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La coupe

These rules are a transcription of the paper version received by the eurobot teams.

You will find the complete rules below ; the maps of the playing area are in the appendix.

The French Robotics Cup, the Swiss Robotics Cup and EUROBOT take place in a friendly and fair-play spirit.
As in other sporting competitions, competitors have to conform to the committee's decisions.

 1. Theme
Two autonomous robots have to burst balloons belonging to their opponent.
 2. Playing area
Any action which may damage the area is forbidden (cover with glue, pierce the table...). A robot must not intentionally damage the playing field including its edges.

For safety reasons, anybody standing near the playing table must wear protecting glasses supplied by the organizers.

 2.1. The playing field
Appendix 1 shows details of the playing area plan and the specifications of the paint.

The playing field is a 330 cm x 200 cm wood table, painted dark mat green.

The area is enclosed by a 5 cm high mat black painted board. The exact area size is therefore of 330 cm x 200 cm.

A 15 cm high standing edge surrounds the playing table. We remind you that the robots must not damage it.

A 7 cm deep pit and two 7 cm high mounds separate the two camps. The pit and the mounds colour is the same green as the playing field.

The starting area is a mat black painted top, raised 10 cm above the level of the playing area, and is connected to the field by two 30 cm slopes. The starting position for each robot is a circle marked with a red dotted line The starting direction as well as robot position inside this circle are free.

The playing area is cross-ruled with white painted lines. These lines are 3 cm wide (see appendix).

The refereeing committee will do its best to build the playing area according to these specifications, but we reserve error margins of 2% for the playing area and 10% for the stripes. Therefore, no complaint will be received should any differences appear between the playing areas. These errors margins do not apply to robots or beacons made by participants.

 2.2. The beacons supports
Ten locations are designed to receive a beacon, that is to say 5 for each robot: three fixed on each side of the playing area and two for the mobiles balloons (see appendix 1). These beacons are meant to help a robot to find its way and eventually to locate the opponent's balloons.
The height of the fixed beacons is adjustable between 42 and 50 cm above the playing area.

 2.3. The balloons
There are 10 balloons on the playing area: 6 motionless balloons and 4 mobiles ones. Half the balloons (3 motionless and 2 mobiles) belong to one robot and the other half belong to its opponent.

The balloons of each side are identified by a different colour, either blue or yellow.

Before each match, a draw will determine the starting side of the team.

The initial position of the balloons at the beginning of a match is shown in appendix.

The minimum size of each balloon is 21 cm diameter and 30 cm high.

a. The motionless balloons

The motionless balloons hang from brackets. Each bracket is topped with a plate (8 cm x 8 cm) designed to bear one of the opponent's beacons. The plates are adjustable between 42 and 50 cm high above the playing area (specifications will be given in the first F.A.Q.).

The balloons are attached to the brackets their knot upwards. The knot is blocked in a hole in the bracket, 40 cm high above the playing area. The bottom part of the balloon is 10 cm high from the playing area.

b. The mobiles balloons

The mobiles balloons hang from brackets. Each bracket is topped with a plate (8 cm x 8 cm), 42 cm from the playing area, designed to bear one of the opponent's beacons That plate is not adjustable, even when crossing the pit or the mounds.

The brackets are carried by a mobile base.

The balloon is attached to the bracket its knot upwards, and is blocked by the base. The knot is blocked in a hole in the bracket. Thus the top of the balloon is 40 cm from the playing area. The bases are octagonal wooden blocks fitting inside a square (12,5 cm side and 10 cm high. The total weight of the base + bracket + plate is between 500 and 550 gr.

In each camp, bases and balloons are the same colour: yellow for one side and blue for other.

 2.4. The mounds
Two mounds rise on either side of the playing area. Each mound is constituted of two sloping up surfaces. They are 7 cm high and 60 cm wide. They rise at either end of the pit.

 2.5. The pit
A pit separates the playing area into two parts. It can be crossed at any time during a match.

It is made of two sloping down surfaces. The bottom is 7 cm below the level of the playing area.

The pit is 80 cm long (between the two mounds) and 60 wide.

 3. Robots
The robots are totally autonomous machines, carrying their own power supplies, actuators and sensors.

A robot must not intentionally damage its opponent or the playing area. A robot must not cause interference to its opponent; a robot must not delude its opponent with objects or pattern looking like area's objects. Any action unrelated to the working of the robot but intended to obstruct the normal progress of the game will be prohibited.

WARNING : Any pressure system must follow the current law according to the French "Conseil General des Mines". Therefore, you must build systems according to specifications which will ensure that you will not endanger the competitors or the public during the matches or when in the stands.

