email@example.com (Mark W. Tilden) (04/20/91)
Hey Ho. Another robot competition, namely... The First Annual BEAM Robot Olympics: Ontario Science Center October (tentative), 1991 Sponsored by: IEEE Canada and the University of Waterloo The BEAM Robot Olympics is not so much a series of technological competitions as a chance for robot enthusiasts to present their designs to each other, the press, and the public. It is also a open forum for anyone who wants to get started in the field to compete and compare. Any and every robot will be considered so long as it does not come from a kit or store. Robots of similar ability will be pitted against each other in simple competitions, but generally robots will be judged on sophistication of behavior, novelty of design and quality of hardware. Basically, if you built it, we'd like to see it. One of the main aims of the Olympics is to get more people interested in practical robotics (rather than computer simula- tions). Thus BEAM, which stands for Biology, Electronics, Art and Mechanics is a system founded at the University of Waterloo which allows first time enthusiasts to get started in all these disciplines. By building one or more self-contained creatures, anyone can gain the confidence and ability to build a wider range of robotic devices. There are already BEAM demonstration creatures for each of the following events: SOLAROLLER: Self starting robot dragster race. PHOTOVORE: Robots face a closed 'world' and each other. HIGH JUMP: Robot creature leaps, lands on feet. ROPE CLIMBING: First up, first down, self-starting. LEGGED RACE: Walking creatures run for the money. INNOVATION MACHINES: Electronic chopsticks, for example. ROBOART: Mechanical/electronic aesthetics that move. BEST MODIFIED TOY: Build brains into your Barbie. ROBOT SUMO: Push an opponent out of a ring. NANOMOUSE: A smaller and simpler form of the... MICROMOUSE: Where metal mice race for aluminum cheese. Rules and Guidelines are available now at a cost of $5.00 for cost of copying and postage. These include pictures and discus- sion on some of the Behavior-Based competitors already finished or under construction at this University. Potential competitors will be asked to fill out a 'behavior sheet' ahead of time and competitions will be determined based on the number of competi- tors. Those in a class by themselves will be given honorable April 17, 1991 - 2 - mention and everybody will be included in the BEAM Olympic port- folio. The purpose of these Olympics is to stress innovation rather than competition. We don't want solutions to be engineered, rather we want to test how your robot(s) will perform in a general environ- ment. This is in contrast to something like the micromouse com- petition where the mice perform in a very constrained situation and under strict rules. All venues are open to the interested, so grab your soldering iron, raid the junk pile, and we'll see you there. For more information on the BEAM Robot Olympics, respond by E-mail or contact: Mark Tilden MFCF, University of Waterloo Ontario, Canada N2L-3G1 (519)885-1211 x2454 The rest of this article concentrates on general competitor guidelines and the entrance form. If you want to be put on the real-mail list, please complete and send in the entrance form by real-mail. Be sure to include a picture of your competitor. Updates will be posted to this and other relevant groups as they become available. (This entire post is a cat of three different files. Sorry if my name appears too often.) April 17, 1991 - 3 - BEAM Robot Olympics: Competition Rules and General Guidelines Version 1.1 October, 1991 Ontario Science Center, Ontario, Canada. These are the rules and guidelines for the first BEAM Robot Olym- pics (not to be confused with the Turing Robot Olympics first held in Scotland, 1990). Although the spirit of the Olympics is that there are few rules and thus few formal competitions, these are some guidelines which every competitor should follow. If a design does not fit these parameters or may but you're not sure, please contact the organizers for a ruling. Consideration will be given to very innovative or imaginative designs. The BEAM Olympics is meant as an informal meeting of mind and critter with the public and the media. It is hoped that everyone will abide by this spirit. All entrants must fill out and send in a separate registration form for each competitor, a copy of which is included at the end of this post. A clear color or black and white photograph (ideally 5"x7") of each competitor is also required for the Olym- pic Dossier. All photos become the property of the Olympics organizers and cannot be returned. All who register will be put on a mailing list and kept abreast of upcoming events. Note: You are the Entrant, your robot is the Competitor. RE: Robotic Competitors: - All devices must be either entirely custom built or a heavily modified toy. No commercial, store bought or kit robots allowed without heavy physical modification (software re-writes alone are not sufficient modification). "Heavy" defined in this case as permanent structural/electronic additions which extend, replace or enhance a functional aspect of the device (replace batteries with solar engine, add functional arms, interface a unique touch/vision system, etc.). - All entries must be self-contained or have an option where they can execute behavior without human intervention. If an entry must use wall current, it can use only one plug at a nominal amperage (120 VAC, 3 Amps maximum drain). Any robot which uses a combustion process will be discouraged for safety reasons, and will not be allowed to run inside the auditorium. - Any entry may be disqualified if too large (ie: bigger than a fridge). The sole reason for this is that display space and power April 17, 1991 - 4 - are limited. - Any competitor which is obviously of mass-produced, commercial manufacture and/or performs an obviously commercial task shall not be considered as a competitor (we don't want this to be a free advertising opportunity for anyone). Corporate research and design prototypes are the exception but they must be represented by their designer at the competition, not