Putting creativity into practice and proposing innovative solutions to create sustainable robots are just 2 of the challenges involving 2,500 children and young people who will participate in the World Robot Olympics (WRO). This year it will be held in Costa Rica,  from November 10th to November 12th. A couple of years ago, it was known that the country would host this competition, becoming the first Central American nation to host the event. This is due to the fact that, in general, the competition has been held in places such as Japan, China, and Singapore, among others.

This year, “participants from 66 different countries come, that means that the eyes of the world are placed over Costa Rica. We are also marking a milestone in the world history of robotics because it is the 1st time that (the competition) leaves Asia. Costa Rica has already entered the major leagues of science and technology “, said Alejandra Sánchez, representative of the World Robot Olympiad Costa Rica.

Competitor adjusting his robot
Competitor adjusting his robot

The event will take place in Parque Viva, in La Guácima de Alajuela, where participants from the age of 6 to 19 will attend. The delegations will start arriving in the country on November 8th, and countries like Japan and China bring over 100 representatives.

The event also lends itself to promote Costa Rica as a tourist destination, because according to Sánchez, many of the contestants will take advantage of “coming from the other side of the world” to enjoy tourism in the previous days to the Olympics.

Challenges

The youth and children participating in the contest will face challenges in 8 categories: Regular (Elementary, Junior, Senior), Elementary, Junior, Senior, Soccer, and Advanced Robotics.

Both in the general and open categories, contestants will be asked to create robots for sustainability, respecting 3 pillars: environmental, social, and economic.

While in soccer, those involved must design and program 2 robots capable of facing 2 other opponents, and try to score goals with an infrared ball.

Robotic soccer competition
Robotic soccer competition

Additionally, college students will face an advanced challenge; that of having a robot scores as many points as possible in a robotic version of the Tetris game called Tetrastack. The robot will locate, identify, and stack colored intertwined shapes, called tetrahedral, inside a rectangular vertical box.

The company Aprender Haciendo in collaboration with the National High Technology Center (CeNAT-Conare) are the organizers of the event, which is also sponsored by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Telecommunications (Micitt), the National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (Conicit), and the National Institute of Learning (INA).

Open to the Public

The invitation is not only extended for the delegations of the 66 participating countries or for the 16 Costa Rican teams that will represent us in these games, but also for everyone who is attracted or intrigued by robotics affairs.

Competitors of the WRO

“It is a public event, open and free. I want all the Ticos to attend because, being Costa Rica a world headquarters, it becomes a very important cultural meeting. It is a very beautiful mystique”, said Sánchez.

The representative of the Olympiad for the country explained that all people are invited because they will develop “robotics workshops for all ages, different types of courses and themes, as well as science and technology exhibitions”.

Starting Time

To visitors, the Olympiad will be open Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Based on the workshops’ timetable, this will be published on the website of the Olympiad and people will be able to register for them, especially those that will be given on the weekend, since those on Friday will be with prior registration and mainly for groups of schoolchildren.

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