Robofest is an autonomous robotics competition for 4th - 12th graders. It is similar to FIRST Lego League (FLL), but while FLL limits the student's robots to Lego Mindstorms robots, Robofest allows the student to use any robotics system, parts, materials, or even custom electronics, in some of the events. Note that FLL students are required to use parts manufactured by Lego only, preventing the use of such aids as string or glue. Another important difference is that Robofest games have UTF (Unknown Tasks and Factors) components. Students must solve the unveiled tasks and factors within 30 minutes work-time without external help. Lawrence Tech's Robofest was founded by Computer Science Professor Dr. Chan-Jin Chung (or popularly known as CJ Chung) in 1999–2000 academic year and is sponsored by Lawrence Technological University and other sponsors. LTU's Robofest is also held internationally, in countries including Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, England, France, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Macau, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, and UAE. Teams who win their regional event are welcome to participate at the worldwide tournament held at Lawrence Technological University in Michigan. ROBOFEST is a registered trademark of Lawrence Technological University in the US and other countries.
Robofest's mission is (1) to generate excitement and interest among young people for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Art, and Computer Science; (2) to develop problem solving skills as well as teamwork, creative thinking, and communication skills; and (3) to prepare them to excel in higher education and technological careers. Evaluation and assessment results show that Robofest is achieving these missions.      
There are a total of eight different competition categories in Robofest.
- Game Competition - Students compete with two robots to work together autonomously to complete the given missions. The missions change per year, and an "unknown challenge" must be adapted to on the competition day.
- Exhibition - Robotic contraptions to do the designers task.
- Vision Centric Challenge (Vcc, formerly Mini Urban Challenge) - Robots drive along a realistic road, stopping at "traffic lights" drawn on the road.
- RoboArts - (Formerly GRAF). Robotic Music, Fashion & Dance, Robotic Painting, and Interactive Kinetic Sculptures
- UMC (Unknown Mission Challenge) - Mission tasks will be totally unknown until the day of competition
- BottleSumo - Robots compete to either push a bottle or the other robot off of a table.
- RoboParade - A parade of autonomous robotic floats
- RoboMed - High School and College teams create intelligent and interactive medical robotics/device projects
Retired competition categories include:
- Robosumo - Competing robots attempt to push each other out of the ring.
- VEX Pentathlon - VEX robots compete in five events.
- RoboFashion and Dance Show - Costumed robots present themselves on a track.
- VEX Bridge Battle - Two VEX robots compete on a bridge.
Competition age divisions
- Junior: (4th or) 5th-8th graders can compete with an easier unknown tasks and factors
- Senior: 9th-12th graders can compete with a somewhat harder unknown tasks and factors
- Collegiate: College students can compete in RoboMed Challenge.
TV and newspaper articles
- PBS Detroit Public TV Robofest 2013 (27 minutes)
- PBS WUCF Florida, SCITECH NOW: Robofest in Tampa, Florida, Aired Sep. 2, 2015 (7m 17s)
- PBS WEDU QUEST: Robofest International, Aired June. 15 2017 (7m 44s)
- CNN London - Teaching kids robotics in Ghana, Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation: Robofest Partner in Ghana, aired on Feb 1 ~ 4, 2020
- ABC WXYZ-TV Detroit Channel 7: Robofest World Championship 2016
- NBC Detroit Channel 4: Robofest 2016
- USA Today, Apr 6, 2017, Robofest promotes STEM learning
- Ebony, May 28, 2019, All-Girls Robotic Team From Ghana Wins World Robofest Championship
- Detroit Free Press, May 13, 2017, Robofest at Lawrence Tech draws school-age engineers and their self-driving machines by JC Reindl
- The Oakland Press, May 15, 2019, Robofest robotics competition draws students from all over world to Lawrence Tech
- CBS Detroit, May 8, 2012, Robofest World Championship Coming To Lawrence Tech May 19
- Christopher Cartwright, 2021-
- Chan-Jin Chung, 1999-2020
The word RoboFest was used for a robot event by the Robot Group of Austin, Texas, at least as early as 1989. The Robot Group had a yearly RoboFest through the 1990s. There are various other Robofests not connected to Lawrence Tech's Robofest:
- ^ a b "Robofest - Home". www.robofest.net.
