Robot Parade

Every year, the Tuxedo Pandas help put on the Robot Parade. The event is designed to provide a fun, easy half-day activity for students and parents to see how much fun robots can be! We host workshops beforehand for kids who do not have access to robot kits, and we help them build or tweak parade-ready entries. Everyone whose robot makes a successful lap around our 80 foot track gets a unique medal commemorating their success!

Timing: Late May, after the FIRST World Championship, and just as registration opens for FLL & FTC.

Format: half-day event, with workshops before to build & program robots on the spot using Lego Mindstorms.

Theme: Varies annually. Provides an artistic outlet. Past themes include a Salute to Veterans (2011), Honoring our Mothers (2012) , Butterflies (2013, science museum opened a butterfly house), and Wheels & Wagons (2014, Children's Museum of Blacksburg).

Team objectives: Build a robot that follows a line around an 80 foot track, capable of stopping before overrunning an obstacle, and optionally, incorporating artistic elements of the parade theme. All participants with a successful lap around the course receive a custom medal.

Overarching Goal: Provide a simple but creative weekend event as a way for students in a broad age range to try out robotics, without the intense time commitment involved in mainstream competitions. Serve as a funnel to FIRST events for those interested in going further.

Web: see

Partners: The Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council, the ScienceMuseum of Western Virginia, The Children’s Museum of Blacksburg, Roanoke Robotics Club, Let’s Code Blacksburg, and FTC Team 4924: The Tuxedo Pandas via the New River Robotics Association

Files for download: Provided below is an overview of our Robot Parade event in PDF format. We have created a robot with building instructions, made especially for the roboparade, suitable for NXT 1.0 or 2.0 kits, modified from two designs and resubmitted to (LineFollowerRoboParade.pdf). We also have several Mindstorm programs useful for jumpstarting your robot (NXT-G code in

The 2013 Robot Parade in Roanoke at the Science Museum of Western Virginia
Line Follower Robot as a suggested design for the roboparade