The Big 8 Challenge

Try out this new arena! The object is to drive forward and keep your robot on the figure 8 track. Get points for touching the green dots. Bonus points for going faster between pairs of dots. 2x points for second lap, 3x for third lap…

Use the QuickStart robot, or create your own custom robot.

Best auton score so far: 652

Get started on your own project:
Quick Start project for Blockly
Quick Start project for C++

1 Like

Hi Jerry.

Looks cool.

A not terribly well-advertised feature: if you change studio to create in a RMS link, clicking on the link will automatically create a copy of the project owned by whoever clicks the link. Thus, clicking will make a copy of project 5eaae9b4fcb85a0ddb9df235 . Some teachers find this handy for using RMS in class.

Very cool feature. I will edit my initial post.

Nice project.

What tools could we have added to make your life easier?

The ability to display text on the screen. I would use it for debugging, but it could also be used to feedback to the user. Like “Lap 2 - 2x bonus!”.

The score gets truncated on the right when the number gets past 3 digits. Scaling back the scoring was a workaround for me.

Just wondering how anyone is making this work autonomously. Our students are not not building any mimics themselves but they are using ones that we create to complete programming challenges and we are just wondering if there is anything we do with this course such as line following the orange stripes or detecting those posts with a distance sensor. Any ideas or suggestions?

Hi DJ,

Glad to hear that you tried the Big 8. To master this course your robot needs to have encoders on the wheels, and a gyro. No other sensors are needed.

It is very difficult to make it all the way around the track, but it still a good exercise for beginners and advanced students alike. For new students, set the expectation that they are doing great if they can make it past the first or second turn without falling off the course. It could take many months or years to develop the coding skills to autonomously do laps around the track at full speed, but it is possible.

This is a good challenge for advanced students because they will need to use programming techniques like PID to control speed and direction. This is also a good exercise for new students because try as they may, they should come to realize that techniques like timed moves or drivetrain commands will only go so far. The instructor needs to let them try this course and see how far they can get, and then tell them they can try again later after learning some new techniques. Many students seem to think that after they learn the available “out of the box” driving commands they know all there is to know about programming robots. Hopefully, this shows that there is more to learn.

I intend on using this track as part of an “auton 101” lesson and then come back to it again and again, over a long period of time, each time the student learns a new technique.


The orange lines on the course were not intended to be used for line tracking. They just happened to be on the material that I chose for the track.

The posts are there to prevent someone from building a robot with a narrow wheelbase (easier to stay on the track) but with a wide bar that can touch both green balls even if the robot is not in the center of the track. A robot like that would not work because it would get caught on the post.

The modified QuickStart mimic robot in the provided sample above is a good starting point. An advanced programmer should be able to keep it on the track for a long time. A robot with 4" wheels would be faster and score more points.

Do you mean print text to the Mimic screen?

Presently, you can use the print statement to write text to the console window at the bottom of the editor which is how most of us at Robot Mesh debug our code.

Yes the mimic screen. The request is to allow the arena code to display text on mimic window, like how the score and timer are displayed.

Allowing the arena code to print text to the console, while a mimic is running is not as good, but would work.