Robotics Competition 2020-11-10T11:25:48+00:00

Northwestern State University Robotics Competition and Smart Structures Show

What: Northwestern State University Robotics Competition and Smart Structures Show (RC&S3, Fall 2020)
When: Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Where: Virtual, see computation venue below for details
Contact: Ms. Erin Bates (batese@nsula.edu) or Dr. Jafar F. Al-Sharab (jafar@nsula.edu) – Northwestern State University

Dear educators, students, and parents/guardians,

I hope this message reaches you while you and your beloved ones are safe and healthy. On behalf of the Engineering Technology at NSU, I want to welcome you to our Fall 2020
Robotics competition and Smart Structures Show.

The Department of Engineering Technology at Northwestern State University will be hosting the Fall RC&S3 on December 3rd, 2020. All middle schools within 200 miles radius from Natchitoches city are welcome to participate. Due to the pandemic, the format of the competition has been changed for the safety of everyone.  The event will consist of a synchronous (live) and asynchronous (offline) activities. There is no registration fee for the competition, however, those interested in participating in the competition must respond to the announcement by submitting a letter of intent and a press/photo release form (for each team member) no later than November 25th, 2020. All forms are attached.  Documents should be sent to Ms. Erin Bates at batese@nsula.edu

Please note that our theme for our camp this year is Inspired by NASA : To Mars and Beyond….   We strongly encourage students to participate in all competition challenges in order to maximize their benefit from the designed STEM activities.  We also expect participants to design all their activities around our theme.

The platform which will be used to deliver the competition instructions is WebEx. Teachers, and students are required get acquainted with the software/App.

We are very excited about our Fall event and can’t wait to see your robotics software and hardware skills!

On behalf of ET Robotic competition Team

Dr. Jafar F. Al-Sharab

Forms

Letter of Intent (Online Form)

General Rules and Instructions

The Robotics competition was established in 2015 by the Department of Engineering Technology  at NSU.  The main goal of this tournament is to promote STEM-related activities, in hopes of guiding students towards a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This tournament is designed to be fun, while helping them to think above and beyond the limits of their normal robotics studies.

The tournament will test the students’ ability to design, engineer, and program a robot that can be used to compete in a robotics competition challenge. The NSU-RC will have 3 events on competition day. The events are as follows: 1. Programming challenge, 2. Maze challenge, and 3. an accuracy/problem solving challenge.

The following rules will need to be observed to ensure fairness and competitiveness during the competition:

  1. There will be a total of 3 events on competition day. Students will have 2 attempts at each event, but only the best score from each event will be used.
  2. Teams will be allotted 15 minutes between rounds to make necessary changes and adjustments to their robots as needed.
  3. Trophies and prizes will only be awarded to the top three teams that achieve the highest number of points during the competition
  4. Only students are allowed to participate during the competition. All work, prior to and on the competition day, must be solely the work of the students’ themselves. Teams that receive unauthorized aid will be disqualified from the tournament, and their scores will be forfeit. The role of adults is only to facilitate and supervise team members in the competition area.
  5. Only students are allowed in the competition area. While in the competition area, they must not block the judges’ view.
  6. Teams are not allowed to program another group’s robot or maliciously sabotage another group’s robot, program, etc. Teams that do so will instantly face disqualification.
  7. Students and coaches are responsible for reading over the rules and guidelines of the tournament prior to the date of the competition.
  8. NSU will make every effort to ensure fairness and competitiveness amongst team members on competition day. If there is a clarification needed on a rule or aspect of the competition, coaches may submit their query to the appropriate party.
  9. All judges will be well versed in the rules and aspects of the competitions and challenges. No photo or video record, made by any individual, will be used by scoring purposes.
  10. If the students’ robot breaks down during competition, teams will not be allotted time to rebuild or fix their robot.
  11. All robots built by students must not exceed the dimensions of 12″ x12″ x 12″. The robot and all its components (motors, sensors, cables, etc.) must be able to fit inside the starting position of     each challenge.
  12. All participated robots  should consist of only one brick with up to 4 motors attached to it.
  13. This is an open robotics tournament. Student groups can utilize the following robots for this challenge: LEGO Mindstorms NXT or EV3 models, Parallax BoeBots, and VEX IQ, EDR or PLTW Gateway to Technology (GTT) model robots. The programming platform for robots is up    to         the discretion of the teams, but Robot-C is highly recommended.
  14. All robots must be non-flying, autonomous and may not be remotely controlled except for the maze challenge.
  15. Teams may only use the materials that come with their respective robotics kits. Teams may not use outside materials such as oil, glue, tape, etc. that may impact the performance of another team.
  16. Please bear in mind that the lighting and floor conditions on competition day may be different from that of the classroom, and therefore may impact the performance of a robot.
  17. Teams may participate with more than one robot. If team started a challenge with certain robot, same robot will used for the end of challenge
  18. Each school will create and wear name tags that identify the team’s school and team number as designated by the RC&S3 tournament. Robots will be marked with the school name and team number. Robots will only be programmed and used by their assigned team members. Schools should endeavor          to maximize their student’s ability to code the robot assigned to the team by the school. Students should minimize help provided to another team whether within their school or without. Schools should concentrate on bringing to the tournament an appropriate number of teams and students commiserate     with their ability to successfully compete in the tournament. Robots will only be allowed to compete in each event twice and only as a part of the team that programmed and built it. Every effort should be made by each school’s leadership to comply with the spirit of competition and tournament integrity.
  19. Due to the size of the competition venue, each school is only allowed to bring 4 teams each, made up of no more than 6 students per team.
  20. Only the first 25 teams who respond to the announcement by November 25th, 2020 will be invited to participate in our robotics competition.
  21. Each school should construct their accuracy and maze challenge according to the dimensions given in the appendix. The ET department can mail the center and corner pieces upon request.
  22. Deadline to submit the programming challenge is December 1, 2020 at 11:00 PM