That is why we require you to make sure that :
  • you are insured in the event of any accident,
  • your system are in agreement with the French law.
  • If you recycle an used gas cylinder, make sure the inside gas is compatible with the gas you will use to refill it.
  • If you build your own home-made cylinder, make sure you follow the required conditions of pressure and volume :

Law n63, 18 January 1943 and 25 July 1943 :
Reminder :
  • maximum pressure : 4 bar
  • maximum pressure per volume ratio : 80 bar per litre

 3.1. Structure
At the beginning of a match, the robot must fit inside a cylinder set on the floor, 40 cm in diameter and 30 cm high. Once it leaves its starting place, the robot has the possibility to extend. But it must then fit into a cylinder, set on the floor, 50 cm in diameter and 40 cm high.

The robot must be equipped with a mast designed to bear the opponent's beacon. The top of the mast must always be 42 cm high above the playing area, except when crossing the pit, the mounds or in the starting place.

During a match a robot can place one or more mobile or immobile objects on the playing area. The dimensions of the each object must not exceed 15 cm x 15 cm x 15 cm. If these objects are either linked together or piled up during the matches, the final size must not exceed a cube of 15cm sides.

If these objects are not tied to the robot, they are not taken into account in the robot expansion's size. These objects must neither be mistaken with the balloons (no lure), nor damage either the opponent machine intentionally or the playing area: they are submitted to the same rules as the robots. These objects must be set onto the playing area and not dropped.

All missiles are prohibited.

The robot must necessarily be equipped with :
  • a starting switch operated by pulling a wire at a distance. That switch must be on one of the robot sides and easily reached.
  • a stop switch, placed on an obvious spot, that the referee can reach immediately at any time during a match. That switch must be included within the dimensions of the robot.

Each team can place an on-board beacon onto the opposite robot. It must be less than 8 cm x 8 cm x 8 cm and must carry its own power supply. It must be fixed with Velcro on a 8 cm x 8 cm square plate on the opposite robot. The square plate will be held by a mast fixed on the robot, 42 cm high above the playing area (wool face under the beacon and hook face on the platform). A robot can separate itself into several parts but the main part (not a mobile or immobile objects) must carry the beacon during the whole match at 42 cm high above the playing area (except in case of crossing the pit, or climbing the mounds). The mast, which section is 8 x 8 x 8 cm, can contain only sensors devoted to the detection of the beacons.

 3.2. Power supplies and actuators
Any kind of power supply is allowed (springs, compressed air, cells, batteries...) except those using chemical reactions such as combustion or pyrotechnics. The batteries must be of a solid type in order to avoid any problem due to acid leakage.

All along the competitions, each team should keep in charge one extra battery. Each team must be able to recharge its batteries quickly.

The use of corrosive or pyrotechnic products or living creatures is forbidden.

Liquid projections are also forbidden.

Any system which looks dangerous for the public will be refused.

Don't forget to precise to the organizers the plug used, in order that they could foresee adaptators.

 3.3. Control system
There is no limitation on the use of control systems (analog computers, microprocessors...). These systems must be embedded inside the robot and no connection may allow to communicate with the outside during a match. No transmission will be allowed between the robot and the outside during the match, except for the remote control action as described below.

 3.4. Remote control action
During a match, each team can use one remote control action. We call "remote control action" a distanced system which can be turned on manually only one time during a match; it is a kind of secret weapon. Each team may conceive its own transmitter (high frequency, infra-red system...). It is recommended to code the command signals (modulation) in order to avoid interferences between robots. The powerful spot lights used by the TV crew have to be taken into account by the teams who use infra-red systems. During the competition, the refereeing committee will also use walkie-talkies.

No objection about HF or lights will be accepted by the referees. The referees are not responsible for interference problems.

A member of the team will stand beside the playing area with the remote control system. The transmitter must be composed of two male plugs of 4 mm diameter. Those plugs will be inserted in the socket fixed in a command box built by the organizers. This box will contain a switch (bumper) which interrupts contact when activated. Contact will be kept open until the end of the match.

  1. Remote control system built by each team.
  2. Male plugs of 4 mm diameter, provided by each team.
  3. Bumper at teams disposal
  4. Female plug (4 diameter) at teams disposal. The plug's gap used is the French standard: 18 mm.
 3.5. The on-board beacons
Before a match, a team can place a beacon (at the most a 8 cm sides cube) on the opponent robot. This beacon enables the robot to detect the opponent so to take appropriate action. This beacon must not cause interferences to the opponent! The conception and realization of beacons are done by the teams. The beacon has to be autonomous and include its own power supply. As for the remote control action, we recommend to code the communication signals produced by the transmitter.

We draw your attention to the fact that the on-board beacon could be partially hidden during a match: when crossing the pit, and only in that case, the carrying robot is not required to maintain the beacon 42 cm high above the playing area.

The beacon will be fixed on the opposite robot with Velcro (the woollen side under the beacon). It must be kept in place all along the match.

 3.6. The fixed beacons
Each team can place 3 fixed beacons on the opposite side of the playing area on the top of the motionless brackets (See paragraph 2.3 - a). These beacons (two) are the same size as the on-board beacon and must have their own power supply.

They can be connected together but not with the outside of the playing area.

