The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Robotics Club’s VEX U team, WiscoBots, traveled to Dallas, Texas, to compete in the VEX Robotics World Championship April 27-29, where they won the VEX U College and University Competition and became the first team in VEX U history to win the world championship in back-to-back years.
“Being the first team to ever win back-to-back world titles is such a surreal experience,” said Max Van Rossum, a senior mechanical engineering major and president of the robotics club at UW-Platteville. “Winning this year was incredible and certainly more challenging to accomplish compared to last year, due to the higher number of teams competing and the nature of the game.”
The VEX Robotics World Championship celebrates STEM excellence as robotics teams compete in heart-pounding competition matches to showcase their game strategy, design and teamwork skills to be crowned champion. Every year, colleges construct two different robots, using custom parts and components. Colleges compete against other college teams in head-to-head matches on a 12-by-12-foot field. Matches start with an autonomous routine, where robots run off of pre-programmed instruction, followed by a driver-controlled period. At the end of the match, the field is scored, and a winner is determined for the match.
UW-Platteville’s team went undefeated in qualifications and eliminations at 16-0 to win the world championship. Additionally, they finished second in the college skills competition and won the Amaze Award.
“As a former high school competitor, it is always a dream to be holding the championship banners,” said Van Rossum. “It is crazy to think that due to us winning back-to-back world titles, we are leaving our mark on competitive robotics for years to come.”
Additional team members included Austin Attig, Jimmy McGovern, John Bertello, Agii Kerwin, Henry Hathaway, Scott McDermott and Nathan Sandvig.
According to its website, the VEX U College and University Competition has more than 300 teams competing annually. Based on the VEX Robotics Competition, VEX U teams are allowed more customization and greater flexibility than other grade levels while providing the effective costs and real-world limitations of a restricted development environment.