The United States was represented by a delegation of seven teams at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) held in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 6-8. WRO is a global autonomous robotics competition that started in Singapore in 2004. Nearly 20,000 elementary, middle and high school students as well as university teams from over 50 countries participated this year.
This is just the second year that the United States has sent a delegation to the WRO. Seventy-nine teams competed in state qualifiers, and teams from California, Florida, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Louisiana, Washington and Michigan competed in the national championships held at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) in September.
With support from lead sponsor Cadillac, the following teams competed in this year’s WRO:
• RoboGals – Elementary Regular team from Aurora, Illinois
• Pi-Rho Technics – Junior Regular team from Northville, Michigan
• Exit 5 Robotics – Senior Regular team from Livingston, New Jersey
• Robofest – University Regular team from Northville/Canton, Michigan
• Rockin’ Robots – Gen II Football team from Tuckahoe, New York
• Radioactive Unicorns – Gen II Football team from Fresh Meadows, New York
• RoboExplorers – Open Junior team from Northville/Canton, Michigan
Only three medals were awarded in each category, and none of the American teams reached that level. The Robofest team placed eighth overall in the University Regular Category, and Pi-Rho Technics also finished eighth in the Junior Regular Category. Rockin’ Robots placed in the top 16 in the Gen II Football Category.
“There were around 500 teams from all around the world, so the level of competition was very high,” said CJ Chung, a computer science professor at LTU who was the organizer of WRO USA. “It was a great honor for each of these teams to be there representing their country.”
WRO was created to help students develop their creative and problem-solving skills that can be applied to science, technology, engineering and math, the STEM subjects. The WRO experience will help these students excel in school, college and in their careers, according to Chung.
“Autonomous robotics is a wonderful educational platform for learning future technologies. In order to make robots think, students must think much harder. I am so glad that USA teams learned a lot through this world-wide competition.” Said Chung, who is also the founder of the Robofest competition at LTU.
Cadillac has supported team USA by providing USA team uniforms, banners, and flags as well as partial travel support for the Robofest team.
The next WRO International Championships will be in India in 2016.
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