More Than the Degree

Micro Invaders by Robot Uprising

Are you a fan of robots? Helsinki is the right place for you!

Check out Robot Uprising!

Robot Uprising is the largest story-based robotic hackathon in Europe. The team organizes events even up to a few times per year. Take a look at how last month’s Micro Invaders was like.

Micro Invaders – what are the rules?

The robots have to collect the “good” yellow balls and push them to their team’s home base. The pink balls are considered as “bad” and have to be pushed to the opposite team’s base. There is a camera above the arena which allows tracking of robots due to computer vision. The participants trained their robots by creating a Machine Learning module, testing in a virtual simulator and on the built arena. Each of the robots was 3D printed and assembled by the contestants. There was a marker put on the robot for the AI to identify it properly.

The match would end either when the team pushed all pink balls towards the opponents or when the team collected all yellow balls and they were more than pink.

5 teams were competing against each other. Due to COVID-19, the audience was not allowed to participate and in general, the event was quite small. Fortunately, there was a Twitch stream with more than 1 000 viewers.

3D printed robots trying to grab and push the balls during a match. Photographer © Anna Poleteli
3D printed robots trying to grab and push the balls during a match. Photographer © Anna Poleteli

It was the first robotic event I have ever attended and I was not expecting it to be emotional. I was completely wrong. Each match was more exciting than the previous one. In one of the matches, a team hacked the other team’s robots by sending them commands to spin around. In another one, a robot fell to pieces. The robots sometimes blocked each other or they tried to push each other out from the arena.

“Micro Invaders was a brilliantly co-ordinated success! For viewers at home, crew and participants on-site, everyone had so much fun watching the battles play-out. The venue design really helped set the mood and the little robots were perfect to create this friendly and educational-yet-competitive atmosphere. We’re proud of what we managed to develop and now we have a professional stream we can move even further forward with, so tune in next time!” tells Lewis from the AI team.

Everything can happen during an arena battle. Be ready to fix your broken robot. Photographer © Anna Poleteli

“Robot Uprising is one of the best ways to really feel like you have an impact on something bigger. The people working on MI put hours into making an AI E-Sport event that had never been done in Finland before and the result speaks for itself. Even though the quality is really high, this still never felt like a job, but more like a hobby!” says Krisu who is a member of the Creative team.

Lewis and I hosting the event. Photographer © Anna Poleteli
Lewis and I hosting the event. Photographer © Anna Poleteli

Robot Uprising organized last year a huge event with three different tracks and namely Robot Uprising (obstacle course), Artificial Invaders (an up-scaled version of Micro Invaders) and Future Design (design hackathon) for more than 300 attendees. The organizing team itself consists of smaller groups: AI, early games, writing, production, marketing (I am in this one!), sales, and video. Everyone has the freedom to choose what they want to work on and collaborate with multiple teams on the inside. There are more than 50 organizers from numerous nationalities.

“Last year when I just arrived in Helsinki as an exchange student in AI & Robotics, I had a great weekend full of fun at RobotUprising, building up and programming my LEGO bot who carries with special missions for the AGI war in the future Helsinki (yes it was a story-driven hackathon!)  After that with great curiosity I blended behind the scenes, joining the awesome organizer community that is making the awesomeness happen. It turns out that I am very proud of the Micro Invader event as a special edition for the special 2020. “For cyborgs, mad robot scientists, and future hackers!” Come and check out! tells Joyce, a previous years participant and a current member of the AI team.

Mr Robot is looking forward to seeing you in future events! Photographer © Anna Poleteli
Mr Robot is looking forward to seeing you in future events! Photographer © Anna Poleteli

The best way to join the team is by texting Robot Uprising on Facebook or by waiting for the official recruitment period that will be announced on Facebook in February.

Sounds interesting? Do you want to join as a competitor or as the audience? You can find more information here: Website and Facebook.

Katarzyna Wojdalska

Functional Materials

Aalto study options

Contact email aaltosquad(at)

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