Local school teams taking part in 8th annual robot competition at Balboa Park

More than 75 students from across California will participate in the eighth annual Autonomous Robotics Competition (iAROC) at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.

Student-programmed, Roomba-style robots will compete in races, challenges, and mazes on Saturday, June 27, and Sunday, June 28.

Anyone with a Fleet ticket can watch this two-day competition from inside the museum.

“This is a friendly competition,” says Vic Wintriss, founder of The League of Amazing Programmers, which hosts the event. “The kids form teams and get to know each other … they support each other and cheer each other on.”

The contestants are an enthusiastic bunch. They attend RoboCamp, a free weeklong camp where they make final adjustments to their robots and prepare for competition weekend.

CareFusion is hosting this year’s RoboCamp at its headquarters in Carmel Valley. “We’re excited that the kids will be able to use the space [at CareFusion]…iAROC wouldn’t happen without help from our sponsors, many of whom support us year after year,” says Diane Wintriss, The League’s cofounder.

Other iAROC 2015 sponsors include Qualcomm, SDG&E, Mitchell, Asset Science, Automation Direct, Davlyn Investments, and Apollo Manufacturing Services.

iAROC and RoboCamp are hosted by The League of Amazing Programmers, a non-profit 501(c)(3) after-school institution that teaches the Java programming language to students in grades 5 through 12.

The first-place team will win $1,000, second place $500, and third $250. New this year is the iAROC costume contest. Visit and