University Level Robotics Competitions

Hello everyone!

Now that our team has come back from worlds, I am glad to say that I am officially done my high school robotics career. Moving on to university next year, I was wondering if anyone knows of any robotics competitions that are similar to VEX or FIRST that I would be able to participate in? I really enjoy the competitive atmosphere of VEX and I am not sure if VEX U would be on the same caliber as VEX EDR as there were only around 90 teams at worlds this year for VEX U. Although I am still eligible for VEX EDR next year because I am born in December, I was wondering if anyone knows of higher level robotics competitions in university. Mainly asking right now because I didn’t discover VEX until my senior year of high school and I don’t want to make the same mistake :frowning:


I wouldn’t throw VEX U completely out of the argument. The new modifications they are allowing this season will make it much more creative and competitive, and 90 teams is more than enough to keep the event interesting.

The higher level robotics competitions will vary depending on the university you plan on attending. Many colleges choose to focus on the research aspect of robotics rather than the competitive aspect, but some schools such as MIT have robotics teams in close relations to major robotic engineering companies (Boston Dynamics,etc.). Schools like Purdue and UIUC have strong VEX U programs on campus, however a majority of VEX U teams are founded privately because of lower competition fees and lack of school sponsorships.

I am not sure how you feel about stating the institution you will be attending publicly, but I’m sure many long runners and mentors in the community would be more than happy to pitch in whether or not they are familiar with any competitive programs at that school or around that area.

Purdue has a bunch of robotics programs… I was a member of Lunabotics my freshman year (competes in NASA RMC). I also know of Mechantronics, RoboMasters, AUVSI, a FIRST mentoring program, and of course SIGBots (our VEX team, which makes PROS and also the competition team BLRS). I also believe our IEEE chapter participates in another UAV competition along with the underwater drone one.

I will most likely be attending the University of Waterloo in Canada next year.

I’m sure Waterloo will have something to keep you entertained… not to mention hosting one of the more competitive FRC events around.

You could be the person who gets to clean the snowmobile… or did I read that wrong…


If you are enrolled in university, it doesn’t matter when your birthday is.

oh dang, I did not know that actually :frowning:

Man I really wish I started VEX earlier. After our robot in 3 days challenge for Turning Point in June, that may be my last ever encounter with VEX EDR.

Does anyone know how feasible starting a VEX U team in university would be?

It’s not to hard as long as you get your school to help out a little. It’s basically like setting up a club at your university, you tell the director of student activities or whatever you have, then you get people to sign up, and you go from there. I guess the difficult part is management because you’ll have to do all that yourself, unlike in high school where you have your coach to do all the background work. There’s good information on vex websites about how to officially create a team, It’s really not too hard. Also the 90 teams at worlds thing wouldn’t really matter either, it’s good that way. Remember there are no alliances in VexU, so you can have half as many teams at the same size competition as HS(i.e. 90 VexU bots = 180 HS bots) It doesn’t sound like a lot but trust me when you start getting into the background work of the team dynamics and financing and stuff, you’ll want the competitions to be smaller because there’s already so much to work on. But personally I think everyone should join VexU now that we had this rule change. Allowing for any type of aluminum or steel or plastic to be on the robot allows for the game to be a lot more like real life, and less like a competitive Erector Set game. Machining parts and milling out your intake this year will be basically required for you to have a competitive edge, but also those are skills that are used in real world robotics as well. Our team (MASON1) has gone to worlds repeatedly over the last few years and we were frankly getting tired of the VEX format as well and we were going to move on this year to a new competition, but after the rule change, we realized that this is exactly what we wanted in the game all along and now we’re here to stay longer.

Hopefully this gives some insight on the whole competition and such. VexU is pretty different from EDR but man is it fun. Hopefully we see you next year.

Yea I think I am definitely going to try and set up a private VEX U team with some of my friends. I think you’re right with the new rules changes that VEX U may actually become a whole lot more interesting in addition to providing a lot more learning opportunities as well. Hopefully we will be able to fundraise enough to start a team haha, VEX is so expensive…luckily I was a part of a school team this year so we didnt have to pay anything


I’m from a Canadian VEXU team as well! UWaterloo actually has a team, Lone Wolf Robotics, and they’re pretty awesome, I met one of them. You should check them out.

OH REALLY??? THAT IS AWESOME. I DID NOT KNOW THAT. I guess they are a private team because they are not on the UWaterloo website haha.

Isn’t Lone Wolf Robotics also a HS Team?

They are, I think they’re related.

Wow. No wonder they have so much funding.

Hey I was just wondering if you know any way of contacting this team? I want to know a bit more about their program but I cannot find any information about them online. Thanks in advance!

Got nothing sorry ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I’m sure if you contact the high school they might have a way to contact their U counterpart

Standard answer - contact the RECF Regional Support Manager :slight_smile:

You might want to double check on the whole private team idea. Unlike highschool or middle school teams, VexU can only be affiliated with a school and not private (as far as I am aware.) Unless by private you meant exclusive to you and some friends, while still being affiliated with the school, but that would be unlikely as I am sure the University would want it to be open to all students.

However, I might have missed that option on the registration page for a VexU team

I know a lot of teams that are not associated with a school. The only requirement, I believe, is that all drive team members are enrolled in a college.