by the corporation. - Any devices made from commercial construction kits (Lego, Mecanno, etc.) must also feature obviously non-commercial, custom elements to indicate sufficient intent of innovation. - No 'violent' competitors will be allowed; that is, no competi- tor may have a functionally destructive capacity (drills, cutters, soldering iron, flame-thrower, chainsaw, etc.) although decorative or whimsical elements along this line are allowed (ie; waterpistols). Likewise, any competitor which may damage the competition courses or other competitors will be disqualified. Competitors may interfere with each other during the course of simultaneous runs so long as they do not violate the 'no damage' rule. Any entrant who justly feels his device could be damaged by another entrant will be respected. - No competitors can employ biological components (rats, chick- ens, lemon/potato batteries, Jello, etc.) except by special per- mission. - Multitalented competitors are allowed and even encouraged, how- ever such competitors must have been declared ahead of time in their behavior description. - Partially finished competitors are allowed to compete so long as there is some function they can exhibit to show what they may eventually be capable of. Again, if you are in doubt as to the validity of your entry, please contact Mark Tilden or Ed Spike at the University of Waterloo. Exceptions will be made for particularly imaginative entries. To be helpful, the following definitions are provided: April 17, 1991 - 5 - Robot: 1: A multi-purpose mechanical manipulator capable of preforming a series of physical tasks. 2: A self-contained autonomous roving creature capable of mimicing aspects of known biological creatures. BEAM Robotics: 1: A description of what aspects a roving robot creature should contain. BEAM is a double anachronism which stands for Biology, Electronics, Art and Mechanics, as well as Building, Evolution, Anarchy and Modularity. 2: A research and education organization dedicated to promotion and construction of unorthodox, scientific robotics for fun and real-world application. The following pages contain specific rules for those competitions which have at least one BEAM competitor already assembled. Pho- tographs of these BEAM devices are enclosed but are not meant to be considered as defacto standards. Please do not copy our designs, they are examples, not serious competitors. BEAM creatures shall be considered 'Demo' machines and will not be formally awarded any prizes, although they will compete against all comers. For registration, information, and Olympic rule updates, contact: Mark Tilden MFCF, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. N2L-3G1 (519)885-1211 ext.2454 (workdays) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or... Ed Spike Electrical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. N2L-3G1 (519)885-1211 ext.2454 (workdays) E-mail: email@example.com April 17, 1991 - 6 - A cover charge of $2.00 is asked for cost of copying and postage of future correspondence. Copies of this Guideline Booklet are available for $5.00 (North America) and $10.00 (Overseas), including shipping. Other articles and discussions are available from the authors, and, barring difficulties, plans and videos may soon be available. All rights reserved. (Note: as of the time of this writing (April, 1991), details like exact dates, financial travel assistance and awards have not been finalized. We will be trying for a middle week of October, 1991. Awards and assistance will depend on sponsorship replies. An update letter will be sent to all those that send in their $2.00 as soon as details are available. April 17, 1991 - 7 - BEAM Robot Olympics: ENTRANCE REGISTRATION FORM: Fall, 1991. (NB: You are the Entrant, your machine is the Competitor.) ENTRANT DETAILS: Team Name (if applicable): _____________________________________ Name _________________________________________________ Age _____ Address: Street/apt/town _______________________________________ Country/Zipcode ____________________________________ Name _________________________________________________ Age _____ Address: Street/apt/town _______________________________________ Country/Zipcode ____________________________________ Name _________________________________________________ Age _____ Address: Street/apt/town _______________________________________ Country/Zipcode ____________________________________ (If more team members, please continue on back) Institute Name (if any): ________________________________________ COMPETITOR DETAILS: Name __________________________________________________ Age _____ Behavior (please use point form):________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ Please check which BEAM event your entrant may qualify for: ___ SOLAROLLER ___ PHOTOVORE ___ HIGH JUMP ___ ROPE CLIMBING ___ LEGGED RACE ___ INNOVATION MACHINES ___ ROBOART ___ BEST MODIFIED TOY ___ ROBOT SUMO ___ NANOMICE ___ MICROMOUSE If none of the above, please state what skill best describes your device: _________________________________________________________ All competitors must have a separate registration form and photo. A clear color or black and white photograph (ideally 5"x7") of each competitor is requested for the Olympic Dossier. All photos become the property of the Olympics organizers and cannot be returned. All who register will be put on a mailing list and kept abreast of upcoming events. Good luck and hope to see you there. Please return to: Mark Tilden MFCF, University of Waterloo Ontario, Canada N2L-3G1 (519)885-1211 x2454 Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Enclose $2.00 for future mailings, unless you are actively on Internet, in which case, please enclose your electronic mailing address: Internet E-mail Address: ____________________________________________________ See you there. Is all. -- Mark Tilden: _-_-_-__--__--_ /(glitch!) M.F.C.F Hardware Design Lab. -_-___ | \ /\/ U of Waterloo. Ont. Can, N2L-3G1 |__-_-_-| \/ (519) - 885 - 1211 ext.2454, "MY OPINIONS, YOU HEAR!? MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! AH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!"