Introduction: How to Enter the IRobot Create Challenge

Picture of How to Enter the IRobot Create Challenge
UPDATE: Contest deadline extended to 11:59pm PDT Sunday, September 9th!
If your robot is recalcitrant, use the extra days to navigate a fix or try another strategy. If your robot is fabulous, post it and use the extra days to create a second entry!

The iRobot Create Challenge is a robot building contest that will challenge your ability, your creativity, and your mastery of technology. Use the iRobot Create Programmable Robot platform to develop your own unprecedented and innovative robot that's functional, helpful, entertaining, whimsical or simply amazing.

You Could Finally Earn Your Rightful Title as Creator Extraordinaire and win a $5,000 Cash Prize!

Stop toying with robots and show the world what you can create!

The iRobot Create Challenge will have the following prizes:

  • One (1) First Place Prize of $5,000.
  • One (1) Second Place Prize of a set of iRobot home robots including iRobot Roomba Discovery, iRobot Scooba 380, iRobot Dirt Dog, & iRobot Create robots. This prize has an estimated retail value of $986.99.
  • Ten (10) Third Place Prizes of the winner's choice of one iRobot Roomba Discovery or one iRobot Scooba 5800. Each prize has an estimated retail value of $299.

Winners will be notified by email. All prizes to be supplied by iRobot Corporation. Taxes on prizes are the sole responsibility of winner. More information is on the Create is available at Tom's Hardware.

Update: check out PopSci's first lesson of their iRobot iNstitute.

Beginning on May 15, 2007 you may submit your robot creation to the iRobot group on Instructables. (You do this by selecting "New Instructable" from the "Contribute" menu above. When you're done with your Instructable, the system will prompt you to add it to groups.)

All robots must be built with the iRobot Create robot. Each entry must include a summary introduction, clear photographs, text describing the robot and how it works, and some instructional content about the creation of the robot.

Sholarship Mini-contest:
For those who wish to enter the main contest, but who do not have the ability to purchase an iRobot Create kit themselves, iRobot Corporation will provide 15 free iRobot Create robots with Command Modules (Scholarship Robot packages). To receive a Scholarship Robot package, you must submit an idea of how you would use the iRobot Create to forums in the iRobot group. Please be realistic, as Scholarship winners must either build a robot and enter the contest or return their scholarship robot package. Which is to say, if you win, you have to build it, or no robot for you. All submissions for this Scholarship sub-contest must be posted by June 30, 2007. No later than July 9th, 2007, scholarship winners will be notified by email.

All entries to the iRobot Create Challenge must be submitted by 11:59pm Sunday, September 9th, 2007.

All contest entries will be judged for merit. Judging will begin after the entry deadline. Judging criteria for each entry will include the following:
*task complexity: how hard is this task for a robot to do?
*aesthetics: A measure of how good the component packaging and look of the robot is.
*intelligence: A measure of how artificially intelligent the robot appears.
*task utility: how useful is this robot
*entertainment value: How cool or entertaining is the robot
*completeness (photos and text for all important steps)
*clear, concise text description including a properly summarized introduction with the motivation for doing the project
*clear photographs (2+ megapixel preferred), use macro mode for close up shots
*use of photo-notes where appropriate
*list of parts and tools required (if appropriate)
*safety notes (if appropriate)
*technical merit

Winners of the iRobot Create Challenge will be announced on or before October 19th , 2007.

The names of the Contest winners will be posted at Selection of winners is solely within the discretion of judges.

Each winner will be notified via the e-mail address provided to Instructables with their entry. Winners may be required to sign an affidavit certifying their eligibility and compliance with these Rules.

Winners must meet all eligibility requirements set forth in these Rules to qualify for the prize. Upon completion and return of any required forms, A physical address will then be provided by the winner. The Prize will be sent to winners via the U.S. Postal Service. Prizes will be sent to winners by November 15, 2007.

The iRobot Create Challenge (the "Contest") is offered by TG Publishing, Inc. ("TGP"), and open only to residents of the U.S. and Canada, and 18 years or older at time of participation to win.


1. All federal, state, and local taxes on prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.
2. Prize is not transferable and no cash alternative or prize substitution is available, except that iRobot reserves the right to substitute cash or a similar prize of equal or greater value if the prize listed is unavailable for any reason. Cash prizes will be paid as a lump sum check. All potential winners are subject to verification in iRobot's sole discretion. All prizes are expressed in U.S. Dollars. By accepting prize, Contest winners agree that their name and likeness may be used for advertising and promotional purposes at iRobot or TGP's discretion in any and all media now known or hereinafter developed without territorial or time limitations. Winner agrees that prizes are being provided "as is", and iRobot and TGP make no warranty, representation or guarantee regarding the prize, including but not limited to its quality, condition, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
3. TGP is not responsible for any computer malfunction, hacking, destruction, unavailability, or damage to the contest website or contestant's computer or robot as a result of his or her participation herein.
4. TGP reserves the right to cancel, postpone or end the contest at any time, at its sole discretion, or to disqualify any participant or winner that TGP, at its sole discretion, deems to have cheated, destroyed, obstructed, or otherwise acted illegally or in bad faith in relation to this contest.
5. TGP reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds, in its sole discretion, to be in violation of the User Agreement of the Website; to be acting in violation of these Official Rules; to be acting in a unethical or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person, as determined by TGP at its sole discretion.By submitting an entry, and entering this contest, you hereby grant iRobot Corporation a perpetual, irrevocable, sublicense, worldwide, royalty free right to publish and distribute your entry with the promotion of iRobot Create robots. Further, none of the entry material will be treated as confidential, so please do not include or submit proprietary information
6. Governing Law: All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of the official rules, or the rights of entrants, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with, the substance laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, without regard to conflicts of law principles.


