Lawrence Technological University in Southfield has announced the winners of its Robofest 2020 World Championship. Teams from Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, South Africa, and Taiwan, along with Michigan, Illinois, and Kansas, have been crowned winners.
Robofest was started in 1999 by C.J. Chung, an LTU computer science professor. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing global shutdowns this year, it was the only robotics world championship still able to be held because of its ability to have games and competitions shifted to an all-online format. This year, 153 teams comprised of 350 students competed in 13 age divisions and six competition categories. Competitions were held during the weekends from Aug. 28 through Oct. 10.
One of the most popular events held at the Robofest competition is the Game event, which changes every year. This year’s game, the GolfBowl, involves designing a robot that could use a piece of wood to knock golf balls into a slot at the opposite end of a six-foot table. Teams received bonus points for knocking over water bottles off of the table, and penalty points subtracted for knocking over a bottle on the table.
Winning the senior division (grades 9-12) of the Game event was Team Mikogolf of Prempeh College, a public boarding high school for boys in Kumasi, Ghana. Team Amigo from Novi Middle School won first place in the junior division (grades 5-8), and Team Enfield Automation of Rochester won a senior Game Innovation award for outstanding achievement.
Team Caviar of Taoyuan, Taiwan won the senior division of the BottleSumo Time Trial event, a simple competition where teams knock water bottles off a table. The table’s location isn’t known to the competitors until just before the competition. Winning a senior Bottle Sumo Unlimited first place award was Team Einstein of Taoyuan, Taiwan, and winning the junior division BottleSumo was Team Pokemon Run of New Taipei City, Taiwan.
The Exhibition category, where teams design a robot to accomplish a specific task that they decide on, awarded first place in the senior division to Team Luke Andrews from Cornwall Hill College, a high school in the Gauteng province of South Africa. There was a tie for first place in the junior division in Exhibition between the Phoenix Cubitects, students from Overland Park, Kan., and Aurora and Oswego, Ill., who worked as a team online, and Team Tanay Panja from Clague Middle School in Ann Arbor.
Another division, the Robomed division, involves competitors designing a robot to perform a medical service. The college division winner was the Arabots of Toluca, Mexico, and the senior division winner was the TechSisters from Canton High School in Canton Township.
In the RoboArts competition, in which students design a robot that offers an artistic performance such as dance or music, the senior division winner was Visual Music Z from Escuela Preparatoria Numero Uno in Metepec, Mexico, and the junior winner was Formosa PowerKids of Taoyuan, Taiwan.
The Unknown Mission Challenge, in which students use a robot to accomplish a task that isn’t known until competition day, saw a tie for first place in the senior division between Team Ian and Andrew of the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills and Team Televisors of Hyderabad, India. The junior division winner was U Well-Off PowerKids of Taoyuan, Taiwan.
Lawrence Tech is a private university founded in 1932 and offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in architecture and design, arts and sciences, business and information technology, and engineering.