Can a Laptop be considered a Robot?

Hi everyone,
I would like to bring up one question. Is a stationary laptop on a stand sitting in the background ( still within the boundary) allowed and considered a robot?

I ask this question because I would like to use a laptop as it has better processing power (than say Rpi) and a better camera (than say Pi cam). Furthermore, I would like to make the laptop act as the Central Processing Unit (CPU :)) ) processing information on the stage and communicate to other robots ( similar to how Small Size League has the Eagle Eye camera on top). Of course there will be no input from the human during the performance.

So is it allowed?

Thank you very much

Sorry that we could not answer soon.

As described in the rule 1.1.1, we allow the use of laptops.

1.1.1. Teams are encouraged to use technologies creatively. Innovative or unusual use of technology (including sensors) is encouraged and will be rewarded. For example, laptops, notebooks, mobile phones, tablets, Raspberry Pi and other similar devices can be used as robotic controllers that process autonomous programming – but NOT as remote controllers on stage as part of the performance (see rule 1.1.3.).

On the other hand, we have an anxious that your performance could be a kind of remote control. Could you give us more information about your performance plan? How do you use a laptop?

Once we got a reply from you, we, 2019 OnStage TC, will discuss it and make answer immediately.


Thank you for your reply

We would like to use laptop because of the better processing power and a better webcam compared to rpi. The computer will have a program running to process the webcam video of the stage to generate a specific command, this command will be sent to other mobile robot.

To address your concern on remote control, there won’t be anything that resemble remote controlling. The laptop will sit at the back of the performance zone. When the performance starts, we will only press the “run program” (similar to turning on robots) and let it run from there. Any time we touch the computer will count as a restart. We will turn off all wireless connection of the laptop. The laptop will have an arduino connected to it with a xbee module to send the command to other robots (xbee is a zigbee based protocol, which I believe is allowed)

We have yet to implement this and these are all just our plan for now. That’s why I ask here to see the feasibility of such implementation.

Thank you very much.

Hello OnStage OTC members! It’s been a while. :smiley:
I have one thing I would like to ask your opinion. I found a similar topic, so please allow me to use this topic.

One team brought a laptop computer into the performance area and used a camera to read QR codes at a national competition in Japan. The laptop has no wheels, hands nor external sensors. Can we call it a robot?

If a team equips a laptop as part of a robot, like the @home robot, and uses it as a controller, it must be a robot. But that laptop was wired with no external components. That team just used the camera and HDMI port, which were initially equipped on a laptop.

In the national competition, some judges considered the laptop a robot. So we counted it as a robot, and the team got some scores. But now I suspect that was a mistake.

If a team uses a laptop as it is in the 2022 world competition, does that count as a robot? Or would they be considered as a kind of prop?