The Western Canadian Robot Games are held anually at SAIT in Alberta. Consisting of many different events the WCRG is one of the biggest robot competitions in Canada and North America, more info can be found at www.robotgames.com. Although the firefighting contest is a major part of the games it was originally developed by Trinity College, the WCRG adaption is less complex than the Trinity College version but still quite challenging, more info can be found at www.trincoll.edu/events/robot.
The firefighting contest is designed to model a real-world situation where robots would be used to locate and extinguish a fire in a warehouses or possibly even homes. To simulate this our robot must navigate a simple, predefined, maze and extinguish a blazing inferno (a candle). This is actually a lot tougher than it sounds, here are a few of the problems we had last time:
Once turned on the robot must be self-controlled without ant human intervention, that is, these are to be autonomously controlled and not manually controlled devices.
The robot can bump into or touch the walls of the house as it travels, but can not mark or damage the walls in doing so.
The robot can not leave anything behind as it travels through the house. It can not make any marks on the floor of the house as it travels.
The robot must, in the opinion of the official judges, have found the candle before it attempts to put it out. The robot must find the candle before it puts it out. The robot can not just flood the house structure with CO2 and put it out by accident.
The robot must not use any destructive or dangerous methods to put out the candle. It can use such items as water, air, CO2, etc, but any method or material that is dangerous or will damage the house is prohibited. For example, the robot can not explode a firecracker and put the candle out with the concussion. The robot can not knock the candle over to put it out
If a robot accidentally knocks over a candle after it has been put out then it is all right and the robots trail run will count. The candle will be mounted on a weighted base so that it will not be easily knocked over by moving air or water.
Any mess that a robot makes (water, whipping cream, etc) will be cleaned up by the owner of the robot.
The maximum size of the robot shall be 12" by 12" by 12". The robot can not look over the walls of the structure and must never extend itself beyond 12" in height.
There are no restrictions on the weight of the robot.
There are no restrictions on the type of materials used in the creation of the robot, except that the robot must be designed and constructed by the contestants.
There are no restrictions on the type of sensors that can be used as long as they do not violate any of the other rules or regulations.
No external cables may be connected to the robot. For instance, the robot must not be connected to an external computer system for instructions.