wwetray (author)2015-12-01

How do you enter will it start all over in 2015

0xCyrusx0 (author)2010-02-01

Damn. Only open to 18 and older. Just because I'm 16 doesn't mean my autonomous robotics projects and micro controller endeavors are any less impressive.

MichelMoermans (author)0xCyrusx02010-11-23

this was a contest in the year 2007 my friend ;)

robotmaker (author)2007-11-23

whewre can i find the winners,i saw one in contest awhile back about 3 weeks,and i dont see idea again,it was smeone who hookup a laptop to icreate and had software,i know there is one called laptop for child,thats not the one i am looking for,it was reg laptop mounted on icreate,i am looking for the software he was using and it was in irobot challenge

techgeek75 (author)robotmaker2007-11-25

Is this what you're looking for:

Hungry_Myst (author)2007-10-20

So, have the winners been decided yet?

zachninme (author)2007-09-10

And who will take home the $5,000 prize... DUHDUHDUHHHHHH!!!

zachninme (author)zachninme2007-10-16


Hungry_Myst (author)2007-08-28

I noticed that iRobot seems to have updated there robot's. I'm assuming that the winner's will still be receiving the original robot's (I don't know tough), but I was curious if anyone knew weather or not the new Roomba's have an open interface like the other's. There doesn't seem to be a "Discovery" model anymore.

stampaufaz (author)2007-08-22

what about making the current roomba more accurate by allowing the user to draw out a floor plan using a simple CADD interface on there computer and a flash drive to give the roomba a detailed description of the room that it is cleaning. Including place markers for furniture and other obstacles that it can run into. ( if this is a feature in the next roomba robot im gonna be so pissed)

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-08-14

dang, where are these funds coming from that can be prizes!?!!????? 5000$ out of mid air??? i dont get it?

T3h_Muffinator (author)2007-05-15

Jeez! The prizes for these contests are getting ridiculous!

Kiteman (author)T3h_Muffinator2007-05-16

What's more annoying is the fact that the winners are geographically-restricted.

Hey, Eric et al, how about a general robot-based contest for us non-Yanks? Rather than base it around a hideously expensive kit, make it simple. How about a purely non-programmable robot, based around simple electromechanical systems, or BEAM technology?

vatosupreme (author)Kiteman2007-05-18

You could form a u.s. corporation and have that entity enter the contest.? Or use your company in the isle of man

tacos (author)vatosupreme2007-07-31

i can do some really stranges and fantastics thinks with my roomba !!! and so i really want to try this challenge !!!! :) but i'm in france :( please, can you accept me ? or you need a french sponsor ?

ewilhelm (author)Kiteman2007-05-16

Help me find a UK-based company to sponsor such a contest. This and the laser challenge are the first contests to have any geographic restriction. We've shipped many of our prizes internationally. As we ratchet up the size of the prize, we look for partners to help sponsor them, and that puts some limitations on what we can do. Considering the awesome contributions from non-Americans, we'd happily do an international-only (or something) contest if we found the right partner.

Honus (author)ewilhelm2007-05-19

A couple of really great contests would be to team up with Sherline for a miniature mill/lathe setup or with Miller for one of their portable micro TIG welders. Both of these companies definitely market to the DIY crowd and I'm pretty sure they have world wide distribution. Just throwing out some ideas......

Kiteman (author)ewilhelm2007-05-16

Right, I'm on it...

VIRON (author)Kiteman2007-05-18

Or a "frisbee(tm)"? and No screwy special lawyer rules.

jeffreyf (author)Kiteman2007-05-16

Hrm.... You know, maybe we could swing a separate thing for non-US/Canadian people. As Eric mentioned, it's a question of laws and contest sponsorship for this one, but let me talk it over.

jeffreyf (author)T3h_Muffinator2007-05-15

If you win, you're welcome to donate the prize to someone else, like, say, me. I wouldn't mind.

