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SICE WEEK 2020 Robot Challenge

Rajamangala University of Technology (RMUTL) Chiang Mai Thailand

SICE WEEK is an open event to introduce SICE to the general public, often held in parallel to the SICE annual conference in Japan. This year, SICE WEEK 2020 will be held on the campus of Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna (Chiang Mai, Thailand). The theme of this year’s event is robot competition aimed at students from local schools who are interested in robotics.

Robotics is a wonderful platform for students to learn 21st century skills. Solving robotic challenges requires creative thinking and problem solving skills. And due to the cross-disciplinary nature of the task, student participants will get to apply their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, math, and computer programming. Aside from technical skills, this challenge also cultivates teamwork and communication skills as students will work together in teams to come up with their own ideas and solutions. Each team will be assigned with a mentor who will provide assistance during design and implementation. By providing a supportive and immersive learning environment, this challenge should prove to be fun and rewarding, as well as beneficial for the students.

Event Overview

  • Date: TBD (July-August 2020)
  • Venue: Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Sponsor: Gammaco (Thailand) Company Limited, Certificate, LECO
  • Participants: Students in 3 age groups:
    • Elementary (up to 12yo)
    • Junior (13 - 15yo)
    • Senior (16 - 19yo)
  • Team: A team consists of 2-3 members, and 1 coach.
  • Hardware: The controller, motors and sensors used to assemble robots must be from LEGO® MINDSTORMS® sets (NXT or EV3). The HiTechnic Color Sensor is the only third-party element that can be added to this configuration. Only LEGO branded elements may be used to construct the remaining parts of the robot.
  • Software: Control software for all age groups (Elementary, Junior, Senior) is open to any software and any firmware on NXT / EV3 controllers.
  • Maximum robot size: 25cm x 25cm x 25cm.
  • Surprise Rule: A surprise rule will be announced when the competition starts, to test the team’s ability to adapt their hardware or programming.
  • Assembly: The teams bring their robot completely disassembled. In the first part of the competition they will have 150 minutes to assemble their robots from loose parts without instructions.

General Rules

  • The controller, motors and sensors used to assemble robots must be from the LEGO® Education Robotics platforms NXT, EV3 or SPIKE PRIME. The HiTechnic Color Sensor is the only third-party element that can be added to this configuration. Any other products are not allowed. Teams are not allowed to modify any original LEGO® parts.
  • Only LEGO branded elements may be used to construct the remaining parts of the robot. Recommends use of Education versions of LEGO MINDSTORMS.
  • Teams should prepare and bring all the equipment, software and portable computers they need during the tournament.
  • Teams should bring enough spare parts. Even in the case of any accidents or equipment malfunction, not responsible for their maintenance or replacement.
  • Coaches are not allowed to enter the court to provide any instructions and guidance during the competition.
  • All the parts for the robot should be disassembled and in their initial state (not prebuilt) when the assembly time starts. For example, a tire cannot be put on a wheel until assembly time begins.
  • The only information a team can bring into the competition area is the program with its comments. It is not allowed to bring any instructions, sheets/guides, whether written, illustrated or pictorial no matter what format they are in (including paper-based and digital) about:
    • a. the assembly of the robot
    • b. any instructions for the program
    • c. any other strategic instructions.
  • It is not allowed to use screws, glues or tape or any other Non-LEGO material to fasten any components on robots. Non compliance with these rules will result in disqualification.
  • Control software for all age groups (Elementary, Junior, Senior) is open to any software and any firmware.
  • Teams are not allowed to share a laptop and / or the program for a robot on the competition day.

Regulations about the robot

  • The maximum dimensions of the robot before it starts the “mission” must be within 250mm × 250mm ×250mm. After the robot starts, the dimensions of the robot are not restricted.
  • If teams want to use any equipment to align in the start area, this equipment must be built out of LEGO® materials, it must fit into the 250 mm x 250 mm x 250 mm dimensions and must be removed before the program is started.
  • Teams are allowed to use only one controller (SPIKE, EV3 or NXT) Teams are allowed to bring more than one controller (in case one controller gets damaged), but they can only use one controller during practice time or robot runs. Teams have to leave the spare controllers with their coach and contact the judges if they need it.
  • The controller (SPIKE, EV3, NXT) must be place in the robot in a way that makes it easy to check the program and stop the robot by a Judge.
  • The number of motors and sensors to be used is not restricted. However, it is only allowed to use official LEGO® materials to connect motors and sensors.
  • It is not allowed for the teams to perform any actions or movements to interfere or assist the robot after the actions to start the robot is performed (the program is run or the central button is pressed to activate the robot). Teams that violate this rule will get a score of 0 in this particular run.
  • A robot must be autonomous and finish the “missions” by itself. Any radio communication, remote control and wired control systems are not allowed while the robot is running. Teams in violation of this rule will be disqualified and must quit the competition immediately.
  • The robot can leave on the field any parts of the robot that are not containing main units (controller, motors, sensors) if needed. As soon as the part is touching the field or its game element and does not touch the robot it is considered as a free LEGO element not being part of the robot.
  • The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi function must be switched off at all times. That means that the full program needs to run on the controller.
  • Use of SD cards to store programs is allowed. SD cards must be inserted before the robot is inspected and may not be removed for the duration of the competition once inspection is completed.

