Virtual Pi Wars 2020 – our answer to the Coronavirus, and a bit of fun!

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we have decided to postpone Pi Wars 2020 for the time being. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t have a bit of fun in the meantime! We ran a virtual event on Saturday, 25th April 2020, just to cover the gap until the main event can be rescheduled.

The event

Virtual Pi Wars 2020 was an online-only event. There were two parts to it. The first (submission of videos) was open only to our invited competitors, the second (the live stream) was available for anyone to watch.

Submission of videos by teams

Teams submitted videos to the Pi Wars Judges in advance of Saturday, 25th April. In these videos, teams presented their robots and were Judged on their Technical Merit and Artistic Merit. These points were added together and teams ranked.

The live stream

The stream was hosted jointly by Michael Horne, Tim Richardson and David Booth. The full stream may be available later, but for now you can view all the entries and talks on our Catchup Page.

Video submission rules

  1. Only Pi Wars competitors and reservists from the 2020 group who have been invited to the virtual event can enter. All 76 teams who would have made it to the competition in Cambridge have been invited, plus the Reservists who were still active.
  2. The deadline for videos to be submitted by one of the methods in rule 10 is Saturday, 25th April at 9am, UK time. We would appreciate having them earlier, though!
  3. One video per team can be submitted.
  4. The video should be a maximum of 5 minutes in length (this is to keep things manageable for the Judges).
  5. Videos must be in English (our foreign language skills being a bit… lacking!)
  6. The points awarded do not count towards the main competition (that we will reschedule).
  7. Videos can have mixed content – you can have slides, audio-only sections and full-on video.
  8. Robots can be shown moving or static, it all depends on how far you’ve got by then!
  9. All videos will be published/embedded on the Pi Wars website after 1pm on Sunday, 26th April for the public to view.
  10. Videos can be uploaded to YouTube (specifically) as Unlisted videos (so that the Pi Wars team has control over when they are seen on our website) or they can be uploaded to a file sharing platform, such as Dropbox, and the Pi Wars team will upload them for you to the Pi Wars YouTube channel. (If you are going for the second option, please do so earlier than the deadline to give us a chance to upload!)
  11. Notification of uploads/entries should be sent to mike@recantha.co.uk by the deadline, or preferably much sooner!

Special note

Due to the issues of getting pupils together in time to create the video, especially in light of school closures and social distancing, it is permissible for Young Team robots to be presented by their adult supervisor.

The prizes

There will be prizes. What they are will depend, very much, on who enters the competition and in which category they were originally classed. Sorry to be a bit vague! We will keep the majority of the Pi Wars 2020 prizes for the eventual running of the next full competition, but we thought you should have something to win!

Discussion

Virtual Pi Wars is about having fun and getting together, in a virtual way, to talk all things robotics. We will have our Discord channels open for discussion of the various robots, just as it has been for some time, so come on over, join the Guest channel, check your Direct Messages and get access to all the channels! Once you’ve registered and joined, you can access the channel here.