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Team Captures Third Place In VEX Robotics World Championship
June 14, 2018

The Volgenau School of Engineering, at George Mason University, recently announced that Mason’s SciTech Robotics team captured third place in the VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky this spring. It’s the second consecutive year that Mason Engineering students placed third at the event.

According to information, the team won all its elimination matches against other universities in the United States and around the world before losing to a team from Xi’an, China. That group won the competition.

“I was thrilled to do that well at an international platform for the second year in a row,” says team manager Afnan Ali, a junior majoring in computer engineering. This accomplishment proves that Mason is on the cutting-edge with robotics, he says.

“Our 2,000 hours of work were determined in two-minute matches, so the intensity was incredible,” says Josef Spanbauer, a junior in mechanical engineering. He is interning for Micron Technology, the team’s primary sponsor.

The team’s challenge was to create and operate a robot that picked up and stacked cones onto a mobile device on a game field faster than robots from competing teams. During the event, the robot ran autonomously for 45 seconds, then Spanbauer or his teammate Andrew Bender drove it for one minute and 15 seconds.

The team represents the broad appeal and exposure mechanical engineering has among students, says Oscar Barton Jr., chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and supervisor of the team. “It is a multidisciplinary project bringing together elements of electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering.”

Other SciTech Robotics sponsors include Apple Federal Credit Union, University Life, BAE Systems, and Kennis Software, Inc.

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