World Robotic Olympia SA is coming to rAge
Already one of Joburg’s biggest and most exciting interactive events showcasing the best in gaming, cosplay, geek culture, tech and esports, Vodacom rAge 2019 has added another first to its growing list of exciting attractions. For the first time, the World Robotic Olympia SA is coming to rAge.
The World Robotic Olympiad (WRO) is a global event incorporating all things science, technology, education and robotics, which brings together young people from all over the world to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills through this challenging and educational robotics competition. The robotics bug has truly bitten SA in a big way, and since its inception in 2009, the WRO SA has grown from 30 teams to a staggering 800! This year, there has been 5 provincial events across the country, with the top 9 qualifying teams who win the finals across the different categories getting the awesome chance to compete at the WRO international in Hungary!
The exciting news for Vodacom rAge is that the finals of the provincial events will be taking place over the course of the weekend and the public is invited to come watch as teams literally battle it out for glory as their robotic creations come to life. The global theme of WRO for 2019 is “Smart Cities”, and we can guarantee that some of the smartest and most mind-blowing robotics projects are going to becoming alive as the city watches!
Friday afternoon will see the WRO SA National Explorer Competition teams coming out with some of the most interesting creations the WRO has seen to date. This category is not part of the international finals but is rather a category that allows juniors to be a part of this technological phenomenon that is taking the world by storm. These teams are made up of outreach robotics learners who, with the help of WRO SA and the Department of Science and Technology, have the awesome opportunity to be involved and potentially move up the ranks into the International finals and one day take their creativity and skill to compete overseas. This category showcases age-appropriate challenges on tabletops in which teams design, build and program a LEGO Mindstorms robot to solve a solution.
Over the course of Saturday, the WRO SA National Competition finals will take place where teams will have to have all their robotic guns blazing to ensure that they take top honors in the advanced robotics categories. This is where the stakes are really high, because winners over the categories have the chance to take their teams and all their tricks to the world final in Hungary. There is also a football round robin where 10 teams of two robots play autonomous football against each other using an infra-red ball and seekers plus a compass sensor – a super charged and adrenaline-fueled tournament to test the builders!
Sunday is the day for all corporate teams to show their robotics chops in the Corporate Inter-Company Challenge. Teams can win awesome prizes by programming a robot to solve various challenges on a competition table. Truly a fun and interactive experience for any corporate teams who might be interested in getting their coding on!
The entire event across the weekend will be open for spectators to support the teams and get a taste of what the world of robotics is all about. Depending on the challenge, spectators can watch from the bleachers and cheer their favourite teams to glory or will be able to engage with the teams, get up close and personal with finalists and get a good look at all the action as it’s happening.
“Being able to showcase the work that WRO SA is doing at an event like Vodacom rAge is extremely exciting for us,’ says Danie Heymans from WRO SA. “Our teams are made up of coders and programmers who are immersed in the world of robotics – a category with a massive overlap into the world of gaming. A lot of these contestants are going to become a pivotal part of the future of gaming in SA and for them to have exposure across this platform is phenomenal. We are also looking forward to getting the public involved in what we are doing to give them a taste of what the robotics landscape is all about.”
Vodacom rAge is going to be jam-packed with games to play, the latest gaming hardware to try out, esports, locally developed games, show specials, competitions and giveaways. SkyGamers will be catching all the action and bringing it to you live.