T3h_Muffinator (author)jeffreyf2007-05-15

I don't think I have a large chance of winning.... I'm going to be @ Stony Brook University for a summer research program from June 25th till August 10th. After that, I'll be over @ the control tower with you guys until summer vacation is over! But for now I have AP tests, SATII's, ACTs, and Finals to study for v_v.... sigh...

coffee-bot (author)2007-07-22

only for residents of the U.S. and Canada, and 18 years or older at time of participation to win :( why...? :(

marc92 (author)2007-07-15

when are you going to announce who got the irobot creates

MisterShot (author)2007-06-27

mia fora k enan kairo htan enas ellhnas sta ksena!

CryptLordGR (author)MisterShot2007-06-28

den eisoun mono enas eimaste polloi :P

Xmodgeek (author)2007-06-19

Ware does it say you have to be 18? Also is the contest just to build a robot using the i robot or are we to make an instructable explaining how to make one?

jeffreyf (author)Xmodgeek2007-06-19

Under eligibility, but as we've done with previous contest, if your parents take responsibility we can probably work it out. And yes, you'll have to submit an Instructable. How else would we know what you did?

thydzik (author)2007-05-24

why exactly is this only open to US and Canada residents?

jeffreyf (author)thydzik2007-05-24

I'm not entirely sure. I think it has something to do with how contest laws vary by country, but I can check.

royalestel (author)jeffreyf2007-06-16

A lot of high tech stuff must be cleared for export. For example, in many countries it's still technically illegal to ship an oscilloscope or laptop without government approval.

thydzik (author)thydzik2007-05-24

doing a little more research, I also believe it is due to not being able to purchase the iRobot Create outside America. "The current version is not certified for distribution overseas."

cooblades (author)thydzik2007-05-31

Could it possibly be that the IRobot Create hasn't gone through regulatory qualifications over seas yet?

Hungry_Myst (author)2007-06-08

I know this is pretty standard but I would like to clarify just in case. Is this going to be like other contests where we can submit more then one instructable for the contest? For the scholarship, if we list several ideas in our proposal will they all be considered when you decide who gets a scholarship package?

jeffreyf (author)Hungry_Myst2007-06-08

For #1: Yes. For #2: Yes, but remember to keep the ideas to things that are both well described and which you think you can/will do.

zachninme (author)2007-06-03

I have a couple of questions...

Is this contest by iRobot, or are they just a sponsor?

If we get the scholarship package (I love this idea), and we make the thing, but we loose, do we send it back?

The reason I ask the first is because I know Instructables is GREAT when it comes to age restrictions.
I'm not 18, so can I use my father as a 'proxy', adding him to my great instructable as a collaborate?

jeffreyf (author)zachninme2007-06-03

It's hard to say who the contest is "by" The final judging will probably be a panel assembled by iRobot, with Instructables folks included, and the scholarship judging is by Instructables. iRobot is providing the prizes, however. As for the scholarship package, you wouldn't need to send it back at all. The only requirement is that if you win one, you submit an entry into the contest, not that that entry wins. I'm sure that would be fine with regard to age restriction stuff.

VIRON (author)2007-05-16

The Rules are offensive. #2:Win or lose, They own you if you play! Rule #3, if the robot blows up your computer, tuff luck loser! EULA be sorry if you play with people who reserve the right to break your own stuff in your own house and then peon you!

_soapy_ (author)VIRON2007-05-25

Rule 3 says that if you break your computer while doing this contest *in your own time without the prior knowledge or otherwise of the organisers* they aren't responsible. What's bad about that? That's the same as when you visit this website, if your PC explodes or goes dark, it isn't Instructables fault, and you agree to that in the terms of use.

As for 2, they have to get something out of the competition - they give you free stuff, they get some neat "many eyes" designs, so aspects of which will be very handy for them in future. To adults, this trade of ideas, time & effort for reward is called "work" and most of us get used to it after a while.
It's also needed because otherwise people might sue if they see anything similar to part of thier design in a future iRobot design, even if they didn't actually copy it.

VIRON (author)_soapy_2007-05-27

THIS IS NOT A "JOB", SILLY! You must buy a robot and program it, and if the judge likes it he gives you a gift and steals your face. PEOPLE DON'T BREAK THEIR COMPUTERS AND THEN SUE YOU, Microsoft, Antivirus, SONY, etc do, and THEY hide behind rule #3.

jeffreyf (author)VIRON2007-05-18

I do appreciate your point, but know that we read it over fairly carefully before we agreed to go forward. The only thing you "give" them is the right to use your contest entry, and if you win, your name and picture in conjunction with advertising or promotion. It's fairly standard contest stuff, and not too odious. If we felt this was in any way stacked against entrants, we'd never have allowed it. You've been around here for a while, and know we really do care about such things.

sam (author)2007-05-17

are collaborations allowed?

jeffreyf (author)sam2007-05-17

Sure, but you'll have to figure out how to split the prize.

ich bin ein pyro (author)2007-05-16

18 and up.. oh well im out

fungus amungus (author)2007-05-15


About This Instructable




Bio: I like taking things apart and figuring out how they work. I generally loose interest after that.
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