The Robofest robotics competition Lawrence Technological University in Southfield will return to in-person events for its 2022 competition season, leading up to the Robofest World Championships to be contested on campus May 12-14, 2022.
Teachers, students, and volunteers from around the world kicked off the 23rd season with a Dec. 8 Zoom call when the environmental theme of the 2022 competition was announced.
Robofest will feature seven different competitions for 2022. The most popular, the Robofest Game, changes each year. This year’s challenge is called OceanBots. Robots must rescue objects representing “turtles” and place them in one area on a game table, while moving other objects representing “trash” to a different location. They also must place two of the “turtles” onboard the robot, and maneuver around “pilings” placed on the game table.
Other competitions will include:
- Exhibition, in which students are free to dream up any task that a robot can accomplish, and then design a robot to accomplish it. There’s a four-minute limit on presentations, and students must provide a video of their robot before the competition so judges can formulate questions.
- RoboArts, which is similar to Exhibition, but robots should be focused on the visual and performing arts.
- RoboMed, a competition for intelligent and interactive biomedical robots and medical devices with an entrepreneurial mindset encouraged.
- Unknown Mission Challenge, in which students must design and program robots to accomplish a task that they won’t be told about until competition day. The robot must be completely unassembled when competition starts.
- BottleSumo, in which students compete to be the first robot to push a bottle of water—or the opposing robot—off a table.
- RoboParade, in which students build and decorate robots to impress judges in a parade focused around a common theme. This year’s theme is “Preserve Our Natural Resources.”
Team registration opened Dec. 17. Maximum team size is three for BottleSumo, four for the Unknown Mission Challenge, and five for all other events. Regional competitions will be conducted around the world in the early months of 2022, with winners advancing to the world championships at LTU.
There also will be a second-chance competition at LTU in April to qualify for the world championships. Online competition options also are available. Students compete in junior (grades 5-8) and senior (grades 9-12) categories, except for RoboMed, which also has a college division.
All Robofest robots must be completely autonomous in accomplishing their tasks, and no adult assistance is permitted in competitions. Robofest is an affordable robotics competition, with a $75 entry fee and robot kits starting at about $400.
Robofest participants are eligible for a $3,000-a-year, four-year scholarship to LTU.
More than 30,000 students worldwide have competed in Robofest since 1999. For more information, visit here.