SOUTHFIELD—Teams from Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, South Africa, and Taiwan, along with Michigan, Illinois, and Kansas in the United States, have been crowned winners of Lawrence Technological University’s Robofest 2020 World Championship.
Robofest, started by LTU computer science professor C.J. Chung in 1999, was the only robotics world championship held in 2020—because its organizers were able to shift its various games and competitions to an all-online format. Teams followed the Robofest rules, and local judges sent scores and videos to LTU, where the scores were verified to determine the winners.
This year, 153 teams comprised of 350 students competed in 13 age divisions and six competition categories. Competitions were held weekends from Aug. 28 through Oct. 10.
The most popular Robofest competition is the Game event, which changes every year. This year’s game was called GolfBowl, and involved designing a robot that could use a piece of wood to knock golf balls into a slot at the opposite end of a six-foot table. Bonus points were given for knocking over water bottles just off the table, and penalty points subtracted for knocking over a bottle on the table.
Winning the senior division (grades 9-12) of the Game event was Team Mikogolf of Prempeh College, a public boarding high school for boys in Kumasi, Ghana. Winning first place in the junior division (grades 5-8) in the Game event was Team Amigo from Novi Middle School. Winning a senior Game Innovation award for outstanding achievement was Team Enfield Automation of Rochester.
Winning the senior division of the BottleSumo Time Trial event, a simple competition where teams knock water bottles off a table whose location isn’t known to the competitors until just before the competition, was Team Caviar of Taoyuan, Taiwan. Winning a senior Bottle Sumo Unlimited first place award was Team Einstein of Taoyuan, Taiwan, Winning the junior division BottleSumo was Team Pokemon Run of New Taipei City, Taiwan.
Winning first place in the senior division in the Exhibition category, where teams design a robot to accomplish a specific task that they dream up, was Team Luke Andrews from Cornwall Hill College, a high school in the Gauteng province of South Africa. There was a tie for first place in the junior division in Exhibition between the Phoenix Cubitects, students from Overland Park, Kan., and Aurora and Oswego, Ill., who worked as a team online, and Team Tanay Panja from Clague Middle School in Ann Arbor.
In the RoboMed division, in which competitors design a robot to perform a medical service, the college division winner was the Arabots of Toluca, Mexico. The senior division winner was the TechSisters from Canton High School in Canton Township.
In the RoboArts competition, in which students design a robot that offers an artistic performance like dance or music, the senior division winner was Visual Music Z from Escuela Preparatoria Numero Uno in Metepec, Mexico, and the junior winner was Formosa PowerKids of Taoyuan, Taiwan.
In the Unknown Mission Challenge, in which students use a robot to accomplish a task that isn’t known until competition day, there was a first place tie in the senior division between Team Ian and Andrew of the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills and Team Televisors of Hyderabad, India. The junior division winner was U Well-Off PowerKids of Taoyuan, Taiwan.
For more information on Robofest visit www.robofest.net.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.
The photo above shows the award ceremony for the Senior Game competition held via Zoom. At upper left is C.J. Chung, Lawrence Technological University computer science professor. At upper right is LTU Provost Tarek Sobh. At lower left is Christopher Cartwright, LTU associate professor of mathematics and computer science. At lower right is Team Mikogolf of Ghana, the senior GolfBowl Game first place team.