Congratulations to this
results of the competition are as follows: (Bracket.jpg)
1st Place University of Florida
2nd Place Tennessee Technological
3rd Place Clemson University
4th Place Georgia Institute of
5. University of Tennessee at
6. Mississippi State University
7. University of South Florida
8. Mercer University
9. University of Tennessee
10. University of Alabama at Huntsville
11. University of South Alabama
12. Western Kentucky University
13. University of Southern Indiana
14. University of Kentucky
15. Chattahoochee Tech
16. University of North Florida
17. Tennessee State University
19. University of Evansville
20. University of Louisville
21. Florida International University
22. Virginia Military Institute
23. University of Mississippi
24. Guilford Tech
25. Southern Polytechnic University
26. University of West Florida
27. The Citadel
Download as Acrobat PDF
In Spring 2002, the Midlands Chapter of IEEE will host the IEEE
Southeastern Conference (SECon) in Columbia, South Carolina. The
University of South Carolina and South Carolina State University will
host the student segment of the conference. This document contains information
pertaining to the Hardware Design Competition of the IEEE Region 3
Student Conference. The theme for the 2002 Southeastern Conference is:
"Learning from the Past - Innovating for
We recognize that concepts and inventions from the past inspire many
of todays designs and accomplishments. Playing on that theme, the
student hardware contest is derived from one of the earliest
electronic games - PONG.
Pong was one of the first video games created by the Computing
Generation. "Pong" was created in the late 1950s and has
since been adapted and modified many times. The console version of
Pong, introduced in 1972, is probably the best remembered. The
electronic Pong game is itself based on Ping Pong; the goal of the two
competitors is to always return an incoming ball. In the original
game, a point is scored whenever the ball goes past the opposing
In the hardware competition for the 2002 Student Conference, a
modified Pong game will be played by robots facing off across a rectangular
playing field. This contest will exercise a wide variety of
engineering skills, from circuits, to machinery, from electronics to
power systems, and from microprocessors to dynamics of systems.
Contestants will be provided with an individually-buffered signal from
a video camera that views the field of the playing arena. From that
signal, robots can determine the ball position and trajectory and use
that information to position the paddle and return the ball. The
playing surface slopes from the center towards each side so that the
ball will not stop in the middle of the table.
This is the final copy of the rules. Any errata, clarifications, or
changes will be available at:
Description of the
The competition will consist of two robots, at either end of a 4' x 8' long
table, volleying a ball back and forth until one of them misses. The table
design places bounds on the minimum and maximum speeds at which a
competitor can propel a ball across the court to score points. Competitors
accrue points whenever a ball ends up in the scoring bin on the opposite
end of the table. Note that the game table is deliberately designed so that
a ball will bypass the scoring bin if it is returned at too fast a speed.
- Fundamental Rule
The game is intended to be played in a way consistent with play in
the original electronic Pong game; any form of play that changes the
basic nature of the game will not be in compliance with this
fundamental rule and the infringing robot will be disqualified.
- Competition Arena
- The playing arena
is divided into 5 zones: the playfield zone, two paddle zones, and
two scoring bins. A paddle zone is defined as the area below the top
of the longitudinal court rails and not within the playfield zone. A
2" wide strip of red duct tape whose furthest edge is 10"
from the edge of the scoring bin will mark the beginning of the
paddle zone. (see diagrams below and here)
- A single video
camera will view the playfield from above and center. The standard NTSC video signal from this camera
will be routed through a Radio Shack three-output AV Distribution
#15-1103). One output will be routed to a video display device
and the other outputs will be routed one to each contestant through
two additional distribution amplifiers* and through separate 75-ohm
output impedance buffers (Jensen
Transformers VB-1BB). * - Optional for competing schools, but
will be in place for final competition to guarantee isolation. (see
- Contestants must
be aware of and take into account the possibility of small
imperfections in the table and variation of ambient lighting
conditions (i.e. slight shadowing, etc.). These effects will be
minimized as much as reasonably possible during play.
- The ball will be
a plastic practice golf ball (looks like a wiffle ball). These can
be found almost anywhere (e.g. Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target)
- A power outlet strip
will be provided at each end of the table for competitors' use.
- Robot Specifications
- A robot is any
physical system that a competitor places on or near the competition
table for the purpose of engaging in the contest..
- During play, if a
robot intercepts a ball, it must immediately return the ball either
- Striking the
- Capturing and
immediately ejecting the ball
- Delaying play by
holding the ball is not allowed.
- A robot must
operate autonomously throughout the course of the match. Once the
match starts, no further contact with the robot is allowed until the
end of the match.
- Any portion of a
robot that exists within the paddle zone and within 5cm of the
surface of the table can measure no more than 8" between
extreme points in the transverse direction.
