Hacktivate October 2023

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Hacktivate October 2023
Primary Contact McMullet
Members McMullet, moop, RainbowCello, stl100
Manufacturer {{{manufacturer}}}
Model {{{model}}}
Location [[{{{location}}}]]
GitHub / Repo {{{repo}}}
Status Active
Type Events
Live Status
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You are cordially invited to join us at Nottingham Hackspace for our first public combat robotics event!

Date: 28th October 2023

Event type:

  • Antweights: "fight night" league, followed by 16-way knockout compeition
  • Sandbotz: a new and possibly exciting class (see below!)
  • Side quests such as nuts, robot football, etc. will also be available for your ants

Due to moderately limited space, entries are limited to 32 people and up to 48 robots. Existing members of the Hackspace can of course come and watch, and the doors will be open for spectators during the competition.


The main Antweight tournament (max 48 robots total) will consist of at least 3 rounds of 1v1 fights - there will random draw for the first round, subsequent rounds will be paired by ranking (based on 4-point scoring - 0 for default, 1 for loss, 3 for JD, 4 for KO). There will then be a 4-round single-elimination tournament.

To allow competitors to recharge and repair, there will be a break between the “fight night” and KO tournaments. During this time we will hold an experimental “Sandbotz” competition as well as Nuts and other side-games.

Schedule (TBC)
09:00 Arrival and tech-checks
10:00 Pre-event briefing
10:15 Round 1
11:30 Round 2
12:45 Break for lunch
13:15 Round 3
14:30 Round 4 (if time)
15:45 Sand Botz and other side events
16:30 Playoffs (if required)
17:00 Round Of 16
17:45 Gladiators and other silliness
18:15 Trophies
18:30 Tidy up. Pub.

Event fees are £5 per person, including 1 robot, plus £3 per additional robot. Payment details will be sent on registration. Note that while children are welcome to attend, under-18s must be accompanied by an adult.


Fight format

Match length will be 2 minutes. Each fight will start with a 3-2-1 countdown, and the fight starts on the “F” of “fight”.

Immobilisation will be judged based on the ability of the bot to move outside its own footprint. As per FRA rules, the countout will be reset if the opponent engages.

Tap outs are permitted and must be a) clear (say “TAP OUT” or “STOP”) and b) respected by the opponent.

Judging will be based on BBB criteria (3 points each):

  • Damage sustained, damage caused and effectiveness of weaponry
  • Control and strategy
  • Aggression

An additional 2 points may be awarded to a robot if the judges deem that its opponent would have been counted out if the fight had continued (e.g., if the countdown had started at the call of cease).

Build rules

The AWS rules will be followed with these exceptions:

  • Section 2 a): The 4” cube rule is not applied. The BBB 200x200mm footprint is preferred. If your robot is bigger than a 200mm square, acceptance will be at the EO’s discretion (basically - there has to be a good reason that the size of the robot will make for a fun and interesting fight, and not confer an unfair advantage)
  • Section 4 a): fight duration is reduced to 2 minutes.
  • Section 4 i): if this rule is applied then the victory is considered to be a judges decision for the purpose of points.


This is an experimental class and so there may be some refinement and modification to the ruleset. However, please use the following as a guideline. If you want to build something else or have some other ideas, then please get in touch and we’ll consider it - we’re trying to do something a bit different here and are very much open to suggestions!

Build rules

The weight limit is 300g; normal bonuses for non-rolling robots will be applied.

There are no restrictions on weapons, materials etc. beyond what is stated in the FRA and RW101 rulesets.

It is highly recommended that your robot is less than 200x200mm in footprint.


Sandbotz fights will take place in an antweight sized area (approx. 900mm square).

The arena will be filled with clean sand to a depth of ~25-50mm.

There will be no pit or floor-level pushout zones, but at least some of the walls will be less than 50mm above sand level to allow OOTAs.

Fight format

To simplify judging and the question of what counts as immobilisation, we are trialling a “capture the flag” approach instead.

There will be no immobilisation count-outs. Instead, each bot will start in a 200x200mm platform at approximately sand level. In order to win you must occupy (be wholly within) the opposing starting platform, and the opponent must not be even partially within either of the starting platforms, for a count of 10 seconds. If the opponent is out of the arena, then you still win by default.

Cease shall be called after 2 minutes if there has been no clear winner. Prior to a judges’ decision, the following criteria shall be applied in order to determine the winner:

  • Only one robot is wholly within the opponent’s square
  • Only one robot is partly within the opponent’s square
  • When asked to reactivate, only one robot is capable of driving to the opponent’s square

If none of the above are satisfied, a judges’ decision shall be made as normal.


This event will take place in Nottingham Hackspace but is open to non-members. For those who are not Nottinghack members, please read the rules and ensure that you are happy to abide by them.

There will be limited space in the pits, but we will provide a dedicated area for charging batteries and the workshop will be available for any messy/noisy work. Attendees will be allowed to use non-induction Hackspace tools, subject to Rule Zero.

There are vending machines (which sometimes only contain sanding disks) and a kitchen with tea and coffee making facilities available adjacent to the pits.

If you intend to use any of these tools or facilities as a guest, we ask that you make a small donation to the Hackspace.


We have a Google Form for signups.