November 26 and 27 will witness the thirteenth World Robot Olympiad (WRO), taking place in Greater Noida at the India Expo Centre. WRO is an annual robotics competition for budding students who have to present ideas on trouble-shooting via the use of robots.
WRO is a global robotics competition that brings young people together to harness their creative juices and troubleshooting through challenging robotics competitions. It used Lego Mindstorms manufactured by LEGO Education.
The event was first held in Singapore in 2004 and now garners the attention of more than 20,000 teams from nearly 60 countries each year. This year, the non profit competition is being organised jointly by the India STEM Foundation and the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) under the Ministry of Culture in India.
The theme for the competition is “Rap the Scrap”, where students are expected to manifest solutions to reduce, manage and recycle waste using robotics- each team must create a robot model that looks or behaves like a human athlete. A team of three students can participate from each school and over 2000 participants spanning 55 countries have taken part in the competition so far. A total of 245 teams from India will present 60 models at the competition. Last month saw a similar competition being concluded in Kolkata where over 1,000 students took part in WRO 2016’s national level championship. Indian students have always fared well in the recent history of the competition winning one gold and two silver medals in last year’s edition where more than 27 Indian teams had participated.
The competition is spread across four groups of activities and will cater to an age group of 9-25 years only- A ‘Regular category’ that involves a challenge that students are required to solve by building a robot. A ‘WRO football’ competition where students are required to build and programme two robots capable of competing against each other in a football match involving and infra-red ball. An ‘Open Category’ where students will be expected to come up with an innovative solution to waste management and recycling issues. An ‘Advanced Robotics Challenge’ meant exclusively for University students that requires engineering expertise to build robots that pick up a blowing ball from a ball rack, target and aim as many blow pins as possible.
Registration fees for the same range from 5,500 to 30,000 depending on the category of choice.