- ^ MacLennan, Jamie (Jan–Feb 2010). "Robofest 2009 - Motivating young minds to master the machine" (PDF). Robot Magazine: 80–83.
- ^ Coscarelli, Rick (Sep–Oct 2015). "16th Annual Robofest World Championship" (PDF). Robot Magazine: 28–31.
- ^ Reindl, JC (2017-05-17). "Robofest at Lawrence Tech draws school-age engineers and their self-driving machines". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
- ^ Bill King (Feb 16, 2000). Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan backs Lawrence Tech Robofest; University trains teachers in robots LTU Tech News, page 1 and 8
- ^ "Robofest - Sponsor History". www.robofest.net.
- ^ "International Site Directors". LTU Robofest. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
- ^ Trademark No. 4382969, United States Patent and Trademark Office
- ^ "CJ Chung and Chris Cartwright, Evaluating the Long-term Impact of Robofest since 1999" (PDF).
- ^ Chung, CJ ChanJin; Cartwright, Christopher; Cole, Matthew (July–September 2014). "Assessing the Impact of an Autonomous Robotics Competition for STEM Education". Journal of STEM Education. 15 (2): 24–34.
- ^ Chung, CJ Chan-Jin; Cartwright, Christopher; DeRose, Joe (July 2017). "Robotics Festival and Competitions Designed for STEM+C Education". Robotics in STEM Education: 131–170. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-57786-9_6. ISBN 978-3-319-57785-2.
- ^ Chung, Chan-Jin (2019). "Robofest – A Playful Learning Environment Through Autonomous Robotics". Pädi Boletín Científico de Ciencias Básicas e Ingenierías del ICBI. 7 (special): 1–3. doi:10.29057/icbi.v7iEspecial.4770.
- ^ "Robofest 2017-2018 Annual Report" (PDF).
- ^ "Robofest 2018-2019 Annual Report" (PDF).
- ^ "Robofest - Game". www.robofest.net.
- ^ Pandey, Aviral; Wagle, Rohan; Brouillette, Barry (November–December 2013). "Raspberry Pi Robots & Imaging Processing" (PDF). Robot Magazine: 56–59.
- ^ "Robofest - Exhibition". www.robofest.net.
- ^ "Robofest - Vision Centric Challenge (Vcc)". www.robofest.net.
- ^ Crocker, Noah E. (November–December 2011). "Robofest 2011 Vision Centric Challenge (VCC) Update!" (PDF). Robot Magazine: 80–33.
- ^ Chung, CJ (Mar 8, 2014). Integrated STEAM Education through Global Robotics Art Festival (GRAF) (PDF). IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference (ISEC '14). Princeton University, New Jersey.
- ^ Chung, CJ ChanJin; Cartwright, Christopher; Chung, Chanmee (Mar 8, 2014). Robot Music Camp 2013: An Experiment to Promote STEM and Computer Science (PDF). IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference (ISEC '14). Princeton University, New Jersey.
- ^ "Robofest - RoboArts". www.robofest.net.
- ^ "Robofest - Unknown Mission Challenge (UMC)". www.robofest.net.
- ^ "Robofest - BottleSumo". www.robofest.net.
- ^ "Robofest - RoboParade". www.robofest.net.
- ^ Chung, CJ; Cartwright, Christopher (Jan 2014). RoboParade: a Fun and Effective Way to Promote STEM Education (PDF). 12th Hawaii International Conference on Education. Honolulu, Hawaii.
- ^ "Robofest - RoboMed". www.robofest.net.
- ^ "Robofest 2008 - Robosumo". www.robofest.net.
- ^ "Robofest Videos". www.robofest.net.
- ^ "Robofest RoboFashion and Dance Show". www.robofest.net.
- ^ "[人사이드 人터뷰] 오상훈 "'누구나 쉽게 로봇 만들게 하자' 창업…글로벌 기업 1000억 인수 제안도 거절"". n.news.naver.com.
- ^ "LUXROBO". korea.luxrobo.com.
- ^ "The Robot Group". blog.therobotgroup.org. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
- ^ "The Robot Group _RoboFest 1-1989". www.robotgroup.net. Retrieved 2008-06-17.