Competitions typically involve entrants representing a large selection of countries, who compete in over fifty categories, such as autonomously navigating robots in RoboMagellan, combat robots, stair climbing, weight lifting, soccer bots, sumo bots, and kung-fu. About two thirds of the robot events are autonomous, while the remaining third are remotely operated (RCVs). Despite this, a large plurality of entrants in RoboGames remain in the remotely operated events, specifically combat robotics.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the 2005 RoboGames held the record for the world's largest robot competition until being surpassed by VEX Worlds in 2016. RoboGames was selected by Wired for their list of "The Best Ten North American Geek Fests".
RoboGames was founded as the ROBOlympics in 2004 by David Calkins, with the intention of getting robot owners to reach across fields. The five major categories of robots included are "combat robotics (mechanical and electrical engineering), soccer robotics (computer programming and vision), sumo robotics (sensors), androids (motion control), and art robots (aesthetics)".
In May/June 2011, Science Channel broadcast selected heavyweight combat division matches from RoboGames in a one-hour special titled Killer Robots: RoboGames 2011. The program was hosted by Grant Imahara.. RoboGames built a framework for collaboration between builders and engineers from all over the world.
RoboGames events are divided into 10 general categories:
- Humanoids, for human-like robots
- Sumo, where the robots push their opponents
- Combat, where the object is to destroy one's opponent's robot
- Junior League, a category for under-18s
- Autonomous Autos, a navigation category
- BEAM, a racing competition,
- Art Bots, for aesthetically pleasing robots
- Robot Soccer, a soccer competition
- Autonomous Humanoid Challenges
- Open, a miscellaneous category.
- "RoboGames Event Schedule and Rules". robogames.net. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
- "Robotics tournament VEX Worlds is named largest in the world after 1,075 teams take part". Retrieved 2018-04-30.
- Staff, Wired. "The Best: 10 North American Geek Fests". Retrieved 2016-08-25.