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Bison Robotics team to compete in world championship

The Bison Robotics VEX U team has earned a spot at the Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, April 24-May 1. The squad advanced by recently winning the Excellence Award and the regional championship held Feb. 1 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota. 

The world championship event is expected to bring together about 1,600 student-led teams from 30 countries.

The nine-member NDSU team includes students majoring in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, agricultural engineering, veterinary technology and computer engineering.

The group built two robots for the competition, both of which use many 3D-printed parts.

The first robot is a 12-wheel, six-motor drive unit that can expand to be 44 inches tall. It is designed to capture caps on the tops of a series of poles and then park on a raised platform.

The second robot picks up 3-inch plastic balls using six rollers, and then launches the balls at target flags.

Team member Marcus Moldaschel, a junior mechanical engineering major from Sartell, Minnesota, said the students learn to work as a team and how to present their ideas. In addition, many company representatives attend the competitions, looking for interns and future employees.

“Being part of this team has taught me more than I could have imagined or even put in words – everything from organization skills, teamwork, documenting, and engineering techniques,” Moldaschel said. “I can’t think of a better way to apply what I am learning every day in class.”

Sophomore Brian Kahl, a mechanical engineering major from Rice, Minnesota, said, “Seven of us competed against each other throughout high school. Now, being on the same team has helped me see new ways of robot building that everyone brought from their old teams. I am excited to see where this program takes us.”

The Robotics World Championship is presented by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation and Northrop Grumman Foundation.

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North Dakota State University
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