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The 2015 National Robotics Competition

General Guidelines

  1. A school team should comprise of 2 or 3 students and 1 teacher.
  2. A participant may only participate in ONE category.
  3. Each school can send a maximum of 5 teams for each category.
  4. All rules and regulations are subject to change without prior notice.

Competition Categories & Age Groups

1. Regular Category

Category Date of Birth Event Action
Primary School 1 Jan 2003 – 31 Dec 2008 PEARL DIVING View Details
Lower Secondary 1 Jan 2000 – 31 Dec 2002 TREASURE HUNT View Details
Upper Secondary 1 Jan 1996 – 31 Dec 1999 MOUNTAINEERING View Details

*The events and format for the final competition may differ from the above. Information will be given to the finalists at a later date.

2. Open Category

Category Date of Birth Theme Action
Primary School 1 Jan 2003 – 31 Dec 2008 Robots Explorers View Details
Lower Secondary 1 Jan 2000 – 31 Dec 2002
Upper Secondary 1 Jan 1996 – 31 Dec 1999

*The events and format for the final competition may differ from the above. Information will be given to the finalists at a later date.

3. GEN II Football

Category Date of Birth Theme Action
Primary School &
Secondary School
1 Jan 1996 – 31 Dec 2005 GEN II Football View Details

*The events and format for the final competition may differ from the above. Information will be given to the finalists at a later date.

General Rules – Regular Category

  1. The competition rules of the National Robotics Competition are constituted by the organizing committee of the National Robotics Competition ("the tournament" for short in the following paragraphs), and they apply to the tournament.
  2. Regulations on materials used:
    1. Except for special designations in competition rules, materials used by the teams to assemble their robots must be from 9797 LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education Base Set, 9695 LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education Resource Set, 9648 Education Resource Set, 9794 LMFS Team Challenge Set (Non-Electronic parts only), 9649 Technology Resource Set, 45544 LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Core Set, and 45560 LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Expansion Set. The shape of materials used must be exactly the same. The colour may differ from the original.
    2. Teams should prepare and bring all the equipment (software, portable computers, batteries, extension wires, etc.) that they need during the tournament.
    3. Teams should bring enough spare parts. In the event of accidents or equipment malfunction, the tournament are not responsible for any maintenance and replacement of equipment.
    4. Mentors are not allowed to enter the quarantine area and give instruction or guidance to their teams during assembly time.
    5. Teams are allowed to bring only one NXT/EV3 controller into the quarantine area.
    6. Batteries used during the competition can be 6 pieces of AA batteries or lithium batteries of LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT/EV3. Other power supply devices which are not authorised by the organisers are not allowed to be used.
    7. All the parts for the robot should be in the initial states (not pre-built) when the assembling time starts. For example, a tire cannot be put on a wheel until the assembling time begins.
    8. Contestants may not refer to any instruction sheets/guides in any form including written, illustrated or pictorial.
    9. Teams are allowed to pre-program the robot or store the program in the laptop before the competition.
    10. No screws, glues or tapes are to be used to fasten any components of the robot. Non-compliance with this rule may result in disqualification from the competition.
    11. The control software must be either ROBOLAB, LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education NXT/EV3 software or LabView. See table below for NRC eligible software for Regular Category :
      Category ROBOLAB NXT Software EV3 Software LabView
      Primary school - PEARL DIVING
      Lower Secondary - TREASURE HUNT
      Upper Secondary - MOUNTAINEERING
    12. The motors and sensors for the robot are supplied by LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education and HiTechnic. Any other products are not allowed. Modification of any original parts, for example, NXT/EV3 Intelligent Brick, motors, sensors, etc is not allowed. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.
    13. See table below for NRC eligible sensors and motors for Regular Category:

