Welcome to the 2017-2018 Robofest Season

Robofest is Lawrence Technological University’s international autonomous robotics program for students in 4th grade through college.  Student teams design, construct, and program their robots to act independently and compete for trophies in a variety of competitions.

Robofest’s mission is to generate excitement among young people for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), develop creativity and problem solving skills, and prepare them to excel in higher education and technological careers. 

What makes Robofest programs unique?

Look Mom, No Hands!: Students must fully program their robots to perform their missions without human assistance. No joysticks or remote controls are allowed.

Your Mission, If You Decide to Accept It: Is (partly) unknown or dynamic. Students must program their robots to accomplish tasks in a dynamic environment.

Students Rule: While adult mentorship is encouraged, students design, construct and program the robots, and students make all decisions during competitions.

It's Flexible: Any type of robot kit, materials, actuators, and sensors are allowed. Robots can be programmed with any programming language.

Affordable: Team registration is $30 ~ $50 per team. Reusing parts and old kits is encouraged. Teams can be formed by any organization, school, home schools, clubs, or civic group.

Everyone is Recognized: All registered participants receive personalized medals and certificates. Winners of the qualifying and championship rounds receive trophies. 

Something for Everyone.  Robofest offers a wide variety of programs that fit many robotics experience levels and interests.  Advanced or novice, we have something for you!

Starting a Robofest Team is easy!

Step 1:

Gather friends from your school, neighborhood, afterschool clubs, church, or homeschool to form your team.

Step 2:

Choose a coach – any adult (parent, teacher, or friend) who would like to coordinate team meetings, competition registration, etc.  The coach does not need to be technologically knowledgeable and can support more than one team.  A technical mentor is suggested, if available, and can be a parent, a volunteer from a local company, a teacher, a high school or college student, or anyone interested in learning robot design or programming.

Step 3:

Choose your competition.  Learn more about each competition at www.robofest.net. Base your selection on your skill level, amount of time required, competition date, and what sounds fun to you!

Step 4:

Review www.robofest.net for competition rules, supplies required and registration and competition dates. Register for your chosen competition. Acquire the robot hardware, software and a laptop. Possible sources are schools, fundraisers, grants, and donations.

Step 5:

Technical help on designing and programming robots is available at www.robofest.net. You can also attend Robofest workshops at Lawrence Tech or Webinars. The schedule is posted online.  If you have questions or need help getting started, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 248-204-3568.

Step 6:

Have fun creating and programming your robot!

Step 7:

Participate in your Robofest competition!  Feel the thrill of success. Learning to build and program a robot makes you a winner!


Robofest Programs and Competition Categories

Game          Putting math skills to the test, teams compete to accomplish robotic missions using fully autonomous robots. Unknown factors will be revealed at competition.  Junior (grades 5 – 8) and Senior (grades 9 – 12); team size 1 – 5; Intermediate Advanced; Registration begins in November.

Exhibition      In this creative competition, students have total freedom to show off any autonomous robotics project. Junior (grades 5 – 8) and Senior (grades 9 – 12); team size 1 – 5; Intermediate Advanced; Registration begins in November.

Vision Centric Challenge (Vcc)     Teams are to develop a vision-centric robot to maneuver through an obstacle course.  Any vision-based robot may be used. Partially unknown factors will be revealed at competition.  College students, team size 1 – 2;  High School students (grades 9 – 12),  team size 1 – 3; Advanced; Competition is held in conjunction with World Championship; Registration begins in April.

BottleSumo       Robots vie to intentionally push a bottle off the table or be the last robot remaining on the table. Partially unknown factors will be revealed at competition. Junior (grades 5 – 8);  Senior (grades 9 – 12); team size 1 – 3; Beginner; Registration begins late September for November competitions at LTU; Competition is also held in conjunction with World Championship; Registration begins in April.

RoboParade       Elaborately decorated robotic floats autonomously parade along a route in this colorful, creative display.    Grades 4 – 12; team size 1 – 5; Beginner; Registration late September for November event in FL. Competition is also held in conjunction with World Championship, Registration begins in April.

Global Robotics Art Festival (GRAF)        Robots perform, dance, make music, or paint in this interactive kinetic art and sculpture competition. Grades 4 - 12; team size 1 – 5; Intermediate – Advanced;  Competition is held in conjunction with World Championship; Registration begins in April.

Unknown Mission Challenge (UMC)           The goal of this competition is to develop problem solving skills on the fly. Mission tasks will be totally unknown until the day of competition.  Junior (grades 5 – 8); team size 1 - 3, Senior (grades 9 – 12); team size 1 – 3; Intermediate – Advanced.   Competition is held in conjunction with World Championship; Registration begins in April.

Camps      Throughout the school year and over the summer, Robofest offers a variety of one day and week-long camps, held on LTU’s campus.  All equipment needed is provided at the camps, including robots and laptops.  Typically, hands- on instruction is provided in the morning, and in the afternoon students participate in a competition.