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Assignment 2017

The mechatronics contest for 2016-2017 will be another robot-race, this time called “S.A.F.E”; Smart Automated Fire Extinguisher. Each participating student team will design and build a robot that can autonomously collect buckets of water and bring them to the “fire” location navigating over obstacles on its path. The date of the contest is Wednesday 17th of May 2017 during the Dutch Technology Week in Eindhoven (date to be confirmed). As always the contest will take place on the Market in Eindhoven. 


Every year there are headlines in the summer about small fires turning into complete destruction of large forest areas. The S.A.F.E. robot will be designed to extinguish small fires before they become uncontrollable to protect the forest. The robot must be able to autonomously find its way to the water source and its way back to the fire multiple times. The robot must prevent spilling too much water out of its bucket while navigating over obstacles in the forest area.

Assignment description

Design and build a robot that is able to drive from the starting position in front of the fire location to the water source on the other side of the contest area and fill its bucket with water, drive the bucket with water back through the contest area which has obstacles on the floor and deposit the water in the water collection tower on the “fire” location. The robot must be working autonomously when it is in the contest area. It is not allowed to “help” the robot while in the contest area. If the robot gets stuck the teams are allowed to stop the robot and move the robot back to the start position from which the robot can be restarted with an empty bucket. The robot can make multiple runs collecting and delivering water within the duration of 5 minutes. The water must be transported in an open bucket, covering the bucket is not allowed, it is not allowed to re-use water spilled from the bucket. It is only allowed to transport the water inside the bucket. The robot that delivers the biggest amount of water in 5 minutes or fills the water tower at the “fire” location first wins. During the competition up to 4 teams will compete against each other on adjacent contest areas, see figure 2.

Figure 2: Impression of the contest area


Questions can be sent to This assignment can be found at the Sioux-CCM website ( at this site the answers to the contest questions and additional information is shared with the teams. There is also a Facebook page “CCM TROFEE” at which pictures and movies from the contests of previous years can be found as well as some announcements with respect to the competition.

Element descriptions


Height: max 2.0 m.

Width X Length: max 0.6 X 0.6 m at ground level (footprint) up to 30 cm height, above 30 cm from the floor the robot can be 1.2 X 1.2 m maximum.

Dimensions are applicable during complete competition.

The robot must function autonomously when it is in the contest area. Interaction with the robot is only allowed before/during the (re)start. When the robot gets stuck in the contest area it is allowed to stop the robot and move it back to the start location to restart. Before restart the bucket must be emptied. The robot must use the bucket which is supplied by Sioux-CCM. It is only allowed to transport water within the bucket. Water that has been outside the bucket when transported over the contest area is not allowed to be added to the collection tower at the fire location. The robots must not cause safety risks for the audience.

The appearance of the robot must be professional; this means that a robot taped together from some pieces of wood and cardboard will not be accepted. This will be one of the criteria at the concept presentation, and can be ground for not accepting a concept. A team name is required and must be clearly visible on the robot.


A 2.5 litre metal bucket ( as shown in Figure 3 will be supplied by Sioux-CCM during the concept presentation. The bucket may not be altered except for adding fixations to the outside to be able to mount the bucket to the robot. It is not allowed to add covering on top or around the bucket (e.g. a height extension) to prevent water from spilling out of the bucket. It is not allowed to add anything to the inside of the bucket.


Figure 3: Pictures of bucket

Contest area
Dimensions: max 5x1.2 m, see figure 4 (note: picture is only illustrative, text is leading)

Side walls: wood, height minimal 15 cm, distance between side walls 1.2 m.

Floor: wood board

Obstacles: Height circa 3 cm with 30 degrees ramp angle on both sides. One obstacle at the start location over the full width of the track; other obstacles on sides of the track with an obstacle free path of 0.6 m centred in the track, see Figure 4.

Note: during the competition the floor and obstacles will become wet which can reduce the traction.

The position of the obstacles will not be announced before the competition and can be changed during the competition (obstacles will be placed at same position for competing teams). There will be no obstacles within 0.6 m from the “fire” location and the water source location.


Figure 4: Impression of contest areas

Fire location

Height top side water collection tower: 1.4 m

Minimum inner dimensions of water basin: 0.8 x 0.3 m (length x width)

The wall thickness of the front side of the water basin is less than 6 cm.

“Fire” location is centered relative to track. Front sides water collection tower is completely closed, robot is allowed to ride up against bottom part (max 0.7 m height) of the water tower.


Figure 5: Impression of water collection tower at “fire” location

Water source

Height top side water basin: 0.7 m

Minimum inner dimensions of water basin: 0.8 x 0.3 x 0.3 m (length x width x depth)

The wall thickness of the front side of the water basin is less than 6 cm.

Water height: circa 5 cm below top side water basin at start, water level will decent when water is removed by robot. Depth of water at start is 30 cm.

Water source is centered relative to track. Front side water basin is completely closed, robot is allowed to ride up against water basin.


Figure 6: Impression of water source basin

External disturbances

Lights: Illumination of tent and flash lights from cameras.

Rain: the contest area will be inside but can be wet due to weather conditions outside.

Sunshine: the tent will not have walls around the contest area.

Public: standing close to the contest area, see figure 7.


Figure 7: Impression of competition day 2016

Concept presentation

The concept presentation is used as a go/no-go decision for the project. Sioux-CCM must be convinced that the project will result in a competitive robot by means of presenting the following:

-      A concept with solutions for all functions.

-      A professional design of the robot, no pieces of wood and cardboard taped together.

-      A realistic planning with sufficient time for testing.

-      A balanced budget.

-      A team name, and clear contact information.

When the presentation is satisfactory the budget from Sioux-CCM will be assigned. When the presentation is unsatisfactory the budget is rejected. It is also possible to decide to give a provisional go, extra actions and effort will be required to get the budget.

Robot presentation

A working robot must be presented to Sioux-CCM by means of a movie in April, these movies will be shared on Facebook as well.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Of course you want to know everything about Robot S.A.F.E.. Here are the questions the students asked us. 

Do not hesitate and join us in this challenge!

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