  3. Regulations concerning the robot:
    1. The maximum dimensions of the robot before it starts the mission must be within 250mm X 250mm X 250mm. After the robot starts, the dimensions of the robot are not restricted.
    2. Except for special designations in competition rules, the amount of motors and sensors used during the competition are not restricted.
    3. Teams are allowed to use only one controller (NXT/EV3).
    4. Except for special designations in competition rules, any action or movement deemed as interference or assistance to the team while the robot is functioning is disallowed. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification from the competition.
    5. Use of radio communication, remote control and wire control systems to control the robot is not allowed. Violation of this rule may result in immediate disqualification of the team from the competition.
    6. The Bluetooth™ and Wi-Fi function of the NXT/EV3 Intelligent Brick must be switched off.
  4. Regulations on the competition event:
    1. The competition consists of 2 rounds.
    2. Assembly time for Round 1 is 120 minutes and maintenance time for Round 2 is 30 minutes.
    3. Contestants can only start to assemble, program and test their robots after the announcement of the tournament. Teams must place robots in their designated inspection area when assembly or maintenance time ends, after which the judges will assess if the robots conform to all regulations. Upon successful inspection the robots will be allowed to compete.
    4. Scores are calculated by the judges after each match. The contestants must sign the score sheet after each match.
    5. Contestants should take good care of their robots to avoid malfunction. If programs cannot be downloaded to the robot due to ill-safekeeping, accidental bumping, falling or other causes, assembly time or maintenance time will not be extended.
    6. If a violation is found at the inspection, the judge will give the team 3 minutes to correct the violation but the contestant is not allowed to add any parts, nor download any program. If the violation is not corrected during the time given, teams will not be allowed to compete.
    7. When assembly time is over, neither modification (for example, downloading programs, changing batteries) of robot, nor request for time-out is allowed. In the case of a robot breaking down accidentally, the contestant may be given maintenance time by the judges but the contestant is not allowed to add any parts, nor download any program.
    8. The ranking of team is decided by their best score of a round. If competing teams acquire the same points, the ranking will be decided by consistency of performance by examining which team achieved the next highest score during previous rounds. If teams still remain tied, the ranking will be determined by the time recorded of their best rounds.
  5. Regulations on the playing field:
    1. Teams must assemble their robots in the area (each team has its own area) designated by the tournament. Only the contestants, NRC organising committee staff and special personnel are allowed to enter the competition area.
    2. All models and playing fields are according to the standard provided by the tournament on the competition day.
    3. As you build and program, keep in mind that our organizers make every effort to ensure that all fields are correct and identical, but you should always expect some variability, such as:
      1. Variety in lighting conditions
      2. Judge’s shadow on the field
      3. Judges will walk around the field during judging
      4. Texture/bumps under the mat
      5. Waviness in the mat itself – at many tournaments, it is possible for the mats to be rolled out in time to lose their waviness. Location and severity of waviness varies. It is very important to consider this while designing.
  6. Regulations on behaviour:
    Behaviours listed below are prohibited and may result in disqualification:
    1. Causing damage to the competition playing fields, models or robots of other teams.
    2. Bringing a cellular phone, camera, entertainment devices or a medium of wired/wireless communication device into the quarantine area.
    3. Using dangerous items or displaying behaviour that disrupt the competition.
    4. Using inappropriate words or behaving inappropriately towards other teams, audience, judges or the tournament.
    5. Creating situations which judges deem unacceptable or interfering.
  7. The judges have the utmost authority during the tournament. Their decisions are final and shall not be changed. As such, they may not change their decision even after viewing the competition video.
  8. When a team is considered disqualified by any judge, the robot of the team concerned must quit the match immediately, and the team will get no score for the match.
  9. The tournament has the right to revoke the qualification of any team if the team violates the rules.
  10. Any communication devices and methods are strictly restricted while the competition is in progress. Anyone who is outside the competition area is prohibited from talking or communicating with the contestants in the competition area. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification. However, under certain circumstances and with permission from the judges, an urgent message can be conveyed through a tournament staff.
  11. If the competition is delayed due to electricity breakdown, unavailability of Playing Fields/models or difficulty in determining the scores, the judges may hold a return game, and the contestants shall not raise any objection.
  12. The tournament has the right to photograph and videotape the event and the right to reproduce, modify and use the photographs and video tapes for various media.
  13. If there is any inadequacy or alteration in the rules, the final decision shall be announced by the judges at the tournament. The judges have the utmost authority to amend the rules and regulations.
  14. Penalty may be imposed on a team if there is any violation to the General Rules.

