Robotics 102: Ramp Riot

The Ramp Riot competition is in full swing. Teams from a myriad of states are hoping to go home with the prize. The first few rounds of the competition are done, and many more are ahead. Every team is enthusiastically supporting cheering from the stands, dressed in their team colors. The stadium is filled with cheers. Meanwhile, each team’s mechanical, electrical and programming subsets are working furiously to fix their robots and prepare them for their next round. The air is charged with both enthusiasm and tension, everyone vying for the first prize.

The Ramp Riot competition is simple to understand. The arena has four hoops on each side, three ramps in the middle, and two basketballs on each ramp. There are two alliances: red and blue, each comprised of three robots. The objective of the competition is simple: shoot basketballs into hoops to score points for your team. Each round is two minutes long and has two sections. Robots spend fifteen seconds in an autonomous, or pre-programmed, state, in which every point scored counts for double. Then, for the rest of the two minutes, they are controlled by their team to scored points. There are three levels of hoops; the highest hoop is worth three points, the two middle hoops are worth two points each and the lowest hoop is worth one point. At the end, each robot can earn ten points for its team by being on the ramp at the end of the competition.