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2016 World Educational Robot Championships Held in Shanghai

A team from Mexico showing off their robot.
A team from Mexico showing off their robot.

The 2016 World Educational Robot (WER) Championship was held at the Shanghai National Exhibition and Convention Center, China on November 19 and 20.

More than 2,000 top players from nearly 20 countries, who are selected from different levels of WER competitions, took part in this celebration of educational robotics to compete for nine awards across four contests (the brick robot contest, extended task contest, creation contest and video contest).

WER, initiated and hosted by the Federation of World Educational Robotics (FWER), is an international robot competition for young people aged from 6 to 18. The annual competition takes place at city, provincial and national levels, with the highest level being the world championship using  Abilix educational robots.

The number of players participating in all levels of competition this year hit more than 500,000, with the winners from these competitions finally gathering in Shanghai.

In the brick robot contest, the most important of this WER championships, each team builds a robot and programs it to achieve four preset missions, which are “controlling weight”, “balance game”, “far and correct” and “mining ore”, fully showing the robot’s control ability in the aspects of weight, balance, distance and direction.

At the same time, young players perform three onsite missions in which they analyze tasks, write creative solutions, and carry out programming and debugging, all of which are challenging. The onsite mission release is initiated by WER, the first in the history of the event .

WER differs from other robot competitions as it also focuses on other elements besides robot knowledge and sets special competition missions to cultivate all kinds of abilities in youngsters.

The theme of the Creation contest was ‘Move the Earth’. In this contest, bricks are used to build robots, art presentation methods such as painting and photography are used to present a big creation originating from a spark of aspiration, and players explain their creation to judges at the event.

The theme of the Video contest is ‘friend.’ Players shoot a 90 second video to show how WER has strengthened their friendship.

The last contest, an extended task contest, is full of fun. Robot cars built by the players chase each other. This challenge is full of laughs and smiles.

Awards are awarded in each of four competition categories. In this WER championship, the Chairman’s award, the Innovative Technology award, the Structure Design award, and the Best Team award were issued.

The annual total prize money at WER exceeds $200,000 (US), the highest of any youth robot competition. Through their performance, winners can not only win money but also attract attention from leading universities.

However, Professor Jake Mendelssohn, chairman of WER, still stresses that the most important aspect of this competition is its educational value, as the aim of WER is to cultivate scientific interests, scientific skills, teamwork spirit, abilities such as analysis, innovation and practice, and

select technical talents.

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