This semester’s RoboSumo tournament takes place at 2pm, Wednesday 14th Dec 2022.
(Note: All rankings are provisional and subject to change)
Please review the following information carefully from start to finish.
Tournament time and location
The tournament will commence at 2pm on Wednesday 14th Dec 2022 in Central Quad (rooms CQ-343 and CQ-345). Weigh-in and robot validation will take place from 14:00-14:30. The first bouts are expected to begin at roughly 14:30. During the initial “sorting” phase of the tournament, competitors will be divided into two pools, each of which will be assigned to one of the two competition arenas. Within each pool, sorting will proceed based on the bubble sort process previously described in class. The initial ranking will be determined by the results of the Track TT competition (based on the average of the team members’ individual Track TT rankings).
The exact duration of the tournament will depend on how quickly things progress, but we aim to be completely finished by 5pm. To ensure that the tournament proceeds efficiently, teams must comply with the instructions of the referee(s) without dispute at all times.
Robot Weigh-in – 14:00
Before your robot can compete in any sumo bouts, it must weigh-in and be measured to ensure compliance with the competition rules.
- The weight limit is 500 grams, as measured using the referee’s electronic scales. This weight includes every part of the competing robot, including batteries.
- The size limit is 15 cm x 15 cm x 15 cm (no part of the robot is allowed to be outside this boundary). The size limit will be strictly applied.
Teams should present their robots for the weigh-in at 14:00. One of the module lecturers (or their nominated proxy) will act as compliance officer, managing the weigh-in. He/she will run through a checklist with each team.
Sumo Bouts – 14:30
From 14:30 onwards, teams should be continuously available to compete without delay whenever summoned to one of the arenas. When a referee summons two robots to the arena for a bout, if one robot is ready to compete but the other is not (e.g. the team fails to present themselves at the arena, or the robot is non-compliant, or the robot is non-functioning) the first robot will be granted a walkover victory in that bout. In that case, the losing team remains eligible to compete in subsequent bouts (until they are eliminated from the tournament).
TU Dublin tournament rules
The beginning of each bout:
- The referee positions each robot before the bout begins (or instructs the competitor where to position it). Ordinarily, the referee will place the robots in opposite quadrants of the arena, each robot facing along a line parallel to that of the other robot, but not in the direction of the opponent. However, the starting position and orientation of each robot within the arena is entirely at the discretion of the referee.
- Each team nominates a single team member as the designated starter for the bout. The designated starter manually activates the robot at beginning of each bout, as instructed by the referee. The specific method of starting the robot is left up to each team – flicking a switch, pressing a button, inserting a wire, inserting a battery, etc. – but whatever method is used, the robot must remain stationary until the referee says “Go”.
- It is permitted for a robot to be powered on while waiting for the referee to say “Go”, provided that it does not move.
- When the referee says “Go” each team’s designated starter starts his/her robot.
- The designated starter is only allowed to start the robot – he/she may not change the position or orientation of the robot in the arena.
- Once the robot begins moving, no one is permitted to touch the robot again until the bout has ended. He/she must withdraw from the arena and have no further contact with the robot until the bout ends.
- No one is permitted to touch a robot after it has begun moving (or has moved from its initial position).
- No one is permitted to touch a robot after the opponent robot has made physical contact with it.
- No competitor is permitted to touch the opponent robot at any time.
The end of each bout:
- The bout ends when one robot leaves the arena, meaning that it is no longer in contact with (or directly above) the upper surface of the arena. If one robot leaves the arena while the other remains inside it, them the second robot will be deemed the winner of that bout.
- If a robot is partly outside the arena but remains in physical contact with the upper surface of the arena, then it will be left to the referee to judge whether it stands a realistic chance of re-entering the arena.
- The duration of each bout is limited to 30 seconds.
- If both robots remain in the arena when the time limit for the bout expires, the referee will decide the winner based on each robot’s distance from the centre of the table (the closer the better), robot activity/behaviour during the bout, attitude/behaviour of each team during the bout, and/or other criteria at his/her own discretion. The referee may explain the criteria upon which the winner of a bout was chosen, but is not required to do so.
- When a bout fails to produce a clear winner, the referee may, at his/her own discretion, order the bout to be replayed.
- During the sorting phase of the competition, matches will consist of a single bout. However, in the latter (knockout) stages of the competition the number of bouts in each match increases (best of 3 or best of 5).
- The dimensions of each arena will be similar to those described in the Robot Challenge rules (77cm diameter with a 2.5cm white border), but may deviate slightly from them. However, the white border will not be less than 2.5cm in width.
