Food Factor Robot & Table Missions

Table Missions

    This is a picture of that the table looked like:

   See those Lego models on the table? Those are called mission models. These are used to do missions on the table and earn points. This is a mission model rule for the competition:


Mission models are the objects that are already on the field when you walk up to it.

• You may not bring duplicate mission models to the table if they could confuse scoring.

• You may not take mission models apart, even temporarily. 

• You may not add to nor trap mission models as to cause a failure of the “gravity test.”

• GRAVITY TEST — Any time you (by HAND) make an individual mission model touch, trap, or be trapped by ANY other object (including the robot, other team-supplied parts, and other models) — Gravity alone should be able to separate them if the heavier were picked up and/or turned over. — In the case of identical models, it doesn’t matter which is picked up.

The team performs this “gravity test,” only if asked by the ref, and only when failure looks probable.

The ref does not allow a start unless all mission models could pass the gravity test. 

Only if there is no hand-help at all, the ROBOT is allowed to cause models to fail the gravity test. 

• Don’t walk away with mission models from the competition area. Bring them back if you do. Thanks.

    This is a list of mission models and where they are. (The dual lock is the Velcro that sticks some mission models on the mat)      


Handwash Station (Sink) – See pictures & mat marks. 

Fences – One is in the northwest corner, facing south. The remaining two are in the north center, one to the left of the dock, and one to the right. The right fence faces west, and the left one faces east. 

Table & Flowers/Centerpiece – See pictures & mat marks. 

Timer – See pictures & mat marks. 

Thermometer – See pictures & mat marks. 

Interactive Models (Rat Slides) – For the east slide, see pictures and mat marks. This model is Dual-Locked to the north border wall as well as to the mat. Dual Lock it to the mat, a coin’s thickness from the wall (depending on the exact size of your mat and table, the Dual Lock might not go exactly on its marks – that’s okay). Then, add Dual Lock between the model and the wall, as shown. You need to place the second model on the back side of the (double) north wall, diagonal from the first model. Center it on the big black line. Use as much Dual Lock as needed to get it to stick the wall,

since there’s no actual table back there to hold it.


Farm Animals – See pictures & mat marks. Be careful – one of the chickens is a complete lunatic. 

Bacteria & Virus (Germs) – Bacteria go in the dispensers in the quantities and locations shown, except all yellow go in Base, and two red go in the refrigerated trailer. Eight virus go with the greens and eight with the pinks.

Poison (Blue & Yellow Balls) – See pictures & mat marks. Refrigeration Trailer – The back of the white refrigeration trailer is pushed against the north border wall, between the two center fences, centered on its marks.

Food (Groceries) – There are twelve units of groceries: Ten in Base, and two specific ones in the yellow truck. 

Meat & Fish – The crate of meat goes in Base, and the fish go exactly on their marks east of Base. 

Harvester & Corn – See pictures and mat marks. Put the harvester on the west-side ship, facing east, and roll it backward slowly until it resists. Now pick it up without letting the rear wheels spin. Load the four pieces of corn into the back. All four pieces must be individually loose. Now carefully position the harvester over its mark and set it down. TIP: To reduce the chance of corn being stuck in the harvester, every time you load the corn, gently apply some spreading force between the walls to open the gap a little bit. The required spread is so small, you can’t tell the difference by eye. 

Pickup (Yellow Farm Truck) – Only the bananas, tomatoes, and carrots, in two cases, sit flat in the bed of the truck. 

Loops (Pizza & Ice Cream) – Be sure the loops are evenly shaped and not leaning.

– Place the rat loops on their respective slides in the north center. The rats can face randomly north or south, and are pushed as far as they can go toward the color end of their slides. Be sure the loops are evenly shaped and not leaning.

    The table missions for scoring points are also listed here. This was copied from the Food Factor site. The mission information and points for the missions are listed here.


MISSION: POLLUTION REVERSAL No matter where pollution originates, it usually finds its way into water. And of course, all plants and animals take in water. Since we depend on plants and animals for our food, pollution is a source of contamination, not just in what we breathe and drink – but also in what we eat. The yellow and blue balls represent pesticides on the farm and heavy metals in the water. While on their rings, they’re off the mat.

SCORING CONDITION(S): Balls touching the mat are worth 4 POINTS EACH.

MISSION: CORN HARVEST — A harvester (combine) is just one of the many huge pieces of machinery that handle massive amounts of food at once. Equipment like this runs on gasoline, and has oil. You can also find hydraulic fluid, nuts & bolts, screens, gaskets, set screws, bearings, sealant, paint chips, and bugs on it – any of these materials and substances could find their way into the food. 

SCORING CONDITION(S): Get points for one of these only: 

---ANY piece of corn touching the mat is worth 5 POINTS (additional pieces do not add to your score). 


---ANY piece of corn in Base is worth 9 POINTS (additional pieces do not add to your score).

