hebocon girl

The CITL, in partnership with the Office of High-Impact Practices, RU Makers, College of Education and Human Development, Artis College of Science and Technology, Radford City Schools, Pulaski and Floyd County Schools, and Springhouse Community School, have annually hosted the Hebocon Robotics Tournament since fall 2015. While Hebocon has been on hiatus due to the pandemic, CITL and partners hope to bring it back as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, check out some info on the event below.

For those new to the concept, this event is modeled upon the Japanese Hebocon contest, in which students build simple, DIY robots that face off in a sumo-style tournament. It's a synergy of robotics, electronics, engineering, mathematics and art. Robots are created from pieces of old toys, electronic and remote controlled gadgets, low-voltage components, duck tape, and the like. Check out the Official Guidelines below, as well as a short video showcasing the 2018 competition (visit our Vimeo page to view educational films showcasing past years).

Each year are pleased to host student competitors from Belle Heth Elementary, Dalton Intermediate School, Radford High School and Springhouse Community School, and welcomed new competitors from Pulaski and Floyd county schools in fall 2019. Each school hosts in- or after-school build parties leading up to the main event with Radford University student mentors often facilitating and teaching basic building skills to the students. In addition, the CITL and partners often hold a 'gear drive' for people in the campus community to donate old toys, low-voltage electronics, etc. for the event. 

Also, check out University Relations' article about the fall 2016 Hebocon.

Hebocon Sports 2018

Official Guidelines:

- The winner pushes the loser out of a small rectangular “ring” (e.g., 0.5m by 1m), or remains standing after the opponent has fallen over.
- Expensive or technologically advanced entries are SHAMED!
- Robots should be able to move forward, however meekly.
- If several minutes (e.g., 2-3 min) elapses with no clear winner, a coin flip will determine which robot advances in the tournament.
- The tournament shall be single-elimination style.
- Side matches among eliminated robots are totally encouraged.
- Robots can be remote controlled, either wired or wireless. Anything approaching intelligent automaton status (e.g., automatic response to sensor data) will be severely penalized for its naked ambition.
- Prizes will be awarded to the tournament victor, but also, as the judges see fit, for extraordinary creativity or crappiness.