K-12 Outreach!

2013 Robotics Competition PDF Print E-mail

March 21, 2013 at Morgan State University
(Part of the ARTSI Student Research Conference)

Team makeup and registration: Teams may contain up to four members, at most one of whom can be a buy priligy australia graduate student. All teams must register with the competition organizer, Professor  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  , by March 10,  2013. Please supply the following information: school name, team name, names and years of all team members (up to four persons), and the event(s) in which the team will compete. Schools may have more than one team. Teams may enter more than one event.  



  • 2/27/2013: Added a Mirage world Star5.mirage  for testing solutions to Task A of the Basic Skills Event. 
  • 3/14/2013: Added a demo file ArtsiCanister1.cc.fsm  showing how to detect canisters and operate the arm.
    Some advice: 
    The camera lens rotates to change settings; make sure it's set to the blue dot, not the red dot. 


Basic Skills Event

This event consists of three tasks demonstrating basic robot programming skills. Any team that successfully completes at least one of these tasks will earn a certificate. 

  • Task A: Five-pointed star. Program your robot to trace out a five-pointed star with 1 meter legs by making a series of forward motions and turns. The path traced by the robot should look like the figure below. The robot will start out facing "north" and should end up back at its starting location, again facing "north".


    There is a Mirage world Star5.mirage that you can use to test your solution. If your solution is correct, the robot will not stray from the pink line.

  • Task B: The robot starts off facing a cube 1 meter straight ahead. The cube is roughly 18 inches on a side, and each of the four sides  has an AprilTag on it. The robot must walk around the cube in a clockwise direction and read (and speak) the tag number of each of the four tags, e.g., "four, zero, one, five". It can speak each tag as it sees it; it does not have to wait until the end to speak. The numbers of the AprilTags will not be revealed in advance, but the AprilTags will be drawn from this file. For  example code dealing with AprilTags, see the TagCourse Maze  page on the Tekkotsu wiki, or the source for the AprilTest demo .

  • Task C: Design a Mirage world where a robot rolls around on a C-shaped elevated platform 500 mm off the ground, with an object on each segment of the C. Then program your simulated robot to push the objects off the platform without falling off itself. See the Mirage pages  of the Tekkotsu wiki for information on creating Mirage worlds. An example world is shown below. You do not have to replicate this world, you can use your own design as long as you meet the basic requirements stated above. In order for an object to be movable in Mirage it must have a nonzero mass: use a value of 0.1.


    Note: robots enter the Mirage world at the origin, (0,0,0). In order to place the robot on the platform you must set its initial Z coordinate to 500. You can do this when you start up Tekkotsu:
./tekkotsu-CALLIOPE2SP -c mirage.plist Drivers.Mirage.InitialLocation.2=500


Competition Event

This task will be done using a Calliope2SP robot in a 1 meter by 2 meter rectangular arena with white walls and an AprilTag on one short wall marking a goal location. Three colored cylinders will be scattered around the arena, far from the goal. The robot must locate each cylinder, pick it up using its gripper, and transport it to the goal location, defined as by a 2x2 foot box below the AprilTag. The robot must drop each cylinder in the goal location. All three cylinders must be transported within 5 minutes. Scoring will be based on the number of cylinders transported; ties will be broken by time.

The red plastic Folgers coffee canisters used in last year's manipulation task are recommended for this competition event, but some teams may prefer to use empty soda cans wrapped in colored masking tape. Each team will be allowed to supply its own cylinders.

The diagram below shows the dimensions of the arena, and the AprilTag marking the goal location. The boundaries of the goal location are shown by blue lines, but these lines do not need to be recognized by the robot; it should use the AprilTag to locate the goal.


There is a demo file ArtsiCanister1.cc.fsm  showing how to detect canisters and operate the arm.

Note: make sure the Calliope's camera is set to wide angle view, not close-up view, or the MapBuilder's coordinate calculations will be off. The camera lens rotates to change settings; make sure it's set to the blue dot, not the red dot. 

More Information 

For administrative questions about the competition, contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

For technical questions about the robots, the Tekkotsu software framework, or the competition tasks, contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it