Robofest World Championship sets groundwork for 20th year

The Robofest World Championship has announced the rules for its 2019 games, its twentieth year.

Robofest takes place on the Lawrence Technological University campus each year. The contest pits teams of students against each other as they work to build and program autonomous robots that aren’t remote controlled. Robots then must complete a series of tasks.

The 2019 game is called Binary Blocks. Teams will be tasked with building an autonomous robot that moves and stacks black- and white-colored blocks to represent a 4-bit binary number. There will also be "mystery" tasks that teams won’t know about until the day of the competition.

Regional competitions begin in December of this year and will continue through the spring. In addition to holding regionals in numerous states, including Michigan, they will also occur in places that include China, Colombia, Egypt, and many more.

Last year’s World Champs were from Birmingham, Michigan’s Roeper School.

The Robofest World Championship is scheduled for May 16-18, 2019 on the Lawrence Tech campus.

LTU computer science professor C.J. Chung started Robofest in 1999 as a way to get young people interested in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, disciplines. More than 25,000 students have taken part since its founding.

"Metro Detroit is in the automotive sector. Automotive technology is moving toward self-driving and connected vehicles. All the technologies learned in Robofest are connected to the development of future self-driving and connected vehicles,” Chung told us earlier this year.

"This started in metro Detroit and has a strong impact on the world. Our area is leading the technology for the future by training young people first."

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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