The goal of the predator prey design project is to give you an experience of developing an embodied & situated intelligent agent.

In a predator-prey relationship, there is at least one agent that serves as a “food source” (i.e., the prey) and at least one agent that serves as the “consumer” (i.e., the predator). This is a common example used in development of softbots & robots. It provides an opportunity to study a variety of interesting concepts, such as:

  • Animal behavior
  • Intelligent strategies, both singular & multi-agent
  • Building complex behaviors from simpler ones
  • Coordinating competing behaviors
  • Tuning perceptual strategies to respond to specific environmental stimuli relevant for situation-specific responses

    It also embodies a number of important higher level behaviors that would be of general use to an intelligent agent, such as:

  • Navigation
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Searching for a goal
  • Direction orientation

    The Challenge

    Each team will be designated as either a “prey” agent or a “predator” agent. Each team is to design a robot and program it to meet its goals. The goal of the predator is to capture the prey: the goal of the prey is to make find its way to the safety of its den.

    The Arena

    The challenge will take place in an arena of approximately 6 foot X 4 foot defined by black tape. There will be obstacles in the arena also defined by black tape. There will be three goal areas designated by blue tape: the den, half-court, and the far-end of the court.


    1. The robot body

    2. The robot programming

    3. The competition

    Reaching half-court 10 points
    Reaching the far-end 10 points
    Reaching half-court 10 points
    Finding its den 30 points

    To earn the points, the prey must reach the goal areas in the order shown. A prey reaches half-court and its den when its body is more than 50% in the area.

    Leaving arena -10 points
    Going through an obstacle -10 points
    Restarting your agent -10 points