The Autonomous Robot Challenge

with Arm
Change the world with low-cost autonomous robots built on Arm!

Win up to $10,000+ in prizes!

The Autonomous Robot Challenge
The Autonomous Robot Challenge
This contest is over! See all the winning entries. Want more chances to win prizes? Check out our active contests.



Did I win the contest? When will I receive my prize?

If you are a winner, we will contact you directly via email to arrange the shipment of your prize.

Free hardware application: Do I have to submit a project entry if I receive free hardware?
Yes, all free hardware recipients must submit a project entry by the contest deadline. Free hardware recipients who do not submit a project entry will become ineligible to receive free hardware in future giveaways.
Free hardware application: How many free kits are available?
50 free kits are available. One device maximum per person.
Free hardware application: How many ideas can I submit?
Each participant is allowed to submit one idea.
Free hardware application: I was notified that I was selected to receive one of free kits. When will I receive it?
We will notify you via email when free kits are shipped. If you haven't received an email yet, we haven't yet shipped it. Be aware that once you receive the initial notification, it may still be a few weeks until you receive the shipment notification.
Free hardware application: What happens if I receive free hardware and do not submit a project entry?

Participants who receive free hardware and do not submit a project may be ineligible for future giveaways unless the hardware is returned.

If you receive free hardware and become unable to submit a project, please contact us at and let us know as soon as possible. We may choose to arrange for the hardware to be shipped to another participant.

Free hardware application: What kind of idea is more likely to win free hardware?
We encourage creative ideas. For instance, pet feeders and home automation systems are very common nowadays and less creative. We also encourage realistic ideas. While solving world hunger is a great goal, it may not be realistic.
I submitted my project but it says "Awaiting moderation". Will it affect my eligibility?
As long as you submit your project before the deadline it doesn't matter when it is moderated. Just sit back and enjoy a well deserved break!
My project is locked and I can't edit it anymore. Why is that?
All projects entered in the contest are locked after the submission deadline to ensure that they remain the same during the judging process. They are then unlocked after winners are announced.
Somebody copied my entry! What can I do?
When judging entries, we take into account the submission date. When an entry is clearly plagiarized from another, we favor the original entry. If you believe the result of the judging is unfair, please email us at to appeal.
What are the entry requirements?

To be eligible for judging, an entry must meet the following content/technical requirements:

  • You must create a free account and register as a participant for this contest.
  • Your original idea must be submitted via the idea submission application found in the contest brief. All ideas must be submitted in the English language.
  • Your project must be created using the/a/an DonkeyCar and/or make use of autonomous vehicle or drone technology based on Arm and follow the theme of this contest (autonomous bots)
  • Your final project must be fully documented on Hackster per the “project” template.
  • Your machine needs to be able to achieve at least one of the following tasks: autonomously transport a package in an urban, rural or underwater environment and/or autonomously assist in a real-world scenario
  • Your final project must be submitted as within the project template.

Your final project must consist of the following materials:

  • Images,instructions, bill of Materials (BOM), schematics, code, CAD if any

In addition:

  • your entry must be your own original work; and
  • your entry cannot have been selected as a winner in any other contest; and
  • you must have obtained any and all consents, approvals or licenses required for you to submit your entry; and
  • your entry may not include any third-party trademarks (logos, names), third party copyrighted materials (music, images, video, recognizable people) or other third party intellectual property, or copyrighted materials (music, images, video, recognizable people) unless you have obtained permission to use the materials.
What are the judging criteria?

The project is judged against a maximum of 100 points.

Project Documentation (30 points)

  • Story/Instructions– Show how you created your project, including images, screenshots, and/or video, demonstration of solution working as intended

Demonstrated use of Deep Learning to improve vehicle performance, navigation, safety, obstacle avoidance, terrain navigation, object delivery, optimize energy over time (20 points)

  • Does your vehicle improve its performance and learn from its mistakes over time?

BOM – Detail the hardware components as well as apps you used (10 points) Schematics – Use software like, draw your circuit diagrams, and/or take detailed photographs (10 points) Code & Contribution – Include working code with helpful comments (10 points)

  • Great photographs, videos, and screenshots are worth a thousand words. Ask yourself:"If I were a beginner reading this project, would I understand how to recreate it?"

Creativity, Excitement,Entertainment (10 points)

  • Your idea doesn't have to be original, but it should be creative (a fresh take on an old idea is often worth as much as a brand new idea).

Boundary Pushing & Innovation (10 points)

  • Did you push the envelope of what is possible with this technology? Can you demonstrate that you have improved the state of technology in this area through your work?
  • Raise the bar for everyone, show us something we couldn’t have imagined

Bonus points (up to 10 pts) for contributing updates and improvements to the community

Bonus points for addressing one of the three following themes: AI on the Edge (up to 10 points), Sustainability (up to 10 points), Mapping (up to 10 points)

What are the prizes?
Best Use of AI
  • X PlusOne HD Pro (2 are available)
Most Creative Project
  • Robugtix T8X (2 are available)
Best DonkeyCar Project
  • Onewheel+ (2 are available)
Greatest Social Impact
  • OpenROV Trident
Most Fun Social Media Video
  • GoPro HERO 6 (5 are available)
What are the steps to enter the contest?
  • If you are not already a member, you will need to create a free account.
  • Register for the contest by clicking "Register as a participant" on the main contest page.
  • Submit your optional idea for a free DonkeyCar by clicking "Submit my idea for the pre-contest" and filling in the form.
  • Teams of up to 5 are allowed.
  • Participant agrees to pay local tax at custom if applicable in order to receive the DonkeyCar shipment.
  • Build your project using the DonkeyCar and/or make use of autonomous vehicle or drone technology based on Arm technology.
  • Add a new project by clicking the + symbol at the top right side of the screen and follow the submission template.

What Next?

  • Share detailed instructions with images in the story section
  • Share the bill of materials
  • Share the electronics schematics
  • Share the source code (optionally via Github or Bitbucket)
  • Share the CAD files if any
What is the contest timeline?

Contest begins:

June 21, 2018 at 10:00 PM PT

Applications for hardware close:

July 21, 2018 at 11:59 PM PT

Submissions close:

October 29, 2018 at 11:59 PM PT

Winners announced:

November 14, 2018

When will winners be announced? Where can I see the list?

Winners of free kits will be announced individually by email on a rolling basis.

Contest winners will be announced on November 14, 2018. The list of winners will be visible on the main page (Contest brief).

Who is eligible to participate?
  • You are eligible to enter if you meet the following requirements at time of entry:
  • You are at least 16 and are a hobbyist or professional in the field of technology development; and
  • If you are considered a minor in your place of residence, then you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Challenges.
  • You are NOT a resident of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria; and
  • US export regulations prohibit the export of goods and services to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Therefore residents of these countries/regions are not eligible to participate.
  • You are not involved the in execution or administration of thisChallenge; and
  • You are not an immediate family member of (parent, sibling, spouse/domestic partner, child) or household member of a Hackster employee.

Couldn't find an answer to your question? Email us.