Pi Noon – the Robot vs Robot Duel


Time limit

3 minutes

Control method


Aim of the challenge

Robots will face off against each other in a non-destructive battle 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 contests will take place inside an arena with a short wall around the edge to prevent robots from leaving the arena.

Special rules

Your robot must be able to hold a wire 2.5mm in diameter, 1cm off the ground. The method of attachment (shown below as the ‘fixing contraption’) can be done with something as simple as gaffer tape.

PLEASE NOTE: The wire must be attached either on the front or the back of your robot, in the centre. If it is on the front, nothing should be further forward than it. If it is on the back, nothing should be behind it. Please also note that the wire must remain as static as much as possible.

  • 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 3 times.
  • if the wire falls off a 4th time, you will be judged to have lost the round.

In the event of neither robot winning 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.

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 winner of each round will be awarded 10 points.
  • 25 bonus points will be awarded to the winner of the grand final.
  • 5 points will be awarded as a result of a ‘bye’.

12 thoughts on “Pi Noon – the Robot vs Robot Duel

  1. Can you provide more information on the wire needing to remain as static as possible please? I get we probably aren’t able to have the wire mount moving forwards and backwards, but are there any rules about the whole robot moving forwards and backwards quickly? Looking at last year’s video, there seemed to be a strong jab action from the winning robot?

    1. What I would say is that it’s in the best interest of your robot’s chances to get that wire clamped as strong as possible. A stronger jab will result, and more accuracy is better

    2. I strongly recommend a robot that can move back and forwards quickly. If it can also move sideways quickly you have an excellent chance at winning 🙂

  2. Did you decide on thickness of the wire? I would like to design holder for it to be attached to the front of the robot with high hole and there’s big difference between 2mm and 3mm? Or did you plan, maybe, to have an adapter for bigger holes? 🙂

  3. No points for a bye? Doesn’t that effectively mean that the robot has ‘lost’ the round it didn’t fight in, through no fault of their own?

    If byes become necessary then I suggest that the robots getting a bye should be drawn at random and given a win for that round – i.e. 10 points. They are then up against a proven winner in the later round. If they are not competitive then the points will make little difference to the outcome. If they are good, then they would have won the points anyway!

      1. If that doesn’t cause you problems, then yes. ‘Random’ is taken from the rules! But I know what you mean 🙂

        Harry has suggested that, if there was time, we should have rounds with 5 or 6 robots in the ring at once. That way we can gang up on son-of-Triangula!

  4. What did you do to the tip of coat hanger to be better in piercing balloons? We tried to recreate it locally but didn’t manage a lot as no matter how sharp ends of wire we made they were bouncing off balloons. Also, how did you attach balloons? We couldn’t make our stay ‘behind’ the tip – they would just roll forward next to the tip. Any tips for it? And last question is – are we allowed to make a ‘flat spot’ in the wire to make is stay forward with tiny, flat screw through the mount? Do you give separate wire to each contestant?

    1. Hi Daniel. We tape a pin to the end :p
      You won’t be able to make a flat spot, I’m afraid, as the wires get re-used.


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