Dr Graeme .net

2012 Australian National RoboCup Junior

The current Australian RoboCup Junior event draft timetable (dated 28Feb2012) states that the competitions will be held in Canberra on 21st, 22nd and 23rd of September this year. Note that, while the 21st is a Friday which may be a school or work day for some people, this day is for practice sessions only (3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.), and no competition events are scheduled for that day.

At this time of writing (5Jul2012), details of the Information Kit, Accommodation, Local maps, Schedule of events, and Saturday Night function details are not yet available.

Rules & Registration for 2012 National RoboCup Junior Events

The Australian 2012 National rules for RoboCup Junior Dance can be obtained by clicking here.

 The Australian 2012 National rules for RoboCup Junior GEN II Soccer can be obtained by clicking here. Note that Soccer offers support for 4 novice league soccer teams to go to the World Robot Olympiad in Kuala Lumpur this year -  a tremendous opportunity! Note also that there have been changes to the GEN II soccer rules for 2012 - download the 2012 rules and read the sections in red carefully.

The Australian 2012 National rules for RoboCup Junior Rescue can be obtained by clicking here. Some big changes have been made to the rules this year, including a doorway, see-saws, sloping ramps and elevated tiles. If you are considering competing you should download the rules and carefully read the new sections printed in red. When I did this, I found some segments that did not seem clear to me. I wrote to several people associated with Rescue at the end of April and the beginning of May, but have not so far (5Jul2012) received any official replies. For the record, the items about which I asked for clarification are the following (if you know more about this, I'd be pleased of an email to graeme@computer.org).

RoboCup Rescue 2012 rules queries.

I would like to thank Mr. Greig Tardiani for his clarification of matters relating to these queries. My interpretation of his clarifications are in bold type below the queries. I will leave these answers on the web site for a while because some interest has been expressed in them, and probably delete the queries towards the end of this month.

1) Web page http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/rescue  Should the following change be made? "Rescue: Every team member must have LESS than two full years' experience. eg. I competed last year. I can compete in Rescue next this year. I cannot compete in Rescue next year." This change would make it consistent with page 4 of http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf

Fixed. The web page has been changed.

2) Reference http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf page 4; paragraph headed "Local Variations"; should 2011 be changed to 2012?

Fixed. This sentence has been deleted.

3) Regarding http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf page 4, "Open to all students up to those studying at a recognized secondary provider". In the past we have had some home schooled students entered. Are they still eligible?

Clarified. Home Schooled students are eligible.

4) Reference http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf page 8; para 2.1.13. The surface texture, colour of the see saw surface, colour of the line and form (straight, curved?) of the line are not defined in this rule. Are MTA going to provide for purchase an extra vinyl tile for this purpose as suggested by rule 2.1.3? However since a separate tile for this purpose does not seem to be currently listed in MTA stock, perhaps schools required to make their own see saws from painted plywood, with presumably a white background and a straight(?) black line in accordance with paragraphs 2.1.4 & 2.1.5 of these rules? Some additional information could assist schools preparing for this challenge.

Partially clarified. A note on the see-saw surface has been added to rule 2.1.13. It is not currently planned to make see-saw surfaces available through MTA. Efforts are being made to find a surface supplier that is available nationally. It seems there will be a lot of variation in local see-saw construction, however the see-saws used in the National Competitions will be built to the specification in rule 2.1.13. There is currently (13Jul2012) no clarification that the  line on the see-saw will be straight.

5) If MTA are going to make available some extra straight tiles, it would be useful for one to have the positions of the Rescue and Premier Rescue doorway legs marked on one of the tiles, perhaps in a similar manner to the way the water tower position is marked? This would be an advantage, as in competition carefully adjusting these after each knockdown will be time consuming, and prone to argument.

Partially clarified. It will be left up to the judges to ensure accurate doorway positioning.

6)  Reference http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf page 8; para 2.1.13. The see-saw is likely to more easily fit into the present Rescue mat if the dimensions in 2.1.13 are changed from the 600 mm listed in this rule, to the standard Rescue mat size of 594 mm..

Partially clarified. Much discussion. The exact length of the see-saw depends to some extent on the thickness of the backing for the tiles. Considering that, if your saw-handling is as inexpert as mine, there will probably be several millimeters of error in cutting the see-saw to size, 600 mm is probably as good a size to start with as any other.

7) Reference http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf page 8; para 2.1.13. It is suggested that the present see-saw length shown in the diagram be changed from 600 meters to a more convenient 594 mm..

Not fixed. Currently (13Jul2012) the length of the see-saw in the diagram in rule 2.1.13 is still shown as 600 metres.

8) Reference http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf page 8; para 2.1.13. The exact location of the holes defined by “On the edge of the Pivot board drill a 3mm hole 295mm from one end on both sides.” seems a bit obscure. If the location of these holes is vital, an additional diagram would be of assistance.

Partially clarified. The pivot for the see-saw is to be off-set by 5 mm to make one side of the see-saw heavier than the other, to ensure that one side is always pressed down to the floor when there is not a robot on the see-saw. The 3mm sized hole may be a bit small for long-term reliability if craft-wood is used instead of plywood, and may have to be made bigger.