- Air tanks will be
allowed as long as it is less than 100 psi., the tank is certified
safe by the supplier, and the tank has a safety valve attached.
- No portion of the
robot can, at any time during play, penetrate the plane separating
the playfield from the paddle zone.
- No portion of the
robot above the scoring bin may obstruct the ball's entry into it.
- Outside of this
area, robots may be of any size, but cannot at any time occupy any
space above or on the playfield or extend further than 3' from the
outside edge of the table (i.e. the sides and back of the table).
- Any robot
considered by the judges to be potentially dangerous (e.g.
explosive) to spectators will be disqualified. In addition, no robot
the opposing robot nor hinder, in a manner dissimilar to Pong, its ability
to detect the ball (i.e. spin hits are okay)
any hazardous substances.
- Tournament and Match
- Teams will be
randomly placed into double-elimination competition brackets.
- Prior to the coin
toss, the robots will be checked for safety compliance.
- A coin toss will
decide who will serve first. The calling team will be shown on the
brackets. The team who wins the coin toss has the choice of either
a) receiving the first serve or b) side of the table.
- Prior to the
start of the match, competitors will be allowed 5 minutes to set up
their robot. (This is to encourage the design of a self-contained
- Serves, which
originate from chutes at the center of the table, will always
alternate from side to side on a fixed schedule regardless of which
- The match will
end once one of the following occurs:
A 5 minute time limit has expired.
10 ball serving supply has been exhausted.
robot has been disqualified or otherwise forfeits the match.
- At the end of the
match, the robot with the most points is declared the winner.
- In the event of a
tie, refer to section 2.5.2
- A robot has 3
attempts to return the ball across the centerline of the table, if a
robot fails to do so, the ball will be removed from play and put
into its bin. If the ball cannot be removed from play (e.g. stuck
inside a robot) then that robot forfeits the match.
- A robot will
forfeit the match for entering or extending over the playfield (i.e.
penetrating the plane separating the playfield and paddle zone)
- During play a
robot will be disqualified if it does any of the following:
Causing damage to any part of the table or arena
causing damage to the opposing robot
the video signal provided to the other robot
the ball in any fashion
off the camera calibration (i.e. any action that requires the camera to be
- Flash photography
is strictly prohibited during the matches.
school identifications and IEEE logos are permitted on the devices,
but sponsorship identifications are prohibited.
- The Judges shall
enforce the spirit of the rules in addition to specific rules.
- Decisions of
judges are final.
- Match Scoring
Robots will receive 1 point for each ball in its opponent's bin. The
robot with the most points at the end of the match is the winner.
case of a tie at the end of a match, a two minute sudden death overtime
period will be played. A coin toss will determine who receives the ball
team to score during sudden death will be declared the winner.
a point is scored in sudden death, an additional ball will be added to the
table every two minutes from the beginning of the sudden death round.
- Table Description and Construction
The table is broken up into three major segments: the base, the
playing arena and the camera tower. The list of materials and
necessary steps for building each segment will be in the following
sections of this document. All of the parts that are needed to
construct the base, playing arena and the camera tower can be
purchased from your local hardware/electronics store (Lowes, Home
Depot, Radio Shack, etc.).
Figure 1 Top and Side Profile of Table
A base will be constructed to raise the playing surface off the
floor. The base will consist of six legs and will support the weight
of the playing field. Instructions on how to build the base can be
- Playing Arena
The playing arena is 8 x 4. It consists of two robot areas on an
angled playing field and two scoring bins. The playing field has a
slope of roughly 2.5 degrees. Instructions on how to build the
playing arena can be found here.
- Camera Tower
The camera tower will be mounted above the center of the playing
arena so that the digital camera can be held motionless to obtain
data. The camera will rest approximately 80" above the center of
the table. It will be adjusted to view just the playing field, which
is 5 x 39. Each robot will be given a direct video feed from the
camera. More information on the camera tower is available on the Camera Tower page
- Camera and
The camera used in the competition is the Everfocus ET100AE
ordered from Global Technologies.
The camera specifications are shown on their website. This camera is offered
at a discounted price to schools participating in the hardware
competition. To obtain the discounted price follow these instructions.
For the competition, the camera needs to be aligned and focused so different
tables have standardized outputs for the robots. Instructions for
adjusting and focusing can be found with the tower instructions.
- Contact Information
Roger Dougal Hardware Competition Development Advisor
Enrico Santi University of South Carolina Student Branch Advisor
Patricia Davis SoutheastCon 2002 Student Co-Chair email@example.com
David Brearley SoutheastCon 2002 Student Co-Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
James Southard Student Conference Webmaster