Table and Game Mat Specifications

  • The dimensions in an age group are 2362 mm x 1143 mm.
  • The internal dimensions or a game table should be 2362 mm x 1143 mm (like the game mat) or max. + / - 5mm in each dimension.
  • The height of the borders is 70 +- 20mm.
  • All black lines are at least 20mm.
  • The game mat must be printed with a matt finish /overlay (without reflecting colors!). The preferred printing material is a PVC tarp with around 510 g/m². The material of the game mat should not be too soft (e.g. no mesh banner material).

Prior to Competing

  • Each team must prepare for the match in their specified place until the “check time”, when the team’s materials must be placed in a designated area.
  • Teams cannot touch designated competition courts before the start of the “assembly time” is announced.
  • Judges will check the state of parts before announcing the start of the assembly time. Teams must show that their parts are separated. Team members cannot touch any parts or computer during this “check time”. The assembly time doesn’t begin until officially announced at the event.

The Competition

  • The competition consists of a number of rounds, assembly time (150 minutes), programming and testing time.
  • If the Game Rules of the specific age groups do not say something different, the randomization of game objects is done before each competition round (after teams handed in the robot).
  • Competitors are not allowed to assemble or program their robot outside of specified assemble, maintenance and testing times.
  • Teams will be given time for assembling, programming and calibrating their robot before each round.
  • Competitors begin assembly once assembly time is officially announced at the event and can immediately start the programming and test runs.
  • If teams want to make test runs, they need to queue with their robots in hand. No laptops should be brought to the competition table.
  • Teams must place robots in their designated inspection area when any assembly or maintenance time ends, after which the judges will assess if the robot conforms to all regulations. Upon successful inspection, the robot will be allowed to compete.
  • If a violation is found at the inspection, the judge will give the team three (3) minutes to convert the violation. However, it is not possible to participate in the match if the violation is not corrected during the time given.
  • Before the robot is placed in the quarantine area for inspection the robot must have only one executable program. Judges must have the opportunity to clearly identify one program on the robot. If possible in your programming environment, name the one executable program “runSICE2020”. If you can create project folders, name it “SICE2020”. If a naming is not possible in your programming environment, please inform the judges about the program name beforehand (e.g. by writing the program name on the sheet in quarantine area next to your team name). Other files, e.g. sub programs, are allowed to be in the same directory but are not allowed to be executed. If there is no program on the robot, then the robot cannot participate in the current run.
  • The robot will have 2 minutes to complete the challenge. Time begins when the judge gives the signal to start. If not mentioned differently in the game rules, the robot must be placed in the starting area so the projection of the robot on the game mat is completely within the start area. The SPIKE/EV3/NXT brick is switched off. The participants are allowed to make physical adjustments to the robot in the starting area. However, it is not allowed to enter data to a program by changing positions or orientation of the robot parts or to make any sensor calibrations of the robot. If a judge identifies this the team could be disqualified from the competition
  • Once physical adjustments have been made to the satisfaction of the participants, the judge will give the signal for the SPIKE/EV3/NXT brick to be switched on and a program to be selected (but not run). After that the judge will ask the team about the way to run the robot. There are two possible cases: a. the robot starts moving immediately after the running the program. b. the robot starts moving after pressing central button, other buttons and sensors cannot be used to start. If option a) is used the judge provides a signal to start and the team member runs the program. If option b) is used the team member runs the program and waits for its start. No changes in position of the robot or its parts are allowed in this moment. Then the judge provides the signal to start and the team member presses the central button to start the robot.
  • If there is any uncertainty during the task, the judge makes the final decision. They will bias their decision to the worst outcome available for the context of the situation.
  • If a team starts the run early by accident (without any tactical reasons, e.g. because of a nervous situation), the judge can decide that the team can start the run again.
  • The attempt and time will end if:
    • a. Challenge time (2 minutes) has ended.
    • b. Any team member touches the robot or any mission objects on the table during the run.
    • c. The robot has completely left the game table.
    • d. Violation of the rules and regulations.
    • e. A team member shouts “STOP” and robot does not move anymore. The judge will stop the time and score the run if the robot does not move anymore.
  • The score calculation is done by the judges at the conclusion of each round. The team must verify and sign the score sheet after the round, if they have no fair complaints.
  • The ranking of a team is decided depending on the overall competition format. For example: it could be the best score of a round or the best run out of three rounds. If competing teams acquire the same points, the ranking is decided by the record of time (where time has not already been taken into consideration of the scores calculation). If teams still remain tied, rankings will be determined by consistency of performance by examining which team achieved the next highest score during previous rounds.
  • The score will never result in a negative score. If the score would be negative in case of penalty points, then the score will be 0, example: A team got 5 points for mission and 10 penalty points, then the team will be ranked with 0 points. Same goes for a team with 10 points for a mission and 10 penalty points.
  • Outside specified assembly, programming, maintenance and testing times it is not allowed to modify or exchange the robot. (For example, during inspection time teams are not permitted to download programs to robots or change batteries). However, batteries are allowed to be charged during any specified inspection time. Teams cannot request time out.