Requirements and Guidelines

Any issues not covered by these published rule sets will be addressed on a case-by-case basis by the CIRC Organizing Committee. Rules are subject to change without notice. Please submit any questions that have not yet been addressed to the CIRC Organizing Committee at [email protected].

The most up to date rules will always be posted on the website. Rules will be updated to properly reflect questions and concerns raised by participants.

These rules contain an overview of each planned competition task.

General

  1. TIME AND PLACE

    1. The 2019 Canadian International Rover Challenge (CIRC 2019) will commence on August 9, 2019 at the Badlands Community Facility in Drumheller, Alberta.

    2. Teams should arrive and register with competition organizers between 10:00 and 18:00 MDT.

    3. The first competition tasks will begin at approximately 21:00. CIRC 2019 will conclude during the afternoon of August 12, 2019.

  2. INVITATION

    1. Entry into CIRC 2019 is limited and subject to the approval of the organizing committee.

    2. Interested teams should submit a formal expression of interest using a form available on the CIRC website (circ.cstag.ca) in order to be considered.

    3. Invited teams must pay the non-refundable registration fee of $310 CAD to confirm entry into the competition.

  3. VISAS

    1. All international teams requiring visas for entry into Canada are required to provide proof of visa application to [email protected] by March 1, 2019 to retain their entry in the competition.

    2. Teams requiring letters of invitation from CIRC must pay in advance for expedited or tracked delivery if requested.

  4. TEAM CLASSIFICATION

    1. Participating teams will be classified as either “competition” teams or “exhibition” teams.

    2. Competition teams consist of secondary or post-secondary students, optionally accompanied by non-student advisors who may not directly participate in rover design, construction, or operation.

    3. Exhibition teams are not required to be composed of students, are not scored, and are exempt from several of the rules below.

    4. Competition teams will retain priority access to event facilities and task sites.

    5. Competition teams may elect to reclassify as exhibition teams at any time subject to organizer approval.

  5. FACILITY USAGE

    1. During the competition teams should store, work on, and test their rovers at the Badlands Community Facility.

    2. The facility will be supervised and open to teams 24 hours per day.

    3. The facility will be open to the public during normal business hours.

    4. Teams are encouraged to interact with each other and the public, and must behave in a fashion which reflects well upon their institution and the competition.

    5. Guidelines will be released in advance of the competition regarding building services including food preparation in the building.

  6. SAFETY

    1. Rovers will be subject to inspection by organizers during registration and at any time as requested by organizers to ensure safety and rule compliance.

    2. Teams must resolve any issues to the satisfaction of the inspecting organizer before starting or continuing a competition task.

  7. CUSTOMS

    1. International teams are responsible for ensuring that all team members and rover components are admissible into Canada.

    2. Information regarding border crossings can be found on the Canadian Border Services Agency website (http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html).

    3. If in doubt, teams should contact CBSA in advance or plan on purchasing parts in Canada before the event begins.

  8. AIRCRAFT

    1. No aircraft may communicate with the rover or rover operators, or be used to aid completion of rover tasks.

    2. Pilots must remain outside of the base station during competition tasks.

    3. Any person operating an aircraft must understand and comply with all Canadian aviation regulations and local laws.

    4. While CIRC takes no responsibility for teams’ use of aircraft, an informational guideline is available on the CIRC website.

-

Rover

  1. MASS

    1. Competition teams must attempt competition tasks using a single, self-contained, ground-based rover, which should have a mass below 50kg.

    2. The rover should be carryable by two team members without the use of a wheeled cart.

    3. Each full kilogram rovers are below 50 kg at the beginning of each task results in a 1% score bonus for that task; for each full kilogram above 50 kg, a 5% penalty will be applied.

  2. TIME

    1. Competition team rovers should be able to operate continuously for one hour.

    2. At least one hour of downtime will be provided between tasks.

  3. CONDITIONS

    1. Competition team rovers must be capable of operating within the terrain and weather conditions which may naturally occur during a competition task, including rain, mud, darkness, etc.