Email your work to batese@nsula.edu and copy jafar@nsula.edu

  1. Participating Schools may receive only one award.

The third and final challenge of the competition will be an accuracy challenge, to test the group’s ability to engineer a robot that can retrieve a specific item in the fastest time possible.  The challenge will take place within an 8’x4′ rectangular area, with the robot positioned in the bottom left corner. Students must program their robot to retrieve a red ball from top left corner of the rectangular area, take it to a holder at the middle of the board, and then park their robot at the top right corner of the mat. Once students have positioned their robots in the start position, the judge will give a countdown of “3, 2, 1, GO!” Upon the word GO, students will activate their programs. Once the program is activated, the robot has 1 minute to complete the challenge. The teams that complete this challenge correctly in the fastest amount of time possible will receive points from this challenge. Students will have 2 attempts at this challenge, with only the best score from the two attempts being used for scoring. Only the scores of the top five teams will be recorded for this challenge.

In the maze challenge, each team should navigate the robot using remote control from start to end without touching the walls with the minimum time. Dimensions of the maze challenge are explained in the appendix. Both time and accuracy will be observed and recorded. In this challenge, each team member will be giving the chance to navigate the robot using remote control.  Robot should stay within the boundaries of the maze without touching walls. If a robot touches the walls, it will disqualify.  Students will be given one attempt only for his challenge. Once students have positioned their robots in the start position, the judge will give a countdown of “3, 2, 1, GO!” Upon the word GO, students will activate their robot and start the navigation process through he maze until the end position. The teams that complete this challenge correctly in the fastest amount of time possible will receive points from this challenge. Only scores of the top five teams will be recorded for this challenge.

Challenge 1 (Accuracy): An 8′ x 4′ rectangle with 12″ x”12 squares in each of the four corners and a 6″ x 6″ square in the center of the mat. The red ball from the standard LEGO NXT Educator Robot can be used as the ball for the challenge. Challenge 2 (Maze): walls of the maze challenge can be constructed from foam or cardboard. All dimensions are given in the appendix.  Since the event will be conducted virtually, each team is expected to construct their own challenges according the dimensions given in the appendix.  The department will mail accuracy challenge components (central and corner pieces) if requested.  Challenge 3 (Programming): Scratch software can be used online or downloaded at https://scratch.mit.edu/download/. ET students will be available to help upon request (email jafar@nsula.edu).

Challenge 1: Accuracy
How Points are Awarded: During this challenge, students will receive points for completing the various aspects of the challenge. The team that procures the most points within the 1-minute time limit will be declared the winner of this challenge. Winners of the challenge will be announced once all teams have completed the challenge.
Overall Scoring of Challenge 3
1st Place (Team that procures  the most points) 50
2nd Place 40
3rd Place 30
4th Place 20
5th Place 10
6th-Last 0 points
Individualized Scoring of Challenge 3
Retrieving the Red ball with the robot 10 points
Successfully delivering the red ball to the 6″ x 6″ box in the center of the board. 10 points
Successfully parking the robot within the correct end position 10 points.
Time left on the clock if 1-minute interval has not been allotted. (Varies) Example: If a team completes this challenge in 45 seconds and 15 seconds are left on the clock, then the team will receive 15 points towards their individualized score.
Touching the robot while it is in play Disqualification
Robot leaves the boundaries of the playing field. Disqualification
Challenge 4: Maze
How Points are Awarded: During this challenge, students will receive points for completing the various aspects of the challenge. The team that procures the most points within the shortest time limit will be declared the winner of this challenge. Winners of the challenge will be announced once all teams have completed the challenge.
1st Place 50
2nd Place 40
3rd Place 30
4th Place 20
5th Place 10
6th-Last 0
Touching the robot while it is in play Disqualification
Robot hits walls Disqualification
Challenge 2: Programming
How Points are Awarded: Points will be awarded to the teams that include all requested items.. Winners of the challenge will be announced once all teams have submitted their program.  Deadline to submit the programming challenge is December 1, 2020 at 11:00 PM

Email your work to batese@nsula.edu and copy jafar@nsula.edu

1st Place (completed all tasks) 50
2nd Place 40
3rd Place 30
4th Place 20
5th Place 10
6th-Last 0 points
Not original work Disqualification
Program does not run Disqualification
Overall Competition Winner
How Points are Awarded: The total sum of points from all three events will be added together to determine the winner of the competition
1st Place Highest number of points accumulated.
2nd Place 2nd Highest number of points accumulated.
3rd Place 3rd Highest number of points accumulated.
4th Place-Last 4th-last place highest number of points accumulated

Jafar F. Al-Sharab, Ph.D.

