No announcement yet.

Preliminary Task Descriptions

This is a sticky topic.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Preliminary Task Descriptions

    Hello RobotX fans! We have a working draft of the 2020 RobotX Challenge tasks ready for discussion and input from teams.

    Head to the 2020 RobotX website:
    Document Download Link:

    Come back here and let us know what you think!

    I'm especially interested in your thoughts on the following:
    1. What do you think of the Follow the Path task idea?
    2. What are your thoughts about moving the Scan the Code light panel to the Dock and Deliver challenge?
    3. What are your thoughts on the new Dock and Deliver structure? How does it impact your strategy?
    4. What else is on your mind?

  • #2
    We are so excited to see this! Here are our thoughts:
    1. We like the addition of the Follow the Path task. It is a good way to make sure teams have robust path planners and control models. One concern is that if the start and exit buoys look like totems, it will be hard to discern the difference if the totems are randomly placed around the course.
    2. We are a fan of the light panel addition to the Dock and Deliver challenge. This allows more randomization and less hard-coding answers between runs. Will the light panels just display colors? There is a lot of opportunity to do colors and shapes or numbers with the panels. We would also like some clarity on if the Scan the Code task will remain similar to the previous competitions with the tower, separate from the docking task. We are a fan of the previous competitions' light tower Scan the Code, so we are hoping that is sticking around!
    3. We like the new Dock and Deliver challenge, especially if all bays will face the shore so we can see what the robot is doing. We would love to have some ballpark estimate on sizes/dimensions for the Deliver task so we can have a better idea of what to expect (is it only a couple of feet tall or several, how far back from the docking bay, etc.). Ideally, it is something that would not be hard to build ourselves so we can test with it.
    4. Other thoughts:
    • We are happy to see the Underwater Ring Recovery task staying, and we also like the emphasis on the AUV requirement.
    • For obstacle avoidance, will there still be a dedicated obstacle field or obstacles throughout the course?
    • Is there a way to encourage more use of the hydrophones in the competition? Is there a possibility of introducing them into a task that discourages guessing? For example, mystery frequency that has to be reported or having the acoustic beacons spread out and identifying what task it is under.

    We are looking forward to seeing what comes next!
    - Jamie & Team Minion


    • #3
      Thanks RobotX organizers for sharing these preliminary tasks. Our thoughts about the tasks are:

      (1) Follow the path - great idea. As this is very close to the navigation and control part it would be good to possibly change the buoys to markers actually more like navigation markers (green square and red triangle). Also a thought would be to have different colored buoys at the ends of the path, so your other tasks could specify if you are to go towards or from the seaward direction. This would be more representative maritime situation.
      (2) Can you please provide more details of the detect and delivery active light system. Will they be just solid colors or shapes as well?
      (3) Detect and Delivery - we are worried about the sloping hole face of the structure. Our preference would be to have the vertical (or near vertical) wall. If teams want to use a pole then it may work but we like the idea of throwing a ball and at that slope it would have to be a "lob shot" and the wind may be problematic. The docking component however is very helpful for stabilizing the AMS.
      (4) Other thoughts/comments - why are there no more colored shapes? As shapes are important in maritime situations it would be good to keep them. Possibly in the follow the path task as mentioned in item (1).

      Hope these comments are useful,
      Team QUT


      • #4
        Good morning Teams,
        Thank you for your posts Minion and QUT!

        It sounds like there is some definitely interest in the Follow the Path task that we've modeled after the similar task from the 2019 Virtual RobotX Challenge. You have both identified one of my biggest challenges in laying out this new task: too many of the same buoys in the course.

        I agree with Jamie's comment that we can't have too many buoys in the area that look like the totems, and I'm intrigued by the idea of using the red triangle and green square as Matt suggested. Rather than buying new buoys, I'm thinking I can try to work up a way to have the triangle and square signs attached to some of our white Taylor Made buoys. What do you think?

        I suspect during the qualifying rounds it would be easy enough to allow transit of the path in either direction. Once integrated into a Competition Course for Semifinals and Finals, we could have to have one of the other challenges indicate the preferred direction of transit. Maybe even one of the colored totem buoys as suggested by Matt.

        For the Light Panels I was envisioning just using the exact panels from the Scan the Code task of past years. It would just display colors as in previous years. One thought is that when a team starts a run by sending the appropriate heartbeat message, each of the panels light up in a random color so the bays would have a unique color.

        If we assume the panels as is from Scan the Code, would you be able to perceive shapes within the size those panels allow? I expect we would need some shielding similar to a traffic signal to reduce glare and washout.

        Did I miss anything?


        • #5
          ​​​​Here are thoughts from Minion:

          Overall, we like the idea of signs being attached to the white buoys. One concern would be having the buoys blowing around/rotating in the wind. If the sign was visible from all angles or if the buoy was not able to rotate, that would be best.

          In respect to perceiving shapes on the Scan the Code light panels, we think this may be doable with our system, but a double-wide set of panels would be better. For shapes like circles, this would allow the use of the full height of the panels. We agree that some kind of shielding would be desirable, as well.

          Hope everyone is safe and well!
          -Jamie & Team Minion