ARC2017: Line Tracing Challenge

Line Tracing Challenge (updated Mar 2, 2017)

Getting Started:

If you have never programmed a robot before, here’s how to get started in this competition …

  1. Purchase a simple robot that has line following capabilities or build your own using an array of photosensors. These robots can be made from lego, JoinMax, Arduino or any other construction sets. The robots must include a programmable board and light sensor array (minimum 2 sensors).
  2. Use black insulation tape on a large white surface to provide a space to practice your robot before the competition. Start with simple lines and turns. Add complexity as you get better with deadends and loops.
  3. Programme your robot to follow the lines that you put down, by approximating the distance the robot will have to travel and using the data from the photosensors to determine when the robot is on the line and off the line, then adjust the robot’s position accordingly.

Note: the robot does not need to map the course itself, it is programmed to follow the course by the team visually looking at the course.

Already Experienced:

If you already programme robots to follow lines before, here’s how you can become more competitive in this competition …

  1. Optimise your programming to go faster along long straight sections of the track.
  2. Handle turns carefully with speed and precision.
  3. Determine the best position and number of photosensors.
  4. Improve your robot’s performance by addressing issues like centre of gravity, traction and turning circle.

Rules for Competing:

The link below takes you to the rules of the competition that outlines the following …

  • Maximum dimensions of the robot
  • Types of construction
  • Specifications of the track

Note that the actual design of the track is changed each year and only available on the day of the competition. The photo above shows an example of one design actually used in a previous competition.