RoboRave goes virtual

Teams from across the region and the world take part in robotics event

By David Moore | June 7, 2021

Roborave Opt
The RoboSensei online platform shown here allows teams to simulate designing and programming robots to complete complex courses.

Like so much in 2021, the twelfth year of the Laboratory's involvement in the RoboRave robotics event has been nothing like previous years. But working with New Mexico-based nonprofit Inquiry Facilitators, Janelle Vigil-Maestas from the Laboratory’s Community Partnerships Office helped provide an engaging online learning experience for 149 teams from across Northern New Mexico and the world.

Using the RoboSensei online platform students from 1st grade through 12th have been designing and programming their own virtual robot to compete in a range of activities from May 7 through July 15. Teachers can work with their students on age-appropriate challenges that teach programming skills.

One silver lining of having the event take place virtually is that the teams from Northern New Mexico (that make up the majority of the participants) have had the chance to interact with the small number of international teams taking part, from countries including Mexico and Argentina.

James Owen, associate laboratory director for weapons engineering at the Laboratory, and a graduate of Mesa Vista High School in Ojo Caliente, provided opening remarks at the first online session.

Support for the Northern New Mexico teams came from sponsorship by Laboratory operator Triad.

We hope this is the last time we have to hold the RoboRave this way, but making connections across the world has been great to see.

- Kathy Keith
Director, Community Partnerships Office, Los Alamos National Laboratory