The Chinese robotics sensation and Europe’s biggest robotics festival have come together to support each other in promoting robotics and technology across the world and providing a challenging platform for young talent to advance their STEAM skills.
The partnership makes perfect sense – Robotex has been steadily growing since 2001, becoming more international and even aiming to break the Guinness World Record for largest robotics competition; Makeblock is a leading global provider of STEAM education solutions
that is looking to strengthen its position in Europe. This year, the two have partnered up to bring a brand-new competition to Robotex International and support Estonian schools and after-school programs with robotics kits to celebrate Estonia’s upcoming 100th anniversary.
A great gift for Estonian children
2018 is the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. The celebrations have already started in 2017 and go well into 2020. It’s a celebration for everyone and the perfect opportunity to give and receive gifts. As part of the celebrations, companies, organizations and individuals are invited to “give a gift” to Estonia. That means planning initiatives and events that would bring something positive to individuals, communities or the entire nation and help shape a better future.
With the help of Makeblock, Robotex was able to give Estonian kindergartens, schools and after-school programs a gift of 100 mBot V1.1 robots so they could compete in the brand new Makeblock MakeX Challenge at Robotex. The initiative was beyond popular, as the 100 kits found their new owners in less than 72 hours! Makeblock has made a lot of robotics fans very happy by giving them a chance to expand their knowledge through a new robotics kit.
The Makeblock MakeX Challenge
For the first time, the Robotex competition program also includes the Makeblock MakeX Challenge. The challenge is simple: the Makeblock mBot V1.1 robot must complete an obstacle course as quickly as possible, while following the track line from start to finish. To make things trickier, the track also includes wall obstacles, line breaks, line crossings and moving obstacles.
Each mBot robot has three attempts to complete the track. The maximum time allowed for completing the lap is only 3 minutes, so the robots must be fast.
For a handy visual, have a look at the 3D model of the Makeblock MakeX Challenge track:
The obstacles on the track can be divided into 4 categories:
Line breaks ⎻ the track has line breaks that are up to 10cm long. The robot has warning before each line break and there is at least 10cm of straight uninterrupted line before any curve. When the robot detects a line break, it must turn on the onboard LED lights or receive a penalty of +3 seconds to the final time.
Line crosses ⎻ with line crosses, the robot must continue following the straight line and must not switch to the crossing line. If it does, the attempt will count as failed.
Wall or obstacle on the line ⎻ the track also has cuboid shaped obstacles or walls, that the robot must pass while following the track. What makes it more difficult, is that the robot is not allowed to touch or hit the wall, or a +3 second penalty will be added to the final time.
Optional obstacle: moving wall ⎻ the moving obstacle will be placed after the finish line, so completing it is optional. The robot’s competition time will be recorded at the finish line; however, the robot then has 20 seconds to pass through while the additional moving obstacle is not blocking the line. The moving wall or door blocks the way for a maximum of 4 seconds and then remains open for 6 seconds. If the robot succeeds in passing through without touching the obstacle, the team gets -5 seconds taken off their final time.
The Makeblock MakeX Challenge invites teams of up to 3 people to challenge themselves and their robot! To take part, register here before November 1, for a guaranteed spot in the competitions and a free Robotex T-shirt. Registration will remain open until November 10 or until all the spots are filled. Make sure you’re up to speed on the complete Makeblock MakeX Challenge competition rules, and that you’ve come up with an awesome name for your robot. Because it might be your team standing on the Robotex 2017 podium very soon!
What is Robotex?
Robotex 2017 is the biggest robotics event in Europe, which takes place on November 24-26, 2017 at the Estonian Fair Centre, in Tallinn. During the three days, guests will experience exciting robotics competitions, an innovative technology exhibition, an international conference and various practical workshops.
Robotex is organized in cooperation with Tallinn University of Technology and University of Tartu. It is a fun technology event for the whole family, with various exciting activities for competitors, spectators and technology enthusiasts of all ages.
In 2017, Robotex expects over 20 000 visitors, 2500 competitors, 23 different competitions and 1300 different robots. The event is also aiming to set a new Guinness World Record by having the most robots at a competition.
Join Robotex International and let’s make history!