9) Reference http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf page 9; para 2.1.17. The 70 mm x 70 mm block size in this rule disagrees with the block size shown in  http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RoboCUp%20Rescue%20Mounting%20Blocks.pdf . The timber size 70 mm x 70 mm block is a standard size. It has been found to be adequate to support the tiles. It costs about half the 90 mm x 90 mm blocks. For these reasons it is suggested that the 70 mm x 70 mm measurement in this rule be retained, and the clashing size shown on the Mounting Block page be changed.

Fixed. The size of the blocks in the "RoboCup Rescue Mounting Blocks" pdf available from the RCJA web site has been changed to 70 mm x 70 mm .

10) Reference http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf page10; para 3.4.1. The 41 mm x 41 mm block size in this rule disagrees with the block size shown in http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RoboCUp%20Rescue%20Doorways.pdf . Since 41 mm x 41 mm is a standard size, and 45 mm x 45 mm mentioned in the Doorways page requires planing down to size, it is suggested that the 41 mm x 41 mm shown in this rule be retained, and the clashing block size in the "Rescue Doorways" page be changed.

Fixed. The size of the pine in the "RoboCup Rescue Doorways" pdf available from the RCJA web site have been changed to 41 mm x 41 mm .

11) Regarding http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf  page 8, there are two paragraphs numbered 2.1.14. It is suggested that these be re-numbered and to remove a possible source of confusion.

Fixed. These have been re-numbered to be paragraphs 2.1.15 to 2.1.18..

12) Regarding http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf rule 3.1.1, Should the following addition be made? " The robot must be able to pass through a doorway 270 mm wide and 270 mm high for the premier rescue division.

Fixed. The wording of 3.1.1 has been clarified.

13) Reference http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf page10; para 3.4.1. The present form of the rule would make it possible to place the gateway at a slant to the line, so that robots would need to follow an “S” course to pass through the gateway; while this would be a very interesting challenge, I suspect it may be a bit difficult for this level of competition. It is suggested that a simple change to the rule's wording would eliminate this possibility. A suggested change is shown in the attached Word 2010 discussion document available here.

Partially clarified. It will be left to the judges to be reasonable.

14) Regarding http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf , rule 3.4.1 and the RoboCup Rescue Doorways pdf both state that a robot must pass through the doorway without knocking it down. Rule 3.4.1 states that a robot knocking over the doorway will need to restart the course. However what occurs if a robot passes through the doorway, disturbing the pieces, but not knocking them over? Is a restart necessary? In previous years with the "pipe" measurement, cables touching the pipe walls were ignored - will this happen with the doorway? Will the fact that robot cables "expand" the 180mm x 180 mm opening (without knocking the doorway elements over) be allowable? A clarification of this situation before the competitions start would be handy to save subsequent confusion and possible argument.

Clarified. The doorway pieces can be moved, but as long as they do not fall over, this is OK.

15) Regarding http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RoboCUp%20Rescue%20Doorways.pdf , for the reasons mentioned in point 9, it is suggested that the clashing references to 45 mm be changed to 41 mm. for both the Rescue and Premier Rescue doorways. This will also mean that the length of the top component to the doorway would preferably change in length, to 262 mm for the Rescue doorway, and 352 mm for the Premier Rescue doorway.

Partially fixed. The sizes of the pine pieces have been changed to 41 mm, and the lengths of the longer pieces have been corrected. Currently (13Jul2012) the dimensions above the doorway diagram are still misleading.

16) Regarding http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RoboCUp%20Rescue%20Doorways.pdf Should the two references to pin be changed to pine ?


17)  Regarding http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf rule 5.5.7 Alternative Restart rule, does a failure "to complete a rescue" only occur if the robot leaves the rescue tile (in which case this rule presumably takes precedence over rule 5.6.6)? If this is not the case, it could be open for students to pick up their robot as soon as it missed the can, place their robot at the start of the rescue tile, and aim their robot directly at the can resulting in an easy rescue. This would enable them to almost always obtain a quicker solution than the students who have put in the hard work to program an autonomous solution, thus gaining an advantage under changed rule 5.7.9.. It is suggested, in the interests of fairness, that the final sentence in rule 5.5.7 be eliminated.

Partially clarified. The final sentence is retained. The judges will be trained to be fair.

18) Regarding http://www.robocupjunior.org.au/sites/default/files/RCJA_Rescue_Rules_2012.pdf, rules 5.7.8 and 5.7.9 both refer to a "Raw Score". This does not seem to be defined anywhere in the rules. Is this the sum of the points gained in all runs made by the robot during that phase of the competition? In some previous years the worst score was allowed to be dropped, not counting in the final score for that robot; has this kind provision been deleted for 2012?

Clarified. "Raw Score" is the sum of the scores obtained by the robot in the National's customary 5 runs. Rule 5.7.8 implies that the score of the worst round may be omitted from the raw score.


Some of these points are minor, but some are important. Students and their mentors put in a lot of work to solve these challenges. An unofficial rough layout of the rules with some of these changes incorporated can, for discussion purposes, be downloaded from here.

If you want to discuss this, I'd be pleased to hear from you via email to graeme@computer.org.

RoboCup Junior - More Information

For other information about Australian RoboCup Junior, click here

www.DrGraeme.net - Australian RoboCup Junior Dance, Soccer and Rescue contacts for 2011