Over 70 teams from 10 states and eight other countries will compete in the 15th annual Robofest World Championships on Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Don Ridler Field House at Lawrence Technological University.
Robofest is a competition of autonomous robots – computer-programmed to act independently and not remote-controlled – that encourages students to have fun while learning principles of science, technology, engineering, and math, known as the STEM subjects. Teams compete in the junior division (grades 5-8) or senior division (grades 9-12) using a variety of computer programming languages.
Robofest was originated by LTU Professor CJ Chung in 2000 and is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. This year’s competition includes more than 1,600 students from Michigan and nine other states (Ohio, Texas, Minnesota, Florida, Hawaii, California, Missouri, Indiana and Washington) and eight other countries (Canada, Mexico, Korea, China, India, South Africa, Brazil and France).
Robofest gives teams a real-world-type problem to solve using their robots. This year’s game, “Avoid Meltdown,” requires a robot to perform certain tasks at a fictitious power plant represented by a playing field on a 32 inch by 72 inch tabletop. Teams must program their robots to independently deliver three water balls and a special ball into the plant without any help from the coaches. They also must remove two concrete blocks (AA batteries) – all in two minutes.
Thirty minutes before each round unknown tasks are unveiled, and teams must solve these tasks without any adult help. Teams must also calculate the volume of the plant with their robot programs and collect sensor data.
The Robofest World Championships include the Exhibition category, a science fair-style competition, in which students demonstrate their imagination and creativity through robotics. Spectators can register to judge the People’s Choice Award for Exhibition. Registered judges are entered to win raffle prizes that may include OLLO Bug Robot Kit, Mindsensors $100 gift card, Detroit Tigers tickets, a tablet, and two Maker Faire Detroit tickets.
For more information on Robofest, visit www.robofest.net.