MISSION: FISHING – Fish must be eaten or frozen immediately after being caught. The number of germs that depend on fish is much, much higher than the number of people who do! 

SCORING CONDITION(S): Big fish in Base are worth 3 POINTS EACH, if the baby fish is still touching its mark.

MISSION: PIZZA AND ICE CREAM – When you go out in public to eat, you place a lot of trust in the people preparing your food. Do they wash their hands or wear fresh gloves? In what direction do they sneeze? How clean are their storage and preparation areas? At what temperatures are the foods stored and cooked? How old are the ingredients? How are pests controlled?

SCORING CONDITION(S): Pizza and ice cream in Base are worth 7 POINTS EACH.

MISSION: FARM FRESH PRODUCE – In general, the fresher your food is and the fewer ingredients there are in it, the less chance it has had to become contaminated. Small farms and fisheries close to where you live are a good source of fresh food, but many small farms don’t get the same level of inspection as large ones do. 

SCORING CONDITION(S): The yellow farm truck in Base is worth 9 POINTS.

MISSION: DISTANT TRAVEL – Your body suppresses and eliminates the vast majority of chemicals and germs you eat, and it’s especially good at getting rid of stuff it’s been exposed to before – stuff it’s used to. But when you eat in a city or country that’s very far from home, your body’s defenses can be caught off guard by contaminants it’s never processed before. It’s common for travellers to get quite sick after eating certain foods, while other people who ate the same foods right next to them have no problems.

SCORING CONDITION(S): The robot touching the east wall is worth 9 POINTS. Remember Rule 23.

MISSION: COOKING TIME – Before cooking, some foods have more germs, or tougher germs than others. If you’re supposed to cook food for 40 minutes, but you think it should be okay” after 35 – think again! 

SCORING CONDITION(S): The white pointer in the red zone is worth 14 POINTS.

MISSION: STORAGE TEMPERATURE – Germs grow fast. If your refrigerator is set even a few degrees higher than it’s supposed to be, the “shelf life” of many of the foods is cut in half, or even further. If you go to play ball instead of helping to put the picnic food back in the cooler – that’s bad! If you ever hear the phrase “it’s only been out for a few hours” – make some noise!

SCORING CONDITION(S): The thermometer spindle clicked/dropped fully showing the low red temperature is worth 20 POINTS (the spindle needs to drop all the way).

MISSION: PEST REMOVAL – Some animals carry many, many germs that don’t bother them, but which are really bad for us. And some animals have extremely unclean habits (enough said about that!). These animals have become very good at infesting population centers and especially food storage, shipping, and preparation areas, living in the shadows, climbing and nesting in the tiniest unseen places. Convince them to live somewhere else! Keep all food well-sealed, and all food areas clean. At the first sign of these pests, it’s usually too late!

SCORING CONDITION(S): Rats in your Base are worth 15 POINTS EACH (to you only).

MISSION: REFRIGERATED GROUND TRANSPORT – In shipping, cases of frozen and refrigerated foods are often thrown onto pallets, spilled, torn, and crushed by forklifts, and each other, as they are warehoused and loaded onto trucks bound for the marketplace. Then the cases go on bumpy rides for hours in the sun. Amazingly, only a tiny percentage of the food gets contaminated during all this. The problem is, this tiny percentage totals tens of thousands of tons a year! And while most of that is discovered and thrown away, “some” is not. 

SCORING CONDITION(S): Get points for one of these only... 

---The trailer in Base is worth 12 POINTS. 


---The trailer with meat inside, and no germs inside, with any of its wheels touching the port dock north of the white line is worth 20 POINTS, and 6 ADDITIONAL POINTS for each big fish inside. For fish points, the baby fish must still be touching its mark.

MISSION: GROCERIES – Here’s your chance to buy undamaged goods, as fresh as possible, with the fewest ingredients possible, from trustable places, and get your cold stuff home and put away as soon as possible! 

SCORING CONDITION(S): EACH grocery unit is worth 2 POINTS if the table is supporting all of its weight, and no weight other than grocery units (the flower centerpiece can be there too).

MISSION: DISINFECT It would be very tough to eliminate food contamination from all sources, but you can probably do more than you think, and if you can at least avoid making it worse, that would be a great start. 

SCORING CONDITION(S): Empty dispensers are worth 

---12 POINTS EACH, if NO bacteria is touching the mat outside Base.


---7 POINTS EACH, if ANY bacteria is touching the mat outside Base.

MISSION: HAND WASH/BACTERIAL – Innovative ideas in the future may help us reduce germs, chemicals, and particles, in natural, farming, processing, and public food settings, but studies have shown that one of the biggest source of contamination to your food is your own hands. So wash them! Front and back, with soap, in hot water, for three times longer than you do now! As this mission should show, you can never wash your hands enough. 

