What is Pi Wars?
Pi Wars is an international, challenge-based robotics competition in which teams build Raspberry Pi-controlled robots and then compete in various non-destructive challenges to earn points. The competition takes place over a single weekend and at the end of each day, prizes, medals and trophies are awarded to those competing.
In previous years, we have had teams from schools, clubs, families, groups of hobbyists and solo roboteers. The competition is open to anyone from around the world and in the past has included teams from countries including all areas of the UK, the USA, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Turkey and Nigeria!
When and where will Pi Wars take place in 2024?
Pi Wars 2024 will take place on Saturday, 20th and Sunday, 21st April at the Cambridge Computer Laboratory (William Gates Building) in the City of Cambridge, UK. This is the same venue that we have used for previous in-person Pi Wars events. Young Teams will compete on Saturday and all other teams will compete on Sunday.
These dates were chosen after consultation with past competitors because:
- The dates avoid most schools’ exam period.
- The dates avoid the Easter school holidays.
- The dates are in the University’s holiday period so will make set-up easier.
Why in-person? What about those who can’t get to Cambridge?
We wanted to bring Pi Wars back to what it was before the pandemic – an in-person competition over one weekend. Our team of volunteers had built all the courses, and teams were ready to compete, but we had to cancel due to Covid. We felt it only right that Disaster Zone should live again! We also felt that the at home competition put an extra burden on teams: that of building their own arena and courses, when all they really wanted to do was to build the robot. The 2024 competition does not rule out an at home event at some point in the future, though.
We’re intending to record lots of video footage during the weekend of the event so that those who are unable to get to Cambridge can experience what the event is like, see the courses, meet some of the competitors and see the prizegiving
How do I apply? Can I enter a team to compete?
You will need to review our Application Process. Applications will remain open until Sunday, 1st October. This is to give school teams time to assemble their students in the new term. This will give teams just under seven months to build and complete their robots.
Can I get tickets to watch?
Yes! Volunteers for the event and under-16s can attend the event for free. For those 16 and over, the tickets are £5 each for one day and £7 for the whole weekend. Tickets will be available closer to the event. Sign up to our (low traffic) mailing list to get the announcement of availability.
The theme for 2024 is Disaster Zone! It is all to do with natural and man-made disasters with a special nod to our favourite disaster movies. This is the long-awaited theme carried over from the postponed 2020 Pi Wars!
There are quite a lot of rules, so we have created a separate page for these: general rules for the competition can be found here.
There is lots of detail available on all the challenges and you can read about the Disaster Zone challenges here.
Discuss and Chat
We run a Chat server on Discord. You’ll find a lot of competitors on Discord as well as some of the organisers – good for those quick questions that you may have. We recommend only joining Discord if you are over 18, in line with our Safeguarding policies. If you are under 18, please ensure you have the appropriate permission from your responsible adult.
Hints for Robot Teams
You can find out more about robotics using the Raspberry Pi in our Help & Tips section.