Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

Where can I buy WRO element packs and competition mats?
Hands on Technologies is the LEGO Education provider for Southern Africa and supplies all WRO element boxes and competition mats.
Please visit the Hands on Technologies website www.handsontech.co.za

Where can I buy a LEGO Robotics Kit?
There are two types of LEGO Robotics Kits a retail version and specialized Education version.
The World Robot Olympiad highly suggests the use of LEGO Education sets which can be purchased from the official Southern African LEGO Education provider Hands on Technologies.

Please visit the Hands on Technologies website www.handsontech.co.za

Who can I contact if I have questions about the WRO competition?
Danie Heymans - danie@handsontech.co.za

  • General WRO queries

  • If you would like to become a sponsor of WRO SA

  • Future Innovators category questions

  • Provincial Explorer category questions

  • Future Engineers category questions

  • Robo Sports category questions
     

Duncan Beaton - duncan@carefored.co.za

  • General WRO queries

  • Robo Mission category questions

  • Inhouse WeDo/Spike Essential category questions

  • Inhouse Explorer category questions

  • Questions on judging at provincial or national events

  • Team and school registration questions

  • Questions specific to provincial events
    Please visit the contact page to see details for the provincial organisers

When does registration close and open?
Registration for Provincial Events this 2022 season opened on the 1st of April and will close on the 30th of June this includes Robo Mission, Future Engineers, Future Innovators, Robo Sports and Explorer physical events.

The inhouse registration for the 2022 season opened on the 1st of April and will close on the 30th of September, this includes the inhouse WeDo/Spike Essential competition and the Inhouse Explorer competition. 

 

Inhouse Competition FAQ

Is there a physical WeDo/Spike Essential event hosted by WRO SA?
No, there are no physical WeDo/Spike Essential events being hosted by WRO SA and Provincial organisers. 
For 2022 the WeDo/Spike Essential competition has been made an inhouse (coach run in their own venues) competition and will take place from the 24th - 30th of October 2022.

What is the Inhouse Competition?
The inhouse competition is a WRO SA competition with no provincial, national and international component.
There are two categories available:
1. Inhouse WeDo/Spike Essential (6-12 years)
- The Inhouse WeDo/Spike Essential Category is open to teams using only LEGO WeDo or the LEGO Spike Essential robots.
2. Inhouse Explorer (two age groups Lite: 8-12 years & Prime: 11-15 years)
- The Inhouse Explorer Competition has been made open to any device and programming platform as well as teams from outside of South Africa.
Coaches run their own competition event (2-3 hours) following the rules in the above categories. Coaches choose one day to run and score their teams between the 24th-30th of October 2022 and submit the teams highest score to the WRO SA website scoring system.
Registration opens on the 1st of April 2022 and closes the 30th of September 2022.
The registration cost for the Inhouse competition category is R250 per school/club with unlimited team entries under the same school/club name once the school has been registered.
Teams from registered schools will receive a digital printable certificate in line with their score achieved and their team name and school name will appear on the WRO SA website ranking list. 
Ranking is based off of score ranges there is no 1st, 2nd or 3rd place only Bronze, Silver, Gold and Diamond (Full Score).

Is there a National Final for the Inhouse Competition?
No, there is no national final for the inhouse competitions.

What Robots can I use for the Inhouse Event?
For the Inhouse WeDo/Spike Essential category teams are restricted to using only LEGO WeDo and LEGO Spike Essential robotic sets. 
For the Inhouse Explorer category teams can use any robot or programing device they have available, this inhouse competition is no longer exclusive to LEGO robotic sets.

Can a team enter both the Inhouse Explorer competition and the Provincial Explorer competition?
Yes, the same team may enter both the Provincial Explorer Event and the Inhouse competition as these are two separate competition categories and take place at different times of the year.

 

Explorer FAQ

What is the Explorer Category?
The Explorer category is a South African created competition for teams new to robotics or to the World Robot Olympiad. The competition has two age group categories Explorer Lite 8-12 years old & Explorer Prime 11-15 years old.
The Explorer competition uses the Robo Mission Elementary age group mat but with a simplified challenge.
Teams arrive with a blank program and program or code the robot on the day of the competition. 

Explorer uses a continuous scoring method where teams inform Judges when they would like to be scored. Teams have 4 scoring chances, but can never be scored less than their previous scoring run. This means if a team scored 120 points on their first run and 40 on the second run, the judge will not record the lower score and the team will still have 3 of 4 scoring chances left to use.
Teams receive a certificate based on the highest score achieved. Bronze, silver & gold but will receive a Diamond certificate for full score.
 

Will there be an Explorer National Final?
Yes, If there is enough interest through team registrations the WRO SA organizers will host an Explorer National Final.
To compete in the national final teams must compete in a provincial Explorer event hosted by provincial organizers and receive an invitation from the WRO SA National Organizer to compete in the National Final.
Entering and competing in the Inhouse Explorer event will not qualify a team for the National Final.

Can a team enter both the Provincial Explorer competition and the Inhouse Explorer competition?
Yes, the same team may enter both the Provincial Explorer Event and the Inhouse competition as these are two separate competition categories and take place at different times of the year.

What is the difference between Explorer Lite and Explorer Prime?
These are the two age groups within the Explorer category, the age groups are also judged differently and may have a different challenge.
Explorer Lite: 8-12 years old
Explorer Lite teams are awarded full points if a competition element only touches a target area unless otherwise stated in the rules or on the score sheet.
Explorer Prime: 11-15 years old
Explorer Prime teams must move the entire scoring element into its target area in order to be awarded full points for the element, elements that only touch the target area are awarded partial points unless otherwise stated in the rules or on the score sheet.

