World Robot Olympiad was founded in 2004
There had been a robotics competition involving students from Asian countries since 2000 called International Robot Olympiad, and an international Committee was formed to expand further. The Committee decided to establish a new and permanent organization. Students from all over the world should have the opportunity to meet with other students to fulfill the new mission statement:
“To bring together young people all over the world to develop their creativity, design & problem solving skills through challenging & educational robot competitions and activities.”
Members of the 1st WRO Committee from top left to bottom right: Mr. Tae Soo Park and Dr.Youm (Korea), Dr. Kanai (Japan), Mr. Lars Vahl (Denmark), Mr. Clarence Sirisena (Singapore), Mr. Eugene Zhang (China), Mr. Kobayashi (Japan), Dr. Marcello Ang (Sgp.)
The new name of the competition was WORLD ROBOT OLYMPIAD, or WRO. And the decision was made that the international WRO event should be hosted by a new country each year. In 2010 WORLD ROBOT OLYMPIAD ASSOCIATION Ltd. was officially registered as a legal entity with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) in Singapore.
WRO grew rapidly. In 2004 12 countries participated in the international WRO event hosted by Singapore. Ten years later over 48 countries and over 20,000 children are involved in WRO. (See development in numbers of participants here.)
The highest authority in WRO is the WRO Advisory Council (AC) with 13 members. The AC sets the goals for WRO and elects from its midst the members of the WRO Board of Trustees (BoT). The BoT works on achieving the goals and is involved designing new game rules, selecting judges for the international events. The WRO staff works on WRO tasks on a daily base and is formed by a Secretary General, a Program Manager and a Senior Program Consultant.