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2011 Student Robotics Questions and Answers

Unofficial Official Rules

R5 2011 Robot Rules (Update 3/9/2011)

Upcoming Rules Modifications

The banana jacks should be easily accessible on the top of the robot with enough clearance to fit normal banana connectors and plugs


Q: Please share with us the circuit diagrams that will be implemented for the competition.
A: The thevenin source will be the output of the regulator. A resistor will be in series with the output. A LM7805 was chosen for ubiquity, but another higher performance device may be substituted after testing.

Q: Will the battery in each power source be unused when each competitor starts their run so each has the same level of power available? What about variations between batteries?
A: The performance of the sources will be characterized and published. The regulation and 'low' currents involved should minimize the variability in batteries. The battery need only sustain the operation of the regulator.

Q: Will the power sources in the contest use metal strips made from AC ducts? If so, will the resistance of the metal used to construct the ducts (usually steel) be included as part of the Thevenin resistance? If not duct, what metal will be used?
A: The resistance of the contacts is not included in the Thevenin resistance and will be identical for all teams. Consider it a variable.

Q: How will the energy sources be affixed to the playing surface?
A: Semi-permanently. A typical robot at typical speeds would not dislodge the source. The energy source is not intended as a bumper or brake.

Q: What material will be used to make the flag and what will be the dimensions? What type of string will be used? Kite string? Will the flag initially rest on the base or will it be suspended? If suspended, how far above the base?
A: The flag dimensions will be in the neighborhood of 1-2"" square and 1/2" thick. It will be made of wood. Its mass is not intended to load the gearmotor 'much'. String is undetermined. The flag starts at a known position near the bottom.

Q: What material will be used for the base of the flag mechanism? How will the base be attached to the playing surface (will it be permanent)?
A: Same PVC cap as the energy sources and affixed semi-permanently. Like the energy sources it may need to be removed for travel or unforeseen repair.

Q: Is the required schematic only for the energy transfer circuit or the entire robot?
A: It's not practical to specify a "boundary". Teams should provide schematics for the entire robot.

Q: Will we be allowed to use active components in the charging/ discharging circuitry, such as a voltage regulator?
A: Yes, as long as all energy reaching the flag was harvested on the field from the sources. You may monitor and control your "harvesting circuit" using on-board power.

Q: We understand that the red power source will be randomly placed in the right lower quadrant of the board. But when will it be placed on the board? Will it be placed before the 2 minutes preparation at the beginning of each round? Are you going to change the position of the red source in each round?
A: The intention is not that teams will pre-program the location of the red source. It will be placed just prior to the judge pressing "start" and move for each team. The randomness may create an unfair advantage for teams as the distance is now variable. This variabliliy in distance will be minimized, and competitors are expected to honor the spirit of the competiton and not provide any additional location information to their robots.

Q: What is the circuit for the monitoring device?
A. The monitoring device may be modeled as a resistance of at least 1MOhm. It is not intended to factor into design or performance.

Field Information

Compliance Monitor: This device monitors the voltage of the robot's energy storage. It has an input impedance greater than 10MOhm and should have no affect on the robot. The coin cell in the images is a standard 20mm 2032 cell.

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