Three Wall Race

Contest Name: Three-Wall Race

Submitted By: Gary Reynolds, Physics Instructor at Santa Ana High School, Santa Ana, CA


  • Boe-Bot, Shield-Bot, ActivityBot or Similar Robot
  • 3 (three) 36-inch long 1x6” or 2x6” Boards (or similarly sized hard object. A wall could be used instead of one of the boards.)
  • Masking tape


  • Touch the walls at the high-scoring spots to accumulate as many points as possible within 60 seconds from the start.


About the Robots:

  • A white mark is made on the front of the robot
  • Because this game tests participant’s ability to carefully program a sequence of movements, the robots in this game must be:
    • Similarly matched in capability - wheel encoders should either be required for all robots or not allowed for any, and their top speeds should be similar.
    • For a more exact approach to robots with varying speeds (to remove the speed advantage):
      • Robots are initially timed through a 3 foot straight course.
      • Robot with the slowest speed is given a scoring period of 60 seconds in the box.
      • Faster robots are given a shorter period of time (percentage of 60 seconds) based on their speed run compared to the slowest robot’s time in the speed trial.

About the course/field:

  • The robot must start from a point 12 inches outside and centered on the box.
  • Timing begins when the vehicle enters the box, and ends when it exits the box.

About the Game:

  • This competition tests the robot's response to touch sensors, accurate turns, and strategy of the programmer.


  • Competitors do not know the pattern of points on the wall until 30 minutes before the competition. 
  • Points are scored from the section of wall closest to the center-line of the robot when it contacts a wall.
  • The two other walls must be contacted before points can be scored again on the first wall.
  • No scoring is allowed after the robot’s allotted scoring period.
  • A penalty of 5 points per second are deducted for every second the robot remains in the box beyond its allotted scoring period.


  • A modification of the the competition for more accomplished competitors is to place a 2"x12" brick on the center-line of the box at a distance from the back wall unknown before the competition.
  • Additional requirements for programming can be imposed to increase the difficulty.
  • Other sensors, such as the PING))) or infrared sensors could be used, and a line near the boards to indicate that the robot got “close enough” before turning around could be added.