Q1: What types of robots we can implement?
A1: 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.
Q2: What kind of actuation system is permitted?
A2: Robot can be actuated using electric, pneumatic or hydraulic actuation system, Diesel/Petrol engine or using solar energy.
Q3: How many members in each team?
A3: Maximum number of team’s members is 10 students. Only one of them will be the team representative during the competition.
Q4: Is the competition customized for undergraduate or graduate students?
A4: Minesweepers-Academia competition is for both grad and undergrad students. A team may involve undergrad or/and grade students. Minesweepers-Junior competition is dedicated for primary and secondary school students where no mapping is required.
Q5: Is it permissible for the participation of students from several colleges in the same university in one team?
A5: That would be welcomed of course.
Q6: We wish to participate in the upcoming Minesweepers: Toward a Landmine-Free World. For that we require to train our robot and obtain the metal objects that mimic the landmine. Will we have access to the competition arena and the metal objects before the competition?
A6: A schedule will be published to organize the access to the competition arena between the participating teams. Landmines will be simulated using metallic cubes, with approximate dimensions of 10x10x10 (LxWxD). Sample of the cubes will be available for the participating teams.
Q7: We want to know if the robot has to remove the mine after detecting it?
A7: Demining or mine clearance is the process of removing land mines from an area, while minesweeping describes the act of detecting of mines. As the name of the competition implies, the robot must be able only to detect the buried and surface mines and construct a mine map for these detected mine.
Q8: I'm a university student and am wondering if you can help me in constructing the robot as it will be my first time?
A8: A set of Webinars (Web Seminars) will be offered to help the participating team in constructing the demining robots covering different related topics such as locomotion systems, environment perception, robot navigation and wireless communication. Many technical resources are also available on the competition website.
Q9: I would like to request if there is any chance for making orientation sessions at universities in order to tell students more information about the importance of the competition and its rules. Can we help in organizing an orientation session in at our university?
Q10: As mentioned in the internet site the Universities & Research centers are allowed to participate. What about individuals ? Can i participate without being a student in University or Working in a research center?
A10: Individuals are welcome to participate in this competition. Minesweepers-Industry is a new category dedicated for industrial teams.
Q11: Will be there more than one mine in 1 m2 area?
A11: The competition arena will be divided into 19x19 cells 1x1m each. Only one mine will be found in one cell.
Q12: Is there any other buried metal objects than the mines?
A12: The objects to be detected will be metal cubes (10x10x10cm) buried or located above the ground. No other objects than these steel cubes will be used.
Q13: What is the least distance between two adjacent mines?
A13: 1 m is the least distance between two adjacent mines in Minesweepers-Academia and Minesweepers-Junior. No such restriction in Minesweepers-Industry.
Q14: Are we allowed to use an on-board computer that is connected to the robot? For example: A computer that is connected to the robot via USB.
A14: You can use on-board computer for local processing on the robot and/or you can also use off-board computer for remote processing from a base station. The only constraint is that no human enters the minefield. The minefield is 20x20 meter so the communication must be wireless. It's not good idea to use USB cables for this large field.
Q15: Can the robot send the data to an external computer where all processing and decisions made? For example: The robot will send the data captured by the sensors to a computer via WiFi or ZigBEE. The computer will analyse the data and send the feedback to the robot.
A15: Data processing and decision making can be done on-board or off-board. As you know fully autonomous robot’s score will be multiplied by 1.4 over the teleoperated robot’s score. If your robot is autonomous so no human intervention from outside or inside the minefield is allowed.
Q16: Can we register teams for students age 10-17 in the Minesweepers competition?
A16: Yes but you have to register in Minesweepers-Juniors.
Q17: Is it possible for companies to participate the competition?
A17: Yes, Minesweepers-Industry is new category dedicated for companies. If the company provides a commercial solution for landmine detection, they are welcome to participate in this year competition. Key regulatory authorities will attend this event and will be highly interested in such technological solutions.
Q18: Is the mine has to be in the middle of the 1x1m square, or it might be anywhere inside the 1x1m ?
A18: It might be anywhere inside the cell.
Q19: What do you mean exactly by "No sensors or camera is allowed to hangover the competition area"?
A19: You cannot hangover a camera inside the field but you can do whatever you want outside. It's supposed to be a real mine field so you cannot install anything inside it.
Q20: Is it allowed to save the mine location data on an removable memory e.g. "SD flash Memory" and then use it to calibrate and produce the mine map on a computer ?, if not is it allowed to use the computer just to DISPLAY the data ?
