I’ve had the opportunity to travel to China twice in the past two years to help run a robotics tournament there. An organization named China Robotics Challenge (CRC) has been building up a competition patterned after First Robotics Compentition (FRC) www.usfirst.org. They reached out to our team to help them run the competition and teach them how to perform the various roles needed to do that. I got to be a Control Systems Advisor for the 2014 competition and a Field Technical Advisor for the 2015 competition. Both years, the competition was held in Shenzhen and the number of chinese teams doubled between 2014 and 2015. There are even bigger plans for 2016 so it will be interesting to see how the number of teams grows over the years to come!
Typically we spend a few days helping the chinese teams before the competition starts. This year, 9 international teams attended the event: 118, 148, 359, 525, 987, 1538, 1595, 1772, 2468, and 4613. The international teams are each assigned to help a set of chinese teams. Here are some pictures of our team helping out:
The competition this year had a set of typical FRC-style qualifcation matches where random alliances were formed. After the qualification matches were finished, there were two elimination tournaments. One which allowed all teams to compete and one chinese-only tournament.
The chinese teams are advancing quickly! In other competitions such as Vex Robotics, China has many extremely competitive teams. If the CRC merges with FRC I have no doubt that soon they will be equally as successful in the future. This was a great trip, we got to see lots of amazing sights in China and it was really rewarding helping the chinese students work on their robots.