Maze Rules 2017
Brief description
The competition involves a robot that is able to handle into a maze. The contest will work by the system 2 robots enter the maze and only one goes out.
2.2 Robot limitations
3. Game Area
First publication
1. General aspects
The competition is open to all robotics enthusiasts.
Teams of one or more members are allowed. The robots will have to comply with the construction rules (total mass: unlimited, length and width 10 x 10 cm).
The start of the two robots simultaneously occurs at the referee's command and the game ends when the first robot comes out of the maze.
2. General requirements
2.1 Robot characteristics
A. The robot must be completely autonomous. It is accepted any design that does not fall within the limitations from chapter. The team which implements the robot can choose any material and any form of control mechanism as long as it does not interfere with an external control mechanism.
B. Maximum size: 10 x 10 cm, there is no weight limit.
C. The robots must be equipped with the Start/Stop sensor in order to simultaneously start the robots.
D. It is recommended for the robot to have modulated or filtered sensors to not be influenced by ambient light, reflectors or flashes of digital cameras - Organizers do not assume any liability for malfunctioning robots due to environmental light (ambient, flash lamp, IR lamp for recording cameras).
E. The robots must have displayed a number, offer by the organizers, on the outer casing of the robot in a visible place. The number it is used to identify the robot by the referee and can be found in the Team's Folder (details in appendix 2).
2.2 Robot limitations
A. For safety reasons the robot must be equipped with an IR kill switch to be operated by the judge. When the judge sends a kill signal the power to the motors shall be shut down. The technical specifications for the IR receiver are given in the appendix. Contestants can either implement their on hardware or use a prebuilt module offered by the organizers. This module can supply the signal for activating the kill switch.
B. It is mandatory that the IR start module to function and the responsibility for is entirely of the team. If the module is not on the robot or is not working the team will be disqualified from the competition. If a problem occurs with the module during a fight it is recommended and allowed to be replaced. During the homologation and in the matches the module must function properly.
C. Jamming devices, such as IR LEDs intended to saturate the opponents IR sensors, are not allowed.
D. Parts that could break or damage the ring are not allowed. Do not use parts that are intended to damage the opponent’s robot or it's operator. Normal pushes and bangs are not considered intent to damage.
E. Devices that can store liquid, powder, gas or other substances for throwing at the opponent are not allowed.
F. Any flaming devices are not allowed.
G. Devices that throw things at your opponent are not allowed.
3. Game Area
A. The game area is defined as a mat white wooden rectangle having dimension of 2800 x 3000 mm or 2800 x 2000 mm. On this rectangle stays a maze with two starting points and only one exit point. The maze has the walls high of 15 cm. Please check the maze layout (Appendix 3)
B. The distance between walls is 30 cm and gates 30 cm.
C. There will be dead ends and robots may encounter along the way.
D. There are two symmetrical starting points and a single point of exit.
E. The two starting points will be similar and separate and at one point the route will be common.
F. The maze walls will be white or a bright colour.
3.1. Competition course
A. The robots will be divided into groups according to the number of participants. The contest will be played in a system of groups/ quarters/semifinals/finals order to allow as many rounds as possible for each robot. Each match will be supervised by 3 referees (one main referee and two assistants). The referee’s decisions have to be unanimous and are finale, objecting them leads to their disqualification from the current match. After each match the team will take the robot to the specified place.
B. During the competition, a team has the right at 2 breaks for reprogramming during matches of 5 minute each (2 breaks throughout the competition). Other breaks are allowed only for mechanical problems and only with referee’s approval, each of maximum 5 minutes. This rule is applied only during a match course. Outside the matches changes and reprogramming are allowed.  Teams are required to be present at the start up in maximum 1 minute from the moment the request has been received, otherwise they will lose the match.
C. Until the homologation, all the teams will stay in the room reserved for them (the room will be marked in the area map from the team’s folder). Each challenge will have a room. The teams can leave the room only when they are called to the competition area. Each team will be called by a competition official, when they need to go to the waiting area which is near the competition area (details in appendix 2).
D. After the homologation the teams, which will follow at start, will remain at the competition area, in the waiting area. The teams will leave this area only if the referee agrees, or only for repairs and they must return in the time set by the referee. If the team doesn’t return at the first call they will lose the match.
E. After a match is over, the teams must return in the room reserved for them.
F. Each team has the responsibility to follow the starting grid, displayed on the website and in the teams room. PLEASE DON’T BE LATE, WE WILL NOT WAIT!!!
3.2 Homologation – takes place before the match
Each team must pass the homologation stage of the competition day in order to compete with its robot in the competition. The homologation will take place at the beginning of the match.
The stages of the homologation process are:
a. Checking the robot’s dimensions: 10 x 10 cm.
b. Checking the Start/Stop senzor functionality.
c.  It will be checked if the number exists on the outer casing of the robot.
The robot will not be retained after homologation.
After homologation all teams have to remain in the competition hall.
3.3 Game development
A. A game consist of two robots placed at the entrances of the maze. These will simultaneously depart at the start signal given by the referee with IR remote.
B. The robot which first leaves the maze wins the game and gets 3 points.
C. If no robot leaves the maze during 3 minutes, the winner will be the robot which is closer to the exit and will receive 3 points. (It will be mentioned with incomplete route; this notice will count only if there will be more competitors with the same score, if there will be groups)
D. On the route, robots can meet, but they have to avoid each other.
E. The route implies dead ends too. If one robot gets stuck, it will be freed, but it will receive a penalty that will be taken into account if no robot will finish the route or if there is equality.
F. The penalties will accumulate.
G. The robot has to leave the maze only through the marked zone for exit.
