Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In
Cornell University

more options
State Fair Robotics Challenge FAQs
Skip Navigation LinksNYS 4-H > About > State Fair Robotics Challenge FAQs
State Fair Robotics Challenge FAQs

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the State Fair Robotics Challenge:

updated: 8/5/2015


General Questions

What is the length of time each team will have at the table?  Are we doing the same length of time as FLL?

The robot has 2 ½ minutes to complete as many task as possible. We use the best (highest) score from one of the 3 rounds

May we use a cable that is not from a specified kit?

Please use materials from Lego so everyone has the same material availability in the challenge.


Why are EV3 allowed 4 motors but NXT can only use 3?

EV3 has 4 motor ports that come with the newer robot brick.


During the State Fair Challenge, will the mat have all the task items set up?  Is the mat to be cleared after each task?   Will only the items necessary to complete an individual task be placed on the mat?

All items will be on the board for you to avoid or use while completing all other task.


Playing Field Mat Build

A comment on the challenges, the materials needed to build the challenges are not readily available, our team has boxes and bins of parts and do not have some of the odd parts, particularly the plates used to support the bar for the hanger and the up, up an away.

The coat hanger base is made from a perfect 11 hole Lego bar by 5 bars across. So feel free to build using 11 hole bars and little black pegs to make 5 across for the coat hanger base, sheep pen and the up, up and away challenge. The Technics gear for the rope machine might be the hardest element to find.  I tried really hard to make the others capable of being built multiple ways and with normal parts.


What options do we have to make a mat for state challenge?

One great option is to use pull down blind material for a mat. You can buy it by the foot, but may find that the precut ones in the package are cheaper. Also, if you can locate any local FIRST (FLL, FTC ) teams they usually have tons saved from past seasons.


What items have Velcro to hold them down?

Quilt pieces, sheep pen, cloths rack, balloon tether, dye vats, sewing machine and rope machine.


Task 1. Hang Up

Where do I get a hanger?

The hanger will be sent to each team as you register.


What exactly does "take out the hanger" mean?  Can the robot start out gripping the hanger, or must it be picked up before transporting it to the rack?

Hanger may be preloaded in base for delivery during the challenge. Any item in base will be available to be loaded on robot as needed.


What does hanging the coat hanger mean?

Placing hanger on the coat rack does mean hanging the hanger on the top bar. So no for laying at the base and no to hanging on one of the sides.


Task 2. Project Runaway Runway

Is the line for the runway 1/2 or 3/4 electrical tape or is it duct tape?

The line is just sharpie, but be sure to darken it.


Can implements which will be used for other challenge tasks be removed prior to beginning the timed runway walk?  Is that removal included in the 2.5 minute time frame?

The robot has 2.5 minutes to complete as many tasks as possible. All steps of each task is included in this time. Remember it is the best single round but not all rounds added together.


What does Robot dressed mean?

Anything counts including a bow tie but it must be attached to the robot so it will not fall off. Be creative!!!!


In Project Runaway Runway, are the costume points scored separately? For example, if we decide not to (or do not have time for) our robot to go on the runway, but it has a costume on while completing the rest of the tasks, will it be scored?

The two challenges are combined so no points for outfit unless trying to complete the runway. If your robot would fail to complete the runway the judges may decide to score the outfit, as you have made the attempt.


Can we do other tasks during the Operation Runway task?

While scoring for the runway, you may not leave the line to do another item, but you may stop and complete a task from the line. Also you can line follow to get to another task.


Task 3. Up, Up and Away


Task 4. Knot Me

Will the yarn be in place 100 percent of the time thumb tacked to the side board?  If so, it prevents a team from driving straight down the west wall to deposit the four dyes in the corner.  The only option is to go out to center of table and then down to the vats.  Your thoughts or intentions here please for clarification.

This was more intentional as to not allow youth to follow along the wall to color vats. The rope is actually screwed into the wall and is permanent (judges cannot remove). You will have to go around the rope machine and decide if you then want to use the wall or as you said follow to the far wall and then orient the robot to the scoring containers.


