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Vocations and talent

Robolot 2012 boosts activities, participants and technical innovations

The educational robots competition in the Garrotxa County welcomes the organisers of other similar contests in Spain, boosts the number of children’s workshops and will award €10,000 in prizes


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On 20 and 21 October, Olot will be hosting Robolot,the leading educational robotics event in secondary education in Catalonia. This year's Robolot, which is the eleventh edition of the event, is continuing to increase its number of activities and participants, who this year also come from Madrid, Andalusia and the Basque Country, among other parts of Spain. There will be more workshops for children and prizes totalling €10,000 will be given away.

Workshops with more participation than ever

Robolot 2012 kicks off on Saturday 20 October in Olot's Casal Marià with its 7th Seminar to exchange experiences with educational robots, in which more than 150 teachers from 80 educational centres throughout Catalonia are due to participate. This year, the seminar has been opened up to more regions and will also be attended by teachers from Madrid, Segovia, Malaga, the Basque Country, Cantabria and Seville.

This technical seminar, addressed to technology and vocational training teachers, will include a debate on the current trends in educational robotics chaired by the organisers of other events similar to Robolot held in different parts of Spain (Madridbot, Granabot, Malakabot and Oribot).

The seminar will also include a talk by Michael Rees, from Neath Port Talbot College (Wales), a race between robots with artificial vision and a demonstration of a humanoid - a robot over one metre tall that was built by the students at Els Cendrassos Secondary School in Figueres. With more than 150 teachers taking part in the seminar, this year's edition of Robolot will break its own record for participation.

Motivating the youngest

In parallel to the experience exchange seminar, Olot's Sala Torín will be the venue for various educational robot workshops throughout the day on Saturday. These activities have been organised in order to encourage younger children's sense of curiosity and investigative spirit and are open to children and young people aged from 6 to 20 years old.

In this edition, Robolot has been expanded to include more places and more workshops. There will be six workshops in total, including one on Arduino, a widely-used microcontroller board that can be programmed graphically and easily.


€10,000 in prizes and grants for the next edition

On Sunday 21 October the educational robots competition will be held in Sala Torín. After the contestants have completed the preliminary rounds, at 3.30 p.m. the final round of the competition will begin, continuing until 7 p.m. with the award ceremony and closing speeches.

A hundred students will be exhibiting and competing in the different categories with their creations (tracking robots, mini-sumo and sumo robots, Lego Mindstorms and Scratch). The contestants include students and teachers from all over Catalonia and the rest of Spain.

Those taking part in Robolot 2012 will have the chance to win cash prizes ranging from €50 to €300 (totalling €10,000) and other prizes of teaching materials.

In addition, the school that wins the most prizes (and that did not win this category in the previous edition) will win a week's stay for two students and one teacher at a Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) centre where they will have the opportunity to work with the centre's researchers.

Joining forces

In 2002, Garrotxa Secondary School introduced educational robotics, leading to the creation of Robolot - a competition that aims to encourage both a spirit of technological research among children, and to awaken a technological vocation among students at secondary and pre-university level (Higher Secondary Education and Vocational Training).

Since 2011, the Prince of Girona Foundation has been a co-organiser of the event with Garrotxa Secondary School. A collaboration which this year has been joined by Olot City Council, which has come on board the Robolot organisers' team.

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