H. It is allowed to use beacons for guidance
I. It is not allowed the use of visual markers on the surface of the game.
3.4 Repairs, modifications, unexpected interruptions
A. If a robot fails during a match, the main referee will assign a one minute interval for repairs. This range can be extended up to 5 minute by the organizers. Repairs will be supervised by an assistant referee to avoid changing the robot modules with other ones unapproved.
B. If a robot can not be repaired in the specified interval, the match is won by the opponent robot and the team can continue repairs until the next match in which they participate, and in this case the team will be supervised by a referee or a member of the organization committee.
C. Defective parts can be replaced and batteries can be charged during the competition if necessary.
D. If there any modification made to the robot after homologation, the robot must pass again the homologation stage.
3.5 Minor offenses
A. When a competitor enters the playground during the match except the situation where the robot has completed the course, and the contestant goes to pick up the robot. Entering the playground is when:
B. Any of the competitor's body part is on the playground.
C. If he inserts objects into the maze in order to lean on them.
D. If he enters deliberately in the range of the robot's sensors deliberately violating safety delimitation.
One or more team members do the following:
A. Calls off the match without any good reason.
B. They need more time than the one given for returning into the contest if the referee had not given extra time for repairs.
C. They take any actions of any nature which are contradictory to the fair-play spirit of the game.
3.6 Penalties
Players who violate sections: "Robot limitation" and " Deviation" will lose turn.
Each violation of the foresights in the section "Minor offenses" will be accumulated. Three offenses lead to disqualification.
Violation of the foresights in "Minor offenses" will be recorded during each try.
4. Declaration of the objections
A. There will not be any objections against the decisions taken by the referees.
B. If there are any objections, they need to be rised by the team leader before the end of the game if there is any doubt regarding the rules.  Any objection has to be addressed to ETTI ROBOCHALLENGE organizers. If no organizer is present, complaints may be issued to the referee.
C. Any inquiry regarding the rules should be discussed with ETTI ROBOCHALLENGE organizers, or, if they are absent, with the referees.  
D. If there are complaints or notice about a serious deviation from the rules by another team, address the ETTI ROBOCHALLENGE organizers or in their absence the referees.
5. Flexibility of the rules
The rules are flexible in the extent to adapt to the number of participants and games. Change or cancellation of rules may be decided by the local organizer of the event, as long as they are released before the event and are maintained throughout the event.
6. Liability
A. The participating teams are always responsible for the safety of their robots and are responsible for any accident caused by team members or robots.
B. Robochallange Organization and the organization team will never be liable for incidents/accidents caused by participating teams or their robots.
Remote start and kill switch
Every round in Maze class is started by the referee sending a start signal with an IR transmitter. As soon as the robot receives the signal the round will start. (This method makes the matches fairer since it eliminates false starts and is also time saving since less restarts is needed). The contestant can choose to either implement all the hardware and software by them self or he/she can simply use a prebuilt module (recommended).
Kill switch
The kill switch is used to cut power to the motors of the robot, this is used as a safety precaution and is only mandatory in the Mega Sumo class. When the referee sends the stop command the power to the motors has to be cut. The robot builder is responsible for adding such a kill switch on the robot by themselves, however the prebuilt module can supply the signal for activating the kill switch.
Prebuilt module
The prebuilt module takes care of all communication and is very easy to implement. The robot only needs to wait for the start pin on the module to go high and then it should start. The module accepts supply voltage (VCC) 3.3 - 5V. The VCC GND Start has standard 2.54 mm pitch.
The prebuilt module can be ordered from the organizer during the online registration.
Modes of operation
The figure below illustrates the modes of operation of the module. To be less sensitive to noise and disturbances the module will save its current state into a non - volatile memory and if it is resets it will return to the last known state. This means that each match will end with the referee sending the stop command.
If the LED on the module is on before the referee has sent the start command it means that the module is in the “Started” state. Then the stop command has to be sent and the robot needs to restart for the module to go back to the “Power ON” state. To be able to run multiple matches next to each other each dohyo will have its own unique identifier. The prebuilt module can be re - programmed to listen for a new identifier. This is done by the referee by sending a special programming command which updates this identifier. Robots which use sensors that are based on IR technology with a 38 Khz transmitter modulation are encouraged to start their sensors after the start signal is received. This is to minimize the risk of disturbance.
The Home Mode
The module has an option of usage without the special remote control. On the back of the module are 2 large pads- Home and GND. If one attaches an 1 Kohm resistance between the two pads, the module will accept signal from a standard TV remote control (the remote control that uses RC - 5 coding and was developed by Philips, but there are many other companies that use the same protocol). Sony and Nec have their own protocol and the remote control will not work. The best way to test if the remote control works, is to test it with the module. Pressing the 1 button from the TV remote control will be START and 2 will be STOP.
Explanation of use
You can find detailed information about the usage of the start modules on:
Recommended design for Kill Switch
How to implement Kill switch circuit using a relay
How to implement Kill switch circuit using an optocoupler
For answers to the most common questions regarding the start systems.
How to implement everything by your own
For those who want to implement everything by their own and not use the prebuilt module a guide for this can be found at:

Team’s folder will have the following items:

  1. The numbers for each robot

  2. The participations diplomas for the team members

  3. The badges for the team members

  4. Informations regarding the rooms reserved for the teams and the competition area map

  5. Promotional

  6. Explanation regarding how the groups are formed

  7. The map for the teams room and the competition areas

Labirint layout (example)