The Team are off to a fantastic start with this year’s Pi Wars build and its great to see such great ideas going into this year’s robot.

One of the first conversations to be had within the Pi Wars group was what issues we had on previous Pi Wars builds and how to overcome some of these issues.

This also had to tie into the challenges for this years Pi Wars

There are 7 challenges in total, plus additional points

Three Autonomous: The Hubble Telescope Nebula Challenge, The Canyons of Mars, Blast Off: the Straight-ish Line Speed Test

Four Remote Controlled: Pi Noon: The Right Stuff, Space Invaders, Spirit of Curiosity, The Apollo 13 Obstacle Course

Additional Points: Blogging, Technical Merit, Artistic Merit, Most Space Age Robot

At our first meeting, we discussed aspects of those challenges that we thought we could improve on

Space Invaders

This year the obstacle course, now called Space Invaders where the aim of the challenge is to knock down as many targets as possible.

Last year, we had used a nerf gun and this had not really worked as well as we had thought it would. It was agreed that a ball would have been more accurate than the Nerf darts.

Shouldn’t the projectile spin like a bullet?

The Apollo 13 Obstacle Course and The Canyons of Mars

The Obstacle course now ‘The Apollo 13 Obstacle course’ and the Maze challenge now ‘The Canyons of Mars’ were discussed at length

Although these two events had gone exceedingly well, we thought about how this could be improved upon. We struggled with manoeuvrability for the maze challenge and after much discussion about wheel types and number of wheels, it was decided that 4 large wheels would be best for both the maze and the obstacle course.

PiNoon: The Right Stuff

The aim of this challenge is to burst your opponent’s balloons. Here we thought that both the robot and the controller needed to be more robust than we had made them before. The controller particularly due to one of the Maker children dropping it and breaking it last year.



The Hubble Telescope Nebula Challenge

The aim of this challenge is to visit each of the four target areas within the time limit. There are two methods for doing this, so please continue to read.

We had very little success with this challenge last Pi Wars. Last years robot had struggled to identify the different coloured balloons autonomously, but this year we have had better results with colour filtering and coordinates but more about that in another post.


So far it seems to off to a great start with some brilliant ideas so far


Look out for our next post on the language wars. What programming languages should we be using for the challenge this year?

Ely Makers Pi Wars 2019






Previous Build Issues and Pi Wars 2019 new Challenges