SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Sixty teams from nine competitions in the metro Detroit area in March and April will qualify for the state championship round of the 15th annual Robofest student competition for building and programming robots.
Robofest is an international 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 5-9) or senior division (grades 9-12), using a variety of computer programming languages.
The nine qualifying events will be held March 21 through April 19. (See accompanying list for times and locations.) Lawrence Technological University in Southfield will host the Michigan Championships on May 3 and the World Championships on May 17. All Robofest events are free and open to the public.
Teams will qualify for the Robofest World Championships from nine other states – California, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Texas and Washington – and six other countries – Canada, India, Korea, Mexico, France and South Africa.
This year’s game mission, AMD (Avoid Melt-Down) is to develop an autonomous robot to cool down a nuclear power plant by dropping off 3 tennis balls and an egg representing water containers into a simulated nuclear reactor box facing a meltdown. In addition, the robot needs to measure and report the volume of the box in cubic centimeters. The challenge directly connects math concepts to robotics.
Robofest events also have a science fair-style exhibition competition, which will demonstrate the imagination and creativity of the students through hands-on, computer-programmed robotics.
Winners in the World Championship competition will win scholarships to Lawrence Technological University as well as various prizes donated by sponsors. LTU Professor CJ Chung started Robofest in 2000.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu
, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 7 percent of universities for return on undergraduate tuition investment, and highest in the Detroit metropolitan area. Lawrence Tech is also listed in the top tier of Midwestern universities by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. Students benefit from small class sizes and experienced faculty who provide a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student clubs and organizations and a growing roster of NAIA varsity sports.