    2. Site terrains vary between naturally compacted soil and loose ground. Some sites may include vegetation.

  4. DESIGN

    1. Competition team rover systems must be conceptually suitable for operation on Mars (no air breathing systems, etc).

    2. Rover components are not required to be space-grade.

  5. SAFETY

    1. The design and construction of all rovers must comply with all directives of the CIRC Rover Safety Requirements document unless a specific exemption has been granted.

    2. The Rover Safety Requirements document is available on the CIRC website.

    3. Exemptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis by submitting a written request to [email protected], including the problematic directive and proposed alternative solution.

    4. Sufficient evidence (such as schematics, datasheets, calculations) of compliance with the directives must be made available at the request of any competition organizer during the event.

  6. COMMUNICATIONS

    1. All rover communications systems must comply with all applicable Industry Canada Regulations (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/h_sf06128.html).

    2. Teams must acquire all necessary permissions and qualifications for their equipment.

    3. Any team found to be operating equipment in contravention of these regulations, or in a manner which maliciously interferes with other teams’ activities, will be disqualified.

    4. The use of interference-tolerating protocols and cooperation between teams is strongly encouraged.

  7. AUTONOMY

    1. Rovers are not required to operate autonomously.

    2. Tasks may award additional points based on the degree of autonomy demonstrated.

    3. Autonomous operation is defined as the rover fully completing a scored task requirement without any input from a rover operator.

  8. ACCOUNTING

    1. Competition teams must submit a final rover expense report by August 1, 2019. If necessary teams may submit an updated soft copy during sign-in at the event.

    2. The maximum team budget is $20 000 USD, using the most advantageous currency conversion rate documented between October 1, 2018 and August 1, 2019.

    3. The team budget includes all rover components and base station equipment (exclusive of personal computers), but does not include spare parts, tools, or travel expenses.

    4. Receipts and other evidence should be retained.

    5. Gift-in-kind donations and sponsorship count towards the budget at fair market value unless an exception has been provided by the CIRC Organizing committee.

    6. The $2000 credit from ProtoCase is excepted.

    7. Teams are required to use the CIRC specified template for expense reporting, available on the competition website.

-

Task Participation

  1. JUDGING

    1. Task site judges are the final authority on task rules and procedure, and may impose penalties for flagrant or repeated violations.
  2. SCORING

    1. Each competition team will be scored for each task according to a rubric available from the competition website.

    2. Final task scores will be rounded to the nearest whole number.

    3. The lowest achievable score for each task is zero.

    4. Teams may submit written appeals regarding task scores to [email protected] within one hour of receiving formal notification of their score.

    5. The competition team with the highest total score after all tasks are over and all appeals are resolved shall be declared the winner of CIRC 2019.

  3. SETUP AND TAKEDOWN

    1. Teams will have at least 15 minutes of setup time to prepare their rover and base station at each task site.

    2. Teams may not unload equipment at the task site until a task judge has indicated that setup time has begun.

    3. Teams’ task time begins when the setup time expires.

    4. After the task is over, teams will have at least 10 minutes of takedown time to clear all of their equipment from the task site.

    5. Teams which have not cleared the task site by the end of their takedown time may be penalized at a rate of 1 point per minute.

  4. BASE STATIONS

    1. A Base Station will be provided at each task site which will consist of a partially enclosed trailer or tent.

    2. Base stations will be supplied with electrical power (120V 60Hz nominal, 1kW max).

    3. Competition teams must operate their rovers from within the base station at all times during tasks such that the rover is not visible to the operators.

  5. ANTENNA SITES

    1. A location for the placement of team radio equipment at each task site will be designated within 90m of the base station.

    2. All competition team equipment used for rover operation must be set up either within the base station or at the antenna site.

    3. 100m of cat6 ethernet cable and 14 AWG power extension cord will be provided to connect the base station to the antenna site, and teams may supply additional cabling if required.

    4. A simple antenna mast will be provided at this location, and its specifications may be found on the competition website. Teams may substitute their own antenna mast, but its height must not exceed 4m.

