Betting the farm means that you could lose everything...or you could gain everything.
In 2016, BEST has created an agricultural game named Bet The Farm. A farming business run by the Bread Family has always done things the old-fashioned way. Now that technology has advanced, the family wants to improve their techniques and become more efficient. They have asked each company to build a robot and successfully complete tasks around the farm. Each robot will have 3 minutes to collect and score as many items as possible. The game itself consists of 4 quadrants where a robot from each team is located. The robot must be placed in the Starting Box or Pig Pen before the game commences. Once the time begins, each driver must drive the robot through a PVC gate to enter the game field. Now, each team can begin scoring items for points. There are 6 different operations that the robot can perform to score points:
1.Plant corn seeds
2.Harvest and deliver ripe corn
3.Harvest and deliver hydroponic tomatoes
4.Harvest and deliver hydroponic lettuce
5.Corral and secure loose pigs and feed them
6.Turn on the water valve
In the middle of the game field there is a windmill that has 5 bins located at the bottom. These bins are the scoring areas where each team can place the corn that they harvest. There is a bin designated for each team, and if the team is able to place corn in their bin, it is worth 20 points. If the corn falls into the community bin (which is the middle bin), each team on the field is awarded 5 points. There are 4 corn plots arranged in an X shape around the windmill containing 24 pieces of corn (yellow paint rollers) for each plot. As mentioned before corn is harvested and then placed in the scoring bins in the middle of the field. At the bottom of the corn plots there are 24 holes where corn seeds can be planted. Silos are located on 2 corners of the field, and the spotter for each team is allowed to place the seeds (golf balls) into a tray, feed them through the silo, and then give them to the robot. The robot can then carry the seeds and place them in the holes. 10 points are awarded for each seed planted. Also located at 2 corners of the field are hydroponic stands that contain lettuce and tomatoes. There are 32 tomatoes (orange whiffle balls) and 8 lettuce (green and purple loofahs) for each stand. Robots must take these vegetables of the stand and place them in a fruit stand labeled: Lettuce and Tomato, on the border of the field. If placed in the correct stand, the tomatoes are worth 20 points each and the lettuce are worth 15 points each. Next, plastic pigs are placed throughout the field and are available to be corralled into the Pig Pen. These are worth 10 points each, if they are placed on the floor in the Pig Pen. Each team can also receive bonus points for placing corn in with the pigs. One corn ear for each pig is a total of 10 points. Finally, on the side of the windmill are 4 water valves. These water valves can be turned into 2 different zones. If turned into the Underwater of Overwater Zones each team is awarded 50 points. When turned into the Optimal Water Zone, the team will be awarded 100 points. These are the 6 ways that teams can score regularly, but there are also two bonuses: Harvesting and Planting Corn Bonus and Harvesting Density Bonus. These are worth 30 and 50 points respectively. When added together, each team has the ability to get a total of 4,060 points.
Farming is such an important part of the economy and society today. However, farming is the one area where technology has not taken over yet. Many of the old-fashioned farming methods are still used, and farmers still have to work extremely hard. This is why the project of making robots for farming is so important. Robots would not only shorten the amount of manpower needed to farm, but also make the process more efficient and increase productivity. Hopefully, by showcasing our robot in the game, our company will be able to prove this to the world.
Article written by: Clay Miller, Strategy and Scoring Specialist