Over 6000 middle school, high school and college students from 18 different countries traveled to Anaheim CA, along with their parents, friends and their robots to compete in the 2012 Vex Robotics Competition World Championship at the Anaheim Convention Center on April 19 - 21. After the final points were tallied, the winning alliance from each division was comprised of teams from Canada, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the United States, who took home the coveted World Championship trophies. This event is a massive undertaking, led by the Robotics Education Competition Foundation who tapped INFINITY EVENTS as this year's management company.
OPENING DAY / PARADE OF NATIONS
On the first day of competitions, confetti cannons showered the crowd of thousands at 7:30am just as the doors opened to lead the teams into miles of red carpet that served as a roadway to each of the (9) competition divisions throughout the 400,000 square feet of exhibit Halls A&B as well as the Anaheim Arena.
Also attended by countries from as far as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Brazil and Japan, this three day event is literally the robotics and technological equivalent to the Olympic games complete with a Parade of Nations kicked off by The USC Marching Band and exploding pyrotechnics as each country took the stage proudly carrying their nations flag.
With over 600 teams of 10, space for this competition was at a premium. Every square inch of The Anaheim Convention Center's Halls A&B were utilized. During a match, teams are separated into the Red Team and the Blue Team. Much like basketball but with robots, these teams must place colored shapes into columns while using defense and offense strategies.
All pre-qualifying rounds as well as the finals all took place in the Anaheim Arena which was also the location for opening ceremonies each day and the highly anticipated reveal of the 2013 game for competitors eager to get a jump on next year's robot designs, the 2012/2013 VEX Robotics Competition game reveal included a towering, four sided Kabuki drop, dramatic lighting and pyrotechnics on Friday night, April 20.
The festivities reached a crescendo on Saturday as over 10,000 people filled the Anaheim arena to watch the division champion alliances work together to defeat their competition in the Finals. Kicking-off the Finals, participants were set aglow by iLuminate, the awe-inspiring dance-in-the-dark sensation that took audiences by storm last summer on the hit television series "America's Got Talent." The performance was led by Miral Kotb, iLuminate founder and software engineer who developed the patent-pending wireless lighting technology. After the conclusion of the finals, the newly crowned world champions in each category were photographed by media, coaches and families as pyrotechnics provided by Fireworks America filled the arena and a rain curtain of sparks showered down onto the stage.