2007 Game: Rack n’ Roll

Lakota Robotics | Game Announcements

2007 Game: Rack n’ Roll

Robot Name: V2


The Rack ‘n Roll field is dominated by ‘The Rack’, a large metal contraption with three levels of hanging metal bars, with each level having 8 arms evenly spaced in an octagonal manner. Each arm (also known as a ‘spider leg’) has space for two game pieces. Any more pieces placed on a spider leg beyond the first two are ignored for scoring purposes. At the beginning of the match, the rack is arbitrarily translated or rotated within three feet of the center of the field in order to give some randomness and to encourage autonomous modes that do not depend on dead-reckoning. At the top of the Rack are four green-colored lights above the 1, 3, 5, and 7 legs to aid in autonomous-mode tracking.

The game is made up of two scoring periods. The first 15 seconds of play is the Hybrid period in which robots are autonomous, and may also respond to certain digital signals sent by team members designated as “Robocoaches”, who are stationed at the corners of the track.

The next two minutes of play is the Teleoperated period. At this time, robots are fully radio controlled by the team operators standing at either end of the field.


Rack Scoring

The primary method of scoring in Rack ‘n Roll is by making rows and columns of tubes on the rack. A row or column of n tubes is worth 2n points to a maximum of n=8. Note that this includes rows or columns of length 1, so a single tube on the rack that does not form a row or column is worth 2 points. Teams have access to 21 scorable keepers and ringers. This means that the maximum possible score from the rack should be 596 . That is, two rows of 8 ringers, a row of 5 (2 ringers plus 3 keepers), 5 vertical columns of length 3, then 3 vertical columns of length 2.

Robot Scoring

Robot positions at the end of the match are worth bonus points. In Rack n’ Roll, each robot in its alliance end zone that is not touching any field element and has its lowest part 4 or more inches off the ground will score 15 bonus points. A robot that is not touching any field element and has its lowest part 12 or more inches off the ground will score 30 bonus points. Since robots may not be touching any field element, this means that in order to score bonus points, teams will have to depend on their alliance partners to provide mechanisms to lift their robots or will have to have mechanisms to lift their alliance partner’s robots. Since at least one robot must be touching the ground in order to lift the other two alliance robots off the ground, the maximum conceivable bonus points an alliance can score is 60 points.

Game Play/Pieces

The game pieces in Rack ‘n Roll are inflatable toroidal pool toys. There are 3 styles: Keepers, Ringers, and Spoilers. Keepers are tubes with lettering that are placed only during autonomous mode and, once placed, override any pieces placed later for scoring purposes. Ringers are undecorated tubes that are delivered onto the field either by human players via chutes, or are picked from the floor. Nine ringers of each color start on the field in the opposing team’s start area (so the 9 blue ringers are in the red alliance’s end zone, and vice versa). The other nine start behind the end wall, to be given out by human players. Spoilers are colored black, and cause the spider arm holding them to be ignored for scoring purposes. Spoilers can be removed or repositioned on the rack by robots multiple times. Each alliance starts with two spoilers, accessible by their human players.

Each match of Rack ‘n Roll is 2 minutes 15 seconds long, divided into three segments. The first segment is a 15 second autonomous period, where robots may attempt to place keepers onto the rack without human input. Once autonomous mode is complete, any keepers not already on the rack are no longer valid for scoring. The second segment, the teleoperated mode, is 2 minutes long, during which robots are operated by the drivers and may roam anywhere on the field. In the final 15 seconds, the end game, robots may not enter their opponent’s end zone, but all other rules remain the same from the teleoperated period. Though the head referee may pause the game between the autonomous period and the teleoperated period, the end game follows directly after the teleoperated period.

2006 Game: Aim High

Lakota Robotics | Game Announcements

2006 Game: Aim High

Robot Name: Stormin’ Norman

Game description

Aim High is played by two alliances, red and blue, each consisting of three robots. During a 10-second autonomous mode robots are programmed to score into any of the three goals: one raised center goal marked by a green vision target and two corner goals at floor level. At the end of the autonomous period the alliance with the most points will gain a 10-point bonus and will be placed on defense for round two. Rounds two, three and four are each 40 seconds long and are human-controlled rounds. Between rounds two and three the alliances switch from offense to defense or vice versa. At the start of round 4 any alliance can score into the corresponding goals. At the end of the match any alliance can receive bonus points by placing its three robots on a platform below the center goal. The alliance with the most points wins with scoring as follows: 3 points for any ball scored in the center goal, 1 point for any ball scored in the corner goals, 10 bonus points for scoring the highest in the autonomous round and 25 points for placing all 3 robots on the platform at the end (10 points for 2 robots and 5 points for 1 robot).

Field layout

The Aim High field has 6 goals and 2 platforms. Unlike previous years an alliance’s goals are on the far side of the field. The field is flat and measures 54 feet (16 m) long by 26 feet (7.9 m) wide.

