There is currently two robotic competitions in South Africa. The WRO (World Robotics Olympiad) and the FLL (First Lego League). These competitions are team based and participants must work in teams.


WRO competition with LEGO MindstormThe WRO is a global robotics competition and gives children the chance to develop and strengthen critical and creative thinking as well as social skills and team work. Teams compete at regional level, then go through to Nationals. Teams will be selected at the national competition to represent South Africa at the international competition.

Teams consist of one coach and two to three contestants. Coaches can be teachers, parents, family members or friends.

Age groups for WRO:

Primary School Age: younger than 13 years old in the year of the competition
Junior High School Age: 13 up to, and no older than 16 in the year of the competition
Senior High School Age: 16 up to, and no older than 20 in the year of the competition

There are two categories with three age groups students can enter to qualify for international participation:

Regular category

Teams assemble robots with LEGO pieces and LEGO Mindstorm brick (either NXT or EV3) that can solve a specific problem. These robots can be built and the programs written before the competition to test it. On the day of the competition though, teams have to assemble their robots at the event. It can be tested with the pre-written programs. Teams get points for the most tasks successfully completed in the designated time.

Open Category

Different themes are given each year for the WRO Open Category. Teams must present a design for their LEGO Mindstorm robot based on the theme. Teams must also decorate their booths with posters and other materials to represent the theme and the research they’ve done. They must also submit a printed report about their robot to the judges. Teams get points in four judging categories.


The FLL (First LEGO League) competition is also an international competition and South Africa is one of 50 countries who participate in this exciting event!

Teams consist of a coach and two to three (up to 10!) members between the ages of 9 and 16. Each year the FLL theme differs. A Field Setup Kit (which consist of a field mat and various LEGO pieces for building the mission models) is bought and the models assembled. Once the challenge are released in August teams can start on their researching, building, programming and team building.

The FLL competition has two aspects: the robot game and the project.

The Robot Game

FLL competition LEGO MindstormThe Field Setup Kit is the is the playing field for the Robot Game. Teams build and program their LEGO Mindstorm robot to solve problems set out in the challenge. The more challenges you complete in the designated time, the more points you score!


The Project

Teams explore an actual problem that today’s scientists and engineers are trying to solve and develop an innovative solution to that problem – either by creating something that doesn’t exist or building upon something that does – and share their findings.

Certain guidelines are set out by the FLL for the representation of the project and consist basically of researching the theme, making a poster of their findings and presenting it as a team in a creative manner.

The FLL competition is build on the Core Values and is focused on just as much as the robot game and the project.

The FLL competition is also held at regional, national and international level.