UNM hosts statewide robotics competition

February 4, 2014 - By Kim Delker

Governor Susanna Martinez was on hand as students from elementary, middle and high schools around the state gathered at the UNM School of Engineering Centennial Center on Feb. 1 for the UNM VEX Robotics Competition. About 70 students participated in the competition. Martinez announced that Hispanic students in New Mexico had improved Advanced Placement scores over the past year.

The students battled throughout the day with robots they created from the VEX Robotics Design System in games of “Toss Up” and “Add it Up.” The games were developed by VEX Robotics, Inc. and the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, leaders in educational and competitive robotics. The sponsor of the UNM event is 3D Proven Systems. 

Several School of Engineering faculty and students participated or attended the event, including Dean Gruia-Catalin Roman; Francesco Sorrentino, professor of mechanical engineering, who was a judge; Computer Science graduate student Karl Stolleis; Mechanical Engineering graduate student Jesus Lerma, and School of Engineering undergraduates Carlos Gonzalez and Johnson Jose. In addition, Lydia Tapia, assistant professor of Computer Science, along with graduate students Mark Thomas Ogrentz, Rafa Figueroa and Matthew Fricke, demonstrated their robots and research at the event.

VEX Robotics Competition Results:


Excellence Award: Cleveland Middle School
Tournament Champions (teamwork): Taft Middle School and the ASK Academy
Programming Skills: The ASK Academy
Robot Skills Winner: Cleveland Middle School
Design Award: The ASK Academy
VEX IQ Robotic Competition:
Excellence Award: Carlos Rey Elementary
Team Champion Award: Carlos Rey 
Robot Skills Champion Award: Carlos Rey
Design Award: Mountain Mahogany Community School
New Mexico State University will hold a competition on Feb. 16 in Las Cruces.

Top teams from local and state competitions will competed against each other at the VEX Robotics World Championship which takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. later this spring. The world championship will bring teams from Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rick, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States together.