Line Maze Spring 2008

Contest Date: 
Sat, 05/03/2008

Line Maze
Contest Rules

Audience: Journeyman Level


Each robot attempts to solve a simple line maze in the shortest time possible.

Course Construction

The maze will be constructed on the line following table as per the general line following rules.  The tile styles used to construct the maze will be as follows:

·        Blank tile

·        Straight line (center of edge to center of parallel edge)

·        Corner tile (90 degree turn connecting the centers of two adjacent edges)

·        Full Intersection tile

·        “T” Intersection tile

·        Dead end lines

·        Start / Stop areas


To allow for a wide range of maze solving methods the start and end points of the maze will be known and there will be no loops.  The start and finish tiles are marked by a solid white eight-inch diameter circle and will always be in a corner.

Dead ends are not marked, the line simply terminates. All intersections will be at right angles.

A sample maze is presented below:

Robot Construction

This contest follows the Chibots general robot guidelines for line following.

Contest Procedure

The maze layout will not be known until after all robots have been registered and presented to the contest judge.

Each robot will be allowed three attempts to solve the maze, the shortest time being used for final scoring.  During any single attempt the robot will have a maximum time of 5 minutes to reach the finish circle of the maze.   Timing starts when the robot begins moving and ends when any part of the robot touches the finish circle.  If the robot does not reach the finish circle within 5 minutes, that attempt will be aborted and no time given.

A robot may not alter its physical dimensions during a run, unless such alteration does not affect it eligibility for this contest.  For example, a robot may not expand beyond the maximum allowed dimensions during a run.

A may not split into multiple robots during a run or leave behind markers of any kind.

The robot is permitted to sense lines other than the one it is traveling on as long as those sensors do not extend beyond the allowed dimensions.  In other words, a camera arrangement can be used (and it may telescope vertically) to glean information about the maze, as long as the camera is mounted wholly on the robot itself. 

Robots may not leave any trail, markings, or damage the maze surface in any way.

The robot may not leave the maze at anytime. 

·        The robot is considered to have left the maze if some part of the body is not directly above the line it was traveling along. 

·        If a course official deems the robot to have left the maze, the course official may levy a 10 second penalty and permit the robot to be restarted at the point the robot left the maze.  In such an event the course official will instruct the robot owner to gather their robot and prepare to continue.  After 10 seconds has elapsed the course official will indicate to the robot owner that it is OK for the robot to resume the contest. 

·        It is permissible for the robot to be deactivated and reactivated when indicated by the course official or the robot may be picked up and held until the course official indicates that it may resume.

Each point on the solution path from the Start to Finish has to be "visited" by the robot following a contiguous line. 

A point is considered "visited", if part of the robot passes above it.

The robot does not have to travel via the shortest or most efficient path and it may back-track over paths as needed. 

The robot is not allowed to "jump" from following one path to another; if it does it will be considered to have left the maze (see above).

A 10 second bonus will be subtracted from the score (calculated from the time the robot first touched the finish circle) if the robot stops for at least 10 seconds over the finish and in some way "announces" its completion of the maze.  The announcement could be a sound, flashing lights, talking or "dancing", as long as it is clear to the judges that the robot knows it has found the finish. 

A robot is allowed to continue after it reaches the finish; it just will not receive the bonus, its score will be based on the time the robot first reached the finish spot.

The robot is allowed to memorize the maze during any run and use this information in a later run to improve it's time. 


The fastest attempt is used for ranking.  Should a tie occur, then the least number of penalties shall be used.  Should a tie still exist, then the second fastest time will be used.

A 10 second penalty is accessed (i.e. added to the total time) if a robot leaves the line (i.e. no part of its body is over the line).

A 10 second bonus is awarded (i.e. subtracted from the total time) if the robot signals that it has reached the finish tile.

This page is a rule set for this general contest: