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Posted by:
Wed, 11/01/2017 - 5:11pm

2018 RoboSub Draft Tasks Now Available for Review!

The draft of the 2018 RoboSub Tasks document is now available. This is your chance to review the proposed tasks and provide feedback to the RoboSub Technical Team! Be sure to provide your input before the tasks are finalized

Click on this link to see the 2018 RoboSub Draft Tasks.



Posted by:
Stephen Cronin
Stephen Cronin's picture
Thu, 11/02/2017 - 11:15pm

Task Draft Review

Overall, I am a bit conflicted about the introduction of these new tasks for sub. On one hand, the competition needs to increase in its difficulty with teams being to accomplish more and more of the tasks. However, it is concerning the potential impact of these changes on newer teams, or teams that have lost most of their primary (and knowledgeable) members. These teams can be overshadowed from the successes of others, and I would hate to see their potential to learn and grow be harmed in the pursuit of raising the bar for those who often perform well.


Looking at the competition overall, what sub has excelled at in the past was the wide range of task difficulties that provided teams of varying capabilities to be able to shoot to achieve their own particular goals, whether that be just to drive through the gate all the way to multi-vehicle interaction and complex manipulation. While these new tasks in some respects have the capacity to the differing levels of difficulty, points could be awarded for hitting any buoy, or the fact that you don’t have to turn away from the gate, they also can create a barrier to entry. Rather than just buying an off the shelf buoy to test with, a team must build them. Rather than two unique gate tasks where some overlap in algorithms can be shared, the tasks have little to share between them. Finally, tasks that had multiple tiers of difficulty (torpedoes for instance) are now more restricted (requiring manipulation all the time). I think the core concept behind the new tasks could be good, but we cannot lose sight of the more nuanced successes of the old tasks.


Looking beyond the particulars of the tasks themselves, I can certainly express my support for some of the higher-level goals this task structure is attempting to achieve. Just as we saw in the last RobotX competition, the integration of tasks with each other represents a focus on higher levels of autonomy. To truly be successful, the robot(s) must be cognoscente not just about how to solve a task, but also whether or not a task should be immediately accomplished or another task should be solved first. In terms of a complexity to learning potential balance, this approach is rather beneficial as a team can easily ignore the complexity of the big picture or they can dive into it completely. If I had any concern about this aspect of the competition, it would be that the course arrangement needs to facilitate this to be the most successful. Sub has typically had a linear structure (somewhat mandated by the Transdec), but for this idea to truly succeed the course must be arranged in a manner that demands a vehicle to search for potential task benefits rather than just using path markers to come upon them in a logical progression.


As I’ve already drawn this post out for this long, I figure I can add a bit more. An approach used by a different AUVSI competition, IGVC, that has been used to great success in their event was two courses, and easy and hard. Teams had the potential to earn more points on the hard course (and had more difficult elements), but what it really provided was a consistent easy course. Teams that didn’t have the capability to move on the more difficult course could expect the same thing year over year, and grow at their own pace. The more challenging course is updated based on the team’s performances on it over time. Now, it is harder to implement in a fixed sized pool, but this division could provide the best avenue for any team to succeed and learn.


Hope this feedback helps,

Stephen Cronin

Robotics Association at Embry-Riddle

Posted by:
Laura Lee
Laura Lee's picture
Thu, 11/02/2017 - 11:45pm

Task Draft Questions

The rules getting released this early is super exciting!

We have have a few questions:

- Multiple vehicle weight? Are multiple vehicles required to fit under the 125lbs or will it stay the same as in the past with each vehicle under its own weight contraint?

- Could we get a preliminary distance between the yellow coin dispenser pusher and outlet? And what is the approximate travel required of the pusher to release a coin?

- RoboSub Extreme doesn't have any rules (which is super exciting), but should a minimum battery voltage be enforced? We don't want anyone running their batteries down past the safe limit.

- How many golf balls are you anticipating there being of each color?

- Are there going to be any locators to the gold coin dispensers other than the paths and them being close to other tasks?

- How many balls fit in each funnel?

- For the slots lever stay down on its own or does it need to be held down?

- Now that the paths are not straight, do the subs have to follow the crooked path?



Posted by:
Rumman Waqar
Rumman Waqar's picture
Sat, 11/04/2017 - 2:56pm

Shoot Craps (buoy anchors) Question

We have a few questions for Shooting Craps task:

  • How are the buoys anchored to the pool floor? Will they be able to rotate?
  • Do we get the same points if we hit buoys for 7 or 11?
  • What are the dice dimensions?
  • Is the dice placement randomized (or similar to the diagram)?
  • What happens if you accidently hit a dice?
  • How far apart are the dice?


Rumman (ARVP)

Posted by:
Club Etudiant SONIA
Club Etudiant SONIA's picture
Wed, 11/08/2017 - 2:31pm

Clarification questions and proposal

Thanks for posting the rules early on!

We have a few questions regarding the different tasks:

  • When are you thinking about posting the dimensions of the objects?
  • Regarding the ‘try the slot’ challenge are we compelled to pull the arm, or can we just shoot on the red opening closer to the floor? We would also want to know what is the angle of rotation of the push/pull arm?
  • Regarding the ‘cash in your chips’ challenge, are we to put the ball in the bin by surfacing from the water?
  • Is it possible to have the footage of the surrounding and the obstacles?
  • Is the random Pinger back this year?

SONIA would like to propose that if a team decides to choose a random Pinger or flip the coin, that team is obligated to stick to that decision. However, failing to do so should result in losing points. We believe that this would eliminate the luck factor which makes it unfair for others.


Posted by:'s picture
Thu, 11/09/2017 - 10:27pm

Feedback on Preliminary Tasks

Thanks for the draft tasks! We had the following questions about the RoboSub preliminary tasks: 

  • Will the specific hue of international orange be specified? 
  • How will the method be pre-called to determine either black or red? Do teams pick? 
  • Segmented Gate -> How wide is the gate, and can you pass under the black/red middle marker? 
  • Craps -> What is the distance between dice, what happens if you unintentionaly hit two dice that do not combine for a sum of 7 or 11?
  • Gold chips -> How many chips can you get from one dispenser, how much force is needed to actuate the plate, what is the appearance of the plate?
  • Slots -> Does the arm stay down, how many torpedos, how far do you need to push down the lever, are the slots colored boxes, do we shoot torpedos or golf balls?
  • Roulette -> How to the balls stay on the rotating disk, what are the size of colored regions?
  • Cash in -> If we have blue chips, does it make a difference if they are placed in green / red hoppers?
  • Robosub Extreme -> is this a separate competition and do we get points in the RoboSub competition for participation? 

Thanks! AUVs at Berkeley

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