Nearly 800 million people worldwide suffer from hunger. Still, about a third of the world’s food production is never eaten. It goes to waste. A country like Thailand produces many kinds of food products. Unfortunately, much of the food is sent to landfills, or is discarded, or is left unharvested on farms because of its appearance and age. Thailand farms, businesses, and consumers spend a large portion of their resources every year, growing, processing, transporting, and disposing food that is never eaten. This year, the mission is to make a robot that can help reduce food waste. The task of the robot is to sort food products according to their looks and expiration dates and transport the sorted food to places that can make use of the food instead wasting it; i.e. dumping the non-sellable food to a landfill.
The Elementary Challenge is to make a robot that can sort the fruit products from a farm according to their quality, or appearance. There are four kinds of qualities: fresh fruit, unripe fruit, imperfect or “ugly” fruit, and rotten fruit. In the game arena, four different LEGO fruit blocks represent the four different qualities of fruit:
Ten LEGO fruit blocks are placed on the ten grey squares of the Fruit Placement Area. After sorting the fruit, the robot must transport the fruit from the farm to locations that match the quality of the fruit: fresh fruit to the grocery store, unripe fruit to a ripening room, ugly fruit to a factory to be processed into juice, fruit salad or smoothies, and rotten fruit to a biogas power plant. In the game arena, the two red areas are the grocery stores, the blue area is the biogas power plant, the green area is the ripening room, and the yellow area is the ugly-food processing factory. The robot must start from within the Start Area, inside the green line and should finish in the red area with the White Wall: