Advanced Line Following Fall 2008

Contest Date: 
Sat, 10/18/2008

Advanced Line Following
Contest Rules

Audience: Journeyman Level


This contest tests a builder's ability to build and run a robot which can follow a more complex line course.  The objective of the contest is to balance both accuracy and speed.

Course Construction

The Advanced Line Following course is constructed using the standard Chibots line following setup (see General Guidelines for details).  The tiles used are comprised of the 3 styles used in the Basic Line following contest plus 9 addition tiles.  Please note that in the below tile examples, the colors are inverse (black line on white tile instead of white line on black tile) and each tile is shown in all possible orientations (i.e. it is rotated 90 degrees where appropriate).

·        Blank tile


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

·        Curve tile (6” radius curve connecting the centers of two adjacent edges).  Turn radius measured from the corner of the tile to the center of the tape.

As well as 8 new tile styles:

·        Diagonal line tile

·        Intersection tiles (both side-to-side and corner-to-corner)


·        Jog line tiles (6” radius, side to corner)

·        Curve tiles (6” radius, but connecting adjacent corners)

·        “Y” Branches (6” radius)

The starting location is pre-determined by the judges but is not marked on the course.  At each “Y” junction, the robot may take either path at its discretion.  The advanced course is typically much longer than a basic course.

The course layout is not published prior to the contest.  Below is a sample course:

Robot Construction

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

Contest Procedure

Each robot is given up to three chances to run the course with up to 5 minutes “tweak time” between runs.  A single run consists of a single lap around the course.  The builder may choose to run the robot in either clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, and may choose a different direction for each attempt.  The starting position of the robot is determined by the timing device(s) in use.

A robot must complete one lap around the course to be considered eligible for scoring.  The run with the lowest time is to used for final scoring. 

Should the robot lose the line and require human intervention to reacquire it, the robot must be placed 4” – 6” prior to the point where it lost the line.  At no time is a robot allowed to skip a portion of the course.


To simplify scoring, penalties are simply added to the elapsed time.  Penalties are to be assessed as follows:

Reason for Penalty

Seconds Penalized

Losing the line (when no part of the body of the robot is over the line)


Robot reacquires the line on it’s own


Robot reacquires the line using a barrier


Requiring the use of a human to reacquire the line


Breakdown (refusing to run for any reason)

End of attempt

Turning onto the crossing line at a crossover point

End of attempt

Requiring more than 10 human interventions in a single run

End of attempt

Robots are ranked by total time, with faster times better.  In the event of a tie the second best attempt will be used to determine the winner.

Below is a sample contest ranking showing a faster time and an elapsed time tie.

Robot Name

Penalty Time (sec)

Elapsed Time (sec)

Total Time (sec)



























This page is a rule set for this general contest: