Do you have the creativity to write a great robot story?

This is your chance you show off your imagination and take the readers on an adventure into the world of robotics and intelligent machines.

We’re looking for exciting, intriguing, and thoughtful short stories all about robots.

Enter now for a chance to win some incredible prizes!

Once Upon a Robot is open to children aged between 7 and 11 years old*.

* Read our Terms and Conditions for full details about competition eligibility.

You’ll need to use your imagination to create believable characters and a compelling plot.

Think about when and where your story is set and how you will communicate that to the reader.

What challenges will your characters face?

How will the robotic adventure end?

Top Tip

Try writing a first draft, leaving it for a few days and then re-reading what you wrote – it’ll help you make your final story much better!


  • MakeBlock Codey Rocky Educational Coding Robot
    – contributed by sponsoring partner Pipebots
  • A tour of Heriot-Watt University’s National Robotarium in Edinburgh a world-leading centre for robotics and artificial intelligence.
  • Printed copy of the winning story with bespoke illustrations by illustrator and science communicator Hana Ayoob
  • A copy of “Rumaysa: A Fairytale” signed by competition judge Radiya Hafiza
  • + more!


Radiya Hafiza

Radiya Hafiza studied English Language and Literature at King’s College London and worked in publishing for a few years. Radiya grew up reading classic fairy tales that never had any brown girls in them – Rumaysa is her debut novel, bringing such stories to children who need to see themselves represented.

Dr Viktor Doychinov

Dr Viktor Doychinov is a Research Engineer at the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Leeds, where he is currently working on the Pipebots project, which aims to send small robots inside our water and sewer pipes to inspect them for water leaks and blockages. In this project, he is responsible for researching and developing wireless communications to make sure the robots can talk to one another and send information back to humans above ground. His other research interests include biomedical and sensing applications of wireless technology and radio electronics.

Dr Mauro Dragone 

Dr Mauro Dragone is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering and Physical Science at Heriot-Watt University. Dr. Dragone worked on the Internet of Things (IoT) for smart environments, before leading the project RUBICON (Robotic UBIquitous Cognitive Network), a 2.5 million European project that posed the foundations for self-adaptive robotic systems for assisted living applications. At Heriot-Watt, Dr. Dragone set up the Robotic Assisted Living Testbed, a ‘Living-Lab” designed for user-driven design and testing of innovative and more practical solutions for healthy ageing and independent living by harnessing IoT and Robotic technologies working together. His current research activities include cloud-robotics, tele-presence robotics, and integration of robot technology in smart homes to assess and assist people living with conditions such as dementia and frailty.

Dr Theo Lim

Dr Theo Lim’s research covers developing and profiling non-conventional interfaces and applications for virtual reality environments, knowledge engineering, and human factors evaluation. His research emphasis is on the conceptual design of products and integrated systems, game-based approaches for engineering, and neurometrics. He is currently investigating the impact of novel digitization methods that enable symbiotic services between humans and machines, which can be applied to Industry 4.0, bio-cybernetics, and the development of nature-inspired micro and macro-scale robots. His applied approach has seen his work commercialized by industries such as Renishaw, Pathtrace and RPLogic.

Competition Partners