by Danny Staple

This challenge is to build a robot capable of taking a deck of cards, shuffling it, and then dealing cards off the top of the deck.

One of the first problems is accurately taking one card off the top of a deck - and ensuring its not two or three. The robot will not need to know the value of the cards - but should be able to re-order them in a fairly random manner.


Points will be awarded for the following:

  • Size - A smaller robot will get more points
  • Weight - A lighter robot will gain more points
  • Power Consumption - Less power grabbing robots gain points. A robot powering itself via Solar Panels may gain bonuses.
  • Time Taken - The faster a robot can take a deck and shuffle it the better - though this is also weighed with how effective the shuffle was. A deck that is not well shuffled will lose points.
  • Style - In the case of a tie - points will be awarded for interesting style and innovation.
  • When dealing cards - A user must be able to request X cards dealt from the top of the deck, and this number of cards must be dealt(no more or less). Speed is the main point winner here. Interfaces may simply be a button press per card, or a keypad with enter button - or go as far as speech recognition! The method of interaction here will go into the style category - as it is less important than the MechaTronics of manipulating the cards themselves - but we still encourage innovation here.

Other Notes

A competitor may use whatever materials they wish - barring off the shelf card machines. Lego is a good starting point for this.

Lo-Tek solutions are just as welcome as high tech ones - and may have a style advantage.

Robots must be able to complete their tasks unaided - apart from human interaction require to request cards to be dealt.

We will be using standard playing cards for the challenge - so build your robot around those for dimensions - with a pack size of 52.

East Finchley Robotics Club

What’s the point?

At OrionRobots our main goals are to encourage innovation and contact between local robot builders, a challenge does this, while getting you to start exploring and pushing technical knowledge. Following the challenge - we have a good excuse to sit down over a game of cards and discuss robotics.

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