World Robot Olympiad

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World Robot Olympiad
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event Rap The Scrap! (2016, India)
Logo wro.png
Formerly International Robot Olympiad
Sport Robotics-related games
Founded 1999
Inaugural season 2004
Motto To bring together young people all over the world to develop their creativity, design & problem solving skills through challenging & educational robot competitions and activities
No. of teams 18,450+(2013)
Countries See below
Venue(s) See Below
Most titles Unknown (Possibly Malaysia or Thailand)
Qualification By winning the national/state competition
Official website

The World Robot Olympiad is a global robotics competition for young people. The World Robot Olympiad competition uses Lego Mindstorms manufactured by LEGO Education.[1] First held in 2004 in Singapore, it now attracts more than 20,000 teams from nearly 60 countries.[2]

The competition consists of 4 different categories, Regular, College, Open and Soccer[3] and for the Regular and Open categories, it consists of three different age groups: Elementary, Junior High and Senior High. Participants below the age of 13 are considered as Elementary, participants from ages 13 until 16 years old are considered Junior High and participants between 17–19 are considered Senior High. Participants can also compete outside their age group, but they must be younger than the specified age range and must partner up with someone in that age range. For example, a 12-year-old participant can join the Junior High sub-category only if teamed up with someone between 14 and 16.


WRO was formally established in 2003, with the first international WRO final being organized in 2004. Organizations from China, Japan, Singapore and Korea are considered the founding countries. In 2004 teams from China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore and Thailand took part in the first international final, held in Singapore.

In 2003 the four founding countries established the international WRO Committee (now known as the WRO Advisory Council), which decided to establish a new and permanent robotics organisation, based on the idea that students from all over the world should have the opportunity to meet with other students to fulfil the new mission statement:

"To bring together young people all over the world to develop their creativity, design & problem solving skills through challenging & educational robot competitions and activities"

The WRO Committee decided on the new name WORLD ROBOT OLYMPIAD, and new WRO logos were developed.

Finally the WRO Statutes and a set of General Rules were worked out to ensure a sound and safe future for WRO. One of the major decisions, which appears in the Statutes, was that the international WRO event should be hosted by a new country each year and the WRO Committee should elect a Chairman.



The Game Table of the WRO2012 Junior High division.

Teams must create a robot which can complete a specified mission determined by the organiser and usually based on the Open Category theme. Before the competition begins, the robot must be fully dismantled: for example, the batteries must be taken out of the brick or the tyres must be taken out from the wheels. It must be built in a specified time (150 minutes) before the first qualification round begins. If a team finishes building their robot before the 150 minutes finish, the team can practice on the competition fields. Each robot is restricted to be 25 × 25 × 25 cm (9.8 × 9.8 × 9.8 in) before the round begins, and may consist of only LEGO certified parts, with specified motors and sensors depending on each competition. It must finish the mission autonomously, within a maximum time of two minutes. Teams are judged on their scores. If two teams' scores are equal, they are judged by their time to the nearest millisecond. The top 8 or the top 16 performers then proceed to the final two or three rounds.

Starting from the 2014 competition, the final round teams were first asked to test their robots for 30 minutes before the first judging rounds, then were given another 10 minutes for testing before being judged again.

Advanced Robotics Challenge (University/College)[edit]

Teams compete on a set challenge. Robots may be pre-built and may use certain TETRIX and MATRIX elements. Teams may use either one MyRIO or KNR controller, or two EV3/NXT controllers; there are no restrictions on choice and number of sensors, motors and servos. The size of the robot before it begins must be within 45 × 45 × 45 cm (17.7 × 17.7 × 17.7 in). The maximum time differs depending on each competition.


A robot built for the Open Category.

Teams are required to present their robot with a designated theme. They are judged by their presentation and the functionality of the robot. Robots which are unrelated to the theme score zero points.

WRO Football[edit]

4 RoboCup participants fiddle with robots.
Students of Bellarine Secondary College preparing for the GEN II Football.

Introduced in the Manila competition in 2010, the Soccer competition allows teams to create soccer playing robots with a special infrared sensor. The participants must be age 10–19. The mat was used in the early RoboCup Junior competitions before being adopted by the Australian competition. Robots must fit in a 22 cm (8.7 in) diameter cylinder with a height of 22 cm (8.7 in).

Starting from 2015, robots are not allowed to 'dribble', which means that robots will not have the ability to manipulate the ball. The sensor-guiding field will be replaced with a completely green field starting from 2016.

