Student Design Competition Teams

Student Design Competition Teams ASME Group

Official 2018 Q&A Responses

Q&A for 2018 ASME SDC

Robot Football4: Goooaaaalll !!!!!!

Official Q&A Responses as of February 14, 2018

Official responses to questions 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.

Information about the ASME E-Fests which will host regional SDCs can be found at:

Question 86: In regards to Question 73, what is considered the "device" and what is considered "extending out" from the device? Does extension just refer to anything that leaves the 50cm initial size cube? Or is there a more complex definition?
Answer 86: See Question 75.

Question 85: For clarification of Question 73; would a net statically attached to the top of a defensive robot and used for blocking be considered an extension of the robot and therefore penalized, or as part of the body of the robot and legal?
Answer 85: If the net is position over the base of the device and does not extend outward horizontally, it will not incur a penalty. See Question 75.

Question 84: Are multiple rc controllers allowed for multiple devices?
Answer 84: Yes, however all controllers and devices must fit within the 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm sizing box.

Question 83: Rule #1 states: "Students participating in the competition must be undergraduate engineering students (any engineering discipline is allowed) and must be ASME members." What is the exact definition of "ASME members"?
Answer 83: Students must join ASME to be eligible for the competition:

Question 82: According to rule 14, a game consists of two 5-minute halves. The term "round" and "match" are also used in the problem statement. Are "rounds" and "matches" synonymous with games, or are they synonymous with halves? How many games are in the semifinals and finals?
Answer 82: The terms “round”, “match”, and “game” all correspond to one competition consisting of two halves where up to four teams will compete. After the qualifying rounds have been complete, the top eight teams will compete in two sets of two semifinal matches. The top four teams from the semifinals will compete in one final match.

Question 81: It is said in question 54 that pushing a ball into penalty region will result in a yellow card. Does this mean that a device is not allowed to use a plunger or other shooting mechanism to push the ball over the ground into the goal from outside the penalty region?
Answer 81: In order to avoid a penalty, no portion of a device may cross into/over the penalty box.

Question 80: How many electrical outlets will each team have access to in order to recharge batteries during the competition? Should teams bring their own power strips for this purpose? Do these power strips need to fit in the size constraint with the batteries, chargers, and devices?
Answer 80: Access to electrical outlets will be provided to teams at the competitions but teams may choose to bring power strips to provide additional outlets. Power strips will not be included within the size constraints of the device.

Question 79: Can teams attach a wall onto their robot to deflect shots and passes? Does this count as "part of the body" of the device or as an extension?
Answer 79: See Question 75.

Question 78: Is there a seperate registration for SDC or is it sufficient to register for the Efest?
Answer 78: For all efest and registration related questions, contact the event organizers listed on

Question 77: Can we use solenoid based mechanism to shoot the ball?
Answer 77: Yes, as long as all of the applicable rules are followed.

Question 76: Is there any deadline for registration or submitting report? or we just show up and register on site? This is very different than HPVC rules.
Answer 76: For all efest and registration related questions, contact the event organizers listed on

Question 75: Answer 73 states, "any component which extends out from the device... to block another team's shot on goal, whether the ball is caught... penalty." The confusion is in the definition of the "body." For example, a robot with a fixed tower is passively hit in the tower by the shooting ball from another team. Is this a penalty? What if a servo or antenna on the tower is hit. Are these appendages? Is an arm part of the body? How about a shell or wheels or a firing mechanism? Where does the "body" end and an attachment begin? Even soccer/football has head balls and hitting the ball off the chest/back/knees/face etc. Is there a similar aspect here? Or is the definition of "extends" in reference to an intentional reaction to the shot?
Answer 75: The the portion of the device which extends up from the device’s base is considered the body. If a ball strikes any portion of the device above its base, no penalty will be incurred. However, penalties will be incurred if a ball strikes part of the device which extends out horizontally from the body beyond the device’s base.

Updated December 9, 2017

Question 74: Does the robot have to possess the ball after stealing or can we steal the ball and knock it away?Answer 74: There is no requirement regarding control of the ball when a device is defending its goal.

Question 73: In regards to questions 57 and 63, what defines the body of a device? Does this ruling apply only to components that extend after the game begins, or can large statically attached components be penalized for this as well? Are deflecting and catching both considered interception?
Answer 73: The use of any components which extend out from the device, either prior to or after any reconfiguration of the device occurs, to block another team’s shot on goal, whether the ball is caught or just deflected, will be considered a handball and will result in a penalty.

Question 72: Is the device allowed to block all sides of the goal at once?
Answer 72: A teams device(s) may defend their goal by taking a position outside of the penalty box, however the device may only use its body and not any extensions to block a ball.  See Question 57.

