Robotics for kids

A quick guide to MakeX robotics competition

Parents are pushing their children for a career in STEM more than ever before. As a result, anything that helps children develop an interest in science has gained popularity. Robotics serves as a fun and exciting way to introduce both programming and electronics to children. Hence, around the world, robotics competitions are gaining a lot of momentum. Several international kids robotics competitions encourage young students to explore robotics. One of the most important of such competitions is the MakeX robotics competition. Over the years, the MakeX robotics competition has gained a lot of media attention due to its fun combination of games and learning. In this article, we will look at the MakeX robotics competition, and some tips for the MakeX robotics competition to ensure you do well. 

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1. Robotics Starter (Age 8+)

2. Robotics Explorer (Age 11+)

3. Robotics Champion (Age 14+)

4. Coding Champion (Age 14+)

5. Coding Starter (Age 8+)

6. Coding Explorer (Age 11+)

7. Drones Starter (Age 8+)

8. Drones Explorer (Age 11+)

9. Drones Champion (Age 14+)

What is the MakeX robotics competition?

The MakeX robotics competition serves as a global platform that helps students and highschoolers develop a passion for robotics. It helps in stimulating an interest in design and development. Furthermore, the MakeX robotics competition also serves as a great launching pad for kids who have an innate interest in STEM. They have various competitions and contests, including a Maker Marathon, Robotics Competition, and STEAM Carnival. While they have several rounds, the most famous is without a doubt the MakeX robotics competition.

The MakeX Robotics Competition originated in China. It is essentially an international robotics competition that focuses on STEAM education. The main aim of the competition is to promote science by encouraging competition and cooperation between students. It also enables them to provide solutions for engineering problems and build their own robots. Now, let us take a more in-depth look into how the MakeX robotics competition works. 

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Guide to MakeX robotics competition

  1. Entry requirements

The MakeX Robotics Competition is primarily to encourage teenagers and high schoolers. Therefore, students of this age group can apply for the competition through the MakeX website. As per the rules, a team can have either one or two members, along with one or two mentors.

  1. Competition schedule

The competition occurs all around the world and is split into several different categories. They are point races, regional tournaments, overseas contests and the final MakeX Championship. To qualify for the higher round, the teams have to participate in the lower rounds and attain their eligibility.

  1. Themes

Every year the foundation comes up with a new theme for the event. Last time, the event theme revolved around the Earth and environmental protection. As a result, teams had to design, develop and build robots that help alleviate pollution. Some of the activities the robots had to be able to perform were as follows;

  1. Garbage sorting 
  2. Remove floating pollutants 
  3. Dismantle chimneys 
  4. Monitor air quality 
  5. Monitor groundwater levels
  1. Arena

The contest takes place within an area that is two metres by two metres. The entire tournament arena is made using spray-painted PU cloth. In the arena, teams have to perform seven independent and four allied tasks. The arena also has designated areas, such as blue and red squares to demarcate Robot start-up areas. Each Primary school group has four independent and two allied tasks. Meanwhile, every Junior-high school group has five independent and two alliance tasks. 

  1. Scoring 

Referees give tasks scores depending on how well the teams performed and completed the task. After completion, a follow-up task will not have any bearing on the score of a task already done. Hence, when it comes to scoring, all tasks are considered independent. For the alliance tasks, the two allied teams receive a score together. The competition lasts for a total of five minutes. 

For Qualification Matches

Total Score = Independent Task Scores + Alliance task Score - Score deducted due to violation

For Championship Matches 

Total Score = Independent Task Scores of Blue and Red teams + Alliance task Score - Score deducted due to violation for both parties

After four qualification matches, teams with the highest total carry on. In times of tie, the team with higher independent task scores, and faster times will get a higher rank. After three Championship matches, the highest total becomes the best alliance. 

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Robot Specification

  1. Use only mBot or TT Geared DC motors made by Shenzhen Makeblock Ltd.
  2. All parts by Shenzhen Makeblock Ltd.
  3. Use 1 Specified Micro Servo 
  4. Use 1 Specified mCore 
  5. Robot size Between 25 * 25 * 25 cms and 30 * 30 * 30cms (length) * (width) * (height) 
  6. Maximum weight 5kg.
  7. Can restart and modify the robot whenever required, with the referee's approval

Operation rules

Referees can disqualify teams on the following grounds;

  1. Failure to arrive on time
  2. Starting the robot in advance
  3. Contact with the arena props
  4. Guidance from mentors that violates the rules
  5. Unsafe robot
  6. Excessive behaviour
  7. Bring laptops and other tools

Competition process

  1. Register the teams using their ID cards.
  2. Presentation of engineering notebooks
  3. Inspection of robots
  4. Practice time for teams 
  5. Contestants' meeting to explain the rules
  6. Schedule announcement of the competition and the tasks involved
  7. Start of competition and subsequent rounds
  8. Score confirmation
  9. Four Qualification Match
  10. Alliance selection by teams
  11. Three Championship Match
  12. Award and closing ceremony


  • Winner, Runner-up and Second runner-up
  • Best Design Award
  • Best Team Culture Award
  • Technology Innovation Award
  • Civilized Image Award
  • Competition Spirit Award
  • Most Improved Award (MakeX Championship)
  • Top Eight (MakeX Championship)

MakeX Robotics Competition 2020

The theme of the 2020 season is Future Vision, and the competition will have three levels;

Spark level - six to thirteen-year-olds

Build a project and compete in competitions based on the theme

Starter level - six to thirteen-year-olds

Entry-level robotics competition with automatic control and manual control phase

Challenge level - eleven to eighteen-year-olds

Robotics teams with previous experience

Tips for MakeX Robotics Competition

  1. Coordinate and cooperate efficiently from the get-go. 
  2. Make sure you get a partner that you are comfortable with.
  3. Start working on your robot as fast as possible as designing is highly iterative.
  4. Try to raise some funds if you run short of money to buy parts with.
  5. Always reach out to your mentors if you feel like something isn't right.
  6. Note down all your readings and times so that you have some sort of reference.
  7. Keep working on the robot until you feel it can't get better.
  8. Try to go over robot designs from past years and evaluate your own design.
  9. Have fun and understand that the competition is just about learning new skills.

As you see, the MakeX Robotics Competition is a great platform for young children to showcase their scientific talent. So, what are you waiting for? Enrol for our robotics courses to get the knowledge you need to appear in this competition. With the guidance our teachers provide, you will surely be able to make a mark!

A quick guide to MakeX robotics competition
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2021-03-05

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