, 2023-04-03 14:19:53,
Arkansas Tech University will compete in the 2023 VEX U Robotics World Championship April 27-29 at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.
The ATU robotics team clinched its berth by earning a top-10 world ranking in the skills component of the competition during a VEX U event in Houston, Texas, in March.
“It was something I’ve never been able to do before,” said Chris Osborne, an ATU mechanical engineering student from Bryant, when asked about the Houston competition. “It was an amazing experience. We were undefeated in the qualification rounds and made it all the way to the semifinals. We made some great connections and look forward to doing our best at worlds.”
Osborne is joined on the 2022-23 ATU robotics team by Daniel Andrus of Clinton, Patrick Barnes of Sheridan, Patch Cook of Pottsville, Thomas Dang of Bryant, Collin Easterling of Hope, Lee Edwards of Scranton, Juan Leon of Hope, Wyatt Lester of Sheridan, Hunter Mathis of Hope, Anthony McLain of Bryant, Ryan Nanthalangsy of Sheridan, Braden Pierce of Bryant and Emily Wheat of Sheridan.
Jacob Weidenfeller, ATU instructor of electrical engineering and lab director, serves as their advisor.
The 2022-23 VEX U robotics game is an enhanced version of disc golf. Robots distribute approximately 60 discs into targets and have opportunities to earn bonus points through additional applications.
Arkansas Tech founded its VEX U robotics program at the beginning of the fall 2019 semester by identifying team members, many of whom came from ATU’s Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) registered student organization.
At the end of that semester, ATU robotics won the overall excellence award at a qualifying tournament in Little Rock. ATU’s team earned the right to compete in the 2020 VEX U Robotics World Championship, but that event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Three years later, the ATU robotics team has bounced back and is ready to make that long-awaited trip to compete for a world championship.
“They learn a lot of skills,” said Weidenfeller, who has led the ATU VEX U robotics program since its inception. “They are learning computer-aided design and…
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