World Robot Olympiad Association Guiding Principles

From the beginning, the aim of the World Robot Olympiad Association is to help young people develop their creativity and problem-solving skills. Our association has been supporting the goals of the WRO for years, because we all want to inspire children and young people for technology and robotics with exciting competitions. The WRO has set the following main goals:

  • To give young people the opportunity to learn skills that are relevant in the 21st century, such as creative and innovative thinking
  • To motivate young people to become our scientists, engineers and inventors of tomorrow
  • To show young people the exciting world of automation and (robotic) technology
  • To show a connection between modern technologies and their use in educational institutions
  • To promote the use of robots in MINT education (mathematics, informatics, science, technology)
  • To give young people from all over the world a chance to prove their skills in competitions with fun & teamwork

Participation in a competition also always means the chance to win. With this thought and motivation, many of the participants, team coaches and parents go to each new WRO season. It is perfectly alright and logical that you want to win a contest, as long as you observe the worldwide guiding principles of the WRO.

These Guiding Principles are:

  • Teams are encouraged to learn and master new skills while having fun together.
  • Coaches, mentors and parents are there to guide the teams, not to do the work for them.
  • Participating and learning are more important than winning.

Ethics Code

All teams participating in WRO should follow these principles:

As a team we follow the following principles:

We are participating in a competition.
We like to win. We want to learn.
And we also want to have fun.

We want to play fair.
We design our own robot and we write our own software.
It is not fair if someone else does that for us.

We can only learn if we try things ourselves.
Our coach can teach us things and guide us.
And we can also get inspired by others.

But our coach should not do the work for us.
And we do not simply copy a robot or software from someone else.
We use the examples we find to design our own robot and programming.

Sometimes we fail and that is OK.
Original ideas come from failing.
Winning is nice but failing is part of our journey.


"It is not whether you win or lose, but how much you learn that counts."

What is OK and what is NOT OK in WRO?

The following table serves as orientation for Team & Team Coach. Especially for the team coach, we also point to our website Participate as a team coach and the information given there to work as a team coach

The description "Our Coach or Our Parents" means all persons directly related to the Team (ie other mentors, friends and acquaintances who are present at the preparation or on the Competition Day).

All Competitions
We search for information online and share ideas with other people
We learn from examples and use what we have learned to build our own robot.
We buy a solotion online or we use a direct copy of another team.
We use that solution in the competition.
Our coach/mentor/parent advises us on different ways to prgoram things. Our coach/mentor/parent pgroams the software (or parts of the software) for us.
Our coach/mentor/parent shows us different ways of buiding things. Our coach/mentor/parent builds the robot (or parts of the robot) for us.
Our coach/mentor/parent lets us find out what to do ourselves if things don't work. Our coach/mentor/parent fixes it for us if things don't work.
Our coach/mentor/parent lets us handle things ourselves on the competition day. Our coach/mentor/parent discusses with the jusdges about the rules and decisions on the competition day.
We want to win the competition, but not by cheating or having someone else do the work for us. We want to win the copetition, it does not matter how we win.
Regular Category
We try to solve the surprise rule ourselves, because we have learned all the basics and can find a solution as a team. Our coach/mentor/parent tries to give us the instructions to solving the surprise rule after it has been announced.
Open Category
Our coach/mentor/parent only helps us with preparing our Robot model or the booth if it is needed. (For example: if things are too heavy, if we need to learn new skills, or if something is too dangerous for us to prepare on our own.) Our coach/mentor/parent decides what our robot model and/or our booth will look like and builds things for us even if we could do it on our own.

What happens if one does not follow the guiding principles?

The WRO Guiding Principles stand in a more abstract way for what the regulations in the individual WRO categories have already conveyed in the past: the independent work of the team, a limited influence of the team coach and the motivation of the participants with fun and the Desire to learn something, to approach the competition.

If WRO Guiding Principles or other competition rules are disregarded, this may result in a warning on the day of the competition (eg with a yellow / red card system) or other consequences in the event of a rule violation (see chapter in the regulations of the individual categories, eg no further qualification to the next Round).

Finally, we would like to say that we can understand that especially the youngest participants need more support than the team members of the junior or senior age group.

However, we have noticed that in the past, parts of the robot, parts of the program (eg special routines, subprograms, etc.) or whole adult programs were developed and the children could not explain and work on them during the competition. This does not correspond to the understanding of a learning process that the WRO would like to initiate.

We are aware that the tasks of the WRO are demanding. But they contain possibilities for partial points and partial solutions.

As a team coach, motivate your team to think step by step and gradually develop small solutions on their own. The learning success and the fun of the children will then be significantly greater. The danger of being disturbed on a hectic competition day is less if the children feel they have robots and programming under their own control.