  6. SITE ACCESS

    1. A limited number of members will be permitted to accompany the task judge following the rover during tasks.

    2. Team members following the rover should maintain a 5m following distance and refrain from any action which could be interpreted as communication with the rover operators.

    3. Additional team members should remain within the base station or spectate from outside the task area as defined by the judges.

    4. Rover operators must not communicate with spectators.

  7. INTERVENTIONS

    1. An intervention allows competition teams to repair the rover during task time, or judges to interrupt problematic behaviour.

    2. Competition teams may not touch or interfere with the rover during a task except during an intervention.

    3. Any judge or team member at the task site may call an intervention, at which point the rover’s kill switch will be pushed and it will be carried back to the base station.

    4. During an intervention, team members may freely repair or test the rover, but must not discuss any details concerning the task which could aid rover operators.

    5. If judges feel that inappropriate communication has taken place during an intervention, a 20% score penalty will be applied.

    6. If any interventions are called during the task, a single 10% penalty will be applied to the final task score.

-

Task 1 - Crash Site Forensics

Description

Contact with a supply lander was lost shortly before touchdown. It is believed to have crashed some distance from the outpost. The outpost cannot function without regular resupply. Your rover must locate the lander and begin the accident investigation.

Thoroughly document the lander’s remains, and surroundings. Verify that all sites are safe for human access, and take note of any contamination caused by the crash. Finally, record the location of any intact supplies you encounter for future recovery.

A schematic of the lander and a map of the area in which the lander was lost, including the projected flight path, will be provided prior to the competition.

Requirements

  1. Find and reach the location(s) of the lander, and:

    1. Record the route taken to find the lander using GPS waypoints.

    2. Record the GPS coordinates of the location or locations of the lander.

    3. Record the GPS coordinates of each intact supply crate found during the search.

  2. At the location(s):

    1. Take a panorama photograph of the scene. A minimum of 180° is required, with 360° required for full points.

    2. Take photographs of the lander from multiple angles.

    3. Take photographs with an indicator of scale of any parts thought to show clues as to the cause of the loss of the lander

    4. Take photographs of any potential hazards to humans at the site. Include an indication of where the hazards are located relative to the lander and any local landmarks if possible.

    5. Take photographs of any damage to the site. Include indications of scale and location relative to the lander if possible.

    6. Collect a 5 - 100 g soil sample to test for contamination of the site by lander fuel (kerosene). The test must not deposit any foreign materials in the test area.

  3. Following completion of the rover’s time on the task site, teams will have three hours to perform additional tests on the sample, and write and submit a report on their approach to the task and their findings. Reports should be submitted to the judges at [email protected] No reports will be accepted after three hours. The report must include:

    1. Abstract:

      1. Summarize the purpose of the report, and provide a high-level overview of the procedure and findings.
    2. Search procedure and route:

      1. Explain the search strategy used by the team. Justify the areas investigated and the route taken.

      2. Construct a map of the search area. Indicate on the map the route taken by the rover, the location(s) of the lander, and the locations of any intact supply crates.

    3. Report on site(s):

      1. State the GPS coordinates of the lander at the site. State a range of coordinates if the lander is spread over a large enough area.

      2. Show the panorama photograph of the site. Indicate the direction from which the site was approached and comment on any visible landmarks.

      3. State the observations at the site. Show and comment on the photos of the lander and its parts. Explain the significance of any evidence shown in the photographs.

      4. Describe the sample collected. Justify the location from which it was collected.

      5. Explain the methodology of the tests carried out on the sample.

      6. Describe the results of the tests on the sample and their significance.

      7. Describe any hazards found at the site. Indicate their location relative to the lander and approach route. Comment on the necessary precautions related to each.

      8. Describe any environmental damage to the site, including ground disturbance, material contamination, or any other disruption to the natural state of the site. Include indications of the location relative to the lander. Comment on the scientific and practical significance of the damage.