Changes to the Gameplay[edit]

As the missions of the Regular, WRO Football and College Category get tougher and more teams in the Open Category are willing to present more creative-looking robots, organisers have to make changes to the list of eligible sensors, motors and bricks to be used in the competition. Initially only RCX bricks, motors and sensors were allowed. In the 2007 competition NXT bricks, motors and sensors were allowed as well. In 2011 the NXT colour sensor was added; in 2012, the HiTechnic colour sensor. In 2013 an EV3 robot was exhibited that used all four motors. In 2014, however, EV3 bricks, motors and sensors were allowed, but the number of motor ports was limited to three, and the EV3 Gyro sensor was not allowed. The 2015 competition allowed four motor ports and the gyro sensor, but not RCX bricks, motors, or sensors.

There are also a few changes to the number of categories. The earlier versions of this competition, before 2006, consists of only Regular and Open and that further sub-divides to only two age groups, Primary and High School.


WRO2007 in Taiwan
Year Host city Host venue Competition Theme National Organiser Description of Regular Category challenges Notes
2004 Singapore Singapore City, Singapore Singapore Science Centre Robolympics Science Centre
2005 Thailand Bangkok, Thailand Bangkok Science Center Sensitive robots Gammaco
2006 China Nanning, China Humanoid Semia
2007 Taiwan Taipei, Taiwan National Taiwan University Robot for Rescue
2008 Japan Yokohama, Japan Pacifico Yokohama Saving the Global Environment
2009 South Korea Pohang, South Korea Postech Artistic Robots For the elementary category, the robot has to shoot a ping-pong ball into an allocated cup. For the Junior High category, the robot must collect 100 ping-pong balls and bring it back to the base. For Senior High, the robot place coloured balls into a compartment depending on its colour.
2010 Philippines Manila, Philippines SMX Convention Center Robots promote tourism Felta Multimedia
2011 United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre Robots for life improvement Abu Dhabi Education Council ADEC For elementary, the robot has to solve a labyrinth while taking three ping-pong balls along the way. For Junior High, the robot has to climb a flight of stairs while trying carrying an egg. For Senior High, the robot has to place lego blocks into a certain area depending its size and colour.
2012 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Sunway Pyramid Convention Center Robot Connecting People Sasbadi Sdn Bhd In the elementary category, the robot has to disposed a number of ping-pong balls depending on the colour of a square cell that it is on. In the junior High category, the robot has to move a series of cylinder over hurdles before sorting them out based on their colours. In Senior high, robots have to pick up a hollow brick and slot in on a coloured pole of the same colour.
2013 Indonesia Jakarta, Indonesia Ecovention Hall World Heritage Mikroskil/Mikrobot For Elementary, the robot has to sort out batik cubes by colour in a pattern. For Junior high, robots have to restore Borobudur by removing the stupas from 4 different relic statues and determine which one is broken (it is different as for having no minifigures placed on the statue and black in colour) which it has to bring to the finishing area. For Senior High, the robot has to pick up eggs of a Komodo Dragon (represented by a red ball) and leave the other eggs alone (represented by a blue ball).
2014 Russia Sochi, Russia Sochi Main Media Centre Robots And Space Association Of Children’s Goods Industry Enterprises For Elementary, robots have to build a rocket with the colours of the Russian Flag (In order, white, blue and red). For Junior High, the robot has to pick up space debris (bricks) and failed satellites (balls (both red) and leave the working satellites (blue balls). For Senior High, the robot must activate solar panels (blue and red in colour) and replace the solar panels which are not working (red) with the good ones).
2015 Qatar Doha, Qatar Al Shaqab Robot Explorers For elementary, robots must push nine cubes and dispose a number of ping-pong balls depending on the cubes' colour. For Junior High, the robot must first scan a colour key to determine a location of an artefact (blocks) before it leading to one other artefact. There are five artefacts in total but there are some artefacts which the robot can't pick up. For senior high, the robots must place a block on top of a mountain depending on the mountain and the block's colour.
2016 India New Delhi, India India Expo Center Rap the Scrap India STEM Foundation This year WRO India 2016 will engage students to Rap (talk) about waste – an important social issue. Students are expected to come up with innovative solutions using robotics technology to Rap the Scrap i.e. to reduce, manage and recycle waste!
2017 Costa Rica Costa Rica
2018 Thailand Thailand Thailand will be the first country to host the Olympiad twice.

Countries participating[edit]

Previous host countries are italicised while future host countries are bolded. Countries which are both previous and future hosts will have an asterisks (*).

