Ladies and gentlemen, the future is now. Or rather, the future is later this month. If you’re a technology-nut, it’s imperative that you get down to the MFCC (Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre) on the 24th and 25th of March for the Malta Robotics Olympiad 2017!

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The Malta Robotics Olympiad is a free annual event, now in its sixth year, organised by the Ministry for Education an Employment in partnership with GO. Though the event is mostly aimed at student participation and is set to make younger audiences interested in technology, the event can be enjoyed by anyone who has even the slightest fascination with gizmos and gadgets! From competitions to workshops, there’s something to appeal to every single age group.

If you’re already figuring out how to pencil the dates in your calendar, don’t worry too much because the event will be open to the public for most of the weekend. On Friday 24th the event begins at 4 pm and lasts till 10.30 pm, while the next day you can go as early as 9 am, with the closing time also being 10.30 pm. Here are some of the best parts of the event to look forward to during MRO17!

The main competition during the whole competition is a Lego Sumo Competition, which is only open to Middle and Secondary School students in Forms 1-5. You can still watch the action take place if you like! This year, the competition is particularly exciting because it doubles as national qualifiers. The winning team will represent Malta in an International Lego Sumo Challenge!

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Photo credit: Malta Robotics Olympiad

For something that is bound to be a little bit more exciting to older audiences, the event to watch is the MRO Big Challenge, which is aimed at students who like a bit more intensity in their competitions. In this particular challenge, participants need to build a robot that is programmed to autonomously go through an obstacle course!

Part of MRO17 is also the Malta Drone Nationals, which is the first European Drone Racing Championship qualifier of this year’s drone racing season. This particular event will be laid out over both days of MRO17 and is looking to be one of the most exciting parts of the weekend. The Malta Drone Nationals are divided into different competition segments, including a racetrack full of stunt modules and a freestyle competition!

One of the more interactive parts of MRO17 is a Design and Technology Expo that invites the public to test out the products and inventions brought to the table by participating students. In 2016 over 400 projects were on display. If the numbers this year are similar, anyone into gadgets will see this segment of MRO as a Christmas village of sorts! Speaking of interactivity, the MRO Esports Arena, which is taking the form of a full-scale gaming tournament called Overwatch, will go down a treat for people with a knack for getting the best of games.

One segment of MRO17 that we’re really excited about is the series of EDx conferences that will be taking place. Speakers include prestigious lecturers from the University of Malta as well as a live session with CERN, from the Large Hadron Collider area!

On display this year will also be a full-scale and functioning Wall-E robot, which is bound to be a hit for anyone who’s watched the impeccable Disney Pixar film. This will be the second year that the MRO team has taken up the challenge of building a pop culture robot, as last year they successfully replicated the BB-8 Droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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All in all, if you want to whirr your wonder and electrify your excitement, MRO17 is hands down the place to be on the 24th and 25th of March! For more information, visit https://mromalta.com/.

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