VEX U Team of UMN Robotics Qualifies for VEX U World Championship
After a strong outing at a regional qualifier event on January 30, the VEX U Team within the UMN Robotics student group has secured their spot to the VEX U World Championships. The global competition is scheduled to take place in Louisville, Kentucky in April.
Each year, the VEX U Team within UMN Robotics competes again robotics teams from other schools. Competitions consist of teams building a robot designed with the greatest skill and efficiency in completing a specific objective or "game."
"With VEX robotics there is a new game every year and sometimes designs can cross over," said Matt Preis, project lead of the VEX U Team within UMN Robotics. "this year is not the case, [so] we had to pull together in order to come up with these effective designs [and] compete at the highest level."
At the SCTCC VEX U Regional Qualifying Tournament, the VEX U Team within UMN Robotics were named Tournament Champions and took home some of the top awards, including the Excellence Award and being named Robot Skills Champion.
"It's been a great team effort with access to great resources that have allowed the success to take place," said Preis. "We showed up to the competition with tuned autos but soon discovered that those broke rules during the autonomous period so we had to rewrite them during the day but still managed to find success."
Preis is confident he and his team have what it takes to win this year's World Championship after nearly missing out on the eliminations round of the tournament last year. Says Preis: "We believe we have the team and the resources to make a push for a division finals at the world championship this year."
About UMN Robotics
University of Minnesota Robotics is the student robotics group at the University of Minnesota. Their group has three major goals: to design and build robots, to support the FIRST Robotics program in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas, and to host outreach events to raise awareness of robotics and STEM education. Currently, UMN Robotics teams compete in the ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition, Vex U, the NASA Lunabotics Robotic Mining Challenge, and FTC U. Additionally, they participate in non-competitive robot builds, including Robot in 3 Days (RI3D) and special projects such as the basketball-shooting robot Bot Shot. Outside of competition, they mentor local robotics teams, volunteer at regional events, and facilitate workshops for students in Minnesota.