: (703) 883-6435

International Festival of Science and Technology

LAST DATE : May 9-15 1994
NEXT DATE : May 22-28 1995
LOCATION  : La Ferte-Bernard - FRANCE
EVENTS    :* 4 robotic mobile competitions:
                 150 competitors from the largest Universities in the world
                 competing in a mobile robotic challenge (Canada, Korea,
                 Japan, Russia, Switzerland, USA, Portugal, Bulgaria...).
            * 6 thematic days of scientific conferences : Industries,
                 Research and Technology to the service of the public.
                 During six days, it will be an opportunity for researchers,
                 industrialists and the public to meet one another,to discuss
                 themes such as, the automobile, energy, agriculture,
                 medicine and the multimedias.
            * 6 pedagogical mornings.
                    * UNIFORM CATEGORY
                    * OPEN CATEGORY
                    * WALKING MACHINE CATEGORY
                    * MICRO MOUSE CATEGORY
SIZE      :
AWARDS    :         Names engraved on trophies
                    Certificate for all participants
                    $1,000 speed category, $1,000 design category, $1,000 origi
nal category
INFO      :         Decouverte et Communication
                    26, rue Berthollet
                    94110 Arcueil  FRANCE
                    Tel : 33 (1) 49 85 01 56
                    Fax : 33 (1) 49 85 04 87
                    Email :
                    Web: [44]

        The object of the challenge is to build a robot which is
capable of carrying out a series of different movements within a
minimum amount of time. The challenge will take place from 22 to 28
May, 1995 at la Ferte Bernard, as part of the "International
Festival of Science and Technology", with the Minister for Higher
Education and Research, Mr Francois Fillon, presiding.
        The challenge is restricted to students and, in order to
participate, teams must be nominated by their colleges or
universities. Teams - which will be made up of five members - will
arrive with their robots already assembled.  These must then be
adapted to the circuit which will be revealed at the start of the
challenge. The challenge will take place non-stop over 24 hours in
front of an audience.  The atmosphere will be very exciting and
competitive. The challenge will take place non-stop over 24 hours in
front of an audience. The atmosphere will be very exciting and

General Specifications:

        The teams will be made up of five people.  Each team may
include one teacher and one past-pupil of the school or institute
which it is representing.
        To ensure that the robot's design is original, there must be
evidence of a partnership agreement with either an art college or the
design department of a specialist school. The robot must be able to
move independently and recognise five red French billiards balls
placed along the course.  The balls must be brought back to the
finishing area. The robot must be able to move independently and
recognise five red French billiards balls placed along the course.
The balls must be brought back to the finishing area.
        The track will be laid out in a 10 x 10 m square.
        The outermost axis of the track will be 66 cm from the edge of
the circuit.
        The minimum radius of curvature on the track will be 100 cm,
including the walls and edges of the stage.
        The track will be painted either black or white and will be
made of 3 mm thick plywood fixed to the ground.
           Different prizes will be awarded for different skills.  It
is planned to have a number of categories, as follows: * speed
category * design and innovation category * audience and spectator
category * industry category

We hope to see you at the next Science and Technology Festival which
will take place from 22 to 28 May 1995.

More information: [46]

Maurice Uguen

International Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest


$1,000 First Prize

Sunday, April 21, 1996

Trinity College campus, Hartford, Connecticut

* Sponsored by Trinity College and the Connecticut Robotics Society.

* Robotists and their creations from all over will compete in this
international event.

* Contestants range from college professors and rocket scientists to
3rd graders.

* A weekend full of activities including practice sessions, Robotics
seminars, Robot related films, Robot Fair and Hospitality Party.

*  Get together with interesting people, trade ideas and information,
learn and HAVE FUN.

Come for the weekend or come for the day, but COME AND SEE THE FUTURE!

The Contest - The goal of the contest is to build a Robot that can find and
extinguish a fire in a house. The rules have been fine-tuned and improved to
make an even better, more realistic competition that will be fun to enter and f
un to watch.

