Sonoma County Office of Education

2018 Robotics Challenge

Robotics Challenge Logo

Welcome to the official website of the 2018 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge!

2018 Sonoma County Robotics Challenge
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Elsie Allen High School
599 Bellevue Avenue, Santa Rosa

Events & Official Rules

Challenge events are designed for beginner through advanced student competitors. Teams may choose to compete in one event or a combination of challenges. All competitors agree to abide with the general competition guidelines (pdf) and the rules for the specific competition events listed below:

Bull in a China Shop | Bull in a China Shop Rules (pdf)
This challenge uses a circular ring with 10 different items placed at various locations in the ring. A single robot has the task of knocking the items out of the ring in the shortest time possible.

Maze Runner | Maze Runner Rules (pdf)
Maze Runner asks participants to design and program a robot which successfully navigates a maze from start to finish in the shortest time.

Drag Racing | rag Racing Rules (pdf)
The objective of this contest is to race your robot on a track that is 16 feet long and beat your opponent to the finish line. This year’s drag racing competition is open to grade 4-5 students only.

Free Form | Free Form Rules (pdf)
This year’s Free Form event challenges teams to explore the theme of “The Olympics” with bonus points added for creating a routine or story on this theme. Entries will be judged on the robot’s ability to follow action scripts, difficulty of tasks, and adherence to the theme. Participants may choose to enter the Beginning or Advanced competition categories in this event.

King of the Hill | King of the Hill Rules (pdf)
This contest matches two robots climbing a hill to occupy a space at the top that is only large enough for one. The robot who is in the top space at the end of one minute is "King of the Hill."

Off Road Racing | Off Road Racing Rules (pdf)
Off Road Racing involves a 16-foot long course with blocks of wood placed at different intervals. The object of this event is to overcome the barriers, stay on track, and finish with the best time.

Sumo | Sumo Rules (pdf)
Robot sumo wrestling engages two robot contestants in trying to push each other out of a circular ring. The first robot to touch the floor outside of the ring loses. The last robot remaining in the ring wins. This year's event rules have been changed- please read the rules to understand new start of match actions. Any grade may compete in Sumo.

Line Following from the Beginning | Line Following from the Beginning Rules (pdf)
Line Following from the Beginning is a timed event challenging participants to create a robot able to track a black line with turns and twists over a 5 foot by 5 foot course in the fastest time.

Construction & Design Museum | Grades 1-6 | Display Rules (pdf)
Students in grades 1-6 are invited to display their Lego creations in the Construction and Design Museum. This year's theme is focused on the Olympics. To participate, students should build a Lego creation featuring an Olympics theme.

Tools & Materials

Teams should have these tools and materials with them at the event:

  • Garage. A garage serves as a container for your robot, protecting it from accidents that can happen in the hustle and bustle of a tournament.
  • Printout of your programs to show the judges
  • Backup of your programs on CD or flash drive
  • Extra batteries (AA or battery pack) and/or NXT/EV3 battery charger
  • Extra LEGO pieces
  • Practice course, if one was built
  • Infrared programming tower and/or USB connection cable from the kit
  • Any other hand tools that the team may need
  • Emergency contact numbers for team members
  • Note paper and writing utensils
  • Camera
  • Trinkets to share with other teams (buttons, stickers, etc.)
  • Practice area team banner and other decorations
  • Lunch or lunch money


Golden Propeller Head: A trophy is given to the team that best represents the spirit of the games by demonstrating excellence in teamwork, mechanical design, programming, and performance. The trophy is kept at their school until the following year’s competition, when it is handed off to the new team. The team’s name is engraved into a plaque on the side of the trophy.

Grand Gear Head Award for Mechanical Design: Awarded to the team whose robot best demonstrates solid mechanical design and function.

Genius Programmer Award: Awarded to the team that demonstrates the best use of robot programming.

Team Spirit Award: This award goes to the team that most enthusiastically demonstrates a commitment to getting others to see how accessible, fun, and rewarding science and technology can be, especially when you’re part of a great team. Displays chronicling your team’s outreach efforts are encouraged.

Best Overall Robot Performance Award: If your robot is performing ahead of the pack and the high scores are racking up, you are destined to receive this award.

Against All Odds Award: If you walked to the tournament in the rain, barefoot, through a jungle of angry robot-hating gorillas, this award may be for you! The award goes to the team that has come from the back of the pack to demonstrate grace under pressure, while improvising and adapting to overcome all obstacles that have been thrown their way.

Training resources, videos and other materials for the Sonoma County Robotics Challenge can be found here.

Amie Carter, Sonoma County Superintendent
"The mission of the Sonoma County Office of Education is to foster student success through service to schools, students, and the community." - Amie Carter, Sonoma County Superintendent