Nature’s Bounty


Would you Adam and Eve it?! Your apple tree is ready for harvest but you’ve broken your leg! Oh no! Never mind, your trusty robot is here to help you get in your produce before it spoils.


To harvest your apple tree of all its fruit and deliver it back to your barn.

Control method

Remote Control or Autonomous.

Time limit

5 minutes.

Example run

Highlights reel


  • You must add markings to your arena for your “barn” – this is the starting position of your robot and measures 500mm by 325mm and is located in the bottom-left corner of your arena.
  • Your robot can be initially placed anywhere inside the Barn. Trailers can be outside the Barn if necessary. However, your robot must start facing the left-hand wall so that it must turn to “find” the apple tree.
  • You must add a 3-dimensional apple tree to your course, of a specific size and design, placed in a specific location. You may use any material to create the tree. If you use cardboard, we recommend cardboard a least 5mm thick to keep its rigidity.
  • The design can be achieved by cutting out two identical pieces of cardboard and then cutting or designing in a slot in each – one from the bottom to halfway up the middle of the trunk, and the other from the top to halfway down the middle of the trunk. These two slots then slide together making your tree.
  • The design, as shown below, can of course be constructed in any way you see fit.

  • The bottom of the tree is a “box” which your tree will slot into. You can place weights in this box to stabilise your tree. Yes, we know it looks more like a Christmas tree! The base has 70mm wide sides that are 60mm tall as shown in the template below.
  • You may add additional stabilising elements to the bottom of your tree, but this may affect your ability to get under the branches.

  • 12 x 40mm apples must be placed on the tree – one on the end of each branch. They can be constructed simply in the following way:

  • You may construct the apples any way you wish – you could 3D print them, for example. They can even be completely spherical with a little hook or hole at the top. However, they must be spherical overall and be 40mm in diameter, as in the example above. Any questions on this, please contact us.
  • You may use any method of attaching your apples to your tree. The outside edge of the apple should be level with the end of the branch as shown below.

  • You may use magnets to attach your apples to your tree. You may not use these or any other magnets to collect your apples. (We want to hold on to the idea of “picking” the apples from the tree, rather than the method of picking being a quirk of how the apples are attached). Real apples are not magnetic, so please act as though they aren’t!
  • Your robot must approach the tree, collect the apples and safely return them to the barn.
  • Your robot may touch the tree, but not move the tree. On account of it having roots. You must stick it down to the floor of the arena, or otherwise secure it.
  • Likewise, you cannot knock the tree over as all the apples will be presumed to be “crushed”.
  • When the apples are connected to the tree, only your robot may touch the apples or the tree in order to either a) knock the apples from the tree or b) pluck the apples from the tree. i.e. No manual picking by hand!
  • Once the apples are detached from the tree, they must be transported back to the barn by any means necessary.
  • You may return to the Barn multiple times for each set of 12 apples – for example, you could retrieve and return to the barn 3 apples at a time for each set of 12 if your ability to carry the apples is restricted in some way.
  • The challenge should be carried out three times within the time limit with all the apples and the robot being reset between runs.
  • The clock will start when your robot first moves and stops when any part of your robot enters the barn for the last time, having completed three runs.

Laser-cut and 3D printing files

Competitor Brian Starkey has supplied us with files to enable you to lasercut and 3D print the tree and apples. You can download the ZIP file here and see the result below. Here’s what he has to say about the files:

The SVG file is designed for laser cutting in 3mm plywood. All of the spare space is filled with apple pieces, there’s 15.5 apples. The green bits are meant to be walls for the base, but they’d be much better with some finger joints or similar. The branches are designed to have 12mm circular magnets glued into them, one per apple. I’ve drilled holes into the edges of the apples and stuck coat hanger wire in, to attach to the magnets on the tree.
Also included are STLs for the 3D-printed top and bottom pieces. If you’re more patient than me, “tree_base_box.stl” is a single piece including the “pot”, so you don’t need the green laser-cut sides. I intend to fill the base with something heavy (sand).

Ranking and points

  • There are 36 apples to collect and deliver to the barn in total across the three rounds.
  • For each apple delivered, remote controlled robots will be awarded 30 points and autonomous robots will be awarded 50 points.
  • For collecting all the apples without any falling to the floor, remote controlled robots will be awarded 100 points and autonomous robots will be awarded 200 points.
  • If your robot completes all three runs within the time limit, and you have collected at least half the apples in each of the three runs, your robot will be ranked against the other robots in your category, and using your control method, according to how quickly they completed the runs. Ranking points will be awarded according to the Formula Scoring System.

The Real World