Student Design Competition Teams

Student Design Competition Teams ASME Group

2019 Final Q&A

Q&A for 2019 ASME SDC

Pick-and-Place Race

Q&A is now finished for the 2019 competition.  Teams must make their best judgements based on the collected Q&A responses and the original rules.

Q&A responses supersede original competition statements as well as any earlier question responses where there is contradiction. The questions are numbered sequentially as responded to, Answer 1 is the earliest response.

Please only post your questions about the rules, or about responses to prior questions.  Only official responses will become part of the competition rules.  These will be updated in the "Official 2019 Q&A Responses" document.

General information about the ASME E-Fests, locations of all regional E-Fests, all registration procedures and timing can be found at:

Students must join ASME to be eligible for the competition:

Question 25: After getting the balls from the tube, the balls are in our device. Can I roll the ball down to the ground in scoring area and use some mechanism to make the balls stationery? (the balls didn't touch any ground before rolling into the scoring area)

Answer 25:  Yes, as long as your device transported the ball to the scoring area and the ball only touches the ground at the scoring area

Question 24: Will there be any markers on ground other than outline, like lines of tape between the different ball stands?  Will the SDC event overlap at all with either IAM3D or HPVC events? Is there a schedule of the events posted anywhere?

Answer 24:  The overall course will be marked with tape, and the locations where the 16 stands will be placed will also be marked with tape.  No markings will be used between the stands.  EFest schedule will avoid overlap between the various competitions, check with EFest site for overall schedule.

Question 23: a) How will the sizing box volume be measured (interior or exterior of box)?
b) Does the box need to be a rectangular prism? Or can it be any particular shape?
c) If the robot can expand according to answer 19, does the robot need to have the ability to return to its original configuration under its own power? If not, that would mean that the robot could have stored gravitational potential energy within a hinge, and gravity could be a mechanism that causes the expansion. Would this be allowed? i.e. do extensions need to have the ability to return to its original position by use of the robot’s own power?.

Answer 23:  a) interior dimension of box, b) the box can be irregular shape, the judges will determine an appropriate dimension is box surfaces are not flat or parallel. c) as per rule #4, devices must expand under their own power (via motor for example) and in that case do not have to return to original dimensions, however devices that use stored energy – such as an initially compressed spring – must restore that energy to the initial state before the end of the run.

Question 22: Can two people operate the same robot at the same time, as long as it doesn't separate? (ie can different people on the same team operate different functions with separate controllers?).

Answer 22:  Yes

Question 21: 1) Can any overhanging part be outside the 50*50 area while placing the ball? Does the bot's base need to be in the 50*50 area while placing?
2) Isn't "B" part of answer number 18, violating the rule number 11 that the pipes are 20 cm tall. Doesn't that imply that the pipe's top surface will be 20cm above the ground?

Answer 21:  1) devices may overhang the boundaries taped on the floor, as long as they do not touch the ground outside the lines. 2) the top of a stand, where a ball will rest, will be 20 cm above the ground; if the stand is also supported with a slightly wider base, that extra support might extend ~5 cm  above the ground, however the entire stand will be 20 cm tall

Question 20: can the balls be kept in some container and then the container be placed in the scoring area so that the balls don’t roll off? What will be the surface type of the scoring area, will it be coarse or smooth?

Answer 20:  The balls must be left on the ground in the scoring area, and not contained by any part of a team device.  See Competition Rule 12 for surface details.  Devices should be capable of placing balls on the ground within the scoring area so that any balls are initially stationary.  Once the device is no longer touching a stationary ball on the ground it will be scored 3 points as a placed ball and will be manually set aside.  Please review Q&A #16 and #6b.

Question 19: The robot needs to fit within the 50x50 starting area and cannot be manually adjusted before or during play. However, does the robot need to be 50x50 at the end of play? Is it allowed for the robot to expand under its own power during play but is larger than 50x50 at the end of play?

Answer 19:  The device may expand and may end the game larger than the team sizing box, as long as any expansion is done by the power of the device and this takes place after the game starts.  It is not necessary for the device to return to the initial starting size at the end of the game.

Question 18: a) if the robot knocks over the pvc pegs and the ball lands on a net resting on the ground, does the ball count as being secured within our robot?
b) How big and thick will the bases used to place the pvc pipes on be? Will they be big enough of an obstruction where the teams will have to worry about clearing the base?
c) Can you intentionally tamper with the field such as knocking over the pipes on purpose?

Answer 18:  a) there needs to be no direct contact between any balls and the ground in order for this to be considered secured within the device b) if the stands are supported with any bases, they will extend no more than 5 cm from the center of the stand, and they would extend vertically no more than 5 cm    c) yes, but this will result in a 1 point penalty for each ball knocked off the stand.

Question 17:   To clarify question and answer 6a:
If a 'tube stand' is knocked over in the process of securing a ball within the robot:
a) Do we get two points from securing the ball?
b) Do we incur any penalty for knocking over the 'tube stand'?
c) Is intentionally knocking over the 'tube stand' considered reckless behavior?

Answer 17:  Knocking over tube stands is completely acceptable.  Only the balls on the top of each stand matter.  a) yes, b) no, c) no, reckless behavior only applies to interactions between two teams’ devices.

However, a tube stand that has been “recklessly” knocked over by a team may roll into another stand and knock the ball off – if that happens the team knocking over the initial stand will incur the 1 point penalty for every ball that is subsequently knocked to the ground by a stand they move.  If a device hits a stand that has previously been knocked over and is lying motionless on the ground, and that stand knocks over a vertical stand with a ball on it, the device will incur a 1 point penalty for every ball knocked off a stand.