  _Contest Schedule: Saturday, April 20_
     * 9 am to 8 pm, Ferris Center - practice session open to public &
       Robot registration
     * 2 pm to 4 pm, location TBA - Robotics seminars and demonstrations
     * 6 pm to 7 pm, location TBA - open hospitality party for meeting
       people & sharing ideas
     * 8 pm to 10 pm, Cine Studio - Robotics related movie
  _Contest Schedule: Sunday, April 21_
     * 9 am to 12 noon, Ferris Center - practice session and Robot
     * 1 pm to 5 pm, Ferris Center - The Contest
  Mini Robot Fair - Bring equipment, literature and brochures to demonstrate,
  show-off & pass out. Register now for your free table space.
  Building a Robot? If you are entering a Robot, be sure to mail in the
  official registration form along with your $20 registration fee before March
  15, 1996.
  Jake's Pet Peeve- Every year Jake gets messages from people who said they
  built a Robot, but since they knew it wouldn't win, they didn't come to the
  contest. WRONG! The real goal of the contest is to learn and have fun. You
  can't do that sitting at home. No matter what your Robot does (or doesn't
  do), make sure you come to the contest.
          contact: [47] 
          190 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford, CT 06117 USA
Robot Symposium and Navigation Contest

Robot Symposium & Navigation Contest
The Robotics Society of Southern California will hold its second
annual Robot Symposium and first annual Navigation Contest at Orange
Coast College in Costa Mesa. The symposium will be held on Saturday
June 3, 1995 >from 10 am to 6 pm. Depending on how many people we have
presenting, we may have the contests on Sunday the 4th.

Last year we held the symposium in conjuction with the Faire, this
year we have decided to move the symposium and the contests to the
first weekend in June. We felt that due to the technical nature of the
symposium and the need for more concentrated effort for the contests
it would be better to hold separate events -- with a more restricted
audience, specifically Gearheads, rather the general public as is the
case with the Faire.

If anyone would like to present a paper or give a show-n-tell
presentation, please contact Jerry Burton.  The Navigation contest
will be broken into several parts to encourage as much participation
as possible. The primary contest will have 5 sections, namely :

1.  Wander mode with obstacle avoidance. The robot will be confined to a
12x12 foot area with 2-3 high walls and multiple obstacles in it. The
obstacles will be chairs and boxes (simulating furniture). There may be
internal walls erected to break the 12x12 area into several rooms. The
winning robot is the one that covers the most area while avoiding the
obstacles within the room(s).

2.  Specific goal navigation with obstacle avoidance. The robot must move
>from a designated start position to a specific goal area, while avoiding
objects in its path. A specific room layout will be provided in the
official rules. The robot can take advantage of this layout with furniture
in place, to construct an internal map, but there may be additional
obstacles placed during the actual contest run. The robot that comes
closest to the goal in the most direct manner will be declared the winner.

3.  Lost robot reorientation. The robot will be placed randomly in the
12x12 foot room and must use landmarks or beacons to reorient itself and
then move to a designated goal area. Each contestant may provide beacons
of their own design to help the robot reorient itself. Points will be
given for beacon systems that could be used in a real home environment.

4.  Find object and retrieve it. The robot must find an object within the
environment and retrieve it. The user may supply the object to be found.
It will be placed randomly within the 12x12 foot room and the robots job
is to find the object and take it back to the starting position. As a
variation the robot can be positioned no closer than 3 feet from the
object and the robot must locate the object and pick it up.

5.  Any navigation related activity not covered by 1-4. This section is
for robots that cant do tasks in section 1-4, but have some navigation
oriented skill the builder wishes to display. For example, a robot that
can do corridor following, servoing off the walls, shows a meaningful and
useful skill for any mobile robot that may be used in a home environment.

The primary goal of this contest is to provide a forum for people to
demonstrate how they have solved all or part of the mobile robot
navigation problem. This is not a speed contest. Judging will be based
solely on how well a robot solves the particuliar problem it was designed
to solve.

The Robot Olympics contest that has been held in the past is an example of
what we hope to have happen regarding our navigation contest. What they do
is create contests on the spot to accomodate  the capabilities of
whatever robots show up. We will do the same thing as long as your robot
solves some aspect of the overall navigation problem.

Detailed rules will provided on request. For information and rules contact
Jerry Burton E-Mail, or voice (714) 535-8161 or snail-mail
requests to 10471 S. brookhurst St., Anaheim, CA 92804.

Get building NOW - June is just around the corner.


