Maximum Size for Robot Stair Climber for NRC 2011

by trainer on June 25, 2011

The maximum size for the robot stair climber has been set at 25 x 25 x 25 cm. This is rather clearly stated in the rules booklet. Unfortunately as the height increase between Step 4 and 5 are half the maximum allowable height, this prove to be a problem for most teams. Toppling of robot becomes common while climbing the final steps. Nonetheless, rules are rules and they apply to all teams.

So, for those who were asking if you can create a robot which is slightly oversized but could be bent a little (contorted/compressed) while measurement is being done, the answer is a big NO. It’s not worth being disqualified for a few milimetres.

According to the Lego Robotics Forum in Facebook, it is said that if a team’s robot is found to exceed the allowable size, the teams will be given some time (very little) to make the changes to be within the allowable size. That would practically give problem to the programming of the robot, so if you are asked to change the robot during competition day, your chances of winning are near to zero.

The most accurate question asked (which is also in a lot of team’s mind) in the forum includes (adapted from Norman Chen’s question. Thanks for asking it clearly):

I have a robot with the length of the robot being around 255mm with a touch sensor tip at the end of one side. Assuming that the touch sensor tip can be pushed inside when the dimensions of the robot are measured using a 250mm length hollow cube, making the effective length of the robot 250mm. Is the robot still considered within size limit?

We believe that you will still be disqualified as contortion/compression of robot to make it fit are not allowed. It should be measured naturally without distortion in size in any manner.

Nonetheless, despite the difficulty, it is always better to create a robot which have allowance in size. A 24 x 24 x 24 cm robot would be much better, in event that the hollow cube used are slightly smaller in size (although this will probably not happen). Furthermore, it is stated that the court size are allowed to have +/- 50mm allowance. So it is always a good idea not to make a robot which stretches to the maximum limits.

Among design tips to build the Robot Stair Climber for Regular Category Lower Secondary for NRC 2011 which can help would be the use of  include:

  • long rack and pinion (vertical gears)
  • smart grip to circumvent the lack of vertical height of robot to grip stairs when climbing
  • extendable rail to help it to descent the stairs (especially for higher steps)

All three methods will allow a smaller dimension robot (at least the initial size) to be used. Hope it helps. Any other robotics enthusiasts can also contribute to providing tips to other competitors. :-)

[Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with Sasbadi in anyway, this interpretation of rules are our own opinions only and shall not be taken as the final words from the judges. We are not liable for any disqualification that arise from the interpretation of the rule. So please contact Sasbadi for clarification, where needed.]

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tan. T.J. July 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Do robots need to turn left or right? Or just need to climb up and down only?

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Tan. T.J. July 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Do robots need to turn left or right? or just climb up and down only?

Reply

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