Embarking on a journey that transcends the ordinary, Robocon 2023 emerged as a groundbreaking celebration in the dynamic cityscape of Baguio. Held last November 11-12, 2023 at and in partnership with Brent International School Baguio, this event was a beacon in Baguio’s STEM landscape. Our narrative unfolds not just within the realm of a robotics competition but as a fusion of innovation, collaboration, and STEM exploration. Much like the spirit of play that defines our approach at Vivita, Robocon was not defined through rigid structures, but through innovation, fun, and a passion and interest in robotics.
Our journey begins with a series of pre-Robocon events called “RoboRumballs”, where participants got a taste of what Robocon would give. Through July to September 2023, we held a total of 11 of these events at our own Vivistop and our other partner organizations. The goal of RoboRumballs was to get participants for Robocon, and we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who had signed up. At the end of Robocon itself, we had 23 teams with 65 participants who had finished Robocon.
During RoboRumball, participants also got to know about and use Viviware Cell. Before each RoboRumball, we did a basic run-through of Viviware Cell to get them familiar with using it. Participants then used Viviware Cell to program their robots for RoboRumball. We wanted participants to be familiar with Viviware Cell as we encouraged them to use it for their Robocon robots, but we did not limit them to using this only. During the actual competition days, most teams used Viviware Cell, though some teams used Arduino as well.
One of our primary goals was to cultivate a spirit of innovation among Baguio's youth. As we embarked on this exciting STEM journey, participants who engaged in RoboRumballs found themselves not just learning about robotics but also gaining the confidence to try new things. The ripple effect was palpable by the end of Robocon, with more individuals feeling empowered to step outside their comfort zones and embrace new challenges.
The competition itself was not a cutthroat showdown; it was a fun and friendly affair where participants cheered each other on. Robocon 2023 became a melting pot of creativity and sportsmanship, where collaboration and mutual support took center stage. This friendly atmosphere not only heightened the overall experience but also emphasized that the true victory was in the shared passion for STEM. Teams would cheer each other on as they competed, but behind the scenes, they would also help each other build and fix their robots.
Robocon was held over two days, with the teams being separated according to their age groups. On the first day, participants were aged 15 and under, and on the second day, participants were aged 16 and older. We had awards for each age group, along with overall champion awards. In addition to that, we also had awards for “Best Costume” and “Most Innovative Design”, to keep things fun.For the age group of 15 and under, Team Cactus came out on top with 23 points. Team KaraBot won Best Costume with their farmer-themed outfits and robots, and Team Uran14m won the award for Most Innovative Design with the ball-capturing mechanism their robot had. In the older age group category, Team CPE won with 53 points. For Best Costume, Team Fortes Blinker Fluids and Robotics won with their businessmen-inspired costumes. Team Mirai won the Most Innovative Design award with their 3-D printed robots with awesome mechanisms. Team CPE was also our Vivita Robocon Baguio 2023 overall champion, coming out on top of the 23 teams who participated.
The collaborative spirit extended globally, with team members from Vivita Japan, Vivita Singapore, and Vivita Lithuania joining hands to make RoboCon 2023 a resounding success. Their expertise, coupled with the enthusiasm of local participants, created an environment where knowledge exchange transcended borders, enriching the experience for everyone involved. Vivita Japan also had a team participate, Team Darkness Samurai, composed of Kassy, the inventor of Robocon, and Keigo, a Japanese Vivinaut.
Crucial to the success of Robocon 2023 was the partnership with Brent International School Baguio. Serving as a key collaborator, Brent International School played a pivotal role in providing the venue and support, contributing significantly to the event's success. Their commitment to STEM education and dedication to fostering a culture of innovation made them an invaluable ally in realizing the vision of Robocon 2023.
The emphasis on fostering a culture of innovation extended beyond the robotics competition. Robocon 2023 was a testament to the transformative power of STEM education, showcasing that it goes beyond theoretical knowledge. Participants were encouraged to experiment, ideate, and create, instilling a mindset that innovation is not reserved for a select few but is a journey that anyone can embark upon.
As we reflect on this remarkable journey – from the spirited RoboRumballs to the groundbreaking Vivita Robocon 2023 – it's evident that Baguio's STEM landscape has been forever changed. The event not only inspired innovation, but also unleashed a newfound confidence among participants, creating a legacy that will continue to shape the city's future. Together, we celebrate a Baguio where STEM is accessible, exciting, and driven by a community that thrives on collaboration, innovation, and the joy of discovery.