In conjunction with the 2007 All Japan MicroMouse competition, on Saturday, November 17th, the Tsukuba Real World Robot Challenge will be staged for the first time. The totally autonomous robots will have to successfully navigate the tentative route starting from Tsukuba International Conference center and extending 1.275 km (4,183 ft) to the goal at Matsubokkuri park.
According to the official website, the event will be held no matter what the weather, and the robots will have to be designed to perform in what could be somewhat challenging conditions. Although it will be too early in the season for snow, the Tsukuba area has been known to experience heavy winds, rain, and lots of blowing Autumn leaves.
The competition guidelines require that the robots-
- Don't inflict any injury on humans who happen to be in the area.
- Don't frighten or make any of the humans feel uncomfortable.
- Don't damage any object or the environment along the course.
- Don't interfere with the actions of any humans or other things operating along the course.
The robot size is to be less than 75 cm wide, 120 cm long, 1.5 meters tall, and weigh under 100 kg. The top traveling speed is restricted to 4 km/hour or less. Every robot has to be equipped with an emergency stop switch. The robots can use GPS systems, but local transmitters or repeaters are not allowed.
To project against any unexpected problem, each robot has to be accompanied by operators ready to intercede. Robots under 15 kg have to be accompanied by one operator, from 15-40 kg requires two operators, 40-80 kg requires three operators, and over 80 kg requires four.
The actual course looks like this: