The goal of the project is to give students an insight in problems involving:

  • Robust robot design
  • Sensing
  • Dealing with imprecision


    The classroom-cleaning contest is a game where the robot has to gather soda cans placed randomly in the field to particular corners known as dustbins which will be a different color from the field.

    Construction Materials

    In order to keep the robot competition fair, every group can use just two light sensors, two touch sensors and three motors to build thier robot. NO group is allowed to put extra sensors and motors on their robot.

    Programming Environment

    The groups are expected to program their robot using NQC, the language developed by Dave Baum. The robots should run in stand-alone mode. That means that program for the task must be downloaded to the robot before the robot is started. There can be no interaction between the robot and a computer while performing the task.

    The Arena

    The arena will be a rectangle of approximately 7' x 3' surrounded by a border. The four corners of the arena will be in a different color and called dustbins. The dimensions of the dustbins will be approximately 7" x 7". The arena space will be white, the border will be black, and the dustbins will be blue. Soda cans will be placed standing up in the white arena.

    The Play

    The robot will start in any corner positioned in a way the team likes.

    The robot has to find the cans and bring them to any one of the dustbins. Whenever the robot releases a can fully inside a dustbin and the robot moves outside the blue area, the team can take the can out. When all cans are returned, the robot is finished. (There is a maximum time of 7 minutes for the robot.) The winner is the robot that brings all cans to the dustbin in the shortest time.

    If no robots bring back all cans, the one that brings back the most cans wins. If multiple robots bring back the same number of cans, the winner is the one that takes the least total amount of time, counting only the time up to the point when thier last can is placed in the dustbin.


    The following rules apply:

  • Robots are not allowed to move out of the arena border.
  • The robot can use any strategy to maximize the points.
  • Each game will last for 7 minutes (this might be changed later).
  • Robots must work autonomously using downloaded programs.
  • If there is any manual interference during the competition there will be some negative points.


    Each team will start out with 20 points.

    Placing a soda can in a dustbin 10 points
    Leaving the arena -5 points
    Restarting your robot -5 points
    Taking soda cans outside of the arena -5 points