When you think about it, robots aren’t just great tools — they’re a big part of the future of work. Robots will perform menial tasks, they’ll perform dangerous jobs, and they’ll take over our homes, our factories, our farms, and even our cities. The rise of robots will profoundly transform the economy and society as we know it.
Robots will be everywhere in the next few decades. This is no longer science fiction; it’s reality. The robotics industry has come a long way since the early 1990s when MIT created its own humanoid robot named K-5. Today, technology is enabling robots to be used in more creative ways.
If you’re a robotics enthusiast looking for a place to compete, check out this list of some of the most popular robot competitions worldwide. Nowadays, people are not only interested in robots, but they love robots. The world is full of robots! Robots compete in sports and games, race each other and race against each other, and more. Here are 20 of the most exciting robotics competitions around the world.
With all the buzz about technology, robots, AI, and artificial intelligence, there is an abundance of competition across the globe. We have compiled a list of some of the top robotics competitions happening across the world and are inviting you to participate in one of them.
1). VEX Robotics Competition:
VEX Robotics is a multi-week high school engineering competition that encourages students to design and build robots that demonstrate engineering principles. The competition runs in three phases, with the final event taking place at the end of the academic year. The robots are built using a combination of electronics, motors, sensors, batteries, software, mechanics, and of course, woodworking.
One of the most exciting aspects of this competition is that it gives kids the chance to learn about a lot of different topics like coding, engineering, and robotics. In addition to learning about all of these topics, students have a chance to build their own robots and compete in various rounds, including some that are based on robotics. This means that if a student wins, they get to present their robot to the audience during the VEX competition in October.
2). Robo-One Robotics Competition:
Robo-One is a global robotics competition sponsored by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which invites students ages 9–14 to build robots. Each year, the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) takes place during the week of April 5–12. The competition is open to all U.S. high schools that meet eligibility requirements.
The robotics competition is an annual event where teams of middle school students compete to build robots that can solve a series of challenges and finish tasks given to them by judges. Each challenge takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete. In total, the robots must complete 4 challenges (3 in the “field” and 1 in the “competition”) in a span of roughly 20 hours to be eligible for the competition finals. The robot that completes all 4 challenges in the shortest time wins the $50,000 prize.
3). FIRST Championship Competition:
The FIRST Championship Competition is one of the largest robotics competitions in the world. The competition has grown in size over the past four years. In 2011, the FIRST Championship Competition had over 12,000 students competing from more than 120 countries. Every year, the competition saw 1,200 teams compete in the event. This increase in size comes along with a change in the competition. In 2011, the FIRST Championship Competition allowed student teams to compete in either a Programming or Design Category. In 2012, the Programming Category was dropped in favor of two new categories: Design and Construction.
FIRST competitions require students to design, build, program, test, and race robot teams. The goal is to encourage STEM education, problem-solving, teamwork, and entrepreneurship. The FIRST Robotics Competition offers scholarships for students who wish to attend college. Teams receive awards for their accomplishments.
4). World Robot Olympiad:
The World Robot Olympiad (WRO) is a robotics competition that aims to promote robotics for education, industry, and research through a global competition. It began in 2007 and is currently held every year in Japan. Every four years, the event is hosted in a different country, and each time the competition is expanded to four new categories. The first World Robot Olympiad (WRO) was held in Osaka, Japan, in July 2007. From then on, it was held every 4 years.
“The world robot olympiad (WRO) is an international competition of robots held every two years in a different city in the world. It includes three different events: regular, college, and soccer. During the regular event, participants design, build and program a robot to play soccer against others in the same category. For college events, participants design, build, program, and deploy a robot to beat the other robots in the same category, while competing against robots from other categories.”
5). MIT Zero Robotics:
MIT Zero Robotics is a new program from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that challenges middle and high school students to design and build robots that can operate in a vacuum, outside of any physical constraints. By designing robots that can survive in outer space, students learn the fundamentals of engineering, programming, and physics while honing skills and gaining confidence in their abilities. The program has already hosted more than 80 teams in 20 countries, and the event is scheduled to take place in March 2014.
The zero Robotics Challenge (ZRC) is a space-based programming competition for middle and high school students. The challenge is designed to give students hands-on experience in robotics programming, building hardware, and testing software. Students compete for a $1 million college scholarship by designing, building, and launching an autonomous spacecraft that completes a series of missions.
Every year the Institute for Medical Research and Innovation in Barcelona hosts the Micromouse World Championship. In this competition, tiny robot mice have to navigate a 16×16 maze and find the cheese in less than 30 minutes. In 2014, a group of researchers from Imperial College London tried to automate this process using machine learning to develop a robot that could solve the maze.
7). BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology):
BEST is a STEM program for middle school students. Students are given the opportunity to design and build their own robots using LEGO NXT bricks and electronic components. Teams compete to see who can build the best robot over the course of six weeks. In addition, students are taught to code and use computer languages to program their robots to complete a series of challenging tasks.
Best Robotics is a nonprofit organization that started in 2007 and was founded by Scott Swanson, who created the concept of a national robotics competition. Now in its eighth year, the event allows students of all ages to compete in a variety of categories ranging from autonomous mobile robots to humanoid robots. Best Robotics provides resources for students to build and program their own robots, with the hope that the students will be inspired to consider careers in STEM fields.
Botball is an international robotics competition that combines the fun of building a robot with the serious challenge of solving a technical problem. It’s a team-based event where each team is required to build a robot that can navigate through a series of tasks. Teams can work together or in teams of 2 or 3, and each robot needs to be able to operate independently in order to complete each task.
At the end of each round, the robots face off in battle and only the top-scoring robot is declared the winner. The competition takes place in two stages, and teams are allowed up to 2 tries per round to solve the challenges.
BotBash, held every year since 2014, has become the world’s largest celebration of artificial intelligence, robotics, and smart technology. Over 50,000 attendees, including tech experts, industry thought leaders, influencers, and the press, attend this event to network, learn, and explore the future of technology and entertainment. BotBash is the largest of its kind and attracts a broad range of consumers interested in AI, robotics, and technology.
“EARLY” is an amazing program that teaches children about robotics from the very beginning. The idea behind EARLY is to teach children how to build and program robots in a fun and educational environment. The goal of the program is to provide children with a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) so that they are better equipped for college and for life.
Early, a robotics program for elementary school students is creating a robot that can walk, talk, and interact with children through the use of touchscreens. The robot is designed to act as an educational tool for elementary students studying language and math concepts. This robot’s aim is to teach children about the world around them through interactive learning.
11). FIRA RoboWorld Cup:
RoboWorld is a unique robotics tournament format that combines both academic and industrial aspects. The main focus of RoboWorld is to encourage young and ambitious researchers and engineers to compete in the field of robotic technology. The ultimate aim of RoboWorld is to promote science and technology for the betterment of humankind and to educate the masses about robot technology through various competitions and exhibitions. RoboWorld is a student and corporate event held every year during summer vacation.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition (SAUVC) is an underwater robotics competition held every year in the United States and Canada. Students in high school and college compete to build the most capable underwater vehicle. Over the course of the three days, teams build their robot using pre-approved building blocks. Once built, each team must swim their robot through a series of tasks that simulate real-world conditions. The winning team gets to be crowned the winner of the competition and receive a cash prize.
13). Robo Expo:
Robo Expo is an event for students of all ages, with a shared interest in robotics. It is also a gathering place for people who love technology, engineering, science, and building. The event is a hands-on workshop where attendees get to use various robots. The event was created and hosted by two University of Central Florida (UCF) undergraduates. They put together this event to bring people together who share a passion for STEM education. Robo Expo started in 2012 as a student organization and has grown into a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It is organized by the UCF Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) and held on campus twice a year.
RoboCup is an annual international robotics competition, consisting of promoting robotics and AI research. RoboCup takes place at multiple levels, ranging from Junior (ages 10-15) to Senior (ages 15-25). The RoboCup Robotics League is composed of three major groups, including humanoid robots, mobile robots, and manipulators. The main event of RoboCup 2014 took place in Nagoya, Japan, from August 2 to 5. During the competition, hundreds of robots competed in three events: Robot Soccer, Robocup Rescue, and RoboCup-2014. Each event had a number of sub-events.
Robofest is a robot competition that allows people to meet other robotic enthusiasts while competing in fun robotics challenges and events. Competitions include Robot Wars, Robo-Cup, and Humanoid Soccer. People compete in categories such as “Best Game Show Host” and “Best Programming Skills.” Each event runs for a couple of hours.
The RoboGames is an annual robotics competition hosted by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) where robotic competitions are held for individuals, teams, schools, and countries. The event has grown into a multi-day extravaganza, attracting over 100,000 participants, and a record of over $500,000 in prize money.
17). ABU Robocon:
“ABU Robocon is a global robotics competition which allows college teams from around the world to develop, design, build, and test robots that could revolutionize modern technology.”
The competition is organized by the Association of Builders and Users of Robotics (ABU) and it takes place twice a year in Germany. The first time was in 2017. There were two rounds, where each team had to build a robot to complete a task. The first round was done in February and the second round was in July. There were two categories of robots: The first one was called “Crowd Control Robots”, and the other was called “Service Robots”. “Crowd Control Robot” was a robot that had to help people move around or control crowds.