Question 16:   if the balls roll over and go outside the starting area after the bot place the balls there, will it be counted for placement points?

Answer 16:  See Q&A 6b.  Teams must leave a ball stationary and untouched in their starting area to earn the 3 placement points.  After the points have been earned the ball may be manually removed from the game area.

Question 15:   is there any chance of postponing the dates of efest, as the gate exam is also in those days only?

Answer 15:  Sorry, E-Fest locations and contracts are set well in advance and dates are fixed.

Question 14:    Is it allowed to remove and place a part of the bot in the arena?

Answer 14:  Only one device per team (Rule #8).  Devices must come out of the team sizing box and be placed into the starting area without modification (other than activating device) as per Rule #3..

Question 13:    Assuming they all fit in the 50x50x50cm cube with all the tools, is a team allowed to have two or more robots controlled on the field at one time, like in last year's challenge?

What is the starting area going to be like? Is the field entirely enclosed, or will there be gaps in the wall that goes around?

Answer 13:  Only one device per team (Rule #8).  No walls this year, just tape on the floor.

Question 12:   We are still a little confused on Question 2d and specifically the second half of Rule 16 and the last bullet of Rule 17. Specifically, Rule 16 says that a ball that has been "collected" and subsequently falls on the floor cannot be scored for "placement" points. However, the last bullet of Rule 17 says "Balls that have been secured may be pushed on the ground into the scoring area" for "placement" points. As these seem like a direct contradiction, can you please give us some guidance on how to interpret these rules? Can you score placement points if you secure a ball within your robot for two seconds without touching the ground and then roll it on the ground into the scoring zone?

Answer 12:  After a ball has been “secured” within the team’s device, it must be carried to the scoring area without touching the ground until it is placed within the scoring area.  If the ball touches the ground outside the scoring area after it has been “secured” it is no longer eligible for additional placement points.  The final bullet in Competition Rules 17 is not clear – teams may touch a ball on the ground within the scoring area in order to make the ball remain stationary.  If a ball placed within the scoring area rolls out of the area it can no longer earn additional points.

Question 11:    Will there be a wall around the field like last year? Or will there not be a physical outer boundary for the field?

Answer 11:  No, just a tape outline on the floor.

Question 10:  HPVC and Old Guard both have a written report. Does SDC require a written report as well?

Answer 10:  No.

Question 9:  a) Is Bluetooth-based wireless communication considered an acceptable "transmitter/receiver radio link" as outlined in Rule #6? b) If a knocked-off ball causes other pillars to fall in a potential chain reaction, is the team originally responsible for knocking over the first pillar responsible for the points subsequently lost by the chain reaction?

Answer 9:  a) yes, b) yes

Question 8:  Where are the official rules located?

Answer 8:

Question 7:  Do all of the students on a team have to be from the same school?

Answer 7:  No, however rule #1 must be satisfied, and only one school must be identified as the primary school that would receive any funding earned.

Question 6:  a) Are stands attached in any way to the floor?  If not, is it OK to knock them over?  b) If the balls are supposed to be placed in the starting area, it is possible that they roll away and past the boundaries if the floor is not level. Will that count as a score?  c) Can we remove balls by hand from the starting area once they are "placed?" If not, will the ball sizes be such that all the balls could all be placed at the same time?  d) Is it possible have clarification on the size and material of the stands?  e) Is it possible to know what the playing surface will be, or should we plan for changes?

Answer 6:  a) no they will be resting on the floor, yes, you may knock them over and may incur the penalty stated in rule #14; b) as long as the placed ball is initially stationary when it is left untouched in the starting area the placement points will be awarded; c) once a ball has been placed and has remained stationary, and the device is clear of the starting area it will be acceptable to move the ball out of the starting area and off the field of play;  d) only what is stated in rule #11, you should design for flexibility; e) only what is stated in rule #12, you should design for flexibility

Question 5:  Will there be multiple size balls on the field at the same time or will all balls on the field be the same size? Same question regarding the cylinders supporting the balls?

Answer 5:  for a given game there will most likely be different size balls, there may also be different size stands.  Rules #10 and #11 will be satisfied.

Question 4:  If the ball is contained within the frame of your robot but on the floor, does this count as collecting a ball or does this count as knocking off a ball?

Answer 4:  To clarify rules #14 and #16 the collected ball must be within the device and NOT touching the ground for at least two seconds to earn the points.  

Question 3:  Is 3-5cm the inner diameter or outer diameter of the cylinder supporting the ball?.

Answer 3:  Outside diameter.

Question 2:  a) Will all pegs be the same size on the field? Or vary with ball size?  b) Are we allowed to expand our robot greater than 50cm^3 after the game starts? Is there a max size? c) To score a ball in our starting area, does the ball have to be completely within the square, contacting the ground inside the square, or breaking the plane of the square? d) Can a ball be dragged on the floor and still count as secured? Can it then be placed in the starting area for extra points?

Answer 2: a) either, you should design for flexibility; b) yes, as long as it expands under its own power, it must remain unmodified out of the box before the time starts.  There is no maximum size limit; c) a ball will be counted as in the starting area when it is stationary and touching only the ground within the inside edge of the taped boundary (not within an imaginary vertical plane); d) see rules #16 and the last bullet item of rule #17.

Question 1:  Is there any sort report or early registration that we have to do that of hpvc??? a timeline would help.

Answer 1:  No report is required.  See E-Fest sites for competition and registration dates.

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