Ala Cart! Robot Cart Contest

Ala Cart!  The 2008/2009 Washington State Cart Buildin' Contest.

These are the rules to the Washington State Cart contest.  This is a contest to build your cart before the start of the season.  You cart is very useful.  These rules only apply to entering your cart into this Contest (however boy oh boy these rule are here to make your cart and robot safer).   If these rules contradict FIRST rules the FIRST rules win out.

The contest will be held on the kickoff day.  The judging will take place during the breakout sessions and awards will be handed out after the breakout sessions.  No team members will need to be at your cart during the judging.  The award session will not be formal however, we want you to get to the job of building robots.  The one award that will be judged different is the cart animation award.  See the Cart Animation section for these rules.

The reason for the cart to be done by the kickoff is to help you move the kit of parts to your car and to your school.  It's also a good warm-up project for your team.  Remember that the cart, though can be really big, must also be transported to places as well.  So make it portable and well as cool.

The cart maybe recycled from last year, I do understand however this does put the rookies at a disadvantage.  To the rookies, ask for pictures for carts from any veteran teams in Washington.

All correspondence about the cart contest needs to be sent to
me@jimwright.org, don't bother Kevin with this he is already doing much.

Have fun but remember two principals for this contest: KISS and MISS*


<CS01> The cart's movement can not be powered.  The cart must be pushed or pulled by a team member. 
• This is so that any other person who needs to move your cart during a competition may do so without needed to know how to operate it.

<CS02> The cart can receive power from a wall socket only to power battery chargers.

<CS03> Other electrical systems on the cart must be powered by at most two robot competition batteries, with the exception of the battery charger as noted by C02.  The connector to these batteries must be the Anderson Power Products connector.

<CS04> No pneumatic systems may be used on the carts function.  The air compress may be on the cart in order to charge pneumatic systems on the robot before a match.

<CS05> The weight of the empty cart must not exceed the weight of the robot.  Empty is defined as containing no parts that can be removed during normal competition.  I.E: The robot, batteries and tools.  However a tool box that is attached permanently to the cart counts towards this weight, a tool box that is removed while in the pits
falls under the weight of CS06.

<CS06> The weight of the items placed on the cart (batteries and tools) must not exceed ½ of the weight of the robot. 

Steve and Jim note: Hey look you robot buildin' people, we are not going to weigh your cart.  We put these rules in so that if you have to push it up and down ramps the cart and robot do not become a dangerous physics example.

<CS07> The cart may not have any edges that are sharp, every surface of your cart must be able to be handled without any harm to anyone.

<CS08> Any light attached to your cart must be protected with at least a 1/16 sheet of Polycarbonate, even if the light is pointed down underneath the cart.
<CS09> The 2008 Power Distribution Diagram must be used on any electrical system on the cart with the exception of having to use the power distribution block. 

<CS10> When the robot is on the cart, the robots wheels must not touch the cart.  This is to allow the robot to be powered up without causing a dangerous physics example.

General Design

<CD01> The cart can only be as wide as the 2008 robot.  Max Width: 28

<CD02> The cart can only be 20 inches longer than the 2008 robot. Max Length 58.

<CD03> The area of the cart that contains the robot may only be 36 inches above the ground. I.E. The robot can only fall from 36 inches if something bad happens.

<CD04> The maximum height of any part of the cart may only be 48 inches high during travel.  When the cart is at rest it may expand higher than 48 inches.
• An example of this is that if your cart contains a tool box.  When the robot is being transported the lid is down and is 48 inches above the floor.  When the cart is at rest, the tool box's lid can swing up and extend above 48 inches.

<CD05> The cart must be able to be moved over a 1.5 inch step with minimal effort.  The cart must have a 3 inch clearance in order not to bottom out on several cables and other things at the regional.

<CD06> The cart must be able to be moved over a gap of 1.5 inches with minimal effort.  This is the don't-get-the-cart-stuck-in-an-elevator rule.

<CD07> For this competition, speakers or other noise makers can be used, and as loud as you want.  Please note:  This is not a regional and these items will not be allowed to be used at a regional.

<CD08> Your team number, team high school, and team sponsors must be visible somewhere on your cart when the robot is not on it.

<CD09> The cart must have a location for driver buttons.  The driver buttons are the buttons your team will need to get on the field.  These buttons should be located in a single place where every member of the team knows where they are.


<CM01> The cart can be made from any material you want.

<CM02> There isn't a budgetary constraint on the cart.

Steve and Jim note: Hey you robot buildin' people, there isn't a budget on this, but if you are spending a lot of buckolas on the cart you may want to scale it back a bit!  This rule is here so that if you have a light system that you have purchased for a computer you
may place it on the cart with out needing to do all the tracking of paperwork.


<CA01> Engineering Inspiration.  Is the cart a sleek lookin' machine?  If you apply 1N of force to the cart will it travel 10m before it comes to a stop?  Remember a simple cart can be one of the best engineered carts.

<CA02> Safety.  Is the cart safe?  Edges are all protected.  Center of gravity is low, so it can't be tipped over. Is the electrical system safe?  Wires tucked in?

<CA03> Deign.  Demonstrate to the judges that your cart started from plans.  Be able to show the judges your design plans, by leaving them on or around your cart during the judging..

<CA04> Usefulness. Be able to show the judges what other functions, other than moving the robot around, can your cart perform.  Holding tools, recharging batteries, etc.

<CA05> Spirit.  Does the cart look like a team member.  This is the whole cool lookin' paint and lights award.

<CA06> Cart Animation.  This is for a 30 second animation created using any animation tool.  The animation must be posted to Youtube by December 23rd.  The link to this animation must be e-mailed to
me@jimwright.org on Dec. 23rd.  Each team entering the animation contest must also provide a team member to judge the animations.  The e-mail address of this member must be e-mailed to me@jimwright.org on Dec. 23rd.  On the 25th of December the full list of animations will be e-mailed to all of the judges.  The judges have until Jan 1st, to vote for their top three animations.  

*MISS, what!!?! You don't know about MISS?  Look for Occam's Razor.