DRC Rules

The following rules are no longer fully relevant with the changes to the 2020 DRC.

Changes From 2019

  • Finish line will be black instead of green.
  • Added specification about E-stops.
  • Removed ability to do off-board processing
  • Added recommendation about wheel covering
  • Added sections about general performance and about the environment.
  • The competition will be run virtually this year. The rules that are following are based on a physical competition that we were originally expecting to run. These rules will be updated as we figure out what needs to be changed for a virtual competition, but for now you can assume they will be mostly the same.

Droid Racing Challenge 2020 Rules

Team Eligibility

  • All team members must be currently enrolled students at a tertiary education facility (university, TAFE, or equivalent).
  • There is a maximum of six official team members.
  • Each university or institution has a maximum of three teams allowed to compete
  • This challenge is designed for undergraduate students, therefore there is a maximum of one postgraduate student allowed per team.
  • Teams must be able to show their progress through a video diary/showcase/logbook before the competition to ensure they are ready to compete.
  • Teams must have at least one staff contact.

Robot Specifications

  • The total budget for the finished robot must not exceed $1500AUD. This is to ensure an even playing field. All components will be at each team’s own expense
  • The droid must use computer vision to sense the boundaries, obstacles and other droids
  • The droid must be able to wirelessly start, stop and finish the race.
  • There must be E-stops mounted on the droid and available remotely. This must cut all power to the droid.
  • Any software may be used.
  • All processing must be on-board.
  • Only on-board sensors may be used. Main guidance must be computer vision based, however on-board sensors may be used to detect obstacles (i.e. No GPS, RC, LIDAR).
  • Each robot must have a red outer shell that covers at least 80 percent of the robot.
  • Droids must not be designed to intentionally interfere with other droids.
  • It is recommended to avoid having open wheel designs. Two robots failing this might get their wheels tangled up. Though judges should still be able to see when a wheel has contacted a track marker.
  • Maximum dimensions:

Width:         400mm

Height:     350mm

Length:     800mm

  • Each robot will be judged on the day to see if it meets specifications. If it does not it will NOT be allowed to compete.

The Track

  • Yellow and blue coloured tape will indicate the left and right edges of the track respectively 
  • Time penalties will apply if the robot crosses the track edges
  • Green tape will indicate out of bounds areas. This will be outside the track edges.
  • The finish line will be indicated by a solid black line
  • The width of the track will range between one and two metres
  • There will be obstacles on the track that the droid will need to avoid. They will vary in size (max 400x400x500mm), with up to two obstacles at any part of the track
  • The obstacle configuration will increase in difficulty with each round
  • Be prepared for different obstacles from last year and surprise challenges


The exact format of the competition has not been decided this year. This may depend on the number of entrants we get. This section defines the way it has been run the last couple years, so you can expect this year’s to be similar if not identical.

  • There will be 3 sets of heats, followed by a traditional elimination style tournament for the 8 teams that perform the best during the heats.
  • Each team will compete once during each heat, at the same time as one other team.
  • Both teams will have time to bring their droid to the start line and prepare before the heat starts.
  • When the heat is due to start, a judge will give a countdown for the heat to start. After which, both teams may hit the start button for their droid to start moving.
  • If a team was unable to bring their droid to the start line before the heat started, they may still bring their droid to the start when they are ready, but their timer will have already started.
  • If a resettable offence occurs, the team must return it to the start line. This is the only time during a run that a team may touch their droid.
  • If a team finishes a run by crossing the finish line, their timer will be stopped and recorded along with a tally of all their penalties. The team can at this point attempt another run, with a blank score sheet, following the same requirements as the initial start of the heat. 
  • Teams are allowed as many attempts as they wish during their heat. After the heat, their best performance will be used to determine their score.
  • After 3 sets of heats, the team’s best score from all the heats will be used from placement into the final elimination tournament.
  • If a team has a score that would allow entry into the elimination tournament, but has a malfunction that prevents their droid from operating, they must fix the issue before successful teams are to be announced. Otherwise, they will forfeit their position and it will be awarded to the next best team with a functioning robot.

The Environment

  • The competition will be held at QUT, Gardens Point campus
  • The track will be indoors, in a large lab space. This means that there may be equipment around that we can not move (including objects the same colour as the track lines).
  • The competition will be open to spectators and we encourage you to invite your friends/family to visit.
  • The spectators and competitors will be visible to the droids. We have limited ability to control what the spectators are wearing, but we will ask competitors to avoid wearing anything that may cause issues with vision systems.
  • A small test area will be set up for teams to use while other teams are running their heats.
  • Access to power and a table to set up will be provided.
  • Access to a workshop will be provided if needed. It will have power supplies, soldering equipment, hot glue guns, basic hand tools, etc.
  • Teams should bring whatever non-workshop equipment they may need (Laptops, spare parts, etc). We may be able to supply some items at request, but cannot guarantee it.


  • Prizes will be awarded to the droids that finish first, second and third in the tournament stage.
  • A prize will be awarded to the best designed droid, which will be judged by an expert panel
  •  MATLAB will award a prize to the best performed droids that implement MATLAB (details to come)