Frequently Asked Questions

>> Jump to: Where are the assembly instructions?
>> Jump to: What can I build my robot with?
>> Jump to: What are the RoboGames Events?
>> Jump to: What are the robot arena dimensions?
>> Jump to: How will robot teams be judged?
>> Jump to: What is the RoboGames origin?
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Where are the assembly instructions?Back to Top

While the parts for the robot kit are numerous, we don't provide specific instructions how to assemble the robot.

Exploring each part through the series of lessons will give you the knowledge how the individual components works. It is expected that teams draw from the photos and videos of previous events to come up with a unique design and then as lessons are completed, teams continue to build and modify their ideas.

But, if you want to follow step by step instructions... the robot assembly instructions from Yourduino.com are good, but we don't use the motor driver or motors included so the build procedure will be close, but not exact. Also, we have added more pieces such as double-sided sticky tape, peel and stick mounts and zip ties to allow for quick changes in design. We have also included Popsicle sticks, tape and reccomend each team gets access to hot glue guns to make assembly fluid and adaptable.

Remember, RoboGames is not about everyone build the same "cookie cutter" robot kit. Instead, this event is meant to inspire youth to create a robot from their own imagination. Overcoming obstacles is all part of that process and is encouraged that teams test ideas, build a robot and continually rework their ideas. Learning Arduino and how to make a robot from those parts included is the first-step in your robotics training.

Please ensure you follow all lessons and be open to exploring this great kit with an open mind and sense of adventure.

What can I build my robot with?Back to Top

The RoboGames "Official Kit" has been dispersed to nearly 40 teams across the Kooteneys.

This kit has all the essential electronic components we recommend using, the rest is up to you. We have jam-packed this a lot of Arduino "plugin" type modules... LCD, Bluetooth, Servos, etc... Starting simple with just a couple of these components is important for you to learn, troubleshoot and integrate. If you add every sensor and electronic component, you may also face power challenges.

Popsicle sticks and hot glue guns make prototyping fast and easy. Repurposing old or broken toys into the design is highly encouraged.

Remote control, Bluetooth, Wifi, and Autonomous robots are each allowed. Each robot will be judged based on application, execution and difficulty of the technology used. To score high points, be sure use any of the following kits or components: Lego Mindstorms , VEX or similar, Arduino Rovers and Raspberry Pi-based creations. The sky is the limit.

Kit radio-controlled vehicles are not allowed to be entered "unmodified", but are encouraged if your robot design starts from a consumer kit and then follows the guidelines for building a robot contained in this site.

Things that are NOT allowed:

Flaming Throwers
Spinning Saw Blades
Water Guns
Dangerous Stuff

Robots must be safety approved prior to entry.
Photos, videos and descriptions of robots may be required for registration.
Email help@robogames.ca for more info.

What are the RoboGames Events?Back to Top

It is highly recommended that each team pick at least one or two events to focus on.
Competing in all 5 can be extremely difficult for first or second year participants.

Obstacle Course

Your robot will need to maneuver the obstacle course as quickly and carefully as possible. All obstacles will be setup for practice runs on the day of the competition. Each team will be given opportunity for a practice run prior to the competition start.

Line Following Course

This event utilizes the obstacle course, except you must follow the line from end to end. There will be no crossed or intersected lines. Speed and accuracy will be highly praised. The line will be the thickness of electrical tape included in your kit.

Robot Soccer 1-on-1

Grab the most robot soccer balls to your side in two minutes. In the center of the obstacle course is a pile for both teams to grab from. Each team has a 24" line parallel to the back wall laying claim to your teams's captured balls. Balls knocked out of the arena will cost you points. Balls can be stolen over and over. Robots may store the balls in some manner, but must release them before the clock runs out or they will not be counted in the final score. Lego Mindstorms' standard blue and red 52mm balls will be used in this event.

Special Trick Competition

Think of something cool and crazy for your robot to do. Dance, tell a joke, fetch an object… use your imagination! Program your robot to do your evil, or not so evil bidding. No dangerous weapons, water, open flames or lasers allowed. Be creative, be awesome!

Robot Battles

Two robots enter the open arena to compete as gladiators in the ultimate destruction event. Matches are limited to 2 minutes and judges will announce a winner. Last robot to make a meaningful hit, overall match polarity and gamesmanship will be rewarded.

What are the robot arena dimensions?Back to Top

* Accuracy is completely overrated, and wrong in this picture. Mileage may vary.

It's built from 3-1/2" square wood post beams from the hardware store.

How will robot teams be judged?Back to Top

The competition will be judged using a tallied-points system. Each team will be judged on multiple different aspects of the competition to reach a total score determined by the criteria. Team abilities to troubleshoot and overcome obstacles will be important aspects to keep in mind.

Judges decisions will be final.

You came, you saw, you conquered. You understand how to make your robot come alive and look good doing it. Your robot is functional, navigates obstacles and competed valiantly in the competitions. Judge will assess the team’s ability to problem solve and adapt to overcome challenging situations. Both the team AND the robots are assessed on the following:

Example Points

1. Programming
2. Design
3. Assembly
4. Creativity
5. Problem Solving
6. Awesomeness

Example Point Deductions

7. Restarting
8. Excess Time

This is not an exhaustive list, judges will use their discretion.

Restarting the robot
- In the same location or from start of course.
- Robot must be restarted promptly to avoid additional penalties.

Excessive Time
- Time taken to complete the obstacle course or line following course exceeds 2 mins.
- All teams are given 2 minutes without penalty.

Not completing the event
- If your robot chokes or goes up in smoke, that's rough. See you next year with another entry.
- You will still be judged on all applicable criteria for the event.

What is the RoboGames origin?Back to Top

In 2010, KAST and the Nelson Tech Club joined forces with 6 Kootenay Boundry middle schools in holding the 1st Annual Robogames. Twenty-four students, aged 12 to 17 created the robotic entries which battled for robotic supremacy.

Lead by NTC President, Brad Pommen, the Nelson, BC Hackerspace shouldered the mentoring and guidance, along with assistance from many of the society's Directors. Focusing on the design, programming and assembly, youth built autonomous robotic vehicles using Lego Mindstorms NXT kits and Arduino-based rovers.

Attendance at the 2013 RoboGames was nearly 60 youth and adults.  In 2012, we had over 50 attend from throughout the region. In 2014, we had over 200 specatators and 30 participants.

Robotics offers a unique way to engage youth in science and technology and is successful in doing so.  One hundred percent (100%) of participants surveyed after the 2013 RoboGames stated that they wanted to keep learning about science, technology and engineering.  Seven out of ten respondents (70%) stated that they were thinking about a career in technology, computer science or engineering; almost half (44%) stated that their dream job was to become an engineer.

RoboGames is an initiative within the GLOWS programming. RoboGames is open to all youth in grades 6-12 from surrounding school districts within the West Kootenay/Boundary region. It begins December 1st and culminates with teams of youth competing in the RoboGames event on Saturday, February 20th, 2016.

RoboGames is offered in partnership with the Nelson Tech Club, a community organization for technology enthusiasts who gather to share ideas, knowledge, resources and opinions in a friendly and collaborative atmosphere.  With a motto of "Build, Learn, Share," the club has over 300 youth and adult members and meets weekly at space donated by Selkirk College in Nelson. With members ranging in ages from 4 to 94, it is one of Canada's largest all-ages, public Hackerspaces.