Line Maze Autonomous

This contest is intended to lead toward the IEEE MicroMouse contest. We are using a maze drawn using black lines rather than walls to allow existing line following robots to enter a different type of contest.





Open to:

All up to Senior 4

Playing Field:

An 8 x 8 grid of 15 cm x 15 cm unit squares. The total size of the maze is therefore 1.2 m x 1.2 m. Each unit consists of of one of five typical maze elements:
  • Straight line through entering and leaving two opposite sides
  • A T-intersection entering and leaving three adjacent sides
  • Single 90 degree bend entering and leaving two adjacent sides
  • A dead end entering one side and continuing about 1/2 of the way across the square before ending
  • The “home” unit with one entrance to a 10 cm x 10 cm black square in the centre

The start of the maze shall be on one of the four sides of the maze and shall be a straight line type unit square. The goal of the maze shall be a 10cm x 10cm black  square.  The robot should be able to detect that is has reached the goal and in doing so, indicate so by rotating 360° three times and stop.  The maze will not have any intended changes in elevation and will sit either directly on the floor or on small, uniform-height supports. The maze will not be an island or loop style maze, and wall-following or always-turn strategies will solve the maze but may not be an optimal solution.

Playing Field Surface:

The playing field is white with black lines formed by encapsulating 18 mm wide strips of non glaring PVC into the surface. For this year, there will not be walls as there are in the IEEE maze contest but they may be added in future years. The field will be made up of 15cm square “tiles” and as such may have small cracks where they meet.

Competition Objective:

The robot’s task is to navigate from the start square to the home square by following the line in the shortest possible time. Timing will be done by stopwatch from the time the robot first starts to move until it reaches the home. Timing will stop as soon as the robot enters the home square. A 10 second time reduction bonus will be given if the robot detects the black area in the home square and reacts by turning three times.

Game Principles:

The best time of three runs is considered the time for that robot. Programming changes between runs are NOT permitted. Neither is adding hints or other maze-specific data. Anything the robot learned by itself may be retained between runs.
If the robot fails to complete the maze in 3 minutes, it will be awarded progress points by the Judge

Game Procedure:

At the start of each run, the robot will be placed in the start unit square facing in the direction of the next unit square of the maze. With the judges permission, the driver starts the robot and the time it takes to reach the goal is recorded.  The judge may halt the run if either the maze or the robot is in danger of damage if the run continues. This will also be considered to be an unfinished run. Further runs by that robot will be at the judges discretion. The third unit square will be regarded as a default line. Once the robot enters that square you are committed to let it go the full distance. Before that you may stop the robot up to two times without penalty to make very minor adjustments to the mechanics but not the programming.

Robot Specifications:

The robot shall be self-contained. The length and width of the robot shall be restricted to a square region of 15 cm x 15 cm. The dimensions of a robot which changes its geometry during a run shall never be greater than 15 cm x 15 cm. The height of the robot is unrestricted.


  • No fuel cells or other combustion processes are permitted.
  • If you are using Lithium based batteries, consult the MRG General Rules for more information.
  • No “3pi” or similar robot kits, will be allowed. This competition is for home built robots that have been programmed by the builder or if the program was downloaded from the internet we expect you to demonstrate how the code was extensively modified. We suggest you bring with you a printout of the code used and the original.
  • No leaving a trail of breadcrumbs or anything else in the robots wake.
  • No preloading the map once it is revealed. Learning algorithms are permitted but the robot must discover the maze map by itself.
  • The robot must complete the entire maze by following the line at all times. Deliberate look-ahead or serendipitous skipping of parts of the maze are considered loss of line. If a robot loses the line but is able to regain it without avoiding any significant part of the maze it may continue at the judges option
  • No scratching or other damage of the playing field.
  • No remote control of any kind permitted. Once released the robot must be fully autonomous.
  • Robots must be powered entirely by electricity.
  • Competitors may enter more than one robot in this competition.
  • No robot may accept any programming, map or other information from another robot.
  • We ask that all contestants submit a copy of the code your robot uses, on a USB thumb drive, which will be returned to you. This is to help us refine the rules for next year and will NOT be shared. Please ensure your robot name is included in the title of your code.

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.

MRG General Rules:

As with all competitions, failure to abide by MRG General Rules may result in the following:
  • a Warning being issued, or
  • a Declaration of an unfinished run, or
  • Disqualification from the competition or the event.