Robot C Challenge Description

Robot C Challenge Main Event:

Event Description:

Teams of 2-4 students will create a robot, using either LEGO Mindstorms or VEX IQ. On the day of competition, they will write Robot C line code that will allow the robot to navigate a course that will be revealed at the event.

Common Core Standards and 4C’s:

Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own ideas clearly and persuasively. Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, and Critical Thinking.

Designing and Programming your Robot:

Design Specifications:

Your robot will need to be able to navigate a course consisting of the following:

  • Forward motion   
  • Backward motion
  • Right turns
  • Left Turns
  • Spins

Additionally, the robot needs to be able to sense an obstacle using a front-mounted touch sensor. The robot should be able to execute a reverse command immediately following contact with an obstacle.

Course Layout:

On the day of the event, students will have a course design assigned to them. The course will be modular and variable yet will always have the same elements. Students should expect a series of segments that require forward motion, right turns, left turns, and moving in reverse. The course will have at least one stationary wall that requires a bump-sensor response.  Upon bumping the wall, the robot will proceed to a final home base and execute a 360-degree spin.

Technical Requirements:

  • Vehicles must be constructed using LEGO Mindstorm or VEX IQ kits.
  • The robot should be of a size that can easily navigate the corners and turns in the course. Those areas are approximately 24” wide.
  • The robots may only be controlled by writing Robot C line code.
  • Time will start as soon as the course is revealed.
  • Teams must complete the challenge in 20 minutes or less.
  • ONLY registered students are allowed to touch the robot and computer that is used. (If a situation such as laptop failure arises, then the coach can inform a contest official and receive approval before entering the team competition area.)
  • Live student problem-solving is the spirit of this competition.

Robot C Challenge Design Document:


Students will create a document outlining the process of designing, testing and coding their robot. There will be two main sections:  Programming and Testing. The document will be submitted and scored prior to the tournament and will be worth 30 points. Design Documents must be converted to a PDF file before uploading to the TOT App Submission Portal no later than 10:00 pm on March 6, 2020.


Programming will be divided into three subsections: 

  • Pseudocode – a text-based detailed design tool used to summarize the program’s flow using simple English language syntax
  • Code – actual vocabulary and syntax of development language
  • Flowchart – demonstrates commands with standard programming box shapes and arrows in a diagram showing the flow of a program from beginning to end.

Students will explain how they programmed their robot to complete a sample maze. They should state what program they used, discuss specific settings, and choices in code commands. They will also include screenshots of the program and pseudocode, and a flowchart outlining the process.


In the final section, students will describe the testing of their robot and what modifications they made to the robot structure and/or code to improve its speed and accuracy. This should include physical changes to the robot such as changing the wheels or redesigning the robot as well as digital changes to the code and program.

Sample Data Table:

We only included times of trials that were completed successfully, with the robot going from start to finish through a sample maze. 

This is only a sample. Tables should reflect the testing that was done on the team’s robot.

Trial  Time Adjustments
 1  4:57  First successful completion of the course.
 2  3:42  Increased the speed of the motors to 90%.
 3  3:30  Used larger wheels on the robot.
 4  3:10  Shortened turn time so that the robot stays center on course.
 5  2:57  Added turn time so that the robot completes a 360-degree spin at the end.


Getting Help:

Visit the Robot C Challenge Documents Page to see a sample Design Document and Event support files to help prepare and practice.

Flowcharts explained:

Use the Google Drive app Lucid chart to easily make effective flowcharts.

Contact Chris Fuge at or Greg West at if you have any further questions regarding this event.

Robot C Challenge Reward Points:


Scores will be a combination of the points awarded from successfully completing segments of the course AND from the time it takes to finish.




 Arriving at bump point



 Arriving at home base



 Executing a 360 degree spin in home base



 Time from start of programming until end of task


 First Place Time / Team's Recorded Time x 40 = Team's TOTAL TIME

 Points from Design Document






Scoring Breakdown Description / Formula Max Points
Online Design Document 30
Live Event Course 30
Live Event Time First Place Time/Your Time Total X 40 40
Design Document Scoring Rubric
Category Exemplary Proficient Partially Proficient Incomplete

Pseudocode is written in simple layman's terms and is easily understood and is in the correct format.

Pseudocode is clear, understandable, and readable. It is organized into as few steps as necessary and is easily converted into code. It begins with the proper // format.

Pseudocode is clear, understandable, and readable. It is organized into steps though there are extra steps not needed for successful completion of the task. It can easily be turned into code.

Pseudocode is difficult to understand and is unorganized. In its present form, it is not easily turned into code.

No evidence of pseudocode.

Code is written in natural language, following all syntax, spelling and capitalization rules. Code is written efficiently.

Code is free of grammar and syntax errors. The code written allows the robot to complete the task in the fewest steps possible.

Code is free of grammar and syntax errors. The code written allows the robot to complete the task but with extra steps.

Code has grammar and or syntax errors preventing the robot from completing the task. The code is missing steps to complete the task.

No evidence of code.

Flow chart is drawn to represent the code and pseudocode used. Flowchart box styles are used appropriately.

Flow chart accurately reflects code and pseudocode written. The correct box styles are used for each step/process.

Flow chart mostly reflects code and pseudocode written. The correct box styles are used most of the time.

Flow chart does not reflect the code and pseudocode, correct box styles are not used.

No evidence of flow chart.

The testing section describes in detail trials, tests, and modifications to the robot structure and/or code. It includes a table with trial data.

Testing section describes in a paragraph all modifications made to the robot structure and/or code and includes a table with a minimum of four trial times and modifications to robot.

Testing section describes in a paragraph some modifications made to the robot structure and/or code, and includes a table with a minimum of four trials.

Testing section is lacking either the paragraph description or the table.

No evidence of testing section.
Course Scoring Rubric
Category Max Points

Arriving at bump point.

Arriving at home base.

Executing a 360 degree spin in home base.
Time Scoring Rubric

Total completion time.