Generally speaking, Sumo Bots are a modern twist on the ancient Japanese sport of Sumo Wrestling. Small robots in different classes compete on a raised ring, attempting to push each other off the ring.

However, SuGO™ is a specific competition format designed for Sumo Bots built using LEGO® and LEGO MINDSTORMS® components.

SuGO™ was developed in 2006 by robot software designer: Phil Malone. Phil had founded the Garrett Engineering and Robotics Society (GEARS), and he wanted a year-round robotics activity to capture and retain new members.

Since LEGO MINDSTORMS® were already being used for area Summer Tech Camps, and Sumo robot competitions were easy to run, Phil developed a hybrid Sumo competition format using pre-programmed LEGO® RCX bricks. This new format provided two key elements: instant gratification, and an endless opportunity for design improvements.

This new format was called SuGO™ and was highly successful in attracting young families into the world of robotics. SuGO™ events were run once a month. Teams came to GEARS empty handed, free-built their designs, and then competed in a double- elimination SuGO™ tourney, all in the same afternoon. Phil showcased SuGO™ in the November 2008 issue of Servo Magazine (a popular robotics hobbyist magazine) where the overall format was described, and SuGO™ software programs were made available for download.

SuGO™ quickly became the pipeline which fed students into other GEARS robotics teams. Early-adopters were soon clamoring for new robotics experiences which led to the formation of many FIRST® LEGO® League and FIRST® Tech Challenge teams. These teams have dominated in competitions due to their well-developed teamwork, design and problem-solving skills.

SuGO™ serves as a pre-requisite for FLL team "Buffalo Bytes". This ensures all team members have a common core to build upon. It also allows prospective team members the opportunity to learn about the basics of building and working with LEGO robots in a competition environment before joining "Buffalo Bytes".

Watch this YouTube Video to learn the basics of SuGO™ in less than three minutes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: At this time, SuGO is NOT being offered in The Villages Charter Schools. We will update this post in the future if it becomes available again.

The Villages Daily Sun ran an article on SuGO on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Please click HERE to see that article.

Ackowledgement: The above text was shamelessly borrowed from