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International Robo ping-pong online contest

Hello and welcome to the first ever international online robotics ping-pong contest. What’s that? It’s a contest in which you can participate with your robot wherever you are. It’s played on a table with a ping pong ball so it can get very fast paced in a short time.

This competition is open to all from anywhere thanks to the fact that it takes place online. See below for rules and playing instructions.

Contest rules:

  • The objective of the game is to bounce the ball off the left wall (wall located 100% in the white area) as many times as possible during a round without leaving the ball to reach the right wall (wall located 100% in the black area). Each bounce off the left wall is worth 1 point.
  • Time allocated a round is 100 seconds. Time begins to run when the orange ball is moved from the center. The robot can move around the play area as much as wanted (within reasonable limits of time).
  • Round stops if the ball reaches the right wall and the score is counted only up to that moment
  • If the robot enters the white area it is instantly disqualified and round ends with 0 points
  • In the beginning the robot can be placed anywhere in the black area. It can not be placed in the white area. It IS allowed to move in the white area when the ball is stationary. (modified May 17)
  • Each team plays 3 rounds. After the 3 rounds are complete the score is added up.
  • Between rounds the robot can be modified.
  • Winners are determined in order of points accumulated

The area of play:

  • Interior Dimensions: 1000x1000mm
  • White area: 250x1000mm
  • Black area: 750x1000mm
  • 100mm high green walls
  • Wall thickness irrelevant
  • Installation of beacons of maximum 50x50mm anywhere outside the game area on the upper area the edge walls is allowed. They must be autonomous without any wired connection to anything. Maximum 4 beacons.
  • Table is built of solid materials non-flexible
  • All surfaces are opaque
  • The ball is orange standard ping-pong
  • The ball is positioned in the center of the table (500 mm from the walls)

Robot rules:

  • Maximum perimeter of the robot: 1000mm. If the mobile robot has elements that extend then the perimeter will be measured with all elements extended to the maximum.
  • Maximum Height 250mm
  • 100% independent (no outside wired/wireless transmission, the power source on board, without umbilical cords)
  • Unit: machine will not split into pieces, will not launch auxiliary robots and will not spread any substance or parts on the game surface
  • No pyrotechnic substances
  • No heating elements or any other element that can melt plastic

Rules of the video:

  • Video will have a minimum resolution of 640x480. HD is preferred.
  • Upload in high quality or HD on Vimeo or Youtube
  • In the video description score and termination reason of the round (time expired or ball bounced off the right wall) will be published. Any attempt of fraud through the publication of false values will be severely punished. In case of doubt about the score to put the value in brackets (), add the word Arbitration! and send a message to an arbitrator.
  • A translucent overlay in a corner with the score and time is preferable (but not required)
  • Throughout the video a clock (with seconds display or hand) will be present at in the frame and will not move from that position
  • Only 3 “official” videos will be uploaded per team. An unlimited number of other unofficial videos can be uploaded but they will not count ot the total score
  • All 3 movies official must uploaded in the same account.
  • Each official video is a permanent. It will not change or be deleted by the end of the contest.
  • Deadline for video 1: 30 August 2009
  • Deadline for video 2 and 3: 6 September 2009

Performing a round:

  1. A piece of string of 1000mm is straightened with 2 hands on the inner side of the game area wall to certify that is 1000mm long
  2. The string is then is wrapped around the robot to demonstrate that the perimeter is less than 1000mm. After that can be removed from the area and the video.
  3. The robot and ball are placed in the start positions (if not already there)
  4. The robot is turned on
  5. The clock counts 100 seconds beginning when the ball begins to move
  6. The timer stops at 0 or when the right wall is touched by the ball
  7. Score is recorded

Responses to popular questions:

  • The robot can start right next to the ball
  • The robot can momentarily enter the edge (within 50mm) of the white area as long as it’s not a strategy to continually enter the white area to score more.
  • The robot can use lasers. Careful you don’t hurt yourself. No melting rule still applies
  • Biological components are allowed if they comply to the rules. The system must still qualify as a robot. Warning: No animal cruelty!

Rules PDF

SketchUp file with table example

Official english thread: robotop.ro/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1242391839

Why is it amusing?

video below is not for this contest, but is a good example of a pong playing robot -