Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Aim of the Challenge

  • To visit each of the four coloured ‘stations’ within the time limit.

Control Method

  • Autonomous

Time Limit

  • 7 minutes


  • Your robot will be placed at the centre of a flat wooden course measuring approximately 122cm by 122cm with walls 30cm high.
  • A quarter-circular zone will be marked out in each corner.
  • At the start of the challenge, coloured balls will be placed in each corner. The balls will be 10cm off the floor of the course.
  • The floor and walls of the course itself will be painted a uniform colour to aid with colour separation.
  • You must specify which of the two methods below you are using to complete the course.


Method 1

  • Your robot must autonomously identify each coloured marker and visit each zone in the following order: Red, Blue, Yellow and, finally, Green.
  • The placement of the markers will be randomly pre-determined, but not known to competitors ahead of the competition. They will not be changed between your three runs and it is permissible to have your robot ‘learn’ the route and achieve faster times on subsequent runs.

Method 2

  • Your robot must autonomously visit each zone in any order.
  • If any wheel of the robot enters a zone, it is deemed to have visited the zone.
  • Three run attempts are permitted, and encouraged, during your 7-minute window.
  • It is not necessary to complete all three runs.
  • The robot must stop autonomously after visiting the final zone.
  • At the end of each run, your robot will be placed back in the centre of the course.
  • Your robot’s autonomous runs can be triggered by pressing a button on the robot, for example, or by remote control activation. After activation, no further remote control is allowed, but up to three rescues per run are permitted, with penalties as detailed below.

Ranking and Points

  • The shortest run of the three runs will be used to rank.
  • The robot with the shortest time will take first place.

Method 1

  • Points will be awarded to the top ranked robots:
    • 1st: 40 points
    • 2nd: 32 points
    • 3rd : 25 points
    • 4th : 18 points
    • 5th : 15 points
    • 6th : 12 points
    • 7th : 10 points
    • 8th : 8 points
    • 9th : 6 points
    • 10th : 4 points
    • 11th : 2 points
    • 12th : 1 point

Method 2

  • Points will be awarded to the top ranked robots:
    • 1st: 35 points
    • 2nd: 27 points
    • 3rd : 20 points
    • 4th : 13 points
    • 5th : 10 points
    • 6th : 7 points
    • 7th : 5 points
    • 8th : 3 points
    • 9th : 1 points

Additional points

Method 1

  • 15 points for each colour zone entered in the correct order.
  • No points will be awarded for visiting zones in an incorrect order.
  • 10 additional points for entering all zones in the correct order during a single run.

Method 2

  • 10 points for each zone entered.


  • It is permitted to rescue the robot and place it back on the course at the place where things went wrong once per run without penalty but the clock will not be stopped.
  • A second rescue is permitted, incurring a 15 second penalty.
  • A third rescue is permitted, incurring a 15 second penalty.
  • A fourth rescue is not permitted, instead the run must be abandoned.
  • Abandoned or non-completed runs will not count towards the shortest run time, however any points accumulated during the incomplete run will count towards the overall score.


  • If using Method 2, your robot will require some form of computer vision. The Raspberry Pi camera is perfect for this.
  • OpenCV Code will be supplied which will help with vision.
  • Lighting conditions on the day may not be the same as where you tested.  Your robot should be able to cope with this if possible.