Vehicles collaboratively chasing a moving target, while jointly carrying a balloon

Design and construct one of the two vehicles, collaboratively chasing a designated moving target, while jointly carrying a balloon by squeeze-holding it between them.
Two robots move side by side towards a target while carrying a balloon, by squeezing it between them.

  • The balloon should be squeezed between two vertical surfaces.
    • Carrying, holding, scooping, or otherwise supporting the balloon from below is definitely not allowed.
    • The balloon should not be dropped or allowed to touch the floor.
    • It should not be squeezed too much (**) which may cause it to burst.
    • Therefore the distance between the two contact surfaces must be carefully controlled.

  • While the target’s position can be changed slowly, decisions on motion will be shared between the partner robots:
    • The robot on the right dictates the velocity of motion (*).
    • The left-hand-side robot is in charge of the direction of motion (*).
    • A robot should be capable of assuming both right-hand-side and left-hand-side roles.
  • Robots must be completely self-contained, with no sensors, cameras etc. outside the robot. Active communication between the robots is not allowed.
  • The playfield is bare floor, in any color, with no bounding walls or curtains.
  • To make the action more meaningful, the robots must be in continuous forward motion with a specified (*) minimum speed, except for possible short interrupts.
  • Teams must provide a dummy companion for demonstration purposes.

Possible Extra Features
A mechanism to actually burst the balloon, when squeezed too much.
(*) Common standards to be satisfied to make cooperation of robots possible, such as the properties of the “target” and the balloon, limitations -if any- on the speed of motion, size of the robots, etc. are to be decided upon by a joint standards committee, composed of representatives of teams undertaking the project.
(**)The contact surface between the balloon and the robot must be confined to a circle of area not exceeding 10% of the total surface area of the balloon.