CNM Faculty Member Returns to Japan for 2015 RoboRAVE International

December 9, 2015 -- CNM faculty member Fabian Lopez returned to Japan in November to be part of RoboRAVE International.
CNM Faculty Member Returns to Japan for 2015 RoboRAVE International

Dec 09, 2015

RoboRAVE (Robots Are Very Educational) is a competition in which grade school, middle school, high school and some college-level students design robots that face off in various contests.

Last year, Lopez traveled to Kaga, Ishikawa in Japan  to train people who were going to organize the 2015 RoboRAVE. This year he went back to observe and help out in the actual competition.

“The RoboRave was very successful and very interesting,” Lopez said. “Some 800-900 participants competed with their families looking on, filling up a large sports center.”

Lopez co-founded the New Mexico RoboRAVE in 2001 with Russ Fisher-Ives, a retired Rio Rancho teacher, and Chris Brady, a Rio Rancho technology teacher. It grew from 25 high school students and three teachers in a Rio Rancho middle school gym to more than 1,600 students participating in the 2014 competition held at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The competition is now called RoboRAVE International because it attracts students beyond New Mexico. This year, teams competing in the Japanese RoboRAVE included teams from New Mexico, Colombia, China, Taiwan, Singapore and more.

The competitors arrive at RoboRAVE with their robots already built, but most of the time they have to be modified to compete.

Lopez said there are enough countries participating now that every even-numbered year the event will be held in Albuquerque and odd-numbered years it will be in host cities around the world. The 2017 RoboRAVE will be in Colombia and the 2019 competition will be in Bejing. The 2016 and 2018 RoboRAVE (aka Roboquerque) will be at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Early in RoboRAVE’s formation, the CNM Foundation managed funds earmarked for the competition. A separate foundation has been formed which now administers the funds.

“This year’s RoboRAVE in Japan showed good international collaboration,” Lopez said. “In addition, the kids had a blast.”