Mercury Challenge

Next Competition Date: August 29, 2020

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2020 Competition Handbook

2020 Track Pack

The Mercury Remote Robot Challenge is an international, interscholastic robotics competition. Each year, Mercury Robotics challenges competitors to design and build a robot capable of performing a mission. The robot must be operated remotely over the Internet. This presents an interesting engineering challenge in which electrical and mechanical design, embedded programming, wireless communication, and latency all play a large role.


COVID-19 Contingency Plan

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Mercury Remote Robot Challenge has been postponed until August 29, 2020. This was not an easy decision to make and we sincerely regret any difficulties this postponement may cause our participants.

All new deadlines may be found below:

Competition* August 29, 2020
Practice, Early LOS Testing* August 28, 2020
Deadline to Update Network Information August 1, 2020
Deadline for Document Submission July 18, 2020
Registration Deadline May 30, 2020

All teams must register by May 30, even if you have previously registered for the April 2020 competition. 

*Contingent upon the resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic

2/15/20 Update

We have determined a baseline for the magnetic oscillating circuit. The schematic may be found here.
  • Electromagnet model #: 2YE-1P25/20
    • 12 V
    • 0.3 A
  • Field magnitude @ 1 inch: 200 uT
  • Field magnitude @ 2 inch: 80 uT
At these specifications, the signal was detected by the following sensors at the specified distances:
  • 3/4 inch - 2SSM digital Hall-effect sensor
  • 1 inch    - AH9246 digital Hall-effect sensor

We will work to improve these numbers to a field strength of approximately 500 uT at 2-3 inches. This will enable detection by most high-sensitive digital Hall-effect sensors. Currently, teams will need to utilize magnetometers or analog Hall-effect sensors to detect the field at a distance greater than 1 inch. 

v1.1.1 of the Competition Handbook has been released. The major changes are summarized below:

  • Object ID Bypass - The robot is considered to have bypassed the Object ID section if it traverses the section without attempting to complete the assigned task.

  • Object ID Pulse Generators - The number of pulse-generating cubes in the Object ID section has been reduced to one. Robots will need to identify this cube. The field will oscillate at approximately 10 Hz. 

  • Obstacle Avoidance - There will a blue flag on either end of the exit to the obstacle avoidance section. 

The next release of the Competition Handbook will contain the electrical specifications of the pulse generators. 

The 2020 Competition Handbook includes a few major changes from previous years. Some of them are as follows: 

  • 50 mile limitation - The restriction of the operators being at least fifty miles from the competition venue has been removed

  • Autonomy - There is an element of autonomy in this year's competition. There will be an obstacle avoidance section with three configurations that vary in required autonomy. Teams which attempt configurations requiring more autonomy will be eligible for more points.

  • Bypasses - This year's track will include multiple routes bypassing sections. When compared to previous years, this removes some of the linearity of the track but greatly increases teams' freedom to spend time where deemed most effective.

  • Time Bonus - There is a maximum 30 percent time bonus. This bonus decreases proportionally as the run time nears the total time allotted. Teams that bypass more than two sections will be ineligible for the time bonus.

More information will be added to this page as we create more detailed diagrams of the track.