    4. Analysis:

      1. State your preliminary hypothesis on the cause of the lander’s loss. Justify your hypothesis using the evidence and observations described elsewhere in the report. Address other possibilities and the relative likelihood that they were the true cause.

      2. Make suggestions for next steps of the investigation. These suggestions should include tests or evidence collection related to your hypothesis. Other suggestions could include, but are not limited to, a draft plan to recover the lander and any intact supplies, further tests to expand on those carried out on the sample, or a response to any site damage.

-

Task 2 - Surface Sampling

Description

With the expansion of mining activities at the outpost, there is a need to collect core samples from a region suspected of being rich in resources. This is expected to be a recurring process due to the forecasted growth of the outpost. Teams are to develop a rover that is capable of navigating and obtaining samples from multiple locations with minimum human assistance for maximum productivity.

Requirements

  1. The general mission includes:

    1. Travel to three different locations.

    2. Collect a sample at each location.

    3. Return each sample to the central facility.

  2. The path to each location may not be a straight line.

  3. Teams may have to navigate obstacles and challenging terrain to reach the sediment sources.

  4. During sample collections drills should attempt to reach a depth of 75mm.

  5. All points of interests such as sample locations and the return location will be designated by provided GPS coordinates.

  6. Rovers will begin facing a direction chosen by the judges.

  7. Actions do not need to be completed in order.

Ground Information

The task area contains very hard ground that is composed of naturally compacted clay, sand, and gravel. Some locations may contain softer sediment available for sampling, but this is not guaranteed.

Sample Return Receptacle Information

  1. A detailed description of the receptacle for the samples will be provided on the competition website. The height will be between 20 and 60 cm above the ground.

  2. A different container will be provided and indicated for each sample.

Scoring Notes

  1. Travel to location:

    1. Judges will have their own method of verifying the rover’s location (visual indicators or handheld GPS receiver).

    2. When teams believe the rover has manually or autonomously stopped within 2.5m of a sample location, they may ask the judge to verify the rover’s location before proceeding with sample collection.

  2. Drill to a depth of 75 mm:

    1. Judges will use a device to determine the depth reached by the drill.

    2. Teams should not drill deeper than 125 mm.

    3. For a sample to count as collected, it must be held by the rover for more than thirty seconds.

  3. Return to base:

    1. Teams need to have fully reached the location for them to receive this score.

    2. Teams are not required to return to the base between each location

  4. Return sample:

    1. Teams must return their sample into the designated receptacle

    2. No score will be received for mixed samples. Minor and unavoidable cross-contamination is acceptable.

    3. The sample must weigh at least 20 grams.

  5. Autonomous scoring:

    1. Teams are rewarded autonomy points based on the number of actions completed in a row.

    2. The actions are defined on the scoring rubric. There are a total of six actions for each location.

    3. The value of each autonomous action is dependent on the total number of actions completed in a row. Any interventions will break the chain of successive actions.

      1. The first through sixth actions earn two points per action

      2. The seventh through twelfth earn three points per action

      3. The thirteenth through eighteenth earn five points per action

      4. The thirteenth through sixteenth actions earn seven points per action

    4. There is no limit on the number of attempts at autonomous actions. Previously completed actions can be repeated autonomously to earn additional points, time permitting.

    5. Example of autonomous scoring:

      1. Team A drives from the start to point 1 (action count: 1), attempts to drill (2), collects a sample (3), then drives to site 2 (4), attempts to drill (5), collects a sample (6) returns back to the sample receptacle (7,8 - for both site returns), returns each individual sample (9,10)

      2. This would earn 6*2=12 for the first six actions

      3. This would earn 4*3=12 for the remaining actions

      4. This earns the team a total of 24 autonomous points in addition to the points for all completed action.

Task 3 - Equipment Servicing

Description:

The research habitat has been punctured by shrapnel from a lander crash, and requires urgent repair. Your rover must use an emergency repair trailer to return the hab to working condition. Unfortunately, your team was not trained on the use of the emergency repair trailer, but an operating manual is available.

