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Space Invaders

Aim of the Challenge

  • To knock down as many targets as possible.

Control Method

  • Remote-controlled

Time Limit

  • 5 elapsed minutes (stopwatch to be stopped while targets are reset)


  • Robots will be placed (by the robot’s driver) on a painted wooden surface facing a shooting range.
  • Targets will start at floor level. These targets may not be in a straight line. The size of the targets is to be determined but are expected to be larger than the 2018 targets.
  • There will be a ‘boundary line’ in front of the targets beyond which robots are not permitted to go. The distance between this boundary line and the targets is between 1m and 1.5m.
  • There are two possible methods of knocking down the targets. Either one, but not both, can be used:
    • Five balls, each 63mm in diameter and weighing 70g (you can see the ones we’re using on eBay), will be provided in set positions. These can be shunted, nudged or cannoned towards the targets.
      • Once knocked over the boundary line, the balls may not be retrieved until the next round.
      • The boundary line will be a short distance in front of the balls this year!
    • Your robot can be fitted with a mechanism capable of firing a maximum of five soft projectiles. We recommend official Nerf darts(Please note: although the standard Nerf holder allows for 6 darts, please ensure that only 5 are loaded!)
      • If using projectiles, the balls will not be set on their spots so you will have free reign to manoeuvre.
      • You can reload between shots, if you wish, but you must not step on the course. Your robot must be driven to your position, reloaded and then sent out again.
  • You can use any method of aiming that you wish, for example a low-powered laser pointer.
  • You will have three full attempts (of 5 balls or projectiles) at this challenge course.  After each attempt, the targets and the balls (if used) will be reset.
  • The stopwatch will be stopped whilst targets and balls are reset. The stopwatch will not be stopped for reloading projectiles however you may choose to reload during the reset of the targets.

Ranking and Points

  • 20 points will be awarded for each target knocked down. A maximum of 5 targets per round count on this points system.
  • In the event of a points tie-break (for example, if two teams knock down all the targets within the five minute time limit), the total time taken for the three attempts will be taken into account. The quickest team would take the upper ranking.

Additional Points

  • 30 additional points will be awarded if all five balls/projectiles succeed in knocking down at least one target.
  • 75 points will be awarded for any shooting mechanism that does not use the balls provided.


  • If any of the robot’s wheels pass the stop line, that roll or shot will be discounted. Under this circumstance, the bonus points for ‘all five’ cannot be awarded.


  • Surprisingly enough, high powered lasers capable of destroying the targets are not allowed!
  • Any balls knocked over the boundary line may get in your way.
  • If using the balls to knock over targets, we recommend some kind of bumper of buffer on the front of your robot to avoid damage.
  • Targets will be hinged and balanced as finely as possible – only a little force will be required to knock them over. Please remember this when constructing your firing mechanisms!

Ask Questions and Discuss

You can discuss this challenge and ask questions on the discussion forum or via Discord chat.