Updated November 21, 2017

Question 71: Are teams allowed to remove batteries and chargers from the sizing box between matches to charge the batteries as suggested in answer 49?
Answer 71: Yes.

Question 70: Answer 27 states that "If a robot picks up the ball to propel it for a shot on goal this is acceptable, as long as it is done... from one location on the surface." Does this mean a robot has to stop moving across the playing surface for a shot on the goal if picking up the ball is part of the process for shooting?
Answer 70: Yes.

Question 69: Can we ultimately send you our design with clearly laid out schemes that you can approve and disapprove?
Answer 69: No. Each team is responsible for ensuring that their device(s) comply with the official rules and official Q&A.

Question 68: When pursuing a ball in which incidental contacts occurs, what is the limiting factor for excessive contact?
Answer 68: Excessive contact will be determined by the match referees as maneuvering a device to cause an intentional collision, pushing another team’s device after initial contact has been made, or any other actions deemed to be unsportsmanlike.

Question 67: Per Question 54, can a robot hit a ball outside the penalty box with its own momentum so that the ball roll into the goal? If not, does it mean the robot should have a motion output other than its wheels to fulfill the shooting requirement?
Answer 67: Yes. A device may hit a ball into the goal by using its momentum so long as the device does not come into contact with or cross the tape defining the penalty box.

Question 66: If the contact of the ball with ground is assured, can a ball be grabbed by a claw?
Answer 66: Yes. However, if the ball loses contact with the playing surface, a penalty will be incurred unless this is done in the continuous act of taking a shot.

Question 65: For shooting can the ball be lifted off the ground just for few seconds eg from a device like canon?
Answer 65: See Question 44.

Question 64: What do you mean by " act to defend" in the answer to question 15, can a bot acquire and shoot an upcoming ball of opponent in another direction in order to act to defend?
Answer 64: Defending bots may block balls shot by the other teams and clear the balls from the area in front of their goal.

Question 63: What defines a "goal keeper"? What defines a "defender" bot?
Answer 63: No devices will be permitted to defend a goal from within the penalty box or to block a ball by using anything other than the body of the device. See Question 57.

Question 62: The answers to Question 14 and Question 54 seem to directly contradict each other with respect to entering the penalty box when in possession of a ball. Can you clarify the ruling one way or the other?
Answer 62: See Question 61.

Question 61: Question 53 seems to contradict prior definitions of the penalty box.
Answer 61: “Official responses to questions supersede original competition statements as well as any earlier question responses where there is contradiction.”

Question 60: In question 4 you state that a device is in the penalty box if any part of it touches the penalty box lines where as in question 6 you state that if multiple devices are used they must all be able to fit within the penalty box. Does that mean at the start of the match your robot does not have to be completely inside the box? Can parts of the robot be touching the floor outside the penalty box before the start of the match?
Answer 60: See Question 55

Question 59: Can one university have more than one team if the teams compete against each other?
Answer 59: A university may field multiple teams but each team must have its own devices.

Question 58: Can a ball be fully captured or procured within the bot if the contact of the ball with the ground is maintained i.e. the ball is not lifted?
Answer 58: Yes. See Question 28.

Question 57: Do our bots have footprint and/or height limits once they leave the penalty box? Or can they expand to be larger than 50cm in one or more of the x,y,z dimensions?
Answer 57: There are no size limits after the device leaves the penalty box during a game however if a component extends out from the body of the device and is used to intercept a ball when it is in the air, this will be regarded as a handball and the offending team will receive a yellow card.

Question 56: What's to stop a team from completely covering their goal with a mobile wall if they own the airspace above the tape? It seems like the airspace above the penalty box should also be off limits.
Answer 56: See Question 53.

Question 55: Referring to question 4, does it apply to the start of the match in which every robot car needs to be inside penalty box? Is it okay if there aren't any part of the car robot touching the penalty box line?
Answer 55: Per Rule 15, all devices must be within the penalty box, which is the space on the playing surface defined by the 50cm x 50 cm tape square and the tape square.

Updated November 9, 2017

Question 54: Can my robot drive across the playing surface, into the penalty box, and push the ball into the goal?

Answer 54: No. A device may only enter the penalty box to retrieve a ball. If a device is in control of a ball, it must shoot on the goal from outside of the penalty box. Pushing a ball into the penalty box will result in a yellow card penalty and any goal scored will not count.

Question 53: If my robot can not enter into the penalty box, can part of my robot extend over the penalty box to defend my goal?
Answer 53: No. While portions of a device may pass over the penalty box, if a device extends a component over the penalty box and remains stationary, the team will receive a yellow card penalty.

