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HBRC Trinity Firefighting Robots. Agenda. About the Contest at Robogames The HBRC Robots Solenopsis invicta by Tony Pratkanis Isis by Bob Allen Flameout by Ted Larson. About the Contest. Goal of Contest One 15 cm to 20 cm tall candle is placed in a maze and must be put out by the robot

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Agenda l.jpg

  • About the Contest at Robogames

  • The HBRC Robots

    • Solenopsis invicta by Tony Pratkanis

    • Isis by Bob Allen

    • Flameout by Ted Larson

About the contest l.jpg
About the Contest

  • Goal of Contest

    • One 15 cm to 20 cm tall candle is placed in a maze and must be put out by the robot

      • Placed in the corners, edges, and centers of rooms.

      • Location randomly selected via drawing.

      • Placed on a white area – shape depends on location in room.

      • Must be blown out from within the white area.

  • Scoring

    • Time based scoring

      • Sum of 3 runs through the maze - lowest sum of all 3 runs wins

    • Optional challenges can improve scores

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How the Contest is Conducted

  • Robots make 3 runs in a 2.43 by 2.43 meter maze consisting of 4 rooms connected by hallways

    • Robot placed on a white circle at the starting area.

    • White line at entrance to rooms.

    • Island room prevents mindless wall following.

    • Stairs block one return route.

Scoring l.jpg

  • Lowest sum of 3 runs wins

  • Score is calculated based on the following:

    • The actual time for a run is taken

    • Penalty points are added for sliding along the walls or touching a lit candle

    • Score is adjusted based on the # of rooms surveyed by the robot to find the candle

      • Robot finds candle in 1st room: score is not affected

      • Robot finds candle in 2nd room: score is multiplied by 0.85;

      • Robot finds candle in 3rd room: multiplied by 0.50,

      • Robot finds candle in 4th room: multiplied by 0.35

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Scoring Options

  • Participants may also choose to add any or all of the following optional challenges:

    • Furniture (0.75 score multiplier)

      • Placed in rooms by opposing contestants.

      • Must be 31 cm away from the candle and door.

    • Return Trip (0.8 score multiplier)

      • Robot must return to and stop on the starting circle.

    • Sound Activation (0.95 score multiplier)

      • Robot activated by a beeper.

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Scoring Options

  • These options are also available, but were not used at the Robogames

    • Uneven Floor Mode (0.80 score multiplier)

      • Ramps placed on the floor in hallways but not in rooms, doorways, or in front of doorways.

    • Clutter Mode (0.80 score multiplier)

      • Small objects are placed randomly in both rooms and hallways.

    • Extinguisher Mode (0.85 score multiplier)

      • Any robot that does not use a fan will get this bonus.

    • Stair Mode (0.90 score multiplier)

      • Any robot that goes over the stairs gets this bonus.

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Constructing the Maze

  • Joe Miller has the best design for building the Trinity Fire House.

  • Instructions available at:

    • http://sonomatron.com/html/portable_arena.html

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Required Capabilities

  • Your robot will need to do the following to complete the challenge:

    • Navigate the house

    • Detect rooms and marks on the floor

    • Detect the flame

    • Extinguish the flame

    • Avoid or cross the steps

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Solenopsis invicta

  • Named for the red imported fire ant

  • Completes the challenge with the return trip and furniture options

  • Averages 14.5 points per run

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Solenopsis invicta: Parts

  • Grandar ASM (ISupportLearning.com)

  • Grandar ASM Firefighting Kit

  • Bob's Metal (OLogic)

  • Bob's Pyro Board (Ologic)

  • Hamamatsu UVTRON

  • 2 Sharp GP2D12 IR sensors

  • Duct Tape

  • Time

  • Time

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Solenopsis invicta: Sensors

  • Wall follows with two Sharp GP2D12s.

  • Uses IR sensor and bumpers from the ASM.

  • Hamamatsu UVTRON detects presence of candle in room

  • Pyro pinpoints the candle location in room

  • Line detector detects room entrances and white areas

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Solenopsis Invicta: Software

  • Writen in JVC.

    • A C compiler written by Grandar.

    • No structs or object orientation.

    • No #define. Must use pseudo constants.

    • Relatively fast.

  • Executed on a Motorola HC11.

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Solenopsis Invicta: Code (1)






Pyro on or more than 270 degrees turned?

Wall Follow


Fan Blast


Saw White?

Drive Forward






IR tripped

White Area Hit




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Solenopsis Invicta: Code (2)

Wall Follow

Backup, Turn

The End!

Short White Line

Detected And One Seen Already?





Large White Area?




Solenopsis invicta wall following l.jpg
Solenopsis Invicta: Wall Following

  • Uses Proportional Control (Not PID)

  • Uses These Equations:

    • Turn = (distance – wanted)/correction

    • Motor 1 = Speed - Turn

    • Motor 2 = Speed + Turn

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Problems Encountered

  • The evil island room

  • False positive flame detection

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Problem: The Evil Island Room

  • Problem: The island room makes wall following difficult.

  • Solutions:

    • Don't wall follow.

      • Dead reckon

      • Find gaps

    • Chose which wall to follow based on how many rooms you have surveyed.

  • Solenopsis invicta: Solution 2.

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Problem: False Positive Flame Detection

  • Problem: “Flames” are generated by

    • Candle reflections

    • Extra-contest sources such as flame throwers.

  • Solutions:

    • Don't detect flames. Instead, wander to the white circle.

    • Have measures to recover from false positives and have code to filter smaller pyro trips.

  • Solenopsis invicta: Solution 2.