Animated Robotic Crawlers (ARC) Challenge

The ARC Challenge is an Advanced Robotics Competition, part of the Engineering and Computer Science Experience day at University of Michigan – Dearborn. The challenge is run for the first time in 2017.

Competition Quadroped. Each leg is controlled by three servo motors. Competition primarily consists of developing motion sequences to give the robot movement skills and personality.

Highlights

  • Piloted in 2017
  • Limited to four teams of two students.
  • Prior familiarity with programming is required.

Overview

The ARC challenge gives participating students a twist on robot design and mechanics. Writing code that allows a robot to perform complex and interesting maneuvers is a key aspect of robotics engineering. In 2017, the challenge will consists of 4 teams of 2 students each. The students participating must have preliminary experience with writing code and programming.

The teams will be given pre-built robotic crawlers (an image is shown above), and they are tasked with writing code to program the robotic crawler. The teams must complete basic tasks such as walking in all directions and turning. The robot is based on an Arduino Microcontroller, and example software will be provided demonstrating the basics of motor control. The challenge is to find the optimal motion sequences to give the robot the desired skills.

Judging Criteria

Student robots will be scored on a number of skills that must demonstrated.

  • Crawling forward
    • 3 points: clean an deliberate movement, bottom not dragging.
    • 2 points: effective movement, dragging leg(s) or bottom, some sporadic or irrelevant movements.
    • 1 point: somewhat moves in the right direction, not effective, significant drag or irrelevant leg movements.
  • Crawling backward
    • 3 points: clean an deliberate movement, bottom not dragging.
    • 2 points: effective movement, dragging leg(s) or bottom, some sporadic or irrelevant movements.
    • 1 point: somewhat moves in the right direction, not effective, significant drag or irrelevant leg movements.
  • Crawling sideways, left or right
    • 3 points: clean an deliberate movement, bottom not dragging.
    • 2 points: effective movement, dragging leg(s) or bottom, some sporadic or irrelevant movements.
    • 1 point: somewhat moves in the right direction, not effective, significant drag or irrelevant leg movements.
  • Turning,  clockwise or counterclockwise
    • 3 points: clean an deliberate movement, bottom not dragging.
    • 2 points: effective movement, dragging leg(s) or bottom, some sporadic or irrelevant movements.
    • 1 point: somewhat moves in the right direction, not effective, significant drag or irrelevant leg movements.
  • Personality/Greeting
    • 3 points: clean an deliberate greeting: nods, waves, and takes off. Convince judges that the robot is saying “Hi! come, follow me”.
    • 2 points: robot’s greeting has some personality, but is not clear or has distracting elements or movements.
    • 1 point: robot’s greeting has some of the right ingredients, but it has not come together into a convincing personality.
  • One meter race
    • In the case of a tie for points, the fastest time will serve as a tie breaker.

Judging criteria may be tweaked/modified at the competition.

Competition Resources:

  • Software: this is the starting point for all teams. It moves the body around, up and down, tilts it in all directions, and then the robot crawls forward. Click here to download.
  • Explanation of the software and how the core function calls for robot movement work can be found here.

Prizes

First Place: Keep the competition robot, made by SunFounder.

Second Place: Kit of components for your own project or robot (Servo motors, Arduino and motor interface board)

Third Place: parts of a robotic quadruped to get started on building your own crawler.

(Note: this first year, 2017, a maximum of 4 teams will be competing)

 

Related Resources, News and Videos

Acknowledgements

Faculty and Staff Advisers, Organizers, Judges: Samir Rawashdeh, Lin Van Nieuwstadt, Yu Zhang, Jesse Cross.

Student Volunteers: Hisham Alawneh, Benjamin Pollatz

CECS and ELO staff who organized the entire Engineering Experience Day.