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Robotic Shooting Gallery

Name of Event: Robotic Shooting Gallery
Robots per Event: Two
Length of Event: 2 minutes
Robot Weight Range: open
Robot Dimensions: open
Arena Specifications: See below
Robot Control: Autonomous
Engineering Principles: Computer Science, Vision Recognition, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Event Summary: Automated robot pellet guns have to shoot out white targets against a black field, without hitting any of the black target on the same field.

The objective is to shoot targets using autonomous control only.

Each round a set of targets will be placed at a distance of 10 feet and each competitor must shoot each target down in the fastest amount of time.


  1. The gun must fire something safe, such as plastic Airsoft pellets, ping pong balls, Nerf darts, or other safe and clean objects. Nothing that makes a mess, such as paintballs, and nothing that could seriously injure the crowd such as metal BB's.
  2. All equipment must have a safety switch or other device built into the firing mechanism (NOT software) to prevent undesired operation that may injure a spectator or competitor. An example would be a power switch to remove power from the motor on an Airsoft gun.
  3. There MUST be a visible light indicating that the gun is powered.
  4. Each target area will be 5' wide, 5' tall. The firing line will be 10' away (see picture). It is your responsibility to make sure you don't shoot the targets on the opponent's side, there will not be a physical barrier provided, but there will be a visual white line on the arena.
  5. You can fire from anywhere behind the firing line, from any height and from any platform. No part of the gun/controls/etc may go past the firing line. Normal folding tables will be provided, but you may move those out of the way as needed. Competitors are not allowed to interfere with the other bot.
  6. The gun may be powered from wall power (120AC US), batteries, or any other non-flammable source (the competition is indoors). If in doubt, contact the event organizers.
  7. The control logic may run on any platform, as long as there is no human control of the logic after the match has been started, i.e. a laptop or microcontroller can control the aiming/shooting.
  8. Competitors are allowed to assist with mechanical problems during the match such as the gun jamming, but not assist the gun in shooting down targets.
  9. Competitors are allowed reset the software after the match has started, but not provide assistance to the logic while the match is running.
  10. There are no price limits or weight limits, but remember that the lighter it is, the cheaper it is to ship.
  • The targets must fall down to be counted. Some targets may be moving. They will be designed so that even a soft glancing shot should knock it over. There may be different shapes and sizes, the largest will be 3" in diameter; the smallest could be as small as 1/2".
  • There will be black negative point targets to discourage random firing and shotguns. Black targets will be at least 6 inches from the center of any white target.
  • Each match is head to head. For each white target that is knocked down, 1 point will be added to the score. For each black target that is knocked down, 5 points will be deducted from the score. At the end of two minutes, the competitor with the highest score will be declared the winner. If the scores are tied between competitors then the team that used the least time to achieve that score is the winner of the match.
  • The competition will be double elimination if there are 5 or more competitors, or round robin otherwise.
  • Practice time: The arena will be set up for at least several hours before the first round.. Scheduling will be done at the event, aiming to give each team an equal opportunity to practice.
  • Prep time: You will need to be able to set up and remove your equipment from the firing area quickly. Once your turn comes up, you will have five minutes to set your equipment up and do any quick calibrations you want to do. The best way is to mount everything you need to a single board which can be moved into place. There is not time to re-calibrate every match! Auto-calibrate, or make sure to align your platform accurately. You may use tape marks on the tables to re-align it quickly.
  • During the preparation time a set of targets will be visible and you may attempt to shoot them down. However, after preparation is over, the targets will be shown again, and they may not be the same set of targets that were prepared against, so don't just calibrate your gun to shoot at the locations of the targets during preparation.
  • Background: The background is as non-reflective black as it can be made. It is a large piece of cheap felt fabric hung from vertical supports.

Note that these rules are based on the robotics competition at Defcon: http://www.defconbots.org

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