Southfield, Michigan – The 5th annual Robofest will be held at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, as well as three additional remote sites on Saturday, April 24, 2004. Robofest is an open contest for 5th grade and up, in which the participants can show off their autonomous robots while learning problem solving techniques, mathematics, logic, creativity, teamwork, physics, electronics, mechanics, mechatronics, and computer programming & technology.
This year’s competition will emulate the situation in which robots are to search and rescue trapped people due to an earthquake. The robotic mission is to send an autonomous robot, while removing debris with a ladder, to a burning building. The carrier (1st robot) must help the second robot (rescuer robot with a ladder) to reach the flat area. Then the rescuer robot must find the burning building while removing concrete blocks on the road and make a bridge to the building to rescue people. Then the robot is supposed to do some unknown remaining missions, which will be unveiled on the day of the competition. The official playing field is also unknown until the day of the competition. The following photo shows just a sample course to give some ideas.
Robofest was started at Lawrence Tech in 2000, and the number of participants continues to grow each year. In order to serve the ever-increasing interest in the event, Robofest will be following additional locations, simultaneously:
· Cranbrook Institute of Science Young Scholars Program is hosting a site in Detroit at The Dexter-Elmhurst Family and Community Center (managed by Wayne County Family Independence Agency), 11825 Dexter Ave., Detroit Michigan.
· Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD) is hosting another site to serve students in east side of Metro Detroit in a newly built MISD building, 44001 Garfield Road, Clinton Township Michigan
· Not only has the popularity of Robofest grown in Michigan, it also is expanding to other states. RoboTech Center in Nashua, New Hampshire is hosting Robofest again in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Another unique feature of Robofest is that the team who completes the entire mission in the shortest time in four sites will receive the prestigious “Robofest National Championship” awarded at Lawrence Tech University on the day of the event.
In order to promote more creativity without any predefined rules, Robofest has an open exhibition stage for autonomous robotics projects. Each team has complete freedom to create an autonomous robot, such as robot pets, robot artists, dancing robots, storytelling with robots, robots for scientific experiments, and practical robotics applications.
Robofest admission is free and everyone is welcome. The opening ceremony is planned to begin at 10 a.m. at LTU and other sites. Team registration began on Feb. 26, but there are still a few spaces available in advanced robot competitions and exhibitions requiring the use of any High-level programming languages such as C++, NQC, or Java.
Robofest is made possible through support from the LTU College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Math and Computer Science. Research Into Internet Systems (RIIS) www.riis.com is continuing the sponsorship since Robofest 2003. A robotics company in Auburn Hills, ABB Inc. (www.abb.com) became a new sponsor. IEEE Region 4 PACE and IEEE Southeastern Michigan Section (SEM) joined the sponsorship group in making Robofest even bigger and better for the students.