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Competition Tips

There are only a few items that are truly "required" to run a SuGO competition. These are:
  1. SuGO ring
  2. Sizing box
  3. Match brackets
  4. Weighing scale.
SuGO rings can be constructed from many different materials. One method is to cut a 36" circle from medium or high density particle board using a router or jigsaw. The ring is then painted with the official colors. Another approach would be to purchase a pre-cut 36" tabletop. In a pinch, a ring could be constructed on a white tile floor with black electrical tape.

The sizing box is important to ensure that each participant's robot is within the legal size requirement. Attempting to use a ruler or other measuring device is difficult, and often open to interpretation. The sizing box can be constructed from metal, plastic or wood, but it should be sufficiently rigid to ensure that the robot does not deform it during testing. The box can either be an open tube, or it can have a bottom.

Match brackets are needed to run the double elimination competition. Competitions with 4 or 8 teams are easy to schedule, but other odd numbers can be more difficult. Brackets can be run using tournament software or simple bracket sheets where teams are written in, and matches scored by hand.

A scale is required to limit the amount of extra weight that teams add to their SuGObot for traction. Most postage scales can be used, but ensure that yours can measure up to two pounds.

A variety of Forms, Checklists & Certificates can be used to streamline a SuGO competition. We have provided a printable set of such forms here for free download.

Note: All of these items (except the Scale) can be purchased from the SuGObot store as a Field Kit. This kit includes electronic versions of other useful forms, checklists and certificates that can be customized for your event. This package includes a team check-in sheet, robot inspection sheet, table tents and award certificates.

Robot Building Tips

We find that it's best to construct your SuGO bot in a series of steps.
  • Decide how your motors are going to be connected together to make a solid chassis. This may or may not include the NXT. Make sure they are connected in at least two places to ensure that they don't twist, and make sure they are alligned squarely to each other. Use lots of black studs.
  • Add the NXT if it's not part of the original drive chassis. Once again, make sure you have at least two points of connection. Four is even better.
  • Add the third wheel, skid or slider that will keep your robot on an even keel. A wide base gives the best support, and if you use a wheel, it's best to remove the tire to enable the robot to turn smoothly.
  • Add the line sensors. It's important that they are about 1/2" off the ground pointing straight down. Put one on either side in the front. These should be in front of the forward-most ground-contact point of the robot to ensure that they sense the black line BEFORE the robot reaches the edge.
  • Add the SumoEyes once everthing else is on the robot. These must be at the front, pointing forward, level to the ground, or tilted slightly down. Ideally they should be between 2and 3 inches off the ground.
  • Finally add the cables to the motors and sensors. Ensure that NO parts of the robot are anywhere near the front of the eyes as the SuGObot will start chasing it's tail (so to speak).
The SuGO Mechanic User Guide includes specific directions on how to run the SuGObot's cables and how to ensure that they are hooked up correctly.