Requirements:

  1. You must travel to the emergency repair trailer and move it to the habitat.

    1. Significantly more points are available for teams that travel autonomously.

    2. More points are awarded for towing the trailer rather than moving it via alternate methods.

    3. If an intervention is called while towing the trailer, the trailer will be disconnected from the rover and left in place.

  2. The emergency repair trailer must be powered on for use, which requires:

    1. Pressing a button to activate the solar panel cleaning procedure.

    2. Opening an access door.

    3. Reading the status of several indicator lights.

    4. Flipping a series of configuration switches, according to the user manual.

    5. Pressing a Start Button.

  3. You must seal the tear in the hab due to the shrapnel:

    1. Applying a velcro patch (stored on the trailer, at a height <1m from ground level)

    2. Align the trailer so that the sealant spray nozzle faces the patch.

    3. Press and hold the button that activates the pump until the patch is coated in sealant.

  4. Once the patch is sealed, the hab must be manually reinflated from an air supply on the trailer:

    1. Identify the correct air supply hose, using the manual.

    2. Unhook the air hose and connect to the air inlet.

    3. Press and hold the button that activates the air pump.

    4. Release the button when the pressure gauge is within the target range.

  5. Finally the trailer must be returned to it’s storage location:

    1. More points are awarded for autonomous travel.

    2. More points are awarded if the trailer is towed.

All tasks within a stage must be completed in order. Teams may skip any stage of the task and reattempt it later for additional points at judge’s discretion, based on the layout of the rover and task components.

Approximate dimensions of the trailer, as well as detailed pictures of the trailer hitch will be posted ahead of the competition. Your operators must follow the instructions in a manual to power on the trailer. The exact series of steps to follow will depend on the product number and status of the indicator lights, both within the box. An example of the manual will be posted ahead of the competition, it is recommended to read the manual and ask questions well ahead of the competition. The example manual may not correspond to the product number of trailer at the competition, but will give a general idea of the necessary steps.

The habitat contains perishable vegetation, and a faster recovery will preserve more of this valuable resource. 2 points will be awarded for every minute before the deadline that this task is completed, if all of the above tasks are completed fully, and autonomously (where applicable).

-

Task 4 - Search and Rescue

Description

A distress signal from a remote astronaut on a routine prospecting mission has been received. Your mission is to take control of the nearby rover and save the astronaut. The terrain is treacherous, but GPS coordinates and flags mark the safe path to the mission zone.The astronaut’s suit is reporting that it will run out of oxygen and power in under an hour, so you must hurry to the rescue!

Requirements

  1. Task is broken down into 6 stages:

    1. Gathering equipment

    2. Traversing to 1st flag

    3. Traversing to 2nd flag

    4. Traversing to 3rd flag

    5. Traversing to Astronaut

    6. Performing Rescue Procedures

  2. Emergency equipment to gather will include:

    1. Emergency suit repair foam applicator

    2. Spare oxygen tank

    3. Battery

    4. Emergency first aid kit

  3. Dimensions of each item and their initial positions will be described on the competition website.

  4. All rescue equipment will be immediately reachable from the starting location.

  5. A wagon is available near the starting location.Teams may decide to store the rescue equipment on your rover and/or in the wagon.

  6. The “Gather Equipment” stage will be considered complete once all equipment is stored on the rover and/or wagon and has not fallen off after 10 seconds.

  7. Rover will need to traverse to the first flag using either the GPS coordinates provided or visually locating the flags and using manual control.

  8. Flags are positioned such that they may be safely traversed in order using a direct path.

  9. Flags are large, will be easily visible to a human, and are equipped with lights to help with any low visibility conditions

  10. A circle will be marked around each flag. The circle radius will be 2 metres with the flag at its center.

  11. Each “Traverse to Flag” stage will be considered complete once the rover has touched the circle.

  12. The location of the distress beacon may or may not be immediately visible from the 3rd flag, and a direct path to it may not be the safest route.