Question 52: Rule 22 states that "Teams may only attempt to steal a ball from another team when the ball is touching the ground." Does this imply that a team can lift a ball off the ground? If so, why is there a contradiction in the response to Question 8?
Answer 52: See Question 30.

Question 51: Per Question 4, what constitutes the Penalty Box Lines? How are these lines laid out?
Answer 51: Tape will be put down on the playing surface to define the penalty box as illustrated in Figure 1 of the official rules.

Question 50: In regards with Question 8 and the control of the ball, can the ball be inside the robot and still be touching the floor?
Answer 50: See Question 27 and Question 28.

Question 49: What quantity of matches will each team be expected to play each day?
Answer 49: The number of matches in which a team will play will depend on the number of teams competing at the event. Teams should plan on having multiple batteries and/or a battery charger so that they will be able to complete in at least 4 matches.

Question 48: Referring to question 8, does a rainbow-style kick constitute a valid shooting style?f
Answer 48: See Question 47.

Question 47: In the answer to Question 8, it is stated: "the motivation behind this is football (a.k.a. soccer in the US), devices are not permitted to pick up the ball." In soccer, players are allowed to juggle as well as balance the ball on things such as their heads and the back of their necks, so long as the ball is not directly controlled by the hands. In a similar manner, would a robot be allowed to "juggle" a ball up to a higher point on its structure in order to better shoot the ball over the potentially tall defenders?
Answer 47: See Question 27.

Question 46: How much time will there be between full matches for a given team?
Answer 46: The time between matches will depend on the number of teams competing and the number of playing surfaces in use. This time will be no less than five minutes.

Question 45: In gaining control of the ball, can the ball pass over part of the robot momentarily?
Answer 45: Yes, as long as the ball does not stop moving relative to the device when the ball is not in contact with the playing surface.

Question 44: Can a flywheel mechanism be used to shoot or secure the ball?
Answer 44: Yes, as long as the ball remains on the playing surface when the device is moving with the ball or the ball moves in a continuous motion if the device is passing or shooting.

Question 43: For clarification on rules #18 and 19 if a team assigned the red goal puts the red ball into their own goal will that team be awarded 4 points?
Answer 43: If a team puts a ball into their own goal, they will lose one point per Rule 19.

Question 42: For clarification on Rule #10. Are teams allowed to launch grappling hooks, nets, or trapping devices?
Answer 42: No. If a component of a device separates from the device, the device will be deemed disabled and removed from play for the remainder of the half. See Question 29.

Question 41: Can teams have extra parts or modular attachments in the sizing box to replace damaged parts or change strategy between rounds?
Answer 41: Yes.

Question 40: Do extra batteries for the controller need to fit in the sizing box as well?
Answer 40: Yes, see Rule 2.

Question 39: If teams use umbilical cords to control their robots, what will the penalty be if umbilical cords interfere with other robots or the movement of tennis balls?
Answer 39: The team will receive a yellow card if their umbilical cord interferes with another team. If it is judged that the interference is intentional, a more severe penalty will be applied.

Question 38: Will there be any form of frequency regulation for the controllers? If not, how will it be possible to ensure that controllers do not interfere with each other?
Answer 38: No. Each team will be responsible for ensuring that communication between their controller(s) and device(s) is secure from and will not interfere with other devices. Team's may consider using bluetooth or something similar to ensure secure communication.

Question 37: Is it okay to build a robot similar to the Rocket league game? A robot which displacement will be on wheels?
Answer 37: Team may choose to design their device(s) such that they use wheels for locomotion.

Question 36: Can we get more details on question 8? I understand we can not pick up the ball, but is any other means of controlling the ball available to us as long as the ball maintains contact with the ground when controlled by the robot?
Answer 36: See Question 28.

Question 35: Referring to question 8, can the ball be shot in such a way that it briefly leaves the ground while remaining in contact with the robot throughout the process of shooting?
Answer 35: See Question 27. If the ball leaves the contact surface but remains in contact with the device when the device is passing or shooting on the goal, the ball must remain in motion during this process. If the ball stops moving relative to the device when it is not in contact with the playing surface, a yellow card penalty will be received.

Question 34: Are the 'goalkeeper' devices allowed inside the penalty box while pushing away the ball from the goal?
Answer 34: There are no goalkeepers allowed in this game. See Question 22.

Question 33: I see that devices are not allowed to pick up the ball. Are devices allowed to hold the ball against the playing surface in a way that keeps it from rolling away or must we push the ball out in front of the device similar to a player dribbling?
Answer 33: See Question 28.

