Let's Make Robots!

Search and Rescue

This challenge is inspired by a local event, where kids are remote controlling robots through a maze like course to find a small Teddy bear, grab it (with velcro) and drag it to the start point. But is this possible to do autonomously? I'm sure it is! 

So here is the challenge: build an autonomous robot that is capable to drive through a maze like environment, find a small Teddy bear, grab it by what ever means and bring it to the starting point. The maze can be made out of card boxes, books, whatever you have handy and it should have at least 4 turns before the position of the bear and the hallways width should be at least 12". The robot shloud be smaller than 12" and can't look over the walls. You can build a 2 wheels, 4 wheels rover, biped, quad, hexapod... anything you like. No remote processing is allowed, that means no link to an external computer is allowed. You can't moddify or add anything to the Teddy bear to make it easier detectable, but you can wrap around it a velcro collar so the robot may grab it easier. Make a video of your robot rescueing the Teddy bear and post a link to it here.

The winner will be decided by a community vote, still need to figure that out how's going to happen, a poll might work, but I don't see a way to add it to the challenge.

There will be prizes available:

- a µBotino V3 kit and a USB-serial cable

- a Robot Builder's Arduino kit and a USB-serial cable

- a Robot Builder's Shield V3 kit and a mini Breadboard


Update, Sept. 26th, 2011:

Since no robot was entered by September 22nd, I have granted an extension of the end date to September 25th. Only one robot was completed by this time, by Sebathorus, so I declare it winner of the First Place. But, since there were others who expressed interest in participating, I am going to make a second extension, until the end of the month. I hope at least 2 more robots to be entered. Come on people! I've got some kits to give!


Update, Oct. 1st, 2011:

The main reason behind this challenge was the old robot builder's dream: robot, fetch me a beer. I thought to bring it to you guys step by step. First, build a robot that is able to find an object and retrieve it. Best built is with a gripper and sensors that scan left-right and look for the object. After you did wall following, try to add encoders and remember your path and after you got the object, get back on the shortest path (maze solving). Build the gripper strong enough so it can pick up a beer can as the retrieved object. Add a voice recognition module and say the magic words: Robot, fetch, a beer! My MiniEric robot can almost do that (can lift only an empty can, not a full one). Can yours?

I removed the end date for this challenge, it will be still ON until the first robot that is able to fetch a (full) beer can left on the floor is demonstrated. No maze required, just house navigating, have the beer on the floor in front of the refrigerator in the kitchen and start the robot in front of the living room couch. The robot must find it's way through house clutter. Post the video and code for the robot in your robot page here on LMR. Prize? I don't know yet, but it's going to be something in the $100 range. Perhaps something you need to have for your robots... Oh, voice recognition module is not actually required, you can just press a button on the robot. In this case, you can win a voice command module (I have 2 of them).

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This is a posum challenge, anybody working on it? I have started to hatch my secret plan to begin designing a teddy snatching robot...

I plan on entering this contest!

Yay! Thank you!

Can we submitt on the 23-9 or does it have to be done before then? I am only going to have time to try and get it working on the 22nd and 23rd.

Sure, I extended the deadline to 25th (Sunday).

Awesome, I have been so bogged down with school work haven't had much time to learn or develop the code.(finally bit the bullett and invested in an Axon)

Have all of the mechnical work done, just got to program the robot!


That's my 5 year old son driving that robot! We had a blast at CNRG last year in Toronto. Its coming up again mid November. Hope to see some of you guys there!

Cool! I was looking all over to find pictures of the event. I have a 5 year old daughter that was suposed to drive her robot last year (she was 4) but got sick the day before. This year she will be comming back from Romania on November 20th, so she will miss the event. But I'll try to get her robot programmed to do the event autonomously, as per this challenge scope. I will participate again in the Wellhead Blowout (fire fighting) competition, not sure if with MiniEric or with a faster robot. I plan to use the new bought WiiCam from CtC to detect the flame.

Excellent. My firefighter is still in pieces... first rev of the controller had pinout errors on my h-bridge so I had to send off a new batch of PCBs last night to fix it. Last year was a total blowout (ha ha) for me in the firefighting... my IR sensors were too sensitive to sunlight and the robot wasn't able to set its thresholds correctly in order to detect the flame while ignoring the sun. Hopefully this year I've got it all sorted out. Looking forward to seeing yours!