Pronouns: he, him, his (Pronouns Matter)

Head, Department of Engineering Technology

Northwestern State University
jafar@nsula.edu

Office: 318-357-6751 / Fax: 318-357-6145
101 Williamson Hall

175 Sam Sibley Dr.
Natchitoches, LA 71497
www.nsula.edu

Personal Room: https://nsula.webex.com/meet/jafar

The Department of Engineering Technology at NSU would like to thank all those who help in NSU Robotics competition and related STEM activities.  This event is sponsored by Natchitoches Chamber Education Fund and the  Department of Engineering Technology at NSU.

Challenge 1: Speed

How Points are Awarded: Points will be awarded to the teams with the fastest times. The breakdown of points can be seen in the chart below. Times for each group will be recorded and sent to the scoring committee for calculation. Winners of the challenge will be announced once all teams have completed the challenge.

1st Place (Fastest time out of all the teams): 50
2nd Place: 40
3rd Place: 30
4th Place: 20
5th Place: 10
6th-Last: 0 points
Touching the robot while it is in play: Disqualification
Robot does not stop autonomously between the 15 foot and 20 foot marker: Disqualification

Challenge 2: Strength

How Points are Awarded: Points will be awarded to the teams that pull the most weight on the tension scale within a 10 second interval. The amount of weight pulled by each team will be recorded by the judges and sent to the scoring committee for calculation. Winners of the challenge will be announced once all teams have completed the challenge.

1st Place (Pulls the most weight out of all robots): 50
2nd Place: 40
3rd Place: 30
4th Place: 20
5th Place: 10
6th-Last: 0 points
Touching the robot while it is in play: Disqualification
Robot does not stop autonomously after 10 second time limit has elapsed: Disqualification

Challenge 3: Accuracy

How Points are Awarded: During this challenge, students will receive points for completing the various aspects of the challenge. The team that procures the most points within the 1 minute time limit will be declared the winner of this challenge. Winners of the challenge will be announced once all teams have completed the challenge.

Overall Scoring of Challenge 3

1st Place (Team that procures the most points): 50
2nd Place: 40
3rd Place: 30
4th Place: 20
5th Place: 10
6th-Last: 0 points

Individualized Scoring of Challenge 3

Retrieving the Red ball with the robot: 10 points
Successfully delivering the red ball to the 6″ x 6″ box in the center of the board: 10 points
Successfully parking the robot within the correct end position: 10 points
Time left on the clock if 1 minute interval has not been allotted: (Varies) Example: If a team completes this challenge in 45 seconds and 15 seconds are left on the clock, then the team will receive 15 points towards their individualized score.
Touching the robot while it is in play: Disqualification
Robot leaves the boundaries of the playing field: Disqualification

Challenge 4: Maze

How Points are Awarded: During this challenge, students will receive points for completing the various aspects of the challenge. The team that procures the most points within the shortest time limit will be declared the winner of this challenge. Winners of the challenge will be announced once all teams have completed the challenge.
1st Place: 50
2nd Place: 40
3rd Place: 30
4th Place: 20
5th Place: 10
6th-Last: 0
Touching the robot while it is in play: Disqualification
Robot hits walls: Disqualification

Overall Competition Winner

How Points are Awarded: The total sum of points from all three events will be added together to determine the winner of the competition
1st Place: Highest number of points accumulated.
2nd Place: 2nd Highest number of points accumulated.
3rd Place: 3rd Highest number of points accumulated.
4th Place-Last: 4th Highest number of points accumulated

***Tie Breaker***: The robot that successfully pulls the other team’s robot over the line or the robot that is furthest from the line after 1 minute, if a state of equilibrium is reached.

At the end of the competition day, students will participate in an awards ceremony. Participating Schools may receive only one award. All students who take part in the tournament will receive a certificate of recognition for their efforts in participating in the tournament. The top 3 teams of the competition will receive the following:

1st Place: a 1st Place trophy, in addition to $150, which their school can use to purchase technology for the classroom

2nd Place: a 2nd Place trophy, in addition to $100, which their school can use to purchase technology for the classroom

3rd Place: a 3rd Place trophy, in addition to $50, which their school can use to purchase technology or the classroom

***Please note that a receipt of purchases must be e-mailed or faxed to NSU Engineering and Technology Department to verify prize monetary purchase was used for technology purposes otherwise you will be banned from participating in future events***

This program is sponsored by the Natchitoches Chamber Education Fund and the ET Department at Northwestern State University