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GEAR Competition


Laundry Quandary

The objective is to design and build a remotely controlled device to retrieve “dry” laundry from clotheslines and place “wet” laundry on clotheslines within the 3-minute time limit.

The field consists of the central gazebo structure that is surrounded by four backyards each containing four clotheslines of varying height. Along the outer border there are four back porches that are isolated from the yard areas with doors that swing out into the yard and close automatically.

At the start of the match machines are positioned on each back porch. The spotter is responsible for loading up to 12 pieces of the wet laundry (red, blue, green or yellow colored bandanas) onto the machine. All loading must be completed prior to the machine entering the yard area through the saloon-style back doors. Switches on the back doors determine the order in which teams entered the yard area and are used as a tie-breaker. Once the machine enters the yard, it cannot return to the porch and cannot receive any more wet laundry.

Once in the yard, teams can score points by removing dry laundry (black, black paisley and red paisley bandanas) from clotheslines and placing it in their basket and by placing their wet laundry on the clotheslines. The position of the wet laundry at the end of the match is used to determine the point value of the laundry; so, pieces that fall from the line prior to the end of the match do not score. Multiple pieces of wet laundry in contact with each other only count as a single piece; there must be some separation between the wet laundry pieces. Contact between wet and dry laundry only matters in the basket, and only at the end of the match. At that time, any dry laundry in contact with wet laundry does not score. Points for dry laundry placed in the basket are based on the following table.

Color    Initial Location  Number of Pieces  Points per Piece
Black Backyard Line 12 5
Black Paisley Gazebo 4 15
Red Paisley Center of Gazebo  1 25

Points for wet laundry placed on the clotheslines are based on the following table.

Scoring Location    Points per Piece
Lower Backyard Lines 10
Upper Backyard Lines 15
Gazebo Line  30

Teams that score at least one piece of wet laundry and one piece of dry laundry receive a 50-point bonus. In addition, teams can receive another bonus score by placing their wet laundry in multiple back yard areas as detailed by the following table.

Number of Yard Areas
 with Wet Laundry
Bonus Score
1-2 0
3 50

Teams are not allowed to steal laundry from other teams (since that’s just not neighborly). Laundry that touches the ground during the match becomes dirty and does not score.

San Antonio BEST Award Results:

  1. United Engineering and Technology Magnet*
  2. Saint Mary's Hall School*
  3. Holy Cross of San Antonio*
  4. John Jay Science and Engineering Academy

Competition Results:  

  1. Saint Anthony Catholic High School*
  2. Robert E Lee High School*
  3. Stacey High School
  4. William Howard Taft High School
  5. Thomas A. Edison High School
  6. Saint Mary's Hall School*
  7. Marshall High School
  8. Victoria Memorial High School

* five teams advancing to Texas BEST from SA BEST

Other Awards:

  • Founders Award - 
    1. William Howard Taft High School
    2. Marshall High School
  • Most Robust - Robert E Lee High School
  • Most Photogenic - Highlands High School
  • Best Table Display and Interview - Holy Cross of San Antonio
  • Most Spirit and Sportsmanship - United Engineering and Technology Magnet
  • BEST T-shirt - Saint Mary's Hall School
  • BEST Use of Game Theme - New Braunfels Home School
  • Blood, Sweat and Duct Tape - Krueger Middle School
The complete seeding competition results and final competition results are also available. If you'd like to see where you finished relative to other teams for SA BEST Award Competition, here's a list of the BEST scores.