General Rules – Open Category

  1. The competition rules of the National Robotics Competition 2015 are constituted by the organizing committee of the National Robotics Competition (“the tournament” for short in the following paragraphs), and they apply to the tournament.
  2. The competition will be categorised into 3 different age groups:
    1. Primary School (7 - 12 years old)
    2. Lower Secondary School (13 - 15 years old)
    3. Upper Secondary School (16 - 19 years old)
  3. There is no restriction on the use of non-LEGO® materials. However, the final project must be operated or controlled by the NXT/EV3 Intelligent Brick.
  4. Any programming languages are allowed to be used.
  5. The robots may be pre-assembled and the software program may be pre-programmed.
  6. The size of the whole project, including booth decorations, must not exceed 2 meters (L) x 2 meters (W) allotted area. Robots, and other display elements must remain within the allotted area unless requested by judges.
  7. Teams must decorate the booth with at least one poster, with the minimum dimension of 120cm x 90cm, introducing the project.
  8. Each team will undergo the following:
    1. Test and assemble the final robot at a designated location.
    2. Decorate the booth with posters or anything that is related to the theme.
    3. Demonstrate the project to the judges.
    4. Participate in a 'Question and Answer' (Q & A) session with the judges.
  9. A report (hard copy & soft copy in CD/DVD), summarizing the whole project, must be submitted to the registration counter on competition day. The description must be supported by pictures showing different angles of the robotic creation and examples of the program. The CD/DVD must include a video (maximum of 2 minutes) demonstrating the robot.
  10. In the 10-minute session with the judges, 5 minutes will be given to the team for demonstration and 5 minutes for a Q & A session with the judges.

Judging Criteria - Open Category

Project Total Points : 50
1 Creativity & Quality of Solution (25)
  How original and creative is the project? Does the solution solve the problem well? Does the solution benefit society in a huge way or limited to just a small scope?  
2 Research & Report (15)
  Comprehensive research has been done and solutions are built upon this research.  
3 Entertainment Value (10)
  The project looks fun, awesome, and has great entertainment value.  
Programming Total Points : 45
1 Automation (15)
  Routines are fully automated with the use of sensors as opposed to timing.  
2 Good Logic (15)
  Routines and demonstrations are easily repeatable without hassle.  
3 Complexity (15)
  Complex functions are performed with the use of multiple sensors and/or controllers to achieve meaningful outcomes.  
Engineering Design Total Points : 45
1 Technical Understanding (15)
  Team members are able to produce clear, precise, and convincing explanations about each step of the robot building and programming process.  
2 Engineering Concepts (10)
  Application of engineering knowledge evident such as proper use of gears, levers, and weight transfers.  
3 Mechanical Efficiency (10)
  Parts are used efficiently. Robot uses the simplest way to achieve its goals and does not look unnecessarily bulky.  
4 Structural Stability (5)
  Robot is strong, sturdy, and built in line with good engineering principles.  
5 Aesthetics (5)
  Robot has aesthetic appeal.  
Presentation Total Points : 40
1 Successful Demonstration (15)
  RRobot demonstration is successful. Evidence of pre-emptive measures taken to ensure successful demonstration. Clear that a lot of preparation and practice have taken place.  
2 Communication & Reasoning Skills (10)
  Ideas, concepts, and contents conveyed effectively, neatly, and convincingly. Presentation laid out in a logical and interesting fashion.  
3 Quick Thinking (5)
  Ability of participants to think on their feet and answer the judges' questions convincingly  
4 Posters and Decorations (5)
  Amount of additional effort put in to decorate the booth and make it eye-catching.  
5 Project Video (5)
  How closely does the actual project match the project video? (0 marks given if video does not meet the video requirements as stated in the general rules).  
Teamwork Total Points : 20
1 Unified Learning Outcome (10)
  Every team member is able to display internalized knowledge about the subject matter of their project.  
2 Inclusiveness (5)
  Appropriate distribution of responsibilities with each member clearly knowledgeable about his or her individual role.  
3 Team spirit (5)
  Team members display positive energy, good cohesiveness, and value one another.  
Maximum Points 200

Content Sample of the Project Documentation

  1. Acknowledgement
  2. Project Mission, Vision & Objective
  3. Particulars of team members and mentor
  4. Introduction about the project in detail
  5. Synopsis of the project
    1. Background
    2. Robot functionality
    3. Uniqueness and interactive behavior
  6. Designing and Building Process
    1. Concept and Implementation
    2. Brainstorming and solution to the problem
    3. Engineering and stability of the structures
    4. Pictures of the project (at each stage)
    5. Final model and pictures depicting different angles
    6. Related charts
  7. Programming
    1. Concept
    2. Brainstorming and solution to problem
    3. Printed programming with explanations
  8. Appendices
    1. Interviews (if any)
    2. Gantt chart
    3. Softcopy of the whole project must be burned in CD/DVD (e.g. report, programming, slide show, video clip and etc.)