DPRG OutDoor Robot Challenge
I. The Purpose:
The purpose of the DPRG Outdoor Robot Challenge is to encourage the development of autonomous,
outdoor robots that can navigate distances in arbitrary environments and survive on their own
without human intervention. The contest is broken into 4 challenges which are meant to be
incremental steps toward that ultimate goal.
II. The Environment:
The contests are held on the grounds of Fair Park near downtown Dallas, Texas. Any similar
venue that provides large parking lot spaces and accessible public areas can be used.
The first two challenges are conducted on a large, flat, level, obstacle-free asphalt parking
lot with no rebar, no nearby buildings, and an unobstructed view of the sky. See details below.
The third challenge can be conducted on the parking lot as well as on the grounds of Fair Park,
and the fourth challenge is held on the fair grounds proper, using the buildings, gardens,
walls, and architecture of the park itself as obstacles.
III. The Robots:
The robot must be constructed and operated in such a way as to not damage the environment or
other robots. Robots must be autonomous. Remote control is not allowed, with the exception
of an optional remote control shutoff switch. Each contestant is responsible for any damage
caused by his or her robot. See liability waiver below.
Each contestant is fully responsible for any damage to person or property caused directly or
indirectly by his or her robot. The Dallas Personal Robotics Group is not responsible for any
damages caused by any competing robots. Each contestant must sign a waiver of liability prior
to the competition.
V. The Judges:
One or more judges will officiate the contest. Their prime responsibilities will be to determine
that a robot has successfully completed the requirements of a specific challenge, to provide
measurements of the robot's stopping position for scoring, and to adjudicate any questions.
The decisions of the judges are final.
VI. The Challenges:
1. Out and Back.
Drive from the origin to a point at least 100 feet away and back to the origin and stop. Distance is then measured
from the stopping place to the origin. Shortest distance wins.
2. Borenstein Square(pdf).
Drive from the origin around a square 100 feet on each side, clockwise or counter-clockwise as
instructed by the judge, and stop at the origin. Distance is then measured from the stopping
place to the origin. Shortest distance wins.
Drive from the origin to a point at least 100 feet away and back to the origin, with obstacles in the way.
Distance from the stopping point to the origin is then measured. Shortest distance wins.
4. Long Haul
Drive from an origin in Fair Park across the fair grounds to a point 500 to 1000 feet away, (to be
determined at contest time) and back to the origin. Distance from stopping place to origin is then
measured. Shortest distance wins.
VII. The Scoring
The robot score for each challenge is simply the distance from the robot's stopping place to
the origin. Lowest score wins.
Each robot begins each challenge at the origin locations listed below, or their equivalent.
It is not required that the robots hit the waypoints precisely, as long as they are "close"
in the judgment of the judges. Only the distance to the final way point matters for the score.
There is no time limit,
however the judges may, at their discretion, time each run as a method for ranking robots
that have similar accuracy scores.
No human interaction or tending of the robot is allowed in the first 3 challenges.
Special circumstances of the 4th challenge may require the robot builder to intervene to
prevent the robot from falling into a pond or climbing into a flower garden on the Fair
Grounds. We are guests at the facility. No points will be deducted for such "shepherding"
of the robot. However the judges may, at their discretion, disqualify a robot from
competition for "too much shepherding."
Every robot that completes a challenge will receive a "DPRG Challenger Award" in addition to
however it may rank in its accuracy score.
VIII. The Spring 2008 Contest Course.
A. Challenge #1 and #2
The first two challenges are intended to be run on a large obstacle-free parking lot. Here is a
picture of the preferred location for this Springs 2008 contest, next to the Railroad Museum:
Railroad Museum Parking Lot
The GPS coordinates below given in decimal degrees are the four corners of a clockwise square in
the RailRoad Museum parking lot pictured above:
100x100 foot square (+- 0.5 feet)
1. N 32.78228 2. N 32.78219
W 096.76082 W 096.76051
3. N 32.78193 4. N 32.78202
W 096.76062 W 096.76093
Here are the azimuth's and distances for a clockwise pattern around the square, starting at point #1.
From point 1 to point 2:
109.05 deg 30.64 meters 100.52 feet 1206 inches
From point 2 to point 3:
199.58 deg 30.66 meters 100.60 feet 1207 inches
From point 3 to point 4:
289.05 deg 30.64 meters 100.52 feet 1206 inches
From point 4 to point 1:
19.58 deg 30.66 meters 100.60 feet 1207 inches
calibration benchmark, which the second contest is based on, requires
that a robot drive around a square both clockwise and counter-clockwise. For the contest, each
robot will drive only one square at the instruction of the judges.
B. Challenge #1 and #2 backup location
The backup location is in a remote parking area if the RailRoad Museum parking lot is not available.
Here is a picture of that parking lot:
Remote Area Parking Lot
Here are the GPS coordinates for a 100 foot square in that lot:
Fairpark Remote parking lot.
100x100 foot square (+- 0.5)
1. N 32.78112 2. N 32.78084
W 096.74390 W 096.74390
3. N 32.78084 4. N 32.78112
W 096.74357 W 096.74357
Azimuths counter-clockwise: 180,90,0,270
C. Challenge #3 Locations
Drive exercise #1, out and back, but with obstacles in the way. Good obstacles might be
a small grove of trees between the waypoints, or the corner of a building or a group of
humans in between the waypoints, at the discretion of the judge.
Example obstacles for Challenge #3:
A small grove of trees between two waypoints:
tree tree tree
Or the corner of a building used as test obstacle between two waypoints:
Or humans as obstacles:
human human human
D. Challenge #4 Locations
Challenge #4 is an "extreme" version of Exercise #3, but in this case the obstacles are Fair Park itself, its buildings,
fences, stairways, sidewalks, and miscellaneous gardens. An example challenge is pictured here:
Fair Park Long Haul Challenge
The challenge in this example is to navigate autonomously from the meadow next to the Science Place
(waypoint on the left) to the meadow next to WRR (waypoint on the right) and back, with only these
1. N 32.77633
2. N 32.77631
2007 DPRG Outdoor Robot Challenge
2008 DPRG Outdoor Robot Challenge Solutions
2008 DPRG Outdoor Robot Challenge Photos and Contest Results
03 March 2008