What robot can I use for the Explorer competition?
If competing in a Provincial Explorer competition teams must use LEGO NXT, LEGO EV3 or LEGO Spike Prime robots, no other robotic device is allowed to be used.
If competing in the Inhouse Explorer competition any robotic device is allowed to be used.

Robo Mission FAQ

What is the Robo Mission Category?
Robo Mission is a table based challenge where robots complete tasks by moving table elements to scoring positions in the shortest amount of time. Robots are restricted to  a size of 25cmx25cmx25cm and must not run for more than 2 minutes. Judges calculate scores for the teams, the teams with the highest score in the shortest period of time is declared the winning team.
There are three age groups in the Robo Mission category:
Elementary Age Group: 8-12 years old
Junior Age Group: 11-15 years old
Senior Age Group: 14-19 years old

Please click here for the Robo Mission Rules.

What is the surprise rule?
The surprise rule is a special rule announced to teams 5 minutes before the start of the official competition time. This rule is optional for teams to complete and score extra points but must be on the table with every run even if the team decides to not attempt the surprise rule.

Do I need to read the General Category rules?
Yes, this is the rule set that governs the competition, what teams are allowed and not allowed to do. It also clarifies how competitions will take place. If teams do not adhere to the General rules they may be disqualified by the head judge of the competition category. Definitely read these rules!
Please click here to view the Robo Mission General Rules

My teams all have the same robot design is this a problem?
Yes and may lead to disqualification. The general and game rules speak of copied or similar robots as quoted below:
"It is not allowed to use a solution (hardware and / or software) that is (a.) the same or too similar to solutions sold or posted online or (b.) the same or too similar to another solution at the competition and clearly not the own work of the team. This includes solutions from teams of the same institution and/or country."
If teams are suspected of having a copied robot design the judging officials will examine the robot or robots in question and determine if it is copied, the judges may also interview the team. Only the head judge can disqualify a team and will base their decision on the suggested penalization or disqualification rules as set out in the general rules and game rules documents.

Can I post pictures and videos of my robot online?
Due to rule 3.6 in the Robo Mission General rules, WRO SA strongly advises against posting any videos or images of your competition robot online, before and after the competition. 
Rule 3.6 - "It is not allowed to use a solution (hardware and / or software) that is (a.) the same or too similar to solutions sold or posted online or (b.) the same or too similar to another solution at the competition and clearly not the own work of the team. This includes solutions from teams of the same institution and/or country."

Robo Mission Elementary: Can the ladybugs be moved into the red collection zone and start/finish area?
Yes, the ladybugs can be moved into the red collection and the start/finish area and still receive full points for moving them off of the robots route.

 
 

Future Engineers FAQ

What is the Future Engineers Category?
In the WRO Future Engineers category teams need to focus on all parts of the engineering process. The teams get bonus points for documenting their process and making a public GitHub repository. The specific challenge will change every 3-4 year. In the Self-Driving Cars challenge a robotic vehicle needs to drive autonomously on a parkours that randomly changes each round.
Please click here for the Future Engineers Rules.

Robo Sports FAQ

What is the Robo Sports Category?
In the WRO RoboSports category teams design robots that compete with robots of another team. In a match two teams each have 2 robots on the field. The robots are coded to play the game autonomously and collaborate with each other where possible. The sport that is played by the robots changes every 2-3 years.
Please click here for the Robo Sports Rules.

 
 
 
 

Judging FAQ

Who can be a judge?
Anybody is allowed to apply to judge as long as they are over the age of 20 and do not have any teams participating in their chosen age group category. All Judges are volunteers and receive training on how to judge from their age group head judge and the category head judge. These are individuals who have been hand selected by category head judges and specifically assigned their judging age groups and tables. 

Is it difficult to judge teams?
No, judging is a very simple process of strictly following and enforcing the rules and training for their category. During a competition judges are always busy interacting and observing or scoring the teams they have been assigned. Judges normally work in pairs and support each other with further support from their age group head judge and the category head judge.  

I would like to judge but am worried I am not experienced enough?
New judges are paired with experienced judges often people with international judging experience for them to learn the process of judging and feel more confident in their ability. As a judge you are never alone and if you are unsure of what decision to take you may call on the expertise and experience of the age group head judge or category head judge to help you decide on a ruling.

Will video or photographic evidence be accepted by judges?
No, judges will not accept any video or photographic evidence and will base their decisions only on what they had observed. The judges decision is final.

Can I speak to the judge, judging my teams?
No, table judges do not communicate directly with coaches, this would take their concentration away from the teams they have been tasked with looking after. All communication must happen with the age group head judge or the category head judge. 

Future Innovators FAQ

What is the Future Innovators Category?
In the WRO Future Innovators category your task is to develop a robot solution that helps solve real-world problems. You will present your project and your robotic solution to the public and to the judges on the competition day. There is a new theme for the competition every year, often connected to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. After research into the theme your team develops an innovative and functioning robotic solution. The Future Innovators category is completely open source. The robot solution may be controlled with any type and number of controllers (e.g., Arduino, Raspberry Pi, LEGO, etc.). To build and program your solution you can use any materials and programming languages you want.​
Please click here for the Future Innovator Rules.