RoboRally 2011

Second Annual RoboRally will be hosted by Osbourn Park High School (Manassas, VA) on May 21st. This game will be a fast and fun racing game, with a couple of objectives beyond making laps.

The game (Over Under) document is attached. Its the same game as last year with some neat modifications, and rule changes.

VEX & FTC are all Legal for this game, with lots of neat options available to all teams.

This game is a great opportunity for any team to play, all you need is a robot that drives!!! If you aren’t going to worlds, start building for this. If you are going to worlds, after worlds come play, its a lot of fun, and stress free.

The old forum post which contains a lot of information.


Email me to register any number of teams you want to bring. Registration cost will be based on how many teams register, more teams means cheaper registration. Cost to be between $25 - $50 per robot.

Thank you
James Gillespie
Team 2068
Metal Jackets
Over Under (523 KB)

Any thoughts on holding a VEX competition with the new game? (yet-to-be announced game?)

I’d love to have an early competition(s) to test some ideas at!


We won’t be holding an official tournament for VEX until early December. Working on setting that up already.

This is just something fun & different to do. If you can make it, its a lot of fun. The reason I do this is there are a lot of schools in my area that are already done, and won’t be attending the World Championship, so I like to give them an opportunity to play a different game, where if they can drive, they can play.

Last year we had two teams that this was the first event they had ever been to, and they won. They had a blast, and really motivated them to go with the VEX program.

James Gillespie

Based on the number of responses I have had email me so far, looks like the event can be pretty inexpensive at $30 a robot to register.

Thank you,
James Gillespie

Thread Bump

What time is the event? I have a few kids who might enjoy coming as spectators – we just got back from Worlds and likely don’t have time to get a bot going for this, but would love to see it!

(And thanks to Blake Ross for letting me know about it!)

May 21st

Tentative schedule is below

7:30 - Doors open
7:30 - 8:30 - Practice time on field
8:45 - 11:30 - Qualifiers matches
11:45 - 12:00 - Alliance selection
12:00 - 12:30 - Break for lunch
12:30 - 2:00 - Elimination matches and closing ceremony

I will change the schedule as necessary, to include more time for qualifiers depending on how many teams show up.

FYI - For folks who are sitting on the fence - You can play the game fairly well with just a square bot.

So heads up some minor changes about the structure of the ramp and overpass. These changes are to make it sturdier then last year, which had a good amount of flex in it. This will cause the dimensions to be a little off, by maybe 1/4" - 1/2", but the opening will still have 12" to drive under it.

  • The opening in the ramp will have a aluminum plate reinforcing it, and the ramps will have a small amount of aluminum to give the ramp a strong structure, and less flex.

  • The overpass has a plywood top, but is supported by aluminum for structure support.

Here is a major rules issue. It has been brought to my attention that running autonomous with FTC and VEX robots could be a nightmare. Unless there is a simple way to make sure both run properly, I am thinking of just dropping autonomous from this game, and make it completely user controlled.

Would this be an issue for anyone, or does anyone have any suggestions on how to make it work?

Please email me the number of robots you are planning on bringing to RoboRally, or post on the forum how many teams you plan on bringing.

So far I have a total 14 teams that should be there for this.

Ok last thought for the night.

Last year we had 2 teams on an alliance instead of 3. I plan on doing the same thing again.

Also had something I did as a sort of Driver Skills challenge. I would like to do that again this year, but we will have trophies made specifically for it this time.

It would work just like the Driver Skills challenge works in any other VEX competition, you have 1 minute to get the highest score possible. The 1st place, and 2nd place team will get trophies for this.

This involves making laps, looping balls, or even lifting the ramp (though you couldn’t get the bonus for your alliance partner being on the ramp)

I figure this can happen after the alliance selection, but before eliminations. Give each team 2 chances if they want to give it a shot.

So far I have had 21 teams that are planning on participating at the event. I plan on posting pictures of what the modified ramp and over pass look like after this weekend.

Also with 21 teams, might do a normal size elimination bracket of 1-8 (still only 2 per team), instead of the shortened 1-4.

Our team would like to attend, and is working on a bot, but I don’t see an email address to contact you. Could you please email me at



Our team is definitely planning to attend, with one robot. Could you please let me know what email address to use to contact you? Thanks.

You can email me at

We look forward to having your team be at the event.

So far we have 25 teams registered!!!

Since we have significantly increased participation from last years 9 teams, we are building a second ramp and over pass. With two fields going, each team will have plenty of matches in the time frame we are planning.

Ok here are the pictures of the field, and how it was constructed. As you can see, it uses an aluminum frame, with the plywood wood screwed on top. The ramps have an aluminum brace underneath, which gives the ramp a much needed stiffness that it just didn’t have last year. We also added an aluminum plate around the opening for where the lift can picked up by the robots.

The paint on these ramps are in need of touching up from last years game, and that will be done. The head of the screws come up a bit, but shouldn’t effect the driving of the robots. Also note the hinge comes up on the ramp, and that did cause a problem on robots last year. We are looking at adding a strip of grip material at the hinge so as to have it cause less problems for robots. If we do that, we will add a picture of it to the forum as well.

Also note that the tunnel doesn’t have side walls yet, those will be added before this is finished.

Also the dimensions may be off by 1/4"-1" from the field diagram. But the max height to go under the tunnel is 12".






What are the box aluminium connectors you are using (the black pieces)? I have been meaning to get a ton of them for FRC.


They are from a company called Esto Connectors. We love them, putting that frame together took very little time. Way less then our wooden frame from last year, and it way more stable.

The connectors can get a little pricey, but in the end its worth it. We build our manipulator out of these pieces, went together so fast, and was very light. We also used it to build our OI. The box aluminum is also really cheap at $1.85 a foot.

We also built a sweet tri-fold display with it. I don’t have a picture of it to attach though, will see about getting a picture up later.