Misc. Competitions

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NOTE: The material on this page has been derived from the original Misc. Competitions rules page,which was part of the now defunct LANL BEAM site. An archived copy of that page can be found > HERE <

IT SHOULD ALSO BE NOTED that inclusion of these rules as part of the BEAM Wiki does not mean that the event has been part of every BEAM Robotics Competitions nor does it mean that the event will be a part of any current or future BEAM Robotics Competitions

A list of General Rules for the BEAM robot Game, also from the original LANL BEAM site, can be found > HERE <.

Remember that the listed rules date back to the original LANL BEAM site, and may have been changed considerably for current competitions.


[edit] Object:

You're a hobbyist, artist, engineer or frustrated tinker. You had an idea for a machine so you built it by hand. It works but you've had no forum for display and comparison. You'd like to attend the BEAM games but you're worried that your device doesn't fit any category.

Don't worry.

[edit] Misc. Competitor Design Parameters

  1. All robotic devices must be either entirely custom built or a heavily modified appliance or toy. No commercial, store bought or kit robots will be allowed without heavy physical modification (modified or improved software is not considered sufficient modification). "Heavy" defined as permanent structural and electronic additions that extend, replace, or enhance a functional aspect of a device (i.e.: replace batteries with solar engine, add functional robot arms, interface a unique touch/vision system, etc.). Any devices made from commercial construction kits (i.e.: Lego, Mecanno, etc.) must also feature obviously non-commercial, custom elements to indicate sufficient intent of innovation. Nonetheless, devices which are completely hand-crafted will receive bonus points in all competitions.
  2. All robotic entries should be self-contained or have an option where they can execute behavior without human intervention. Tele-operated mechanisms are allowed only if it is obvious they have been designed around some BEAM competition guidelines, or are for some autonomous task-oriented purpose (i.e.: tele-operated moon rover with retrieval claw). Commercial radio controlled kit models will not be allowed unless they have undergone severe technical modifications as per the above. Devices which do not feature some autonomous ability are allowed, but will loose critical style points.
  3. Any robotic entry may be disqualified if too large (i.e.: bigger than a standard upright refrigerator). The sole reason for this is that display space, access doors, and power are limited. Exceptions may be granted for exceptional, famous, or self-powered entries that can be piece-wise assembled. Please contact the organizers for a ruling.
  4. Any robotic competitor that is obviously of mass-produced, commercial manufacture and/or performs an obviously commercial task shall be disqualified as a competitor. We don't want this to be a blatant advertising opportunity for major corporations, that's what trade shows are for. Corporate research and design prototypes are the exception but they must be represented by their designer(s) at the competition, not by the corporation. However, robotics companies are encouraged to hand out cards, flyers, posters, samples, and device specifications as they wish.
  5. If a robotic entry must use wall current, it can use only one plug at a nominal amperage (120 VAC, 3 Amps maximum drain). Any robot that uses a combustion process will be discouraged for safety reasons, and will not be allowed to run inside the competition auditorium.
  6. BEAM competitions are designed to display robotic capabilities and skill, not brute force, so for the most part, no "violent" robotic competitors will be allowed. That is, no competitor may have a functionally destructive capacity (i.e.: drills, cutters, soldering iron, flame-thrower, chainsaw, etc.) although decorative or whimsical elements along this line are allowed (i.e.: water pistols, xenon flashes, etc.). Likewise, any robotic competitor that may damage the competition courses, other robot competitors, organizers, or audience will be disqualified if the destructive elements cannot be detached. Robotic competitors may interfere with each other during the course of simultaneous runs (where rules permit) so long as they do not violate the "no damage" rule. Anybody who justly feels his/her device could be damaged by another entrant will not suffer penalties for not competing in that trial, and where possible, time trial races will be run separately. Likewise, designers who accept that their machines could suffer major damage will also be respected (i.e.: No-holds-barred Robosumo). BEAM Robotics and affiliates take no responsibility for damage incurred by or afflicted on robotic devices, persons, or reputations during the course of competition.
  7. No robotic competitors can employ biological components (rats, chickens, lemon/potato batteries, etc.) except by special permission from the organizers. Even then, no devices will be allowed which harm biologics in any way. Likewise no robot can employ open caustic/explosive chemical substances in fluid, solid, or gas form.
  8. Multitalented robotic competitors are encouraged, however such capabilities must be declared ahead of time on the registration form as part of the robot's behavior description. It is the owners responsibility to see that any multitalented entry can make it to all the relevant competition events at the Games.
  9. Partially finished robotic competitors are allowed (even encouraged) to compete so long as there is some function they can exhibit to show what they may eventually be capable of. Indeed, the show is structured so that competitors should have plenty of time and help to advance their designs prior to competition time. As an idea center, if you have only a half-finished, twitching semi-bot, the Games have proven to be a great growth medium.

Again, if you are in doubt as to the validity of your entry, please contact the organizers directly. Exceptions will be made for particularly imaginative entries.

[edit] The Competition

Judging will be based upon individual interviews and demonstrations with the designer and the displayed, functional robot device. Judges will be chosen based upon their experience and expertise in a field associated with a particular class of machine (where possible).

[edit] Also See:

Individual BEAM Game Events Past BEAM Robot Games

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