  13. A circle will be marked around the astronaut. The circle radius will be 2 metres with the astronaut at its center.

  14. Provided GPS coordinates and lights on the astronaut’s suit will help with the search.

  15. The “Traverse to Astronaut” stage will be considered completed once the rover has touched the circle.

  16. Rescue procedures include

    1. Applying emergency suit repair foam to proper location

    2. Replacing empty oxygen tank

    3. Replacing suit battery

    4. Opening first aid kit

    5. Injecting astronaut with needle of adrenaline

  17. Specifications for astronaut suit, its orientation on the ground, all damaged areas of the suit, oxygen tank location and detach/attach method, battery location and detach/attach method, and proper adrenaline injection procedures will be provided ahead of time

  18. The “Perform Rescue Procedures” stage will be considered complete when the judges report nominal pressure, oxygen levels, power, and vital sign levels.

  19. The task is considered complete once all stages have been either completed, forfeited, or time runs out.

  20. If the task is completed before time runs out, and no stages have been forfeited, a bonus of 2 points for every full minute remaining will be awarded.

  21. Stages may be attempted in any order, however the “Gather Equipment” stage must be either completed or forfeited before the “Perform Rescue Procedures” task may be started.

  22. At the beginning of a stage, the position and placement of the rover, the wagon, and equipment are subject to the discretion of the judge

  23. If a stage is completed from start to finish autonomously, triple the points will be awarded.

  24. Abandoned or unrecoverable equipment may be picked up by judges and returned to its initial position when an intervention is called.

-

Task 5 - Traversal and Transport

Description

A geology team has spent the last few days investigating a nearby area of uneven terrain. The team needed to be rapidly evacuated due to an emergency at the habitat, and several pieces of important scientific equipment were left behind scattered around the area. Use your rover to patrol the region and retrieve the lost equipment.

Requirements

  1. A patrol route 100-200 metres in length will be defined using 6 GPS waypoints.

    1. The waypoint coordinates will be provided during setup time.

    2. The start location is not a waypoint.

    3. Each waypoint will be visually marked with a pair of small flags at least 1.5 m apart.

  2. Points will be awarded for “approaching” a waypoint when the rover moves within 5 m of the waypoint center as measured by a judge.

  3. Points will be awarded for “visiting” the waypoint when the rover drives between the flags without hitting them.

  4. Waypoints must be visited in numerical order to score points. Points for each waypoint are only awarded once.

  5. If a rover autonomously drives from within 5 m of the start area or previous waypoint to within 5 m of the next waypoint, autonomy points will be awarded for that waypoint.

  6. Waypoint 4 has a bin into which carried objects may be deposited for points after waypoints 1 through 4 have been visited. Specifications of the bin will be available on the competition website.

  7. Waypoints 5 and 6 include progressively more difficult terrain.

  8. There are three lost pieces of equipment: Object 1, Object 2, and Object 3.

    1. The mass of each object will be less than 3 kg.

    2. Photographs of the objects will be available on the competition website.

    3. Object 1 may be loaded by team members during setup time and may be reloaded during an intervention.

    4. Object 2 will be placed on the ground near waypoint 1 and must be loaded by the rover.

    5. Object 3 is placed on the ground near waypoint 6 and must be loaded by the rover.

  9. If the rover is in possession of Object 2 or 3 when an intervention is called, the objects may optionally be left on the ground at the location of the intervention, or be returned to their original locations.

Rovelympics

The Rovelympics are an optional series of short tasks to be performed after the competition is over prior to the event wrap-up. Rovelympics events are scored, however the results do not affect any team’s official competition standings. The Rovelympics are intended to be a fun event for everyone to see the rovers in action. Rovelympics tasks may include:

  • Relay (baton-passing) race
  • Drag race
  • Obstacle course challenge
  • Push-up competition
  • Hill climb challenge
  • Trailer pulling agility challenge
  • Spoon and egg race
  • Opening bottled beverages
  • Rover bowling using a soccer ball
  • Singing, dancing, or playing a musical instrument
  • Other tasks as suggested by anyone at the event