Jerry Burton

Robot Wars

    PO Box 936
    Fairfax CA 94978
    tel: 415.453.6305
    fax: 415.453.4453
  [I've added approximate metric equivalents in parentheses - nivek]
  Robot Wars is a competitive mechanical sporting event that features radio
  controlled robots in combat. Competitors must employ a combination of skill,
  power and strategy in this contest for survival.
  _DATE:_ The Second Annual Robot Wars competition is scheduled for Saturday
  and Sunday, August 19 and 20, 1995. Weigh-in's and inspections are on Friday,
  August 18, starting at 9:00 am.
  _PLACE:_ Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, California
  _ARENA DESIGN:_ The arena will be rectangular and measure approximately 30
  feet (9.1m) by 54 feet (16.5m) and will present the following challenges to
  your robot:
    1. The surface will be flat asphalt.
    2. A variety of mechanical hazards will be positioned around the
       arena. Some traps will be continuously active. Others will lie in
       wait. These hazards may damage robots that come within reach or
       that pass by too slowly.
  _GAME DESIGN:_ FACE-OFF: Robots will be randomly paired within weight
  classifications. Contestants win by immobilizing their opponent. Winners
  advance through elimination rounds until the last two fight for the Face-Off
  championship. Each match is timed at 5 minutes. Judges may first warn then
  disqualify robots for excessive evasion.
  FACE-OFF JUDGING: Winners are determined in one of three ways:
    1. By rendering your opponent immobile within the 5 minute time
       limit. Any robot that becomes pinned against any arena surface and
       is unable to move for 30 continuous seconds shall be considered
    2. If after 5 minutes both robots are still mobile then the audience
       will choose the winner with applause that is registered on a
       decibel meter. The highest reading wins. The audience will use
       criteria that takes into account: Damage, Aggressiveness and
    3. If the decibel meter readings are very close then a panel of three
       judges will determine the winner using a point system based upon
       the same criteria.
  MELEE: This game is a free-for-all fight between contestants that are
  randomly grouped within each weight classification. The last one to remain
  mobile will be the winner of this event. The same rule for "pinning" shall
  apply. Each match is timed at 5 minutes. Any robots that remain mobile after
  5 minutes will be allowed to compete with other groups of survivors until
  there is only one robot left mobile in each weight class. Here, too, in order
  to promote competitive action, judges may first warn then disqualify robots
  for excessive evasion.
  _AUTONOMOUS ROBOTS:_ We are planning to present matches between autonomous
  robots (internal controls) in this special category of Face-off and Melee.
  Those who are interested in entering this category should contact RWI for
  special guidelines.
    1. 2 - 20 lbs (0.9 - 9.1kg) Super Lightweight Class
    2. 21 - 40 lbs (9.5 - 18.2kg) Lightweight Class
    3. 41 - 80 lbs (18.6 - 36.4kg Middleweight class
    4. 81 - 160 lbs (36.8 - 72.7kg) Heavyweight class
  Contestants may enter one weight class per robot.
  As an incentive, legged (walking) robots will be permitted to enter the
  weight class immediately below their official weight or weigh up to 200 lbs
  (90.9kg) in the heavyweight class.
    1. All explosives, corrosives, flames, pyrotechnics and untethered
       projectiles are prohibited.
    2. Sighting / pointing lasers are allowed up to 5mw. Any laser above
       5mw is prohibited.
    3. Compressed gas is limited to 1000 psi. (~6900kPa)
    4. Fuel capacity limited to 8 oz. (30ml) or 6 minutes operating time.
    5. Fuel tanks must be adequately protected against penetration.
    6. Robots will be inspected for safety and reliability before being
       allowed to compete according to guidelines that require and insure
       safe construction and operation. This means that tethers, blades,
       arms, levers, air cylinders and all other mechanical parts and
       weaponry must be strong and secure.
    7. Contestants must be able to transport the robots to and from the
       combat arena quickly and safely.
  _OTHER RESTRICTIONS_ The following is a list of materials and practices that
  are prohibited:
    1. All forms of radio jamming.
    2. All electronic weaponry (stun-guns, tesla coils, etc.)
    3. All liquid weaponry (water, glue, etc.)
    4. All physical interference between contestants. This includes
       obstruction of sight-line and destruction of equipment.
    1. We recommend the use of PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) radios to
       avoid interference. FM is acceptable. The use of AM radios is
       allowed but is discouraged due to potential interference problems.
    2. We recommend that contestants have more than one crystal on hand
       to avoid frequency incompatibility. Receivers inside robots should
       be accessible and easy to change or replace.
  _PRIZES: _Prizes will be announced prior to the event.
  _PIT AREA:_ Work tables and 110v power provided. Safety guidelines for the
  pit area and staging proceedures for competition will be distributed at a
  later date.
  _LIMITED NUMBER OF ENTRIES:_ Over the two days of the event there is a limit
  to the number of entries that may compete in each weight class. RWI will
  reserve a number of spots as discretionary, some of which will be reserved
  for last year's entrants.
  _NOTE:_ All rules and guidelines are subject to change. Contestants who fail
  to adhere to rules and guidelines may be subject to disqualification.
  _ENTRY FORMS:_ To obtain printed entry forms please e-mail your hardcopy
  address to
SAE Walking Machine Decathalon

The Ninth Annual SAE National Robotic Walking Machine Decathlon
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado April 6-9, 1995

Registration deadline is December 31, 1994.

