Line Follower Drag Race


These rules may not be the final ones, the organizers have the right to modify them as they see fit. If there are any changes we'll let you know at once.

The challenge will only take place if at least FOUR robots are registered. 


    1. The robot has to follow a black line on a white surface;
    2. The robot will have to be capable of following a straight line as fast as possible.
    1. The robot must be equipped with the start-stop mode, because it will be started by a referee, and in the end it must be able to stop itself, at a maximum ONE METER from the finish line.
    2. The robot has to be autonomous (no external control mechanisms are allowed after starting the robot, which can be done using a remote control - apart from the referee's remote control) and must not be dangerous;
    3. The robot may be altered between stages of the challenge during the competition as long as it is still compliant to the rules. All physical changes of the robot must be reported to the jury for approval. Alteration of the software does not need to be reported;
    4. The jury has the right to inspect that the robot is compliant to the rules at any time;
    5. The robot must not be leaking any substances or destroy the track in any way;
    6. EDF (electric ducted fan) or assimilated systems are allowed.
    7. The teams shall provide easily accessible and visible area of 2x2 cm designed for noninvasive marking of the robot with the purpose if internally identifying the robot during the event. Each competing robot shall undergo homologation (detailed below) and after successful homologation shall be identified.
    1. The arena has white surface and two identical parallel black lines. The lines may either be painted or taped.
    2. After the finish line, there is a space of one meter provided for the robot to stop.
    3. Robots will compete in pairs on identical parallel tracks.
    4. The robot with the fastest time will win.
    5. Line characteristics :
      1. There shall NOT be crossovers (e.g. places where the line crosses itself)
      2. The line will be straight without interruptions or curves
      3. The stop line will be market by a intersecting perpendicular line to the main line
      4. The closest approach of the line course to the edges of the arena shall be no less than 15 cm, measured from the center of the line.
    1. The robot’s maximum dimensions are 30(Width)x30(Length) cm and the maximum weight is 3kg;
    2. Visual inspection is performed for ruling out remote control systems.
    1. Timekeeping
        1. Time shall be measured by an electronic gate system, based on the availability of the equipment.
    2. Autonomous Control
      1. Unless the judges allow it, any external interaction with the robot leads to a failed attempt.
    3. The Course
      1. After placing the robot behind the start line, it is activated upon the signal of the judge;
      2. The time starts when some part of the robot crosses the start line and stops when the farthest point of the robot crosses the finish line;
      3. The robot must have contact with the surface at all times;
      4. The robot has to follow the line at all times. A robot is considered to be following the line if any part of the robot overlaps the line. If the robot deviates from the line (no part of the robot overlaps the line), the attempt is considered failed.
      5. If the robot does not stop at a maximum of one meter from the finish line, it will be disqualified by receiving the time of one minute. 
    4. Practice attempts
      1. Will be held starting the day before the competition (after registration) and in the competition day until 1 hour before the challenge starts.
    5. Calibration stage
      1. It will be held in the day before the competition and in the competition day after check-in until the competition starts.
    6. How the challenge takes place
      1. Each robot has maximum 1 minute to finish the race. The robots will compete in a tournament style ranking, the fastest robot wins the match. The time for the whole Drag Race contest is given according to the number of the participant;
      2. The robot must follow the line at all times. It is considered to have crossed the finishing line if any part of the robot crosses it;
      3. Trespassing the marked area by the team members or objects connected to team members is forbidden.

      4. Any manipulation of the robot (including by not limited to touching, poking, pushing, repositioning) is forbidden during an attempt of the challenge, except for the referee's actions (start the race);

      5. Time for each robot is measured from the moment of the line passing until the finish line passing. It is considered that the robot passed the finish line when the farthest point of it passes the line.

      6. If the robots reach the finish line almost at once, the winner will be decided using a slow motion camera.

    7. Cleaning

      1. The arena is cleaned by the organizers at the end of each round or at the demand of the participants, between the matches.






    The kill switch is used to cut the power of the robot motors. When the referee sends the stop command, the power to the motors has to be cut. The robot builder is responsible for adding such a kill switch on the robot, however the prebuilt module can supply the signal for activating the kill switch.

    The prebuilt module takes care of all the communication and it is very easy to implement. The robot only needs to wait for the start pin on the module to go high and then it should start. The module accepts supply voltage (VCC) 3.3 - 5V. The VCC GND Start has a standard of 2.54 mm pitch. The prebuilt module can be ordered from the organizer, having a surcharge, during the online registration.

    The figure below illustrates the modes of operation of the module. To be less sensitive to noise and disturbances, the module will save its current state into a non - volatile memory and if it resets, it will return to the last known state. This means that each match will end with the referee sending the stop command.
    If the LED on the module is “on” before the referee has sent the start command, it means that the module is in the “Started” state. Then, the stop command has to be sent and the robot needs to restart for the module to go back to the “Power ON” state. To be able to run multiple matches next to each other, each dohyo will have its own unique identifier. The prebuilt module can be re-programmed to listen to a new identifier. This is done by the referee, by sending a special programming command which updates this identifier.

    The module has an option of usage without the special remote control. On the back of the module there are two large pads- Home and GND. If one of them attaches an 1 Kohm resistance between the two pads, the module will accept signal from a standard TV remote control (the remote control that uses RC-5 coding and was developed by Philips, but there are many other companies that use the same protocol). Sony and Nec have their own protocol and the remote control will not work. The best way to test if the remote control works, is to test it with the module. Pressing the 1 button from the TV remote control will be START and 2 will be STOP.

    You can find detailed information about the usage of the start modules on:
    How to implement Kill switch circuit using a relay:
    How to implement Kill switch circuit using an optocoupler: