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ME 72 Contest

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
11:00am to 2:00pm
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Millikan Wars: I Have the High Ground

35th Annual Engineering Design Competition


Teams must design, build, and field three amphibious, remote-controlled robotic vehicles and battle against their opponent for control of shooting towers and a rotating center island positioned within a 42-ft x 51-ft rectangular section of Millikan Pond. Robots must successfully navigate both land and water environments, obtain balls from dispensers, and shoot or deposit them into goals to score. A field element (shooting goal or center island) is captured by depositing a ball into the side of the goal corresponding to a team's color. Once the island or goal is captured, points accumulate over time according to a specified rate. If a field element is captured, an opponent can override the control point by depositing a ball into their side of the goal, and vice versa. Each team's mission is to outscore their opponent during 5-minute head to head matches during the round-robin and single-elimination rounds and ultimately win the 2019-20 ME72 competition


  • Teams will be given three balls at the start of each five-minute round. How teams distribute the balls among their robots is left up to their discretion.
  • Each match will commence with a forty-five-second opening rush. The rotating center island is immobile at the start of a match and oriented with each team's goal facing their starting area.
  • The first team to successfully navigate to the center island and score within the opening forty-five-second rush will automatically gain 15 seconds out of a maximum possible 30-sec of control.
  • The first team to control the center island during the opening rush also gains a 2x point multiplier until the island is overridden or the control period expires.
  • An added bonus for winning the opening rush is that the ball dispenser closest to the conquering team's starting ramp activates before all others in the playing field. In contrast, the ball dispenser nearest to their opponent is delayed from turning on by fifteen seconds after the first team scores.
  • Once the center island is initially scored on, it will begin to rotate at ~1rpm for the rest of the round.
  • Once play commences, if a control point is captured and is accruing points for a team (say the blue team), then the red team can override the control point at any time by depositing a ball into their side of the goal, and vice versa.
  • Once a team overrides a control point, it stops gaining points for the previous team and immediately starts a new counter for the team in control.
  • Shooting towers can only be overridden if the attacking team scores at the same goal level or higher than was scored upon by the team currently in control of the tower.


  • Robotic vehicles may not exceed dimensions of 18in x 18in and may not be taller than 16in above the water when floating.
  • Robots must start in the configuration that fits the dimensions, but after each round starts, robots may extend/expand/unfold beyond the initial constraints.
  • Robots should be capable of traversing a ramp leading into the water and at least one robot should be able to climb the slope leading up to the center island.
  • Robots must have an integrated ball handling mechanism to scoop, transport, and dump balls.
  • Teams should attempt to implement a shooting mechanism to launch balls into the shooting tower goals.
  • Electronic components and batteries must be sealed and protected from the water environment.
  • Vehicles are expected to be robust enough to survive normal competitive interactions such as bumping or falling off obstacles. Intentional aggressive contact or ramming between robots is not allowed.
  • Vehicles should have sufficient clearance to traverse sharp corners at the junction between ramps and level surfaces such as the starting zone and center island..

For more information, please contact Lynn Seymour by phone at (626) 395-4107 or by email at [email protected] or visit ME72.