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Pi Noon – the Robot vs Robot Duel

PiNoon in action
PiNoon 2017

Aim of the challenge

  • To burst your opponent’s balloons.

Control Method

  • Remote-controlled

Time Limit

  • 3 minutes per duel


  • Two robots will face off against each other in a non-destructive duel which will test the driving skills of the operator and the manoeuvrability of the robot.
  • Robots will be armed with a pin on the end of a metal wire and must use this pin to burst balloons attached to the other robot.
  • The duels will take place inside an arena with a short wall around the edge to prevent robots from leaving the arena.
  • Competitors are NOT allowed to enter the arena at any time.  Robots must be driven to the edge if adjustments to the wire attachment is required.  Entering the arena may result in the loss of the duel.
  • You must not intentionally ‘spin on the spot’; you will receive a warning if the judge deems you are doing so, with a second warning resulting in forfeiting the duel.
  • In the event of neither robot winning the duel outright after 3 minutes, the challenge judge will make a decision based on control and ‘aggression’.
  • Intentional damage to another robot will result in disqualification. It is up to the driver of each robot to ensure that no damage is caused.
  • The decision of the judge is final.
    • Please don’t argue – remember, this is supposed to be fun.
    • It is recommended that someone from your team records your duel, for example with a mobile phone, so that the Judge can benefit from the photographic evidence if the popping is ‘close’.
  • Due to the number of competitors, some robots may receive a ‘bye’ to the next round. This will be at random and announced well in advance of the competition.

The ‘Attachment’

  • Your robot must be able to hold a wire 3mm in diameter, 1cm off the ground.
  • The method of attachment will be advised to competitors and it is likely we will send you something to attach to the front of your robot.

  • The wire must be attached to the front of your robot, in the centre without anything further forward than it.
    • The wire will be about the weight of half a coat hanger
    • The wire will be provided to you on the day
    • The wire only needs to be on the robot during the duels in which you take part
    • If the wire falls off the robot then you will be allowed to re-attach it up to a maximum of 2 times.
    • If the wire falls off a 3rd time, you will be judged to have lost the round.
    • Only the competition Judge may enter the arena to retrieve the robot and attachment.


  • The winner of each duel will be awarded 30 points, and will gain entry into the next round.
  • 20 points will be awarded as a result of a ‘bye’ or ‘no show’.
  • 40 bonus points will be awarded to the winner of the grand final.
  • 25 bonus points will be awarded to the runner-up of the grand final.


  • The ‘attachment’ may cause robot instability by shifting the centre of gravity upwards. Be aware of this when designing your robot.
  • It is essential to ensure that the attachment holder (e.g. an electrical terminal block) is held securely onto your robot.
  • You do not have to use the attachment holder supplied by PiWars, however we strongly recommend ensuring that the attachment doesn’t allow the wire to ‘spin’ as it makes the centre of gravity shift and makes aiming very difficult.

Ask Questions and Discuss

You can discuss this challenge and ask questions on this discussion forum.