Question 32: During the start of the game, the team only has to be within the penalty box on the ground, so if parts of the team are hanging outside the penalty box but not touching the ground that is okay?
Answer 32: Yes.

Question 31: Rule 22 states "A team may push, or secure a ball within their device in any way they chose". However, Q&A response #8 states "...devices are not permitted to pick up the ball. The ball can be pushed or struck by the device to dribble the ball, pass to another device or to shoot for a goal". Can devices secure a ball by pulling it inside the perimeter of the device as long as the ball stays on the playing surface? Can devices use extending manipulators, such as arms, to fully encompass a ball? Can manipulators rest atop a ball, like how a foot might rest on a soccer ball? Are there other restrictions for controlling a ball? How closely does control of a ball need to resemble dribbling?
Answer 31: See Question 28.

Question 30: Per the response to question 8, robots cannot pick up the ball. Can you then explain what is meant by Rule 22 bullet point #3, which states, “Teams may only attempt to steal a ball from another team when the ball is touching the ground” (i.e. “Teams cannot steal control of a ball from another team when the ball is off the ground”)? Can you also explain what is allowed by bullet point #1, which states, “A team may secure a ball within their device in any way they chose”?
Answer 30: Disregard Rule 22c. Regarding Rule 22a, see Question 28.

Question 29: What if a robot is accidentally flipped upside down, or suddenly out of power?
Answer 29: If a device becomes disabled during the game, it must be removed from the playing surface for the remainder of the current half.

Question 28: Can the bot in control of the ball retain the ball inside the device?
Answer 28: As long as the ball remains in contact with the ground, portions of a device may surround the ball as the device moves the ball across the playing surface.

Question 27: What is the definition of "Picking up a ball" as defined in the last Q&A session? the ball must be in contact with the ground at all times while being controlled by a robot? Does this mean no chip shots?
Answer 27: While the device is driving the ball down the playing surface toward the goal, the ball must move along the floor. When a shot is being made on the goal, the ball may move along the ground or be propelled through the air. If a robot picks up the ball to propel it for a shot on goal this is acceptable, as long as it is done in one continuous motion and from one location on the surface. Picking up the ball and moving the robot across the surface is not allowed.

Question 26: Can we have a clarification on Rule 4 as it pertains to the potential energy of the devices? Specifically, if the potential energy is not actually used to provide any power to the device but it is necessary to have the device start at a higher elevation in order to fit inside the penalty box, does it need to return to its initial elevation in order to meet the regulations of Rule 4?
Answer 26: Teams with multiple devices may initially use a configuration (e.g. stacked) for their devices at the start of the game or 2nd half that enables them to fit within the penalty box. The corresponding additional potential energy associated with this configuration is allowable and does not have to be restored. The energy all team devices use to maneuver or to control/shoot a ball must satisfy Rule 4.

Question 25: Is the penalty box a plane on the field, a 50cm x 50cm x 50cm volume, or an infinite volume extending upward from the plane of the penalty box?
Answer 25: The penalty box is a plane on the field. If part of a device passes over the penalty box, not touching the surface, the team will not incur a a penalty.

Question 24: What is the penalty for entering the penalty box?
Answer 24: The team earns a yellow card for illegally entering the penalty box (see Rule 23)

Question 23: Can you clarify the answer to question 4? The current answer implies that if a robot can get inside the boundaries without touching the lines it will not incur a penalty.
Answer 23: A device is “in” the penalty box if it touches the tape outlining the box or if it touches the portion floor enclosed by this tape.

Question 22: Is it still a penalty if a team is pushed into the penalty box by another team?
Answer 22: If a team’s device is pushed into a penalty box that device is not penalized as long as it leaves the penalty box immediately.

Question 21: The competition rules state that a team may be made up of multiple robots. They also state that a team can control only one ball at a time. How exactly is "control" defined?
In addition to that, if, for example, a team has 3 robots, do these rules mean that the team as a whole can control only one ball, or that each robot could control one ball at a time?
Answer 21: See Questions 1 and 15.

Question 20: Is a robot allowed to drop a wall or net outside the penalty box?
Answer 20: No. Nothing may be intentionally dropped on the playing field.

Updated October 17, 2017

Question 19: Rule 7 states "Transmitter/receiver radio links may be any commercially available model controller". Does this mean that we cannot make our own controllers using Arduinos.
Answer 19: A team may choose to use a commercially available controller or they may choose to construct their own control device as long as the communication signal is secured against interfering with other devices per Rule 8.

