Robotics for kids

Tips to increase the chances of winning World Robot Olympiad

There has been a renewed interest in recent times for robotics competitions. The world is still grappling with constant changes and updates in science and technology. Robotics competitions help young children develop an innate interest for STEM subjects. Most people believe that the future will be heavily science-oriented. As a result, more and more parents want to encourage their children to develop their skills in science. However, most children are intimidated by science and maths. But, fun competitions and games help children overcome this fear. Robotic competitions go a long way in helping children develop an interest for STEM, and showcase their talents. In this article, we will be taking a look at one of the world’s biggest robotics competitions - the World Robot Olympiad. Here are some tips to win World Robot Olympiad, and why such World Robot competitions are so important. 

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6. Coding Explorer (Age 11+)

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About World Robot Olympiad

The World Robot Olympiad, better known as the WRO, serves as a world robot competition for young adults and teenagers. The World Robot Olympiad utilises the Lego Mindstorms set to build robots and started in 2004. While it was initially held in Singapore, it has grown to become a world robot competition. Last year, the World Robot Olympiad witnessed over 26,000 teams from over 65 different countries. The competition has different phases and tournaments within it. The four major categories and the different age groups they support are;

  • Regular - Elementary, Junior-High and Senior-High
  • College
  • Open - Elementary, Junior-High and Senior-High
  • Soccer
  1. Elementary: Participants below the age of thirteen
  2. Junior High: Participants between the ages of thirteen and sixteen
  3. Senior High: Participants between the ages of seventeen and nineteen

While participants can compete outside their prescribed age group, they can do so only if they are younger than the ages specified. Also, they must partner with team members who fall in the selected category. For example, a 12-year-old can participate in the Junior-High section with a partner aged between 13 and 16. However, a 17-year-old cannot participate in the Elementary category.

History of the World Robot Olympiad

The World Robot Olympiad came to be in 2003, but their first world robot competition was held a year later, in 2004. The first World Robot Olympiad saw participants from mainly South East Asia, including Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Philippines and Malaysia. The countries of Japan, Singapore, China and Korea are the founding members of the competition. The founding nations set up a World Robot Olympiad Committee or Advisory Council to help decide the rules and guidelines. The competition aims to inspire young children to pursue their passion for science and robotics. 

World Robot Olympiad Categories

Every year, the World Robot Olympiad comes up with new themes for the challenges in the Regular and Open category. The rules for the Football and Advanced challenges are decided together by an expert panel from within the robotic sciences community.

Regular Category

Create a robot that can accomplish a specific task depending on the theme of the year. Before starting the test, the robot must be dismantled and then built again within 150 minutes. In case teams finish early, they can use the extra time to practise on the course. Each robot must have a maximum size of 25 × 25 × 25 cm, and each round can take only two minutes. Each team may consist of 1 coach and either two or three contestants.

Open Category

The open category is project-based, and the robot must fulfil or solve a current problem as specified by the theme. On the competition day, the teams must present their project along with their robot in front of the judges. The entire project should occupy only a 2 * 2 * 2m booth. 

WRO Football

A game wherein two autonomous robots play football against each other. Every year, the organisation brings in little changes with regards to the robot to keep things interesting. Every robot must be within 22cm in diameter and 22 cm in height. The maximum weight of the robot should be 1 kg. Each team gets 120 minutes to assemble their robot. 

Advanced Robot Challenge

This is the newest category, and the challenges in it are meant to test older contestants and engineering students. Each round is built on a set challenge. The maximum size of the robot is 45 × 45 × 45 cm, and the time limit for assembly depends on the competition. While in 2015 and 2016, the game was Bowling, a year later the organisers went for a Tetra Stack challenge.

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Hardware Restrictions

  • Regular Category - Only LEGO Mindstorm and HiTechnic Sensors
  • Open Category - LEGO Mindstorm controlled, and there is no restriction on other components
  • WRO Football - Only LEGO Mindstorm and HiTechnic equipment 
  • Advanced Robotics Challenge - Only MATRIX, TETRIX, NI myRIO, KNR controllers and motors and sensors of any brand

World Robot Olympiad 2020 Season

The theme for the World Robot Olympiad 2020 season is CLIMATE SQUAD. The regular category national competition requirement is to build a robot that can fight forest fires and rescue people, while also planting new trees. The robot must transport water buckets, rescue people and pull out burnt trees. It must also plant new trees in place of the old ones, and finally park the robot in a safe zone. 

In the regular category, the task is to design a robot that will help a village that has been hit by a severe windstorm. The elementary category participants will have to build a bot that can rescue villagers, deliver supplies and clear streets of debris from the storm. In the Junior category, the teams have to help a village that has been hit by a snowstorm. The robot they build must be able to remove snow, take away stuck cars and spread abrasive material on streets without damaging any trees. The Senior category students should try their best to help a city dealing with rising water levels. Their robot must locate the weaknesses of the dikes, and find reinforcement material. The robots must all install sandbags to protect little houses and help the occupants leave.

In the Open Category, teams will have to come up with ideas or robotic solutions to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. The problems they must solve include; 

  1. Local manufacture to avoid transportation logistics
  2. Restore nature’s balance
  3. Help regulate the climate

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Tips to win World Robot Olympiad

  1. Volunteer and attend as many online courses on robotics as possible to gain more understanding. Knowing the theory behind electrical components will help you design better robots.
  2. Pick up some programming in your free time as coding is integral to robotics. Do online courses on coding and work your way through e-books and guides to teach yourself how to program.
  3. Ask interested students from your class and form a team once you are sure you want to compete. 
  4. Ask for help online if you get stuck somewhere along the way. The internet has several helpful communities and groups who will be happy to clear your doubts.
  5. Make full use of your mentors and ask them doubts and questions regarding any component you are using. Being a sound engineer requires you to reach out for help.
  6. Try to approach seniors or other people who you know who have taken part in robotics competitions. Ask them for help and also about their experiences. Go over their robot design and see how your design compares against theirs. 
  7. Remember that practice makes perfect. You might not land on the best design in your first attempt. It would be best if you kept trying because designing is a very iterative process. 

Following these tips might help you win the World Robot Olympiad. But before you get started, make sure you have gone over enough theory to understand the requirements of robot-building truly. Enrol in our robotics classes to gain more hands-on experience working with robots and other electrical components. So, what are you waiting for? Enrol in our robotics courses, pick up new skills and do your best to win the World Robot Olympiad. 

Tips to increase the chances of winning World Robot Olympiad
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2021-03-17

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