DARC News This Week

Week of September 28-October 2

This is a weekly newsletter documenting the progress of DARC Robotics through the 2015 BEST season.


MONDAY, SEPT 28 6:30 Team

TUESDAY, SEPT 29 6:30 Team

THURSDAY, OCT 1 6:30 Team

SATURDAY,OCT 3 10:00 Team


After kick-off, meetings are scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights at 6:30. Saturday at 10:00 and Sunday at 1:00.

Come Have Dinner at the DARC Diner!

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Pic of the 2015 BEST Field from Kick-Off

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Meeting Notes


Engineering has a robot running on the field! Great work after week 2! Sorry- we can't post pictures-they're proprietary.

Creative Design

The marketing booth is designed and primed. The team name has been chosen and final t-shirt design is almost complete!

Programming and CAD

Alumni Visit!

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Pay Dirt 2015 Game Description

The BEST Inc. Mining Division has purchased a mine that contains several valuable resources in record-shattering concentrations - but there’s a problem: The mine is far too dangerous for humans. Consequently, the mine was decommissioned years ago and has since fallen into disrepair. Initial evaluations of the mine have revealed five lucrative materials at various depths beneath the surface: Coal, Iron, Aluminum, Copper, and Lithium.

BEST has released a request for proposal (RFP) to prototype a robotic system that can repair the mine and retrieve the valuable commodities below. Since the winning company will be awarded the contract of running the mine, BEST will be evaluating the companies themselves as well as the prototypes they create. Their project documentation (notebook), sales presentation (oral presentation), company exhibit (booth), as well as their company culture and business ethics (spirit and sportsmanship) will be considered.

Much like the real mining industry, success in the design competition will be determined by net profit and you will be in direct competition with your opponents. Also, the market values of the commodities will change over time, so you may have to adjust your priorities mid-contest. Good luck!

2.0 Objectives

Design and build a prototype robot to repair and operate an underground mine during a three minute match. A robot can score points by doing two things:

(a) Repairing the mine

(b) Extracting materials from the mine

2.1 Repairs

There are two repairs that can be completed. These include:

(a) Fixing the Filtration System

(b) Fixing the Broken Pipes

2.2 Mineable Materials

These are materials that can be extracted from the mine:

(a) Aggregate (limestone)

(b) Coal (coal)

(c) Magnetite (iron ore)

(d) Bauxite (aluminum ore)

(e) Chalcopyrite (copper ore)

(f) Spodumene (lithium crystals)

(g) Core samples

Items (b) through (f) are considered Commodities, and will be affected by the Market Shift.

3.0 Game Field Description

The field is made up of four quadrants called Shafts (red, green, yellow, blue) arranged in a square that is approximately 24’x24’. The Shafts are arranged radially, and are divided into four levels: the "Ground Level" and three "Sublevels."

Each team has their own Shaft, three Levels of which are off-limits to the other teams. Sublevel 3 is a part of all four Shafts, and all teams are allowed to access it. There are Tunnels between each of the Levels within a Shaft . The drivers and spotters will be outside the field in their respective areas.

3.1 Ground Level Details

Each Ground Level is located in the corner of the game field. The Ground Level is approximately 5’x8’ and contains the following components:

3.1 a) Robot Starting Box

The Robot Starting Box is a 2’x2’x2’ area marked on the ground by the outside edge of a tape border. Robots must be completely Contained in the RSB at the beginning of a match.

3.1 b) Commodity Scoring Bins

Five wooden bins are located next to each Robot Starting Box. Commodities must be Supported by their respective bin at the end of the match to count as scored.

Real world mining is an industry where a small fluctuation in the value of the commodities being mined has a huge impact. Mining requires a sizeable investment and in order to ensure that the return is profitable, companies have to pay extremely close attention to long-term market projections. If there is an overabundance of a certain commodity, the value will drop. Likewise, if a certain commodity is in short supply, it becomes more valuable.

The point value of each Commodity will start at the value specified in this document (e.g. coal is worth 5 points each), and will remain the same throughout all Seeding and Wildcard matches. It should be noted that Aggregate and Core Samples are not considered Commodities, and will not be affected by the Market Shift. The point value of the Commodities will be adjusted at the beginning of semi-finals, and the beginning of finals. The finals market shift is based on the semi-final matches only. These new values will be rounded to the nearest 1/100th of a point. The new values and the teams which are advancing to Semifinals and Finals will be announced at the same time. Teams that want more time to strategize for the semifinals or finals are encouraged to compute their own estimates of the Market Shift, or plan multiple contingencies.

The Market Shifts will be computed for each Commodity. "Over-mined" Commodities will drop in value proportionally to how much they were Over-mined. "Under-mined" Commodities will rise in value proportionally to how much they were Under-mined.


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Our elementary schools' robotics clubs need your help! If you have experience with Lego EV3 building and programming and would like volunteer hours (VERY important for members of Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, etc.), please contact Mrs. Haddock. Several are preparing for competition and have requested help.


DARC Symbiosis Video (Tennessee Valley BEST Competition)

This short video was filmed, produced, and edited by DARC alumnus Lily Elmore. She is a sophomore at Montevallo and attended the Tennessee Valley BEST Competition to support her former teammates. Thanks, Lily- we love it!
DARC Symbiosis 2014
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DARC at TVB Competition 2014

2015 Tennessee Valley BEST Competition

Saturday, Oct. 31st, 9am-4:30pm

6250 U.S. 31

Tanner, AL

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

2015 South's BEST Robotics Competition

Saturday, Dec. 5th, 8am

Auburn University, Auburn, AL, United States

Auburn, AL

NOTE: This is a Saturday- Sunday event and will be held in the OLD Coliseum at Auburn.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.