A20: Yes you can use a computer but the mine map construction must be done by the robot not by the operator.
Q21: "Each robot starts the game from a different randomly selected location marked in the map " Is that means that the robot may start from a place in the middle of the terrain or just from terrain corners ?
A21: No, the robot will start from the boarder of the field at different starting positions. These position will be sent to the team member a couple of weeks before the competition.
Q22: If a robot touches a surface mine it will be banned from continuing ONLY the round but the team will be still competing by it's score "with 5 negative points of course", right ?!!
Q23: How many surface and buried mines on the game ?
A23: Number and location are known by the jury committee only.
Q24: The team member that is allowed to attend the field during competition, Is he/she will be allowed to walk side by side with the robot ?
A24: No, only during the Reset time, the team representative can enter the field.
Q25: Is the online registration the only step in the registration process ? or there are any other documents or fees required ?
A25: Yes, no more steps and no fees are required.
Q26: Is it possible to use commercial robot chassis that we have available in the university and customise it for our application, instead wasting time building a chassis from scratch?
A26: Yes, it's allowed but the modifications must be done by the team.
Q27: Are the Webinars recorded and uploaded anywhere ? because my team will be having exams that will probably prevent us from watching any of the scheduled webinars unfortunately.
A27: Yes, please check this: http://www.landminefree.org/webinars.
Q28: When will the mine field be available for competing teams to test their robots in ?
A28: Two weeks before the competition date according to the schedule the organizing committee will announce.
Q29: I am going to participate with an autonomous aerial vehicle. Am I allowed to buy a general purpose pre-built one and extend its controller and programming it according to the competition rules?
A29: You can modify a pre-built AUV as shown in Q26 of this FAQ page.
Q30: For the rule, "When a robot detects a mine, it has to autonomously report this event using a light blinking signal and/or a warning siren for at least 2 seconds. Teams have to correctly position the alarm device on their robot." What kind of light/sound system can be detected in the 20x20m field? However, using a large light/sound system would easily consume energy. Just as a suggestion, can the base station emits this signal (software or hardware) instead of the robot?.
A30: Many sirens similar to ambulance sirens are available in electronics stores with very low prices. Warning system can be positioned on the base station.
Q31: For benchmarking the sensors, can I get a cube (mine) to test against?
A31: The mine will be made of 2mm thickness steel with dimensions 10x10x10cm. Surface mine will be colored in black. In Minesweepers-Industry, mines can be made of metallic and non-metallic material. Samples will be available two weeks before the competition date.
Q32: Can I make a wheeled robot having a part that can leave the robot, fly separately and return back to it , then the robot continue moving with this part ?
A32: Actually Minesweepers-Academia and Minesweepers-Junior are for single robot so this idea can be allowed as long as the flying part and the rest of the wheeled robot are not scanning the field simultaneously as if they do so it'll be considered as if you are using two robots instead of one. This will be unfair for the other teams although relying on multi-robot is a good idea and a promising solution for the landmine detection problem. Multi-robot solutions are allowed in Minesweepers-Industry.
Q33: Can I use an external power supply for my robot located outside the competition arena and connected with the robot with an electric wire? The wire I wish to use will be for supplying electric power only.
A33: Unfortunately due to safety constraints and the large size of the minefield, this will not be allowed. Your robot must be actuated using battery, on-board pneumatic or hydraulic actuation system, on-board Diesel/Petrol engine or using on-board solar panels.
Q34: I would like to ask about the map, Should it be constructed automatically by the robot or can it be constructed manually by team members?
A34: The map must be constructed automatically by the robot without any human intervention.
Q35: Can we make some data processing (such as image processing ) using laptop outside the minefield ( at the base station )?
A35: No problem. The data processing can be on-board or off-board.
Q36: Can the sensor touch the ground for detection purpose?
A36: No problem in touching the ground but if the sensor (as part of the robot) touches the mine, you will be penalized.
Q37: If the sensor detects a mine beside or in front of the robot can the light indication be on the Robot body or should it be over the detected object?
A37: The light and/or preferably siren will be mounted on the robot just to indicate that a mine has been detected. No need to direct the light toward the detected mine.
Q38: Is there any problem in having multiple sensors on the same robot working at the same time?
A38: No problem at all.
Q39: I am building a teleoperated model can i myself draw the map or write the vector coordinates?
A39: Teleoperation is just a control mode but the map building must be done automatically without human intervention for both teleoperated and autonomous systems.