Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology’s Robotics Team beat out 60 other college teams and was named world champion at the 2016 VEX Worlds robotics competition in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, April 23. The event received recognition from Guinness World Records as the largest robotics event ever, with 1,075 elementary, middle, high school and college teams competing.
This is the eighth time Vaughn’s robotics team has competed in the VEX Worlds championship. They placed sixth in the world in 2015 and second in the world in 2014. The team began preparations for this season’s challenge, called “Nothing But Net,” in the fall and began competing in qualifying matches in January 2016.
“This is an incredible victory for our team,” said Vaughn College President Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo. “Students apply mechanical and programming skills in the development of these robots, actively utilizing theories they acquire in the classroom. This experience is exactly what employers are seeking across a variety of industries where design, programming and troubleshooting are critical for the next generation of automation.”
The team of 12 beat out a group from Mexico in the final round, and before that, many U.S. institutions in a series of terrific matches that was only possible because of almost a year’s worth of work by the students.
The team built their winning robots in Vaughn’s robotics lab; a room dedicated to helping students utilize the knowledge they’ve gained from lecture classes and combine it with hands-on experiences from lab exercises. The students were able to build a practice field in the lab that mimicked the ones used in the competition in order to perfect their robots’ techniques.
Vaughn College qualified for this year’s VEX Worlds at a college competition on Friday, February 12, and hosted a high school qualifier at its campus in Queens on Saturday, February 13. The high school qualifier allowed students from all over New York City and Long Island to meet with Vaughn students and faculty, see a demonstration from the robotics team and learn about Vaughn’s degree programs in engineering and technology.
Vaughn currently offers one of only four ABET-accredited mechatronic engineering programs in the U.S., which combines aspects of robotics with mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering.
Engineering and Technology Department Chair Dr. Hossein Rahemi poses with the Vaughn College Robotics Team at the VEX Worlds championship in Louisville, Kentucky.