Robotathon is a fall semester introductory robotics competition, created and run by the UT IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), the only undergraduate robotics organization on campus, that teaches the basics of robotics to those new (or used) to the field.

About 150 participants are placed in teams of 5-7 people, assigned a mentor, and helped through designing and building a robot. You’ll then compete amongst your peers for everlasting glory! You can only compete once (no Robotathon veterans, please).

The Fall 2018 Robotathon is now over. If you’d like to participate, please come back next year!

Many people get started with robots and RAS by participating in Robotathon. But if this isn’t your cup of tea, join us instead for something for everyone.

Robotathon 2018

The 2018 Robotathon game was RASumo, a sumo robot competition!

Game and Season Information

Please see:

Robotathon 2018 Calendar

General Robotathon Resources

Robotathon Tech Talks

View presentations from Robotathon 2018.

View presentations from Robotathon 2017.

Robotathon Rasware Software

The software used to program the Launchpad microcontroller in the Robotathon 2018 Kit of Parts and instructions for installing it may be found at:

Robotathon 2018 Field CAD

An official 3D model of the Robotathon 2018 RASumo field is now available:

Rendering of Robotathon 2018 field

Download this model for:


So what is Robotathon?

Robotathon is an annual event held every fall semester at the University of Texas at Austin by the UT IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS [răz]). This competition is a two month long bootcamp for robotics culminating in a large, sports-like competition that pits each teams’ robot against each the others in a tournament style battle-to-the-death (well, not usually, though that would be cool) for glory and honor (and bragging rights). It is designed for newcomers and robotics veterans alike, although if you’re really good at this thing already, you may prefer to join one of our other committees from the start.

What is this year’s competition?

The competition rules were released at the Robotathon kickoff, Tuesday, September 25 2018 and are linked above as part of the game manual. For historical purposes, you might also be interested in last year’s rules!

What are the robots like?

We provide a basic electronics kit: servo motors, battery pack, and TI LM4F LaunchPad microcontroller. Teams generally use the resources available in the UT makerspace, including 3D printers and laser cutters, to build the robot frame and mechanics. You can see some of the 2016 robots here!

When does Robotathon happen?

Participants apply to Robotathon at the beginning of the fall semester. Teams are formed by the Robotathon kickoff meeting, paired with a mentor, and taught basic robotics through weekly workshops up until the competition itself, which is typically held the Saturday of the weekend before Thanksgiving.

What do I need to know to participate?

Absolutely nothing! All you need is a open mind and a desire to learn. While this is a competition, it is also, above all, a learning experience designed to help teach robotics to those that want to learn. In addition, all participants are generally on the same level because this competition is restricted to newcomers to RAS - primarily freshmen!

Who can compete?

UT undergraduates can apply (you don’t have to be an engineer!). Over 100 students are selected and formed into teams of about 6 people. Furthermore, any one person can only ever compete in one Robotathon (not both 2016 and 2017, say): do your best!

What is the time commitment like?

It’s up to you. However, the quality of your robot often depends directly on the amount of time you and your team work on it. For best results, expect to spend 5 to 10 hours per week in workshops or actual design and construction.

I can’t make some event! What do I do?

Make sure you can attend the Robotathon kickoff meeting (evening of Tuesday, September 25) and Robotathon itself (afternoon of November 17). As long as your team members can make any particular workshop, you’ll stay caught up. Make sure to meet with your team as often as possible!

How do I sign up?

Registration is open in the beginning of the fall semester. Robotathon 2018 registration is now closed; check back in a year!

Does this cost anything?

Yes. To participate in Robotathon, you must pay RAS membership dues ($15) and a fee for special Robotathon parts ($20) for the semester, totaling $35.Scholarships may be available under extenuating circumstances: contact us. Dues may be paid after any RAS general meeting or during RAS office hours.

Any further questions about Robotathon or RAS?

Email us directly at, or otherwise get in touch!