Drag Racer Autonomous

This contest is intended to provide a new side-by-side race for Autonomous Line Follower vehicles.





Open to:

All up to Senior 4

Playing Field:

A 7.3m (24′) long, two lane straight race course. The surface is 1.2 cm(1/2″) off the ground. Each lane is 40 cm (16″) wide.

Playing Field Surface:

The playing field is made from White Foamed PVC (Sintra®), with a black line (standard 18 mm electrical tape) on the surface. Both tracks are side by side with a space between of approximately 30-40cm (12″-16″). The total track length is 7.3m (24′)  and 40cm (16″) wide and divided into ready area 30cm (1′), race track 5.79m (19′) and stopping area 90cm (3′). There is a 940 nm infrared LED in the centre of the track, 5cm (2″) behind the start line which when turned off will signal the start of the run. The stopping zone at the end of the track is entirely black with a foam barrier at the far end. A horizontal light beam is placed at the finish line and will detect the drag racer interrupting the timing beam. The beam will be 3.5 cm, + or – 1 cm above the playing surface.


The robot’s task is to be able to detect the 940nm signal that is placed 5cm (2″) behind the start line. When the IR LED is extinguished the Drag Racer will proceed down the track following the straight black line,  pass under the finish line and then stop before running into the foam barrier.

Robot Specifications:

The robot must be no more than 20 cm wide and 30 cm long at any time and the maximum height is 20 cm. with a maximum weight of 3Kg. The robot shall be self-contained. A downward facing infrared detector is to be used to start the robot’s forward movement and placed that the front most part of the robot is less than 2″ from the sensor. The infrared light will be ON until the start of the race. When the light is ON the robot must NOT run. The robot must also detect the black stopping zone following the finish line and come to a full stop before the foam safety barrier, 90cm (3′). The front 2cm of the robot must be opaque, e.g. black electrical tape, MRG sticker, etc can be used to ensure that the robot can be detected and an accurate time recorded.


  • No fuel cells, compressed gasses or other combustion processes are permitted.
  • Lithium Ion, Lithium Polymer may be used under strict conditions (see MRG General Rules)
  • Maximum 24 V total battery voltage
  • No scratching or other damage to the playing field
  • No remote control of any kind is permitted. Once released the robot must be autonomous.
  • Must be powered entirely by electricity.

Robot Identification:

The MRG identification sticker(s) (as supplied during registration) must be easily readable on the robot’s body while the robot is in competition.

Game Principles:

The best of three runs determines the winner. If a robot leaves the track it is the loser. If both robots leave the track the robot that left first is the loser of that run. If a robot fails to stop within the stopping zone and collides with the safety barrier a 5 second penalty will be added to it’s time.

Game Procedure:

At the start of each run, the robots will be placed in the area behind the start line. The robot may be placed anywhere behind the start line as long as it detects the IR light. When both robots are ready the IR light will be extinguished and the robots race to cross the finish line. A vertical light beam will record the instant the front of each robot reaches the finish line. The judge may choose between “fastest time” , or “elimination”, or other combination at the judges discretion based upon number of entrants and scheduling constraints.

MRG General Rules:

As with all competitions, failure to abide by MRG General Rules may result in one or more of: a warning, a declaration of an unfinished run or disqualification from the event.