A nuclear reactor is about to go into a meltdown. It's too dangerous to send emergency personnel in, but people trapped inside need to be located and saved. This is a job for robots! We have robots that can do this now, and researchers in AI and robotics all around the world are trying to work out how to make them smarter and more capable.

RoboCup Rescueis an international competition to foster research into rescue robots in particular and intelligent robots in general. UNSW has been very successful in the RoboCup soccer competition and now is involved with theAustralian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems (CAS), which has ateamthat has won the competition for best autonomous robot three times.

RoboCup Junioris a competition for school students inspired by RoboCup with divisions in rescue, soccer and dance.

Your rescue task is a more challenging version of the RoboCup Junior rescue task.

Design Task

Your team will build a robot to navigate through a maze, find a small bottle (the victim), pick it up, and then exit the maze.

Your team will:

1. design and construct a robot using the Lego Mindstorms Robotic Invention Set

2. program a Lego RCX microcontroller brick to read the robot's touch and light sensors and control its motors

3. create a maze to test your robot and those of other groups

You are limited to one NXT brick, three motors, light sensors, rotation sensors and touch sensors and the brick itself only has limited memory, so you must make efficient use of the hardware and memory.

Design Objectives

● The robot must complete the task as quickly as possible within a 5 minute time limit

● The robot must fit within a 270 mm diameter cylinder

● The program that controls the robot must be well organized and well documented.

● The maze you create must be challenging and look good.

Performance Evaluation

Your robot and maze will be tested and judged on the Monday of week 13.

The performance is marked out of 100. Your robot will attempt three different mazes, a simple maze made from one sheet of foam board, a bigger one made from two boards and the ultimate challenge – a four board maze.

There are 40 points available for how well your robot rescues the bottle from the maze. If your robot can find the victim and beep, you get 20 points. If you manage to pick up the victim you get 10 more points, and if you can get the victim out of the maze, you get 10 more. We will average the score from the 3 different mazes. There are 20 points available for the competition – the team with the minimum total time on the three mazes gets 20 points, with fewer points for the second place team and so on, with the last placed team getting 0.

There are 20 points for the how well written and documented your code is. There are 10 points for the design of your robot based on style, innovation and how cool it looks. There are 10 points for the design and construction of your maze. Neatness counts here!

Maze Specification

The maze is made from black vinyl electrical tape on 40x32 sheets of white foam board. (You can get these from an art supply store including the one on campus.)

Your robot must follow the black lines – if it goes off the line, or jumps to another line, it will be returned to the start. Intersections are marked with squares of aluminium foil as shown. Black lines will not be too close together – there will be at least double the width of a black line between them. Intersections will have up to four lines at right angles. The end of the black lines are marked with squares of blue electrical tape. This lets you quickly block any path in the maze with a square of tape when testing. Each board must have a line exiting from the middle of each side so they can be combined to make bigger mazes.

The victim you must rescue is a 600 ml Mt Franklin water bottle. It has 40 gms of rice or sand inside it so it doesn't fall over too easily. It will be on one of the black lines, somewhere in the maze.

Claude Sammut 2014