Basic Line Following Fall 2008

Contest Date: 
Sat, 10/18/2008

Basic Line Following
Contest Rules

Audience: Apprentice Level


This contest tests a builder's ability to construct a robot which can follow a simple line course.  The primary objective of the contest is accuracy, with a secondary objective of speed.

Course Construction

The Basic Line Following course is constructed using the standard Chibots line following setup (see General Guidelines for details).  The tiles used are comprised of 3 basic styles as follows. 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.

The robot starting location is pre-determined by the judges but is not otherwise marked on the course.  The course layout is not published prior to the contest. 

A sample course is shown below.


Sample Basic Line Following Course

Robot Construction

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

Contest Procedure

Each robot is given up to three attempts to run the course, with a minimum of a 5 minute “tweak time” between runs.  Each run will consist of 3 laps around the course.  The starting position is determined by the timing device(s) used.  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 run with the fewest penalties is sole consideration for final scoring.  The elapsed time of this run will only be used in case of a tie.

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.


Penalties are assessed as follows:

Reason for Penalty

Points Penalized

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


Robot reacquires the line with no help


Robot reacquires the line with the use of a barrier


Robot reacquires the line with human assistance


Robot reacquires the line with the use of human assistance twice within 6” (1/2 the width of a tile)


Breakdown (refusing to run for any reason)

End of attempt

Requiring more than 10 human interventions in a single run

End of attempt

Robots are ranked by penalty points with fewer points ranking higher.  In the event of a tie score, shorter elapsed time will be used to determine the winner.  Should this not determine a winner, the second lowest penalty run shall be used.

Example scoring format:

Robot Name

Penalty Points

Elapsed Time (sec)






















This page is a rule set for this general contest: