Beginner Competition

So, you want to build a robot?

The Beginner Sumobot Competition is for anyone who has never competed in a Sumobot Competition. Have no idea what you’re doing? That’s fine! We will provide you with the tools you need to build your very own Sumobot!

Once competing in the Beginner Competition, you CANNOT enter a Beginner Competition again.

Team Fees: $40(Include package) or $10(Buy your own parts).

Registration: CLOSED

Rules and Contest Structure
Team EtiquetteRobot SpecificationsRobot RestrictionsThe RingRound RobinElimination Event
  • Teams must show respect to SumoBot organizers and to each-other.
  • Insults will not be tolerated. Neither will cheating.
  • Penalties range from verbal warnings to complete disqualification based on the severity of the infraction.
  • If a team believes they have been unfairly penalized, their representative may appeal to the referee when the round is over.
  • If the referee chooses not to revoke their penalty, the team will just have to deal with it. Any further objections may lead to additional penalization.
A team whose robot does not meet these specifications may be permitted to compete in the round robin competition if their failure to meet these specifications DOES NOT result in the possibility of damaging the other competitor’s robots. If the judges decide that the failure to meet the specifications do not result in an advantage, the team may be permitted to participate in the finals, unless another team whose robot meets these specifications has a comparable round robin score. For these rules we shall consider two scores comparable if the smaller score is greater than or equal to 80% of the larger score.
  • A robot must fit within a square tube with side length of 10 cm. A robot may expand in size after a match begins, but must not physically separate into pieces. There is no height restriction.
  • The total mass of a robot at the start of a match must be under 500 g.
  • Robots must be autonomous. Any method of control may be used, as long as it is fully contained within the robot and receives no external signals or directions (human, machine, or otherwise). Autonomous robot operation must begin automatically no less than five seconds after the round has begun. Robots starting before the five second mark will cause the round to reset and may forfeit a Yuhkoh point.
  • Each robot must be uniquely identifiable. Spectators and officials should be able to identify your robot during a match.
A team whose robot does not meet these requirements will NOT be permitted to compete in the competition.
  • Jamming devices, such as IR LEDs intended to saturate the opponents IR sensors, are not allowed.
  • Parts that could break or damage the ring are not allowed. Do not use parts that are intended to damage the opponent’s robot or its operator. Normal pushes and bangs are not considered intent to damage.
  • Devices that can store liquid, powder, gas or other substances for throwing at the opponent are not allowed.
  • Any flaming devices are not allowed.
  • Devices that throw things at your opponent are not allowed.
  • Sticky substances to improve traction are not allowed. Tires and other components of the robot in contact with the ring must not be able to pick up and hold a standard 8.5” by 11” sheet of paper for more than two seconds.
  • Devices to increase down force, such as a vacuum pump or magnets, are not allowed.
  • All edges, including but not limited to the front scoop, must not be sharp enough to scratch or damage the ring, other robots, or players. Judges or competition officials may require edges that they deem too sharp to be covered with a piece of tape.
  • The ring interior is defined as the playing surface surrounded by and including the border line. Anywhere outside this area is called the ring exterior.
  • The ring shall be circular with a diameter of 77 cm. The border line is marked as a white circular ring with a width of 3 cm on the outer edge of the playing surface. The ring area extends to the outside edge of this circular line.
  • There should be a reasonably large (1-2 meters) space outside the outer edge of the ring. This space can be of any color, and can be of any material or shape as long as the basic concepts of these rules are not violated. This area, with the ring in the middle, is to be called the ”ring area”. Any markings or parts of the ring platform outside the minimum dimensions will also be considered in the ring area.
The goal for each robot is to push or carry its opponent out of bounds. As soon as either robot TOUCHES beyond the ring’s white boundary line (any surface that is not the ring, if the robot is hanging outside of the ring but not touching the floor then that is fine), the match ends and a winner is declared. A single round consists of 3 matches between matched up teams. A win will reward you 2 points, a winning by draw 1 point, and a loss (by any means) is 0 points. One person from each team will be chosen as their team’s representative. Representatives are responsible for placing their team’s robot inside the ring, as per the referee’s instructions. These will also be the main person of contact with the referees, so make sure to pay attention to announcements during competition. First, teams must choose their robots’ starting positions. Robots can be placed anywhere between the white boundary line and the brown starting line on their side of the ring. For the first match whichever team has the worse rank will place first, followed by the higher ranked team. For each of the subsequent match whichever team won the previous match, will place first. Once both robots are in place, the referee will signal both representatives to activate their robots simultaneously. The representatives must then leave the area around the ring (will be clearly marked) as to not interfere with sumobot sensors. No one from either team is allowed back in. Make sure the referee knows you’ve activated your robot. Upon activation, both robots will sit still for 5 seconds, then start moving. If a robot moves too early, or if after 7 seconds (including the first 5) it has not moved at all, the match will be reset. If neither robot has been pushed out of the ring after 45 seconds the match will be reset. The “fault” of the reset will be determined by the referee, based on which robot he or she determines to be most likely to win that match. Each team will have 1 free “fault” per round. After a teams first fault, if they are at fault for another reset, the match will count as a loss for that team. Teams only get ONE reset each; In the event that both teams have to reset twice the match will end in a draw, with the higher ranked team getting a draw point. If both teams have more than one “fault” in this round (includes the free “fault”), both of them will be counted as a loss. The referee can, at any time and for any reason, choose to stop the match. If this happens, the referee will direct each team’s representative to retrieve their robots and prepare for a rematch.
Once the round robin event is completed teams will move to the elimination event. This is a double elimination style bracket, meaning that you are only disqualified if you lose TWO matches. All teams will start off in the “Winning” bracket. Once a team has recorded a loss they move down to the “Losing” bracket. The finals will be the champion of the “Winning” bracket and “Losing” bracket. Teams will be seeded based on points accumulated in the Round Robin round. In this stage draws will be decided by the point totals of each team NOT their Presentation rankings. See more details on Double Elimination here:
Parts ListTutorial Slides3D PrintingPCB MillingLab Space

If you decided to purchase parts from the club below is a list of parts you’ll get in your package!

  • x1 Arduino Uno + Cable
  • x2 Micro Motors
  • x2 Motor Mounts
  • x1 Motor Driver
  • x2 Wheels
  • x2 QRD Line Sensors
  • x1 Ultrasonic Range Sensors
  • x1 Breadboard
  • x10 Resisters (1k R x5,  470 R x5)
  • x1 Battery clip
  • x20 Male to Female Jumper Wires

Additional parts to consider getting yourself:

  • Hot/Super glue
  • Tape
  • Switches/buttons
Need something printed? Check out these links to get started!
3D Hubs Student Printing
McMaster 3D Printing

If you are interested in having any PCBs made for your sumobot, orders can be sent to the McMaster IEEE club and they can mill you one for a pretty good price. Full details can be found here.

Looking for some tools or machinery you don’t have laying around your house? Here are some places on campus you can go to:

McMaster Machine Shop (JHE 115):

  • Open 8:00am – 4:30pm
  • Good for cutting/sanding parts.
  • Training required to use machinery (approx 2 hours).

IEEE Lab (ITB 141):

  • Open 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Good for soldering and ordering Digikey parts (lower costs).

Makerspace (Thode Basement):

  • Open Monday to Friday, 1:00pm to 5:00pm and 6:00pm to 9:00pm.
  • 3D printer, soldering irons, drill press, and other tools.