Country First joined Organiser Notes
ArmeniaArmenia 2014 Ayb Educational Foundation Competition Website
AustraliaAustralia 2011 RoboCup Junior Australia
Bahrain Bahrain 2011 AMA International School
Belarus Belarus 2014 School of Robotics
BoliviaBolivia 2009 Centro de Tecnologia Aplicada
BrazilBrazil 2014 AMEducação
BruneiBrunei 2012 STEP Centre, Ministry of Education
CanadaCanada 2014 Robotique Zone 01 Robotics
ChinaChina 2004 Semia
Taiwan/Chinese TaipeiChinese Taipei/Taiwan 2004 ESUN Robot Association in Taiwan Both Chinese Taipei and Taiwan are used in this Olympiad although the name Chinese Taipei is more favourable by the WRO committee. Both Chinese Taipei and Taiwanese flags are used during the competition but the Chinese Taipei flag is preferable.
Costa RicaCosta Rica 2009 Aprender Haciendo Costa Rica S.A.
DenmarkDenmark 2006 Dept. of Computer Science at Aarhus University / DITEK Was previously organised by FIRST Scandinavia along with Sweden and Norway
EgyptEgypt 2007 Searag
GermanyGermany 2009 Technik Begeistert e.V.
GhanaGhana 2012 Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation
GreeceGreece 2009 Knowledge Research SA
HungaryHungary 2015 Edutus School of Further Studies
Hong KongHong Kong 2004 Semia Organised by the Organiser of China as Hong Kong is part of China
IndiaIndia 2004 India STEM Foundation (ISF) and National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) Competition Website
IndonesiaIndonesia 2004 Mikroskil/Mikrobot
IranIran 2006 Global Brand Toys
JapanJapan 2004 Afrel
KazakhstanKazakhstan 2014 VTSH in partnership with Nazarbayev Intellectual School
KuwaitKuwait 2011 MILSET Regional office for Asia
LebanonLebanon 2009 Raymond Education
MalaysiaMalaysia 2004 Sasbadi
MexicoMexico 2010 Fundación Care and Share for Education, A.C.
MongoliaMongolia 2011 MIND STORM
NigeriaNigeria 2011 ARC Lights Limited
NorwayNorway 2006 FIRST Scandinavia Despite having an organiser, Norway sent no teams to compete.
OmanOman 2010 Edutech Middle East
State of PalestinePalestine 2015
PanamaPanama 2015
PeruPeru 2009 IEP W. von Braun SRL
PhilippinesPhilippines 2004 Felta Multimedia
QatarQatar 2007 College of the North Atlantic
RomaniaRomania 2013 Knowledge Research
RussiaRussia 2004 Moscow Department of Education
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia 2008 Royal Commission Robot Club
South AfricaSouth Africa 2009 Hands On Technologies
South KoreaSouth Korea 2004 Advanced Learning Co. Ltd
SingaporeSingapore 2004 Science Centre Singapore Hosted the first Olympiad
SpainSpain 2013 Fundació educaBOT
Sri LankaSri Lanka 2004 See below.
SwedenSweden 2007 FIRST Scandinavia Stopped competing by 2009
SwitzerlandSwitzerland 2013 IngCH - Engineers Shape Our Future
SyriaSyria 2011 Syrian Computer Society SCS
ThailandThailand* 2004 Gammaco Thailand will be the first country to host the Olympiad twice.
TurkeyTurkey 2015 Bilim Kahramanları Derneği
UkraineUkraine 2009 Prolego
United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates 2006 Abu Dhabi Education Council
United StatesUnited States of America 2014 Lawrence Technological University Competition Website
VietnamVietnam 2013

Guest Countries[edit]

Guest countries are countries who send less than 20 teams to compete. Their teams are not ranked.

Country First joined Organiser Notes
JamaicaJamaica 2008 Joined only the 2008 Olympiad.
Sri LankaSri Lanka 2004




Age Group Gold Silver Bronze
Elementary South Korea South Korea Malaysia Malaysia South Korea South Korea
Junior High South Korea South Korea Russia Russia Singapore Singapore
Senior High Sweden Sweden Singapore Singapore South Korea South Korea


Age Group Gold Silver Bronze
Elementary South Korea South Korea Philippines Philippines Malaysia Malaysia
Junior High Taiwan Taiwan Malaysia Malaysia Thailand Thailand
Senior High Malaysia Malaysia South Korea South Korea Taiwan Taiwan



Age Group Gold Silver Bronze
Elementary South Korea South Korea Philippines Philippines Taiwan Taiwan
Junior High Malaysia Malaysia Malaysia Malaysia Thailand Thailand
Senior High Thailand Thailand Taiwan Taiwan India India


Age Group Gold Silver Bronze
Elementary Philippines Philippines Malaysia Malaysia South Korea South Korea
Junior High Philippines Philippines China China Philippines Philippines
Senior High Malaysia Malaysia Malaysia Malaysia Hong Kong Hong Kong


Gold Silver Bronze
Indonesia Indonesia Thailand Thailand Thailand Thailand

Notable sponsors[edit]


  1. ^ "WRO-Robotic Solution". Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  2. ^ "About WRO". Archived from the original on May 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  3. ^ "Students compete in international Robot Olympiad". Taipei Times. 2007-11-18. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 

External links[edit]