Colorado State University
Department of Mechanical Engineering
National Walking Machine Decathlon
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO  80523
tel: 303.491.6559
fax: 303.491.1055
net: [49]


If you do not have access to the WWW and you would like a text copy of
the brochure, send email and I'll mail you a copy. Chris Olson

Registration deadline:  December 31, 1994

Decathalon: The decathlon is a national competition sponsored by SAE to involve
undergraduate engineers in the creative design of machines that walk.
The competition includes preparation and presentation of a paper,
judging of over-all design merits, and the ten walking events.  Judges
are representatives >from the robotics industry.  Social events, a
keynote speaker, and tours are also provided.  A detailed rules and
registration packet is available.

Team Spirit: This competition emphasizes collaboration of engineering
disciplines in a teamwork environment.  It encourages students to be
organized, to cooperate, and to share knowledge from their respective
fields, resulting in an experience that closely models the real-world

What is a walking machine?  A walking machine is a mobile machine
propelled by articulated mechanisms, or "legs."  Each leg must have
one or more joints or hinges by which it moves relative to all other
legs or the frame, supporting the machine discontinuously.  A leg may
pivot, slip, or slide on the supporting surface during walking motion,
but it cannot roll.  Wheeled or tracked vehicles are excluded.
Walking machines have potential applications in space exploration,
undersea missions, mining, radioactive and other dangerous
environments, the military, and mobility for the handicapped.

Judging and Awards Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three teams
based on total points accumulated.  All teams will receive recognition

History: The National Robotic Walking Machine Decathlon was initiated
in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Colorado State University
in 1986.  The idea was to create a student design competition at the
cutting edge of technology with an emphasis on design.  In eight years
it has gone from a competition in which none of the four machines
present were able to complete the first event, to one where there are
some very capable machines completing all ten events, and in which
there is close competition.  The events themselves continue to evolve
to reflect relevant applications of robotics technology.  The events
traditionally have included such tasks as stair climbing, maneuvering
through obstacles, and autonomous sensor guidance.

Sumo Robot Competition

        Sumo is a traditional Japanese sport in which two very large
half-naked men try to push each other out of a circle called the
Dohyou. The winner of the game is the guy who has not touched the
ground with his hand or hasn't stepped out of the circle before the
other guy did.

There is a Robot Sumo Tournament in Japan, that is held in December
every year in Tokyo. The rule of the Tournament is same as the real
Sumo except two robots fight rather than naked guys. The task of the
game is quite simple: push the opponent out of the circle.

The regulations are as follows:
1. The area of the base cannot exceed 20cmX20cm before game starts,
   It is unlimited in height and can expand after the game starts.
2. The weight cannot exceed 3kg.
3. Use of internal/external combustion engine is prohibited.
4. Intention to harm the opponent or the Dohyou (playground which
   includes the circle) is not allowed.
5. Contestants are free to choose control techniques, but they are
   divided into 2 categories:

        Radio Controlled: Contestants can use ordinary commercial R/C
        equipment and remotely guide their robots.

        Stand-alone: Robots cannot be controlled externally by
        contestants with the exception of pushing a start button when
        the contest begins.

To avoid interference with the humans who set the robots on the
Dohyou, the Stand Alone category has a special rule which says that
the game will starts exactly 5 seconds after the official signals the
start.  It means that the contestant will push a start button (or
some- thing else) for the robot the same time as the offical's
signal. The robot must keep the start position for 5 seconds, and the
person who pushed the button must leave the Dohyou in that time.
Therefore, the robots in the Stand Alone category must have at a start
button and a means of timing the five seconds.

Progression in the competition consists of three game matches between
randomly selected robots. Last year [1992] 150 robots were in the
Radio Controlled category and 190 were in the Stand Alone category. If
you beat six or seven opponents, you can win the first prize of
1,000,000Yen or US$7,700. The second prize is 500,000Yen or
US$3,850. [edited from a message by Mato Hattori]

A video called "Mostly Sumo" is available from Media Magic at
415-662-2426. Their FAX is 415-662-2225.
[As of Dec 1994, the video was sold out - check again in mid-Jan 1995]

Western Canadian Robot Games

  [53]Web site for WCRG

New this year is the addition of 4 BEAM events (Solaroller, Photovore,
Walkers, and Aesthetics).  More details will be available as soon as
the rulebook is available.

In the interest of promoting science and technology to the public
and foster enthusiasm and creativity amongst students, the
Western Canadian Robot Games committee holds an annual robotic
contest in a centralized western Canadian location.

