Robot Challenges


Courses can be downloaded/printed on a large format printer or reconstructed using white paper (or foam core) and black tape.  To access each file, please visit this public folder for ROBOnanza2017  via GoogleDrive.  If you would like the dimensions for illustrator files for the challenges, in the top menu bar, simply select ‘view, rulers, show rulers’. There are pdf versions of these files in this folder as well. Please reach out with questions and check back often for possible game updates and contact us with any questions.


Cadet Challenges:

1. Follow the Line: “Chalk-Outline,” “Fingerprint,” and “Magnifying Glass”

Description: All line-follow courses are on a 36in wide paper. Length adjusted to shape size.  

Rules: Follow the outside of the shape/line using a light sensor. Start anywhere the line. You have unlimited time and attempts.

2. JailBreak! aka:Get out of the Box: 

Standard box is 3ft x 2ft wooden box with 1ft opening in the center of a 3ft side. The walls of the box are 6in. high.

Rules: Robot will be randomly placed in the box. You have unlimited time and attempts.


Trooper Challenge:

3. Bowling for Burglars!

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! In this event, the robot is the ball! The robot must travel down the lane and knock over as many burglar (pins) it can in a 5-frame game. Each robot will have the two chances per frame (just like in regular bowling) to obtain the highest score. Depending on number of participants and time, one to two rounds may occur. The robot with the highest score for 5 frames will review an award. In the event of a tie, a bowl-off will take place to determine the winner. We will have plenty of lanes on which to bowl and official scoring apps as well.


  • The robot will start behind the end black line and move autonomously down the lane towards the pins.
  • The robot will knock over as many pins as it can in a 5-frame game.
  • Each pin knocked over will count as one point during the frames.
  • Any robot veering off to the side of the lane and any wheel then touching the black bowling lane line will be marked as a “gutter-bot” (gutter bowl) and receive a zero for that bowl.
  • Each turn will be considered complete when any robot wheel touches a black line or its forward progress is stopped. Any pins knocked over will be scored.
  • Spares and strikes will be marked accordingly, just as in regular bowling.
  • Robots will bowl simultaneously in multiple lanes.
  • As in regular bowling, forward motion and slight veering are permitted only. No reverse motion, spinning in place, or traveling up and down the lane repeatedly is permitted. The robot must follow typical bowling rules and the nature of a bowling ball. 
  • Any pins moved past the rear black line, upright or tipped over, will be counted as scored.
  • All pins must fully clear the line to be scored.

Additional information:

  • The robot body or legally sized fixed extensions must knock over the pins; no motorized or movable extensions permitted.
  • Robots may only be handled outside the black taped area, or after pins have been knocked over and points are tallied.
  • Penalties for touching the robot inside the lane may occur at the discretion of the judge.
  • Robots may proceed past the pins and off the board; no stopping point required.
  • Please note – the maximum width of the robo-bowling robot is 8 inches. Any robots exceeding this width will be asked to reconstruct their robot design before participation in this event.

Construction Instructions:

  • The bowling lanes will be on a 3ft. by 6ft. section of paper.
  • The lane is a 5ft long by 20 inches wide lane, taped with black electrical tape.
  • At the far end are 10, 500-ml water bottles, each containing 1 inch of water, taped with alternating white and black tape mimicking a “jailbird.”

These bottles are the pins and are evenly spaced at the end of the lane.


Commissioner Challenges

4. Collect the Evidence!

Description: Course is on 36in x 36in paper, with the square centered. FIVE numbered areas (tiny squares) with various “lego evidence” worth various point values are present. Evidence containers will be contained in a 6×6 lego (flat) place with 1in high holed beams around the edge. The contents of the evidence container does not matter. 


  • Robot must start entirely inside the black lines of BASE.
  • Robot must retrieve evidence and place it entirely inside the black lines of the RESEARCH AREA.
  • Each object will be awarded the point total of the square from which it originated. Robots may not touch outer black line with any part of their robot; penalty is : return of robot to base and possession of any evidence returned to original spot.
  • Robots may only be touched while IN BASE only: Robots are considered IN BASE when any part of the robot crosses the black BASE line, which with exception of at the start of the trial.
  • Robots that crossed the black line plane in the research area can be touched and brought / reset back to base by hand (fully in) with no penalty.
  • Robots will have three 1-minute trials. Total score tallied.


5. Police Academy Training!

Description: Course is 36in wide x 60in long (paper), obstacle course with various areas and tasks. Robot must complete this course autonomously.


  • Robot must start entirely in the black lines of the BASE.
  • Robot must not touch any of the outer black lines, or the center black line.
  • Robot must complete tasks in sequential order:
    1. Robot must first drive through the “cones” in the slow-straightaway. Robot may not touch any of the “caution squares.”
    2. Robot must then retrieve witness from pickup area (lego mini-fig; in area marked).
    3. Robot then delivers the Lego witness to the courthouse nearby (any part of mini-fig crosses the plane is considered IN).
    4. Lastly, robot must arrive at the police academy and park fully in the black lines.
  • Penalties:
    • +30 seconds  (each) for hitting a cone/caution square
    • +60 seconds for losing the witness
    • +15 seconds for each “black line touch”
    • +15 seconds for not parking fully within the police academy box/end.
    • Disqualified: if the robot fully crosses the black center line (entire robot).



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