What is Robofest?

Lawrence Technological University's Robofest is a computerized robotics contest in which 5th - 12th grade students design, construct and program their robots while learning problem-solving techniques, mathematics, logic, creativity, physics, electronics, mechanics, teamwork, computers and computer programming.

In the following competition divisions, teams of students compete to accomplish robotics missions emulating real world environments through the cooperation of "two" autonomous robots.

  • The Junior Robot Division teams are to use any robotics kit using an icon-based graphical programming language such as Lego(TM) RCX code, EZROBO CREATOR, or Robolab(TM). Recommended grades for this division are 5th-9th.
  • The Senior Robot Division recommends the use of a text-based high level programming language such as C, C++, Visual Basic, or Java. Any robotics kits are allowed to construct robots. The challenge is more difficult than that of the Junior Division. Recommended grades are 9th-12th.

Since a competition with fixed rules may limit students' creativity, Robofest offers a stage for exhibitions to show off their creations. Teams have complete freedom using any robotics kits to create robotics projects such as robot pets, robot artists, dancing robots, storytelling with robots, robots for scientific experiments, and practical robotics applications. It is required to submit a videotape of the exhibition to the organizer prior to the contest.

Started at Lawrence Tech in 2000, Robofest has grown rapidly. In 2004, 354 students participated in 5th Annual Robofest in four contest venues in the USA. We are planning to expand Robofest to other state in the USA and other countries.

Goals of Robofest


  1. To spark young students' interest in science, engineering and technology
  2. To challenge the science and engineering skills of students
  3. To promote students' creative and innovative thinking
  4. To recognize students' achievements in science and engineering through robotics
  5. To build the work force of the future
  6. To promote good teamwork and work ethics


Unique Features of Robofest

  • Robots must be fully autonomous, which means that learning computer control and sensor technologies is highly emphasized in Robofest.
  • It is one of the world's first autonomous robot contests for grade students in which the dimension of the playing field is unknown. A part of the competition problem is unknown until competition day. And some conditions of the playing field are decided, after the robot is started.
  • Robofest is fair and educational, since no direct adult help is allowed. The entire robot should be constructed and programmed by students.
  • Robofest competition games promote cooperation between team members, because they require distributed solutions using two independent robots working together.
  • Students have the freedom of using technologies: they may use any robot controller boards such as Handy Boards, Basic Stamps, I-ROBOs, or Lego® RCX bricks. They may use any actuators and sensors to solve competition problems.
  • Students have the freedom of choosing programming languages. Junior teams may use any icon-based graphical programming languages. Text-based high level programming languges are allowed for senior teams.
  • Robofest is *not* a Lego® block contest. Students may use tapes, glues, bolts and nuts, etc. to construct robots.
  • The Robofest website, www.robofest.net, provides necessary technical information for the contest. Free workshops have been provided at Lawrence Tech for teachers, coaches, parents, and all participants of Robofest teams since 2000.
  • Robofest is affordable. You may reuse old kits. It is simple, easy, modular and inexpensive to set up playing fields of which materials can be reused every year. The registration fee is also affordable (about $30) compared to other robotics competitions (for example, a popular robot competition in winter season requires $200 non-refundable registration fees and playing field kits per team).
  • Everyone is a winner at Robofest. A personalized certificate in a frame and/or an individual trophy or medal are awarded to every registered participant. Giant trophies are awarded to winning teams in various categories based on the performance results and/or judging scores.
  • Since science and technology teachers have gained a lot of experience for the future of education, Lawrence Tech is planning the Robotics in Technology Education Conference (RoboTEC) in the near future.


Typical Timeline


When Events
November Call for Regional Competition Hosts
Mid December Informational meeting for Robofest hosts and coaches
Late December Draft rules and partial competition rules to be
posted on the web at www.robofest.net.
January Finalized official rules to be posted on the web.
Registration begins on the web (First come first
serve basis until maximum number of teams are registered).
Late January Technical workshop; Site volunteer registration begins
February Warm-up competitions and Judge training at LTU
Feb - April Regional Robofest Competitions
May World Robofest at LTU


Visit www.robofest.net for more information.