The MRCA 2023 construction rules have been updated! The rules can be found here with changes/additions highlighted in RED, but here’s an overview anyways.

The first thing you may notice is the addition of a new weight bonus called “Almost Walking Robots”. This category is targeted at the often mobility compromised gyro walkers and bristle bots that occasionally pop up at events. By putting this bonus higher than the shuffler bonus, there is still an incentive to innovate in stranger realms of the non-wheeled category; however, the bonus is still low enough to leave room for the multi-servo crab themed walkers we all dream of in the true walker category.

Farther down the rules is a new Autonomous Bonus. This bonus gives established builders a new competitive advantage to explore, but it should also give something for our programmers and “real robot” purists something to play with. A particularly exciting addition to this is the fact that true melty brain bots (which rely on sensors/accelerometers) auto qualify for this bonus.

These two changes have also affected the multibot formula, but as nobody built a mixed locomotion multibot last year, this is probably not something to worry about.

Finally, we have removed our 1lb of allowed magnetic downforce rule and decided to go with no permanent magnets for any MRCA events. It’s very hard to monitor downforce during events, and the system can be gamed quite easily when using a hang test. This change does still leave the door open to unlimited electrical magnet downforce, but currently, there are no events on the 2023 MRCA schedule with a steel floor.