Alliance station

The alliance station wall is 26 ft (8 m) long and stretches the width of the field. The middle 18 ft (5 m) of the alliance station wall is made of “diamond plate” aluminum from the floor to 3 ft (1 m) high with clear acrylic filling the rest of the 3.5 ft (1.1 m). The outer edges of the wall consist of transparent polycarbonate. Above each alliance station there is a circular goal (the center goal), with a green light above it. The green light is used so that the CMUcam can lock onto it. On the bottom left and right of each alliance station there are two rectangular holes, the corner goals, through which balls can be maneuvered to receive points. In front of each alliance station there is a raised platform.

Tournament structure

The tournament structure of this competition is the same as in previous years. In the regional competitions teams were given access to their robots on the Thursday of the competition weekend. It is a practice day giving each team a number of practice rounds on the regulation playing field. Friday and the morning of Saturday is dedicated to a series of qualification rounds. Each team competed in around seven to ten matches. The number of wins by a team in these matches determines the team’s ranking.

Before a lunch break on Saturday the top eight teams from the qualification rounds are asked, in order from the top-seeded team to the eighth seed, to select an alliance of three robots. In contrast to previous years this order reverses for the second selection round and the eighth seed picks first and then backwards to the first seed. This was instituted to make the finals more competitive and balanced compared to previous years.

After the lunch break the finals take place. This is a standard-elimination tournament bracket starting with alliance 1 facing alliance 8, alliance 2 facing alliance 7, and so on. At the end of the finals the last remaining alliance is declared the winner and all three teams are given the right to attend the national competition.

2005 Game: Triple Play

Lakota Robotics | Game Announcements

2005 Game: Triple Play

Robot Name: Big Bill

Triple Play was the FIRST Robotics Competition game released on January 8, 2005. This is the first time the game rules PDF files were made available in late December to teams prior to the official release. The files with an alphanumeric password featuring the game’s name.

This game was the first to feature three robots per alliance. The primary game pieces were called “Tetras” which are tetrahedra made from 1.25 in (31.8 mm) PVC pipe 30 in (762 mm) long. The game was played on a field set up like a tic-tac-toe board, with nine larger goals, also shaped as tetras in three rows of three. The object of the game was to place the scoring tetras on the larger goals, creating rows of three by having a tetra of your alliance’s color at the highest point on the goal. Triple Play was a strategically intensive game, requiring quick thinking on the part of the drivers and operators to optimize the field for their alliance.

Game play

Tetras scored on the top of a goal were worth 3 points, while tetras contained inside the goals were worth 1 point. A goal was “owned” by the alliance whose color tetra highest on or inside the goal. Rows of three owned goals garnered the alliance an additional 10 points per at the end of regulation play. Ten points could also be scored if all three alliance robots were behind the alliance line at their end of the field at the end of the game.

The playing field consisted of nine goals placed at equal intervals across the field in rows of three. At the beginning of each match, the 4 corner goals had hanging tetras, and robots would be able to keep the tetras in the goals only if they knocked them down during the autonomous mode. On the side of the playing field were the automatic loading zones. These platforms were kept with a constant supply of a single tetra for a robot to pick up and bring into play. On the opposing side of the field was the Human Player Loading Zone, where human players could run out and hook a tetra on their robot. By doing this, however, a human player disabled their robot until such a time as they returned to their platform. In the spaces between the center row of goals and the home rows, four “Vision Tetras” were placed. A robot could locate these autonomously to score extra points, but were otherwise treated as regular tetras during regulation.


  • Center row – the row of goals running parallel to the player stations in the center of the field. The middle goal of the center row is a much higher target than the standard goal.
  • Contained – a tetra that is placed entirely under a goal. No part of the contained tetra is allowed to touch the carpet outside of the goal. However, the tetra is allowed to hang outside the goal if it is only touching the goal itself. A contained tetra is worth 1 point.
  • Far row – the row furthest from the player station, running along the wall of the opposing player station.
  • Home row – the line of goals directly along the player station of an alliance.
  • Owned – an alliance owns a goal on one of 4 occasions: if it has the highest contained tetra in a goal with no stacked tetras, if it has the topmost stacked tetra, if it stacked a vision tetra on any goal OR if the opposing alliance at any point removed a stacked tetra.
  • Stacked – a tetra that is placed and securely fit on top of a goal. A stacked tetra is worth 3 points.
  • Tetra – the game piece. A 30″x30″x30″ Tetrahedron constructed entirely of PVC pipe. Came in blue and red to denote alignment.
  • Vision Tetra – 4 tetras (two of each color) that were marked by a 2.5 in (63.5 mm) wide strip of green plastic that the cameras could detect and steer the robot towards. The vision tetras were placed randomly in one of 8 spots on each side of the field before autonomous mode.