SCORING CONDITION(S): Bacteria in or on the sink are worth 3 POINTS, only if all of these are true: 

---All were in Base at some time prior to being in the sink. 

---While between Base and the sink, each was the only one in motion. 

---All equipment involved with each bacterium’s trip to the sink was

    --completely in Base at the beginning of the trip.

    --completely out of Base at the end of the trip. 

---The sink is supporting all the weight of every germ, and not supporting any weight except germs. Bacteria getting to the sink any other way are given back to the team in Base by the referee (the “ref”).

MISSION: HAND WASH/VIRAL – Viruses almost always need a “host” (another living thing) to live on. They are almost always bad, and they’re also somewhat harder to deal with than bacterial germs. Alcohol sanitizer, bleach sanitizer, and high heat are the better weapons against viral germs, but hand washing is also helpful. SCORING CONDITION(S): Get points for one of these only...

---One to eight viral germs in the sink are worth exactly 6 POINTS only.


---Nine or more viral germs in the sink are worth exactly 13 POINTS only.

MISSION: GOOD BACTERIA – Not all bacteria are bad. There are about a thousand types of good bacteria living on/ in your body, which total in the tens of trillions! Bacteria do all sorts of good work for you, and help process your food, both before and after you eat it. How do we get rid of bad bacteria without upsetting the good bacteria? The yellow bacteria are this year’s “touch penalty objects” as described in the Rules. When you cause a touch penalty, the ref takes one yellow bacterium. 
SCORING CONDITION(S): Yellow bacteria are worth 6 POINTS EACH in Base only.  

    You are given 2 minuets and 30 seconds for the robot to complete as many missions as possible. For the robot to do missions, you have to program it on computers to move and do things such as pick things up and put them in base. You can program the robot with the Mindstorms NXT program or the RoboLab program.
    If you are wondering what base is, it is an area on the table mat that some items start out in and others have to be brought to. The robot also starts out in base and has to go out of it to do missions. You also can't touch the robot when it is outside of base.

    Rule 23 is that the score is assessed based on the conditions only when the match ends. This is what it says in the book:


With rare exception, your score is assessed based on the conditions at the exact time the match ends only.

• Points are not given for results the robot produces during the match but then trashes before the end.

• Points are not given nor taken away for results produced after the match end signal ends.


    So in the "Distant Travel" mission, you have to have the robot be on the wall when the match ends. This can be risky because if you reach the wall too early, you can lose points on other missions, and if  you get there too late you lose the points for that mission.
    Also, it says in the "Fishing" and the "Refrigerated Ground Transport" missions that the baby fish still has to be on its mark in order to get points for the fish. The baby fish is the red and yellow one that is shorter than the rest (see the table model at the top), and there is an outline around it that it still has to be touching in order to get points, so you have to make sure that it does not get moved too much when you are getting the other fish. Our team decided to get all the fish, but then have a MyBlock in the programming of the robot so that when we pressed a button on it, it brought the baby fish back to its mark.
    In the "Corn Harvest" mission, it says that additional pieces do not add to your score. That means that you only have to have one piece of corn on the mat or in base, but if you get extra pieces then it doesn't add any points.
    Plus, if you are wondering what it is talking about in the "Pest Removal" mission, it means the rats in the dispensers. In this mission you are supposed to crash the robot into the front of the dispenser so that the rat falls down (although some people have claws that they get the rat down with).
    Lastly, if you touch the robot when it or any of the things that it is carrying, pushing or pulling are outside of base, the ref (referee) takes away one of the yellow bacteria, and you lose the points for it. If you touch it when one of the things it has is outside of the base, then that is taken away by the ref as well as the yellow bacteria and you also lose points for that.
    You can also actually put yellow bacteria in the sink and get 3 points for it (although you would lose the 6 points for them being in base, and this is not recommended) Look at this from the Robot Game Updates:


Since it is unclear from the Good Bacteria mission if yellow bacteria would be worth 3 points in the sink, you are welcome to put them there, but you'll be cutting their value in half, and they will still be taken as touch penalty objects as needed.


    The team started out with two robots: one we called the Go cart and the other was the Tribot because of the three wheels. They tested with both for a while on the table, and then we added a new robot we named the Cargobot because it could could hold lots of accessories. There was a vote, and the winner was the Cargobot, which we put a motor on the front and bricks on the back for accessories.


    We used the Cargobot in the regional tournament, and then made the robot smaller and changed the name to the Minibot. We did not change the accessories. Here are some videos of the robot doing table missions:

Mission 1

Mission 2

Mission 3

Mission 4

    For the National tournament, we changed the robot by moving around some things and putting some decorations on it. We renamed it Nanobill, but then decided to change that to Chickenbot. We called it that because we took the chicken mission models and put them on the robot. We also changed some accessories and added some too, for missions like the thermometer.