ME 72 Contest

Thursday March 8, 2018 11:00 AM
Location: Beckman Institute Lawn

TANK WARS          33rd Annual Engineering Design Competition


ME72 students form into 6 teams and are challenged to design, build, and operate a fleet of 3 robotic tanks that can successfully navigate, control, and defend strategic base positions on the grass surface of the Beckmann lawn. Teams compete against one another and accrue points based on how long they can maintain control of strategic base positions. The rate at which points are accrued at a given base is determined by the level of difficulty of reaching the base. The team that maintains the greatest overall control of the field and accumulates most points in a match wins the match. Round robin double elimination tournament is followed by a single elimination round to determine the overall champion of the 2017-18 ME72 Engineering Design Competition.


  • Competing teams are designated by a red flag or a blue flag to help differentiate robots on the playing field.
  • Designated strategic base positions in the field include a 10-ft see-saw, an elevated platform 4-ft above the playing field accessed by a 20° ramp, and lower level strategic bases on the grassy level playing field.
  • A base is captured by pushing a corresponding large red or blue button positioned at the center of a 30-cm radius "restricted zone."
  • A base control indicator arrow will rotate to either side of its initially vertical (neutral) position to indicate which team has taken control while a clock simultaneously records the amount of time that the team controls the base.
  • Base capture is restricted to 10 seconds at which point the robot must exit the "restricted zone" before attempting another base capture.
  • For every second a team holds a base, the team will be awarded 1 point times a base multiplier, defined as follows: Ramp / Hill Top (1.75 pt/s), Seesaw (1.375 pt/s), Ground (1 pt/s).
  • Teams may also defend a base that they control by shooting enemy robots using small Nerf rival balls (⅞" diameter). Once a robot is struck 3 times it must drive back to its team's designated area for a 10-sec time period to respawn before returning to the playing field.


  • Robot tank dimensions may not exceed a 20-in long, 18-in wide rectangle when on the ground, not including the barrel of the gun. During gameplay, the robot may expand outside of this window to any size.
  • Robots must have some autonomous capability and must operate autonomously during the first 40-sec of the match.
  • Robots must be capable of traversing and balancing on the see-saw or climbing the ramp leading up to the elevated platform to reach strategic bases.
  • Some or all robots are to be configured with Nerf rival ball shooting mechanisms.



Contact: Lynn Seymour at (626) 395-4107
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