Earlier this year, two teams from TIS qualified at a local Robofest competition against other schools in Macau, sending them on to the United States to represent our school at the World Robofest Championships held from May 16 to 18 at the Lawrence Technological University in Detroit, Michigan.
Robofest is a festival of competitions and events with autonomous robots that encourages students to have fun while learning principles of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Computer Science. Teams compete in junior, senior and college divisions.
The championship consists of 10 broad categories including:
- Game: Students complete annually-themed robotic missions
- Exhibition: Teams have complete freedom to show off any creative autonomous robotics project
- Vision Centric Challenge (VccTM): Teams develop robots to solve problems with cameras and computer vision algorithms
- Unknown Mission Challenge (UMCTM): Mission tasks will be totally unknown until the day of competition
- RoboArtsTM: Robotics music, dance, and visual arts competition
- BottleSumoTM: Push a bottle and/or opponent off the table
- RoboParade®: Parade of Autonomous robots!
- Camps: Hands-on workshop + Mini Competition
- Carnival: Hands-on STEM+ learning with interactive robots
- WISER: World conference on Integrated STEM Education through Robotics (High School Students, Parents, & Teachers)
Grade 11 students, Domi and Callis, qualified and entered in the BottleSumo Senior Unlimited, Unknown Mission Challenge (UMC) Senior, and the Game Senior categories. The UMC required them to program their robot to push three cups off the table in a specified order. They were given two hours to build and program their robots for the mission, which had to be completed within two minutes. Domi and Callis carried out their mission in the best time and walked away with first place in the UMC Senior category. They also won a Special Achievement Award for best design.
Our second team was comprised of Grade 7 students, Jayden, Ray and Willis. The boys also entered their robots in the BottleSumo and the UMC. They competed solidly but their opposition was stronger on the day. Although they were slightly disappointed, they took pride in the fact they were competing above their age category in the senior division against older and more experienced students.
When Domi, Callis and Jayden dropped by with their trophies and robots, it was difficult not to get caught up in their passion and enthusiasm as they shared their experiences in Detroit and showed off their different robots and how they worked. They have spent countless hours after school in the Robotics lab designing, creating, building and programming their robots. They explained the Arduino based robots used for the BottleSumo and GAME categories were built using the school’s laser cutter.
In addition to the technical experience they gain at Robofest, students also develop soft skills such as leadership, teamwork, creativity, communication and problem solving, preparing them to excel in higher education and technological careers. Over 25,000 students from across the globe have competed at Robofest since its beginnings in 1999.
TIS would like to express its appreciation to the FDCT foundation in Macau which provided funding support for our Robotics Club.