Lawrence Tech’s Robofest returns to in-person competition in 2022

Lawrence Tech’s annual Robofest Robotics Competition will return to in-person events for its 2022 competitive season. // Courtesy of Lawrence Tech

The Lawrence Technological University Robofest Robotics Competition in Southfield will return to in-person events for its 2022 competitive season, leading up to the Robofest World Championships being held on campus from May 12-14, 2022.

Teachers, students and volunteers from around the world kicked off the 23e season with a Zoom call on December 8 when the environmental theme for the 2022 competition was announced.

Robofest will offer seven different competitions for 2022. The most popular, the Robofest Game, changes every year. This year’s challenge is called OceanBots. The robots must save objects representing “turtles” and place them in an area on a game table, while moving other objects representing “trash cans” to another location. They must also place two of the “turtles” on board the robot and maneuver around the “stakes” placed on the game table.

Other competitions will include:

  • Exhibition, in which students are free to imagine any task that a robot can do, and then design a robot to do it. Presentations are limited to four minutes and students must provide a video of their robot before the competition so that the judges can formulate questions.
  • RoboArts, which is similar to Exhibition, but the robots should focus on the visual and performing arts.
  • RoboMed, a competition of intelligent and interactive biomedical robots and medical devices with an entrepreneurial spirit encouraged.
  • Unknown Mission Challenge, in which students must design and program robots to accomplish a task they will not be told about until competition day. The robot must be completely disassembled at the start of the competition.
  • BottleSumo, in which students compete to be the first robot to push a water bottle – or the opposing robot – off a table.
  • RoboParade, in which students build and decorate robots to impress the judges during a parade focused on a common theme. This year’s theme is “Preserving our natural resources”.

Team registration opened on December 17th. The maximum team size is three for the BottleSumo, four for the Unknown Mission Challenge, and five for all other events. Regional competitions will be staged around the world in the first months of 2022, with the winners qualifying for the World Championships at LTU.

There will also be a Second Chance competition at LTU in April to qualify for the World Championships. Online competition options are also available. Students compete in the junior (grades 5-8) and senior (grades 9-12) categories, with the exception of RoboMed, which also has a college division.

All Robofest robots must be completely autonomous in performing their tasks, and no adult assistance is allowed in competitions. Robofest is an affordable robotics competition, with an entry fee of $ 75 and robot kits starting around $ 400.

Robofest participants are eligible for a scholarship of $ 3,000 per year over four years at LTU.

More than 30,000 students from all over the world have participated in Robofest since 1999. For more information, visit here.

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