Question 18: Is pushing other team’s defenders out of the way allowed? Or would this be considered aggressive behavior?
Answer 18: No. While some contact between devices is to be expected, especially when a team seeks to steal the ball from another team’s device, intentionally colliding, pushing, or otherwise coming into contact with another team’s device in a way that is clearly not to steal a ball is not permitted and will result in a penalty.

Question 17: What are the exact specification for the tennis ball to be used in the game?
Answer 17: Standard (Type 2) tennis balls will be used for the competition. The mass of the ball is between 56.0-59.4 grams and the diameter of the ball is between 6.54-6.86 cm in compliance with the rules of the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

Question 16: Can each bot have individual remote controller?And can each bot be controlled by different member of the team?
Answer 16: Yes. But the wireless communication for each device must be designed in such a way that it is secured against interfering with the wireless communication of the other three teams. The use of multiple remote controls is permitted so long as they are in compliance with the size constraints per Rule 2.

Question 15: Suppose a team has a ball under control by its attacking bot and their goal post is attacked then the defenders have to stop the ball shot at target. In the rules it is mentioned that only one ball be controlled by a team then the defenders in above situation can only block the shot or can also deflect the ball without retaining it.
Answer 15: Each team is may only control and drive one ball toward an opponent's goal but the team's other device(s) may act to defend their goal from other balls.

Question 14: If a ball is inside the penalty box, am I allowed to keep it there? Does this allow me to stay inside the penalty box indefinitely?
Answer 14: No. A device may travel into the penalty box if it is in control of a ball in order to shoot on the goal or a device may travel into the penalty box to clear a ball which is already in the box. A device sitting in the penalty box will incur a penalty.

Question 13: Does the penalty box include the 3D space above the marked penalty box, or just the ground space of that box?
Answer 13: See Question 4.

Question 12: Will the same one minute setup period that precedes the start of each match also precede the start of the second half?
Answer 12: Yes.

Question 11: If a device begins a round tilted, stacked, or otherwise purposefully placed in a position that changes during play, will the device be required to return to its original configuration under its own power at the end of the round?
Answer 11: No. Each team will have one minute (Rule 3) at the beginning of each half to set up their device(s). Devices are not required to be returned to any specific configuration at the end of each half.

Question 10: For rule 17, is each individual device expected to meet some threshold of offensive capability beyond the basic ability to push a tennis ball? If so, what is that threshold?
Answer 10: Each device must be able to push the ball on the playing surface in a controlled manner but no additional capability is required.

Question 9: Will a device used primarily (or exclusively) for passing the ball or for ‘playing defense’ (per Rule 23) violate Rule 17’s statement that all devices “will attempt to gain control of the balls and score goals”?
Answer 9: No. Teams may choose to design their devices with specialized functions or with multiple capabilities.

Question 8: The rule book doesn't say anything against the devices picking up the ball. Is this allowed?
Answer 8: As the motivation behind this is football (a.k.a. soccer in the US), devices are not permitted to pick up the ball. The ball can be pushed or struck by the device to dribble the ball, pass to another device or to shoot for a goal.

Question 7: Is there a specific amount of time that the robot has to leave the penalty box at the start of the match?
Answer 7: Devices have 5 seconds at the start of each half to move out of the penalty box.

Question 6: During the start of the match does the whole team have to be inside the penalty box? Or if they don't fit can they be as close as possible?
Answer 6: In accordance to Rule 15, devices are required to start within the penalty box of the goal they are defending. If multiple devices are used, they must all be able to fit within the penalty box.

Updated October 10, 2017

Question 5: If the game is played by three teams, what happens to the fourth goal?
Answer 5: When only three teams are competing, one of the goals is removed and none of the corresponding balls are placed onto the playing surface. No penalties are incurred by passing into the penalty box of the removed goal.

Question 4: What is the definition of being in the penalty box?
Answer 4: A device is in the penalty box if any part of it touches the penalty box lines.

Question 3: Rule 16 - If the ball is scored, is it out of the goal?
Answer 3: Once a ball is scored, a judge will pick it up and remove it from the playing surface.

Question 2: Can we modify pre-assembled/pre-existing device for the tournament?
Answer 2: Yes. Each team must decide whether to build their device(s) from scratch or to modify a off-the-shelf device.

Question 1: Can I get a more specific explanation towards the 'control' aspects of the ball for the Robotic Football?
Answer 1: The judges must be able to identify clear intention of a device to propel a ball into a goal. That is, if a ball is propelled at a very high speed and it ends up in a goal after bouncing off of portions of the course and/or various other devices, no points will be received.

Edit Post Mode
  • Save & Done
  • Preview
Preview Post Mode