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ROBOFEST - Little Robots, Big Missions
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  • Offer Profile
  • Robofest is an annual robotics festival and competition designed to promote and support STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Math) and Computer Science for students in grades 5 - 12 and college students.
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  • Robofest 2013

    • Robofest challenges teams of students to design, build, and program autonomous robots to compete in the following categories in two age divisions:
      • Game Competition - A team of students competes to accomplish robotics missions using fully autonomous robots. Especially Robofest game
        puts math skills to the test.
      • Exhibition - Each team has complete freedom to show off any creative computer programmed robotics R&D project.
      • Vision Centric Robot Challenge (Sr. high school and college students - Associate Event)
        Bottle RoboSumo (aka RoboShove) (Jr and Sr - Associate Event)
      • GRAF (Global Robotic Arts Festival) on Nov 23, 2013 at Macomb Community College Expo Center:
        RoboParade, Fashion & Dance , and Interactive Kinetic Arts/Sculptures
      Any robotics kits are allowed in the construction of robots. Robofest has multiple venues in the US and several other countries.
  • 2012-2013 Schedule

  • Nov. 3, 2012 - Bottle RoboSumo North American Championship
    Nov. 17, 2012 - RoboParade at Macomb Community College
    Dec. 5, 2012, 3pm: Robofest 2013 Kick-off; team registration begins. Additional kick-off meetings (tentatively): Dec 7 6:30pm, Dec 15 10am, and Jan 12, 2013 10am
    ~ Dec. 31, 2012 - Call for local qualifying competition site hosts
    Jan ~ Feb, 2013: Technical Workshops
    Feb 23, 2013: Warm-up competition (Judges Training) at Lawrence Tech
    March ~ mid April 2013: Qualifying Competitions
    April 19, 2013: Video Regional Championship Submission Deadline (Exhibition teams only)
    April 27, 2013: Michigan Regional Championship at Lawrence Tech
    May 18, 2013: World Robofest 2013 Championship, Lawrence Tech, Southfield, Michigan
    June-Aug, 2013: Summer Robot Camps
  • About ROBOFEST and FAQ

  • Goals of Robofest

      • Spark and motivate young students' interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies)
      • Challenge the STEM and ICT skills of students
      • Maximize students' learning by integrating STEM and ICT subjects through autonomous Robotics
      • Promote students' creative and innovative thinking
      • Recognize students' achievements in STEM and ICT through robotics
      • Build the STEM and ICT work force of the future
      • Promote good teamwork and work ethics
  • Features of Robofest

      • Robots must use sensors and be autonomous (no hard-wired remotes), which means that learning computer programming is highly emphasized in Robofest.
      • It is one of the world's first autonomous robot contests for grade students in which some parameters of the game playing field is unknown. A part of the game competition problem is unknown until competition day. Some conditions of the playing field may be decided/changed after the robot is started.
      • Robofest is fair and educational since no direct adult help is allowed. The robot should be constructed and programmed by students.
      • Some Robofest game competitions may require two independent robots working together.
      • Students have the freedom of using technologies: they may use any robot controller (kits). They may use any actuators and sensors.
      • Students may use tapes, glues, stickers, bolts and nuts, paints, etc. to construct robots. We encourage their creativity.
      • Students have the freedom of choosing programming languages. Junior teams may use any icon-based graphical programming language. Text-based high level
      • programming languages are recommended for high school senior teams.
      • The Robofest website,, provides necessary technical information for the game. Free workshops, including Webinars, 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 compared to other robotics competitions.
      • Everyone is a winner at Robofest. Every registered participant will receive a personalized certificate and a participation medal. Trophies are awarded to winning teams in various categories based on the performance results and/or judging scores. Top teams receive $2,000 LTU renewable scholarships.
      • Robofest provides opportunities for gifted and advanced high school students to enter college level vision-centric robot challenges.
  • FAQ

    • What is the ideal team size? - In order to maximize students' learning, we recommend 2 ~ 3 students per robot.
    • How often and for how long do teams typically meet in preparation for the competition? - They can practice anywhere, even at home because the playing field is portable and modular. If they have some experience, we recommend one two hour meeting per week in January. Two meetings per week for a month till the qualifying competition.
    • Is it comparable to preparation for the FIRST Lego League season? - Since Robofest does not have extra tasks like a research presentation, it will be about 2/3 of FLL efforts. Robofest is a great opportunity to learn more about the computer programming part.
    • Is Robofest a single season-end competition, or are there multiple events in which teams can participate? - A team can participate in only one qualifying competition. If they qualify, they will be invited to compete at the regional level and later the World Robofest Championship in early May. There will be after-glow events and associate competitions that any team can participate in June.
    • I see the age divisions are (4)5th ~ 8th and 9th ~ 12th grades. Is this merely a recommendation? Is there a clearly defined age cut-off date? Can younger, advanced kids participate? - Our general rule is that playing up is fine. But playing down requires the submission of age division waiver form and Lawrence Tech Robofest organizer's permission.
    • What is the Robofest Exhibition? - The Exhibition is an opportunity for students to demonstrate any type of robotics project. Robots can dance, play the piano, make hamburgers, play soccer, etc. We encourage full creativity.
    • How does the unveiled unknown mission/problem in Games work? - A portion of the Game Competition mission is unveiled on the day of the competition during the opening ceremonies. Students must program their robots without adult assistance after the unveiled mission is announced. Thus, adults are not allowed in the team pit area after the unveiling of the unknown mission.
    • I am a coach who has competed before and I am interested in taking my team to a higher programming level. I am not familiar with any of the higher levels (C or Java). Can you help me with a source of training or instruction that will aid me? - Lawrence Technological University will schedule a series of workshops starting in January to help students and coaches. Also, join the eNews list to hear about our Webinars. Also visit the following link:
    • I would like to start a neighborhood team to compete in Robofest. Does a team have to be from a school? - Robofest encourages all types of teams; home schools, charter schools, private schools, public schools, neighborhood groups, civic groups, clubs, churches, scouts, etc.
    • Can a team enter more than one category? - No. A team can choose only one category at one site.
    • Can a coach have multiple teams at a site? - Yes.
    • Can a coach have multiple coach IDs? - Yes.
    • Can a team member join more than one team? - It may be possible if the coach thinks the student can handle multiple tasks. However, in general, it is not recommended. There may be time conflicts during the competition.