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To design, build, and program a line following robot that can follow a black line on a white background to a tower and deliver at first, at least one ball and then return to its starting point. Then in the remaining time to return to the tower to deliver a set number of balls as per their division’s requirements.


Autonomous robot, any platform, costing $1,500 USD or less, and meets the following design constraints, which will be verified during Check-In:
  • Robot can demonstrate it is running a line following program by negotiating the final 60cm of the current year's line following track; if an intersection is present within the last 60cm, robot will start just past the intersection.
  • Robot can demonstrate it will stop upon reaching the tower; you do not have to prove the ability to deliver a ball, or turn around.
  • Multiple sensors and processors are allowed.
  • Volume of the robot must not exceed 65030cm3.

General Play

  • A line following program must control your robot’s motion at all times.
  • The robot has 3 minutes to complete the tasks.
  • Only players can operate and manipulate the robot during the heat.
  • Remember: “Players Play, Coaches Coach, Parents Cheer”
  • The tower cannot be touched by any person during payload delivery.
  • No scooping of balls out of the tower by any person during payload delivery.
  • Touching the robot at any time requires it to be picked up and returned to home.
  • You will get 10 official scored runs during the challenge scoring period.
  • The total of your 5 highest official scores are used to determine tournament selection.


The Track

  • White PVC Vinyl Background, 75cm wide x 150cm long
  • Elementary Division - No intersections, 1.25cm black line
  • Middle School Division - One intersection, 1.25cm black line
  • High School & University or Professional Division - Two intersections, 0.75cm black line
Tracks shown are an example. The design changes every year and are revealed on the first day of the event.

The Tower

  • All divisions use the same 20cm tall x 10cm wide x 35cm long tower with a 10cm x 10cm opening at the top and an open back to allow the balls to roll out during delivery. The tower is held firm to the track by a strip of Velcro tape.
  • Using the same cardboard box tower/opening, we may attach or include a ramp or other structure designed to count balls automatically as they flow through the tower. The design will be such that it doesn’t impede the flow of balls through the tower, and may actually improve the flow of balls.
All Challenge Dimensions are Approximate
The challenge may be held in areas with natural light present which may change the lighting conditions of the track. Be prepared to engineer around this natural condition.


The overall score is a combination of points earned from:
  • Running the track to the tower
  • Delivering at least one ball
  • Returning back home
  • Delivering the required number of balls
Each division will have a set number of balls to deliver:
  • Elementary School - 168
  • Middle School - 257
  • High School / University or Professional - 346
Balls should be similar to 40mm plastic ping pong balls.
A successful run is defined as:
  • The robot traversing the track from Home to the Tower, delivering at least 1 ball and traversing the track back home. These balls must then be discarded.
After a successful run, on additional runs:
  • The robot traverses the track from Home to the Tower and delivers the required number of balls. The robot does not have to traverse the track back home.
If the number of balls is under the required number of balls, then that number is your ball score.
If the number of balls is over the required number of balls, then the extra will be subtracted from the required number resulting in your ball score.