Task 5. Say it’s not Sew


Task 6. The Natural

Will the fiber parts be randomly placed inside the zone or do they have specific locations and what are they made of?

You will find measurements for each task here and pictures of what materials here.


What is the size of the fiber parts?  We were debating on if it’s small or the larger ones.

 Under task element pictures The Natural will show a great picture. Measures 1-1/8 inch hub


Are we counting linen as a natural fiber or not? 

Had some debate on that one as well. Natural fabrics such as wool, cotton, silk, and linen are made from animal coats, cotton-plant seed pods, fibers from silkworms, and flax (fiber from the stalk of a plant), respectively. Synthetic fabrics such as nylon, spandex, rayon, polyester, and acrylic are man-made.


Task 7. Pattern

How is the Quilt task scored?

Piece must be ¾ the way into the spot to score. Yes, Quilt may be delivered standing to score.


What are the quilt squares made of, their size and are the 5 on the field fastened to the mat? The pictures on this link have measurements. Yes, the 5 on the field are fastened.


Task 8. Sheepish

You say "sheep" in your webinar.  Since the word sheep can be both singular and plural, does the task require moving 1 or 2 sheep? 1 after the other?  Or, 2 simultaneously?

You will receive one sheep to deliver to its pen. Only one for task.


Task 9. Crochet Ricochet

Of what material is the line constructed?  What is the exact diameter and length of the line? This is just cloths line from the hardware store. Complete directions available here for that and point A and B on the board


Crochet hooks differ widely by brand and size.  Which exact size hook (letter & number) by which manufacturer is utilized?  Or, can teams select and bring their own crochet hook?

Please bring the one your team uses for practice or feel free to use the one that we provide that day. Your team can choose the size and material of the hook.


What do you mean our robot will hang during the Crochet Ricochet task?

During this task, the robot must be mostly or completely supported by the rope. This could mean that the robot would hang off the rope and travel with the crochet needle. Or the robot might stay in base and have a tethered arm take the needle out on the rope. Or maybe hang from the rope with a wheel moving the robot along the mat. The important part is that most of the robot is supported on the rope. The robot design should not be a vehicle with some attachment touching the rope as the robot drove out and back.


On the zip line, with the robot fully in base, can a team place an appendage onto the tight rope or must that happen after the robot program is started an thus it occurs under robot power/program?

Being that you are in base, you can hang the appendage and start the program to send it out.


Can the robot start attached to the line?  Or must there be an extension mechanism which lifts the bot onto the line?

Your robot may stay in base and send an extension along the line or hang on the zipline and either run the zipline or send an attachment along the line.


Are we allowed to use a longer cable, so an arm can go across while the robot is still in base? The cord is a mindstorm cable, but it is not for a specific kit.

As long as itis a LEGO mindstorm cable you are set. We just try to keep Lego products for all to have the same availability in the challenge


In the attached photo a group has designed a robot that is on the wire.  But it breaks the vertical plane of home base at its initial spot.  This is not legal - correct?

The decision is based on that the pole had to be placed in a way for teams to place the robots and parts in Base without obstructing the youth. With that the judges will be allowing the robot to start against the pole but may overhang the vertical plane in starting out within reason. (may not hang out more than 12” that should give teams some room to work).  I want this challenge to be more fun and like how that design looks and the thought the youth used in building the robot.


Can you hold the robot on the rope?

In base you are allowed to touch the robot so if you hold the robot touching the string and have a tethered crochet needle go out that would be no penalty. Now if the robot leaves base via hanging, you will have to not be touching the robot outside of base.


Once back in base, must an appendage remove itself from the line or is being on the line ok provided that the location of the appendage is within the air space of the base?

Once again being in base gives you that airspace or vertical plane that you can touch the appendage/attachment without penalty to unhook.


Task 10. To Dye For


 ​Please keep the questions coming!!