Regular Competition Rules [Landmine Detection + Minefield Mapping]

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Minesweepers is an international competition for humanitarian demining. Each participating team (Max. 10 members) will construct a teleoperated or an autonomous robot that should be able to search for underground anti-personnel mines and produce automatically a map of the detected mines. The robot has to able to navigate through rough environment that mimics a real minefield.

1. Minefield

The competition arena will be an open desert area with dimensions 20x20 meters. The field will be surrounded by a wooden fence with 30 cm height. The landmine contaminated zones in the arena start 50 cm from each the boarders. Most of the arena will be sandy soils or rocky with obstacles, some steep inclines, ditches and culverts that can be difficult to negotiate by the robots.

2.  The Mines

Two different kinds of artificial mines are used in this competition:

Some landmines will be organized in a pattern for easier removal and accountability and others will be scattered randomly. Locations of each landmine will be known for the jury committee.

3.  The Robots

Each team must use a teleoperated or an autonomous robot per game. The robot has to be made by team members. Teleoperated robot must be operated remotely from a base station located outside the minefield. Wireless controller based on ZigBee for example would be recommended to communicate the base station with the robot due to the large size of the field. In case of autonomous robots, all the actions of the robot must be completely autonomous without human intervention. Autonomous robot will be rewarded a 40% bonus over teleoperated robots. Careful attention must be paid to the robot locomotion systems as the roughness of the terrain is very high. Robots can be wheeled, legged or hybrid. Wheeled robots include but are not limited to differential drive, tricycle drive, Ackerman steering, synchro drive, omnidirectional drive, Multi-Degree-of-Freedom (MDOF) vehicles, MDOF vehicle with compliant linkage or tracked vehicles. Legged robot can be uniped, biped, tripod, pentapod, quadruped or hexapod robot. Robot can also be an unmanned aerial vehicle or a quad-rotor. Robot can be actuated using electric, pneumatic or hydraulic actuation system, Diesel/Petrol engine or using solar energy.

4.  Sensors

Each team can select their own set of sensors for localization of mines. Although teams can install cameras on robot or install them on the sides of the field, no camera or sensors is allowed to hangover the competition area.

5.  Mine Detection

When a robot detects a mine, it has to autonomously report this event using a light blinking signal and a warning siren for at least 2 seconds. Teams have to correctly position the alarm device on their robot.

6.  Mine Map

Each deminer robot has to provide map of the detected mines when its competition time slot finishes. The map represents a 19x19 meter area divided to 100x100 cm squares based on the common reference frame of the arena. The X coordinate of the map is shown by letters A to S and the Y coordinate of the map consists of numbers 1 to 19. So a position (x,y) where the mine is detected has to be reported for example by B2. This map can be simply a text file or text shown on the display of the robot. The sequence of the positions has to be the same as the detected mines. This mine map can be represented graphically or using vector format as shown in Fig. 1 and 2 respectively.

The scoring points will be calculated from the map. If the map is not created automatically by the robot without operator intervention and submitted to the jury committee, the judge won't be able to complete the scoring sheet. There will be two judges: one in the arena and one outside. The judge in the field will take care of observing the touching with the surface mines and control the time and the resets. But the judge outside the arena will calculate the points based on the provided map taking into consideration the observations of the in-field judge in terms of number of touches and time. If no map is provided (in raw or graphic format as shown below), no points will be obtained.

Fig. 1 Graphical Representation of the Mine Map [Black: buried mine, Gray: Surface Mine]

Fig. 2 Vector Representation of the Mine Map

7.  Procedure

Each robot starts the game from one of the corners of the competition arena such as A1 (Fig. 1). Team members will bring the teleoperated or the autonomous robot to this location. Then robot has to search the field to find buried mines or the mines scattered on surface. When the robot detects any kinds of mine it should register the location of the mine in the map and produce a light signal and siren and also report the mine location to update the mine map. All the detected mines will be removed from the field before a new team enters the arena.
Robot has to able to navigate through rough environment of the minefield and avoid obstacles. Robots must avoid surface mines else the team will be penalized. 
During competitions only one of team members can attend the field. He/she can request a “Reset Time” which means he/she can stop the game and take out robot for repair or adjustment. The time spends for this repair will be included within the competition time and there would be a penalty for each resent time. The competitiontime allowed for each team is 20 minutes including the reset time. Jury committee will calculate the team's score and prepare the field for the next team during another 10 minutes.

The competition will end with one of the following conditions:

8.  Scoring

General rules for scoring are as following. But the exact scores will be decided during the competition.

 

Table 1 shows a sample for scoring sheet.

Table 1 Scoring Sheet

9.  General Rules