1. Basic navigation

Task overview

For this task the robots are navigating autonomously. Within three minutes, the robot has to navigate through long curved rows of maize plants (picture 1 at the end of this text). The aim is to cover as much distance as possible. On the headland, the robot has to turn and return in the adjacent row. There will be no plants missing in the rows. This task is all about accuracy, smoothness and speed of the navigation operation between the rows.

At the beginning of the match it will be told whether starting is on the left side of the field (first turn is right) or on the right side (first turn is left). This is not a choice of the team but of the officials. Therefore, the robots should be able to perform for both options. A headland width of 2 meters free of obstacles (bare soil) will be available for turning.

Field conditions

Random stones are placed along the path to represent a realistic field scenario. The stones are not exceeding 25 mm from the average ground level. The stones may be small pebbles (diameter <25 mm) laid in the ground and large rocks that push (max 25 mm) out from the ground, both are installed. In other words, the robot must have ground clearance of this amplitude at minimum, and the robot must be able to climb over obstacles of max 25 mm height.

A red 50 mm wide textile tape is laid in the field 2 m from the plants.

Rules for robots

For starting, the robot is placed at the beginning of the first row without exceeding the white line.

If the robot is about to deviate out from the path and hit maize plants, the team member with the remote controller must press STOP button immediately. The STOP button must be pressed before the robot damages stems of the maize plants. The team is responsible to monitor the behavior of the robot and use STOP button when necessary.


The distance travelled in 3 minutes is measured. The final distance will be calculated including especially a bonus factor when the end of the field is reached in less time than 3 min. The final distance including a bonus factor is calculated as:
Final distance = corrected distance * 3 minutes / measured time.

The corrected distance includes travelled distance and the penalty values. Travelled distance, penalty values and performance time are measured by the jury officials.

Crop plant damage by the robot will result in a penalty of 1 meter per plant.

The task completing teams will be ranked by the results of resulting total distance values. The best 3 teams will be rewarded. This task 1, together with tasks 2, 3 and 4, contributes to the overall contest winner 2018. Points for the overall winner will be given as described under chapter 0.3 Awards.

Picture of dimensions and row pattern for task 1.
Picture 1 – Dimensions and row pattern for task 1.
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