If you would like to be included on our mailing list or receive
our brochure,  please provide me with an email or postal address.

The IEEE student branch at SAIT challenge all SUMO alumni, students,
instructors, and inventive individuals to design and enter your robots
in one or more of our contests:
                               BEAM Events

The Tradition Continues

This contest matches your own creation with another robot in the
field of combat where brute strength and cat-like reflexes
combine to create the ultimate battle!  The challenge is to
create a robot whose sole purpose is to push, throw, flip, drag,
or otherwise move your opponent out of a five foot diameter
circular ring within 3 minutes.

In the tradition of an ancient Japanese contest of similar name,
SUMO wrestling robots can use any trick the creator conceives to
get the job done, within the following limits:

     *  No robot may be used which is a physical threat to other
        contestants or the audience. (i.e., Explosions, fire,
        bullets, mace etc...)
     *  Robots must fit within a 9" x 9" square when the
        competition begins, but may expand to a larger size
        after battle starts. Height is unrestricted at all
     *  Robots must be 11 pounds or less in weight.
     *  After the battle is over, contestants are responsible
        for cleaning up any debris in the ring to the

There are two separate classes to SUMO robotic wrestling:
Autonomous and Remote-Control.

Remote Control  robots may be a radio or wired-remote control and
may be operated by a biological (human, usually).

Autonomous Robots must carry on-board all power and intelligence
required to seek and conquer the enemy.

Each robot class will be awarded its own prize!
(Prizes will also be awarded for the most humorous entry)

                              ATOMIC HOCKEY

You have never seen the NHL like this before!  A head-to-head
game of robot mayhem played out on an atomic scale as each
competitor fights for the opportunity to gather more protons than
his opponent while avoiding the ever present electrons!

Played out in a 5 foot diameter circular ring lined with a 2 inch
high wall, the robots must locate and gather Ping-Pong balls
(protons) and deposit them in their own goal (the nucleus) within
a three minute period while their opponents do the same.  Each
proton carries a score of +1 point.

Unfortunately, the ring also contains an equal number of small
metal balls (electrons) worth -1 point each.  Each electron in
your nucleus reduces your score by one point, so be careful to
avoid them (or at least put them in your opponent's nucleus)!

     *  Robots are to be a maximum of 9" x 9" square with
        unlimited height and have no weight restriction.
     *   Robots must not pose any physical threat to biologicals
        (see SUMO rules).
     *  Autonomous robots may put any signaling device they wish
        in their nucleus to help the robot locate the goal.
     *  Aggressive and devious play between robots is
        encouraged, so long as no damage occurs to the ring or

As with Robotic SUMO Wrestling, there are two categories: Autonomous
and Remote Controlled ( Radio or Tethered ) New for 1994 is the
introduction of the BEAM Solaroller, Photovore, Walker and
BEAM-Aesthetics events - more details to follow!

For a complete rule set for both competitions and application
information, please email, phone, fax, or (gasp) write to me at:

Craig Maynard
Instructor, Electrical/Electronics Department,
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
1301-16th Ave NW
Calgary, Alberta
Phone (403) 284-8401  Fax (403) 284-8184

Dave Hrynkiw
BEAM Coordinator

  Please send updated information and I will update these competitions. Thanks,
  Last-Modified: Fri May 31 09:36:23 1996
    [56]Kevin Dowling <>


   1. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/copyright.html
   2. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/TOC.html
   3. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#AAAI Robot Competitions
   4. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#AUVS International Aerial Robotics Competition
   5. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#AUVS Ground Robotics Competition
   6. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#BEAM Robot Olympics
   7. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#Hong-Kong Robot Ping Pong Competition
   8. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#IEEE Micromouse Competitions
   9. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#IJCAI Robot Competition
  10. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#International Festival of Science and Technology
  11. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#International Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest
  12. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#Robot Symposium and Navigation Contest
  13. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#Robot Wars
  14. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#SAE Walking Machine Decathalon
  15. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#Sumo Robot Competition
  16. file://localhost/usr/nivek/faq/HTML/5.2.html#Western Canadian Robot Games
  49. mailto:walk@LANCE.ColoState.Edu
aka: Kevin Dowling, <>     address:  Carnegie Mellon University
tel: 1.412.268.8830                                The Robotics Institute
fax: 1.412.268.5895                                5000 Forbes Avenue
url:              Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA
aka: Kevin Dowling, <>     address:  Carnegie Mellon University
tel: 1.412.268.8830                                The Robotics Institute
fax: 1.412.268.5895                                5000 Forbes Avenue
url:              Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA

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