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Questions & Answers

Who can I contact if I have questions about the WRO competition?

Danie Heymans -

  • 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 -

  • General WRO queries

  • Robo Mission category questions

  • Rover In-House questions

  • Explorer In-House 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

Can I post pictures and videos of my robot online?

Robo Mission Specifically:

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 WROSA 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."

All other Categories:

The choice to post your model online is up to you, please be aware that by posting your model online other competitors may copy your design and remove the uniqueness of your model.

General WRO Q&A
Robo Misson
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.

Will my team need to rebuild the robot during the competition?

No, Robo Mission teams will not need to rebuild their robot during the provincial and national competition. Teams can arrive with a pre-built robot and use this robot for the provincial and National event.

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.

Some age groups require game elements to be stuck down, what tape do we use?

WRO SA suggests using Glooit 80330 Double-Sided Clear Remove Tape - (100 x 160 x 28mm). This is the tape we will use for our National Final. This tape is available through Builders Warehouse.

What is the height of the table wall in South Africa?

The table wall height in South Africa is set at 70mm high. This is so teams that compete in both WRO and FLL can use the same table for both competitions and do not need to purchase or build two separate tables.

Is the line around a starting area part of the start block?

No, the line around a start/finish area is not part of the area. The robot on start must not project into this area. The rule for finishing has changed and the robot only needs to project into the area to receive the start/finish points.

Future Innovators
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.

Robo Sports
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.

Future Enginners
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.

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 Explorer In-House event will not qualify a team for the National Final.

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 programming language and software can be used for Explorer?

Due to issues with the LEGO developed apps, Explorer is open to any programming language and software compatible with the NXT, EV3 or SPIKE Prime robots.

What is the In-House Competition?

The In-House competition is a WRO SA competition with no provincial, national and international component.
There are two categories available:
1. Rover In-House (6-12 years)
- The Rover In-House is open to teams using only LEGO WeDo or the LEGO Spike Essential robots.
2. Explorer In-House (two age groups Lite: 8-12 years & Prime: 11-16 years)
- The Explorer In-House 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 10th-21st of October 2024 and submit the teams highest score to the WRO SA website scoring system.
Registration opens on the 1st of March 2024 and closes the 30th of September 2024.
The registration cost for the In-House competition category is R300 per school/club with unlimited team entries under the same school/club name once the school has been registered. This may be subject to change.
Teams from registered schools will receive a digital printable certificate in line with their score achieved.
Ranking is based off of score ranges there is no 1st, 2nd or 3rd place only Bronze, Silver, Gold and Diamond (Full Score).

Do I need to submit a video of my team completing the challenge?

No, teams only need to submit their highest score to the WRO SA website between the 10th-21st of October 2024.

Is there a National Final for the In-House Competition?

No, there is no national final for the In-House competitions.

What Robots can I use for the In-House Event?

There is no restriction to what robot can be used for the Rover In-House challenge or the Explorer In-House challenge. Any robotics solution and software may be used to participate in these events.

Can a team enter both the Explorer In-House competition and the Provincial Explorer competition?

Yes, the same team may enter both the Provincial Explorer Event and the In-House competition as these are two separate competition categories and take place at different times of the year.

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