These beacons must not interfere with the opponent. They will be attached to platforms with Velcro (wool face).

 3.7. The mobile beacons
Each team can place one beacon on top of each movable balloon that their robot must burst. These beacons are the same size as the onboard beacon and have their own power supply. They cannot be connected together or with the outside.

As for on-board and fixed beacons, these beacons are not meant to cause interference or hinder the opponent. Their bottom side must wear Velcro (woollen side) so as to be fastened to the plates.

Their maximum side dimension is 8 cm. There is no maximum weight. Make sure they will not hinder the opponent. Any device obviously designed to hinder the opponent will be refused.

 3.8. The bursting device
The choice of a bursting device is left to the teams, but it must be firmly attached to the robot so as to prevent any accident on and around the playing table.

The organisers require you to communicate to refereeing committee (threw ANSTJ) a description of the bursting device you intend to adopt, so as to judge before hand whether it is safe or not.

The referees have right to refuse any device they considered dangerous for the public and persons taking part into the competition.

The spikes used to burst the balloons must not be more than 1 cm long. They must be surrounded by a hilt of 1 cm in diameter.

 4. The Meetings
 4.1. Controls
Before the qualification stage, the robots are inspected by the referees. They must conform to the rules.

Each team must be able to show in totality the various extensions of their robots. Before the qualification stage, the robots are inspected by the referees. They must conform to the rules.

Moreover, to be ratified, a robot must burst at least one balloon in 90 seconds, in the conditions of a match without the presence of the opponent's robot.

The referees must be informed of any major change (size, working, etc.) made to a robot after the ratification stage and between matches so that they can ratify them again.

 4.2. Schedules
Schedules will be communicated to the teams on the competition day.

After being called for a match, each team will be given 3 minutes to get their robot ready. When this time is up, if a robot is not ready, it will have to withdraw from this match and their opponent, if ready, will win the match (except in case of double withdrawal).

 4.3. Matches
At the beginning, ten balloons are set on the playing area (see appendix).

After a draw, each team set their robot on its starting area, marked by a red dotted line.

When both robots are ready, the referees ask the players it they want to make any remark about the balloons. No objection concerning the balloons will be accepted after the match.

At the referees' signal, the teams will start their robots. The robots will then move autonomously except for the use of the "secrete weapon" which can be activated manually by a player, once and only once during a match.

During a match, it is strictly forbidden to touch the robots, the beacons, the balloons and the playing area. If absolutely necessary, the referee may allow an intervention with the agreement of the opponent.

Any manual intervention on robots, beacons, balloons or the playing area without the referee's agreement will lead to an exclusion from the match and the opponent's victory.

A team can withdraw from a match so as to spare their robot by stopping it. They will then loose all points won during that match.

During the whole match, each robot must carry the opponent's beacon (on-board beacon) 42 cm high from the robot bottom side.

If the beacon accidentally falls, the match is played again at once. If the fall of the beacon is intentionally caused, the robot responsible for it looses the match and its opponent wins it.

If a robot leaves the table or falls from the mounds, the match goes on and is not played again. It is not allowed to push the opponent's robot outside the table, or to make it fall inside the pit or from the mounds.

The matches last 1'30" at the most.

At the end of the match, the referees stop the robots.

The robot which has burst the most balloons is the winner.

If an equal number of balloons have been burst, both robots are equal. If both robots burst no balloons, they both loose the match. If a situation can not be arbitrated, the match can be played again once.

When a robot upsets a mobile balloon belonging to its opponent, the match goes on.

When a robot upsets one of its own balloons, its opponent scores one burst balloon.

Is considered as upset:
  • any balloon whose base is no longer standing on its bottom side,
  • any balloon ending up on the slopes of the starting area, on the starting area itself, on the mounds or down the pit.

A robot must withdraw if the part which carries the beacon doesn't leave its starting area. Then, the opponent scores a burst balloon.

 4.4. The qualification rounds
The matches are organized in several rounds.

There is a draw for the matches of the first round. For each of the following rounds, the matches will oppose (except in case of odd numbers) :
  • the winners of the previous round
  • the losers of the previous round
  • those having withdrawn during the previous round.

For each match, the teams score as follow :
  • 7 points for a victory
  • 2 points in case of equal result
  • 0 point for a defeat
  • 0 point for a withdrawal
  • as many additional points as balloons burst during the match, multiplied by 2. This rule doesn't apply in case of a withdrawal.

At the end of the qualification stage, the teams will be placed according to the total number of points won. In case of an equal number for 2 or more teams, the total number of balloons burst during the qualification rounds will be considered to decide between the teams. The organizers can decide to play additional matches to determine the 16th place.

 4.4. The final stage
The first sixteen teams issued from the qualification rounds will make up the list for the final stage as follows...

The matches of the final stage lead to direct elimination.

The case of equal result, the match is played again at once. If no robot wins that second match, the winner will be the robot which will have burst its last balloon first.

Last update : december 6th, 1999