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Lab 5: The Egg Hunt!!

Assigned: Friday, October 26, 2007.

  • reading assignment
  • strategy paper Monday, November 5
  • qualification round Friday, November 9
  • contest Thursday, November 15

In this lab, you will develop a robot to competitively collect and deposit plastic Easter eggs into the nest.


Please read:

The Egg Hunt

Attach:egghunt.png Δ drawing and actual table courtesy of Michael Penta

Strategy Paper

Please prepare a 2- to 3-page paper (physical hard copy) to be turned in at class. The paper should present the concept of how your robot will operate.

  • Identify key subsystems and describe how they will work.
  • Include at least 1 drawing; more if useful in explaining your ideas.
  • Include a schedule indicating how much time you think each subsystem will take. Make sure to allow time for integration of subsystems—this usually takes longer than you expect.
  • Include a discussion of the “Ideal and Real” paper and indicate how you will address concerns raised in this paper.

More Info


  1. Dimensions
    1. The overall table dimensions are approximately 6 feet long by 4 feet wide.
    2. The goal is the width of the short edge of the table, and approximately 3.5" inches deep.
    3. Robot start positions are located approximately two feet in front of own goal, on either side of the table.
  2. Eggs
    1. Eggs are plastic toy Easter eggs.
    2. Eggs will be painted bright yellow and dark purple.
    3. There will be 15 eggs of each color.
    4. Before each heat, eggs will be randomly scattered by the contest officials. The officials will attempt to have an approximately equal number of eggs on each side of the playing area. No eggs will be in either robot’s nest at the start of the round.
    5. Robot owners side may request a reshuffle of the eggs. Each robot is allowed just two reshuffle requests over the course of the entire tournament.
  3. Robot
    1. Robot must measure less than 12" long by 10" wide by 10" high at start of heat. Robots can expand after the contest round begins, but must never measure more than 18" in any planar dimension at any time. There is no limit to the vertical dimension.
    2. Robot must be a single, physically rigid entity. “Multiple robot” designs are not allowed.
    3. Students are provided with one Handy Board controller, which must be the sole source of electrical power.
    4. Robots must automatically stop end the of heat (see below). Otherwise, the heat may be scored as a loss.
  4. Game Play
    1. The Heat
      1. The heat (an individual contest game) is 1.5 minutes long.
      2. In a typical heat, two robots compete against one another.
      3. Robots will be manually started on the judge's cue.
      4. At judges’ discretion, contestants may apply one “nudge” to their robot during the heat.
      5. At the end of the heat, contest official will tally scoring by counting eggs in the goal.
      6. If a heat ends in a tie, a rematch will immediately be played. If the rematch ends in a tie, the contest officials will have the discretion of choosing (a) another rematch, (b) both robots advance with a win, or (c) both robots receive a loss.
      7. If a heat ends in a zero-zero tie, contest officials may decide that rather than running a rematch, both robots will receive a loss. This would typically be the case when no eggs have been scored in either goal.
    2. Egg Assignment
      1. At the beginning of each heat, robots will be randomly assigned to yellow eggs or purple eggs.
      2. Robot owners will be given a cue to make adjustments to their robot to indicate to it which nest it has been assigned. These adjustments must take less than 30 seconds to accomplish.
    3. Starting Orientation
      1. Robots will be placed with the center of their body located over the marked starting point.
      2. Robot designers may rotationally orient their robots.
  5. The Tournament
    1. On the class meeting preceding the tournament, we will hold a qualification heat.
    2. In the qualification heat, robots will play individually. A robot must play a valid heat (starting at the beginning of the heat) and end the heat with more points than its opponent (an inert block of wood). Otherwise, the heat will be scored as a loss which will be carried over into the tournament event.
    3. Once the main tournament begins, modifications to a robot’s design (including reprogramming) are not allowed. Reloading existing code is allowed.
    4. Tournament will be double-elimination. All robots will play at least two heats (including the qualification heat).
    5. A round is a group of heats, at a parallel stage of the competition, in which each robot in the tournament plays once.
    6. In the first round of the tournament, robots will be matched to pair more-successful robots from the quals against less-successful ones.
    7. In the second and all subsequent rounds of the tournament, robots will be matched up with a preference to (a) pairing undefeated robots with robots with one loss and (b) pairing robots who have not yet faced each other.
    8. In order to balance rounds, it might be necessary to have a robot play a heat against an inert opponent (a block of wood). If this occurs, the robot must win the heat or it will receive a loss just like any other heat.
    9. If only three robots remain (with an equal number of losses), contest judges may decide to run the rest of the competition in a round-robin format (each robot plays another). Example: three robots (A, B, and C) remain, each with one loss. The judges may decide to run three matches (AB, AC, BC). There are three possible outcomes from here:
      • If one robot wins both of its heats, it is the champion.
      • If one robot loses both of its heats, it is eliminated, and the other two robots play a single heat to determine the champion.
      • If each robot wins once, the round-robin is run again.
  6. The Goal
    1. The goal will be the full width of the narrow end of the field. It will have a protection bar to prevent robots from falling into it.
    2. There will be a net mounted behind the goal to catch the eggs. Eggs may land in the net to be counted, or they may be ejected as in a field goal in football, in which case they must go between the uprights.
    3. The full width of the goal will be marked with a fuschia or green stripe (TBD).
  7. Miscellaneous
    1. Robots may not intentionally damage or destroy their opponent.
    2. Bumping and blocking is allowed.
    3. Use of noxious liquids, glues, oil, etc. is prohibited.
    4. Robots cannot use any colors which mimic game objects (the two egg colors and goal marker).
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Page last modified on October 29, 2007, at 06:34 PM