Sixty-seven teams that have advanced from 22 qualifying events will compete in the 12th annual Robofest World Championship Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Ridler Field House at Lawrence Technological University, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road, Southfield.
Admission and parking are free. Spectators can become judges to select people’s choice awards. They may win raffle prizes.
Robofest is an international competition of autonomous robots — computer-programmed to act independently and not radio-controlled — that encourages students to have fun while learning principles of science, technology, engineering, and math. Students design, construct and program the robots, and adult coaches are not allowed to assist during the events. Teams compete in the junior division (grades 5-9) or senior division (grades 9-12), using a variety of computer programming languages to participate in various competitions such as games, exhibition, fashion show, and dance using various types of robots.
The scenario in this year’s competition is that three pipes of a deepwater oil well are leaking. An autonomous robot must be sent to cap the leaking pipes, retrieve broken pipe assemblies, and collect data. Students need to solve math problems to achieve these missions.
Robofest is an annual competition inaugurated by Lawrence Tech Associate Professor C.J. Chung in 2000. This year’s competition has involved 436 teams and 1,483 students. Robofest has spread to ten states besides Michigan — Ohio, Indiana, Texas, Minnesota, Florida, Hawaii, California, Washington, Louisiana and New Hampshire — and Canada, Singapore, South Korea and China.