Specification Clarification Questions

MESA does its best to ensure our specifications are as clear as possible. However, there are times during the Engineering Design Process rules need to be clarified. In those instances student participants may submit Specification Clarification Questions. Specification Clarification questions must be emailed to azmesa@arizona.edu. Questions should be discussed with MESA teachers prior to submission. Submitted questions should include your name, your school, and the MESA teacher should be copied on the email.

Question: Can we use parts from other robotics or car kits as long as we do not use the entire kit?
  • Answer: Yes, the objective is that students design and build their own vehicle and not just add a weapon to something pre-built or a full kit. The general rule of thumb is that your vehicle should not be more than 50% from one kit.
Question: Can we use Nickel Hydride Batteries (NiMH)? 
  • Answer: No, these are considered wet cell batteries. The purpose for this limitation is to eliminate the potential for leaks releasing hazardous or combustible material.

Question: Can adhesives (tape, glue, etc.) be used as part of the payload for high schools?

  • Answer - Yes the can be used as part of the payload. However, the payload cannot be attached to the helicopter during specification check so teams should plan for that.
Question: Can a paper cup or paper straw be part of the paper used?
  • Answer: Yes, as long as the cup or straw is only made of paper. Items that contain a coating like wax are not allowed.
Question: Is there a maximum size?
  • Answer: No, there is no maximum size
Question: Does cardboard count as paper?
  • Answer: Yes, you can use cardboard as it is a type of paper. This would also apply to other types of paper like construction paper or newsprint.
Question: Can we glue the paper together or is it solely paper
  • Answer: No, the only allowable material is paper. The use of glue is prohibited.

Question: Are there resources to help with the questions? 
Question: Is there a way to tell the difference between Base 32 and Base 64?
  • Answer: Yes, generally if the string of characters ends with an"=" it is Base 32, and if it ends with "==" it is Base 64
Question: How many computers can a team use during the event?
  • Answer: Each team will be allowed to use one computer but there will be other tasks students to assist in answering questions and students can take turns using the computer.

Question: The Elecfreaks robot was mentioned as being used for this event, is that the case for competitoin?
  • Answer: Yes, the on-site coding challenge will ask students to use the Elecfreaks Cutebot (https://a.co/d/cAXeLVA) will be used with a Micro:Bit for this challenge.
Question: Do we have to use MakeCode to code the robot for this challenge?
  • Answer: No, any method for coding the Micro:Bit that students are familiar with can be used?
Question: What capabilities of the Micro:Bit and Cutebot should students be prepared to use?
  • Answer: Students will be required to use the line-following feature of the cutebot and should be prepared to use any of the other sensors built into the Cutebot and Micro:Bit.
Question: Can we use a remote control to control the bot?
  • Answer: No, the robot will need to be autonomous, meaning the robot will need to move and make decisions based only on the code loaded onto it by the students.
Question: Can we bring notes to the On-Site Coding competition?
  • Answer: Yes. Sample code and references are all part of coding.