2012 DERPA Challenge

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2012 DERPA Challenge

The DERPA Challenge is about building the derpiest machine to travel from point A to point B while trying not to break a bunch of arbitrarily made rules.


Theme Song


  • The derpier, the better (i.e. the less precedent, the better)
  • If it's got wheels, they may not be circular NOR can their axis of rotation be near their center nor may the axis of rotation of the wheels be parallel to the ground.
  • If it's got legs, the minimum number of leg lengths for N number of legs is (N/2)+3
  • If it's in the category of planicopters, then it cannot have an fixed wings or static arms linking to its props.
  • If it's a dirigible, it must have multiple buoyancy devices, separated by the maximum width of any of the balloons, and the smallest must not be smaller than half the size of the largest
  • If it's a watercraft, you'll have to be able to flood the course yourself (as we will not provide water) without flooding the surrounding area.
  • The entire vehicle must make it to the end of the race
  • You may not intentionally damage someone else's vehicle


  • No task can go uninterrupted longer than 5 seconds
  • Autonomous robots may not go in a straight line


  • Can I do X?
    • Not anymore! Everything is fair game, but if you tell us, we just might make some more rules ;)
    • (illegal and dangerous things are disallowed)
  • Where will it be held?
  • Will you help me code it?
    • Sure. Why not. We might have a lot of people to help, though.
  • Will there be a kit, or do I provide my own materials?
    • We plan on making a simple robotics kit and selling it as cheap as we can at the faire. Bringing your own parts is more than welcome.
  • Can I bring a bot I made at home?
    • Yes.

Judging Criteria

  • Winner of race
  • Creativity of solution
  • Derpiness
  • Age of team members on a scale of 1 to 10
  • Final score gets a 00.7% bump for brown nosing the judges in a way that doesn't make us feel bad for giving out extra points. Judging is not fair in this category.

Possible Acronyms

  • Dont Expect Really Practical Applications
  • Deliberately Engineering Rather Problematic Applications
  • Derpy Engineers for Reaching Profound Altitutdes
  • Daring Entropy Research Project Agency


  • Most spectacular failure
  • Derpiest design
  • Biggest surprise
  • Race Victor (or who got the furthest)
  • Best in show