- A robot which displays no responsiveness to its opponent or its surroundings for a significant period of time may, at the referee’s discretion, be disqualified from a bout. In particular, please note that robots which simply spin on the spot will be viewed very unfavourably by the referees unless they exhibit other behaviour which provides evidence that the spinning forms part of a meaningful control strategy.
- Each team’s robot spending limit is €70. This figure must include the cost of all components included in the final robot, as it is presented for the tournament validation process, with the following specific exceptions. The €70 budget does not include the cost of components or materials purchased but not used in the final robot. It does not include any cost incurred for postage and packing. Most recycled materials which are obtained free of charge do not need to be accounted for in the robot budget, but specialised components which would not be available to other teams through normal scavenging (e.g. remote control servos) may need to be represented by an indicative cost. In general, the referees do not systematically verify the cost of every robot, but where a specific dispute arises or it is suspected that a robot may be in breach of this rule, a team may be asked to provide evidence of their total spending (e.g. by providing receipts or showing where each component used can be purchased for the claimed price). Where a team is suspected to be in breach of this rule and cannot prove otherwise, the referees may apply a penalty of some kind or even disqualify a robot from the tournament.
Important note: Every effort has been made to compose the rules of each bout and the structure of the tournament as a whole in a way that is fair and consistent, but since it is impossible to anticipate every eventuality, the referee(s) must have ultimate discretion to overrule any regulation or introduce a rule change at any time.
The tournament is divided into two main phases – a sorting phase and a knockout phase. Each team must also complete a validation process prior to competing in their first match.
The validation process ensures that each robot complies with the restrictions on size and mass imposed by the Mini class rules. Teams who do not successfully complete the validation process are not eligible to compete in competitive bouts and can therefore only move down in the tournament ranking. Teams who are unable to field a compliant robot may still be asked to compete in one or more exhibition bouts for assessment purposes, but they cannot progress to the knockout phase of the tournament.
- The mass of the robot, including batteries and all parts which will be attached to the robot during a bout, must not exceed 500 grams.
- At every moment during a bout, it should be possible to enclose the entire robot (including all parts) inside a cube 15 cm on each side (i.e. 15 cm by 15 cm by 15 cm).
- The only permitted power supply for competing robots is a 4xAA battery pack, using regular AA batteries. The nominal combined voltage of the batteries must not exceed 6V. No other form of stored energy (e.g. chemical, elastic, potential, kinetic) is permitted.
Following validation (the “weigh-in”), if a team makes any change to their robot which increases its size or mass, or if they switch to a different robot, they must repeat the validation process prior to competing in any bout.
The initial ranking will be determined primarily by the results of the Track TT challenge. Each team will be assigned an initial ranking based on the team members’ average individual Track TT ranking. The objective of the sorting phase is to select the top 8 (or 16) teams. A variation on the so-called bubble sort will be used for the majority of the sorting phase. However, the referee(s) may deviate from this pattern at his/her/their own discretion to resolve any unforeseen ranking issues or anomalies.
In each of the two pools (odd and even), the sorting phase will continue until the referee is satisfied that he/she has identified which 4 (or 8) teams should progress from that pool to the knockout phase of the tournament.
The 8 (or 16) top-ranked teams will proceed to the knockout phase of the tournament. When a team loses a match in this phase, they are eliminated from the tournament. The referees will decide the number of bouts per match in each stage of the knockout phase (ordinarily best of 3 bouts, apart from the final which is best of 5 bouts).
Competitor check list
Inevitably, many teams will face technical issues on the day of the tournament, and it’s impossible to foresee every problem. However, there are certain issues which we see every year:
- PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ensure that your robot is compliant with the size and weight limits. Yes, 151mm is too much! And yes, 501 grams is too much! To avoid unexpected problems, please leave some margin for error. We need to be absolutely strict about these limits and butchering your carefully crafted robot at the last minute to reduce its size or weight can be a heartbreaking experience.
- If you haven’t already tested your robot actually driving around, please do so BEFORE the tournament. Bizarrely, every year we see teams who leave it until the very last minute to attach the wheels to their motors for the first time. Unfortunately, many of them discover at that point that their gearing is totally inappropriate and the robot cannot actually move.
- Focus on the basics. This means getting your robot moving around and responding to its sensor(s).
- Make sure your robot doesn’t simply spin around the spot for the entire bout. This behaviour will be viewed very unfavourably by the referee.
- Make sure you bring spare batteries.
Finally, remember to get plenty of photos and videos of your robot (and team) in the run up to and during the tournament. Of all the evidence you will provide on your blog, photos and videos are some of the easiest to create, and they can really help to tell the story of your project.
Best of luck to all of you!