media release

Robotic team heads for world championship

April 16, 2014

Gordon Ho,
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;


Members of Simon Fraser University’s VEX Robotics team—one of the top 30 such teams in the world­—are heading to California later this week to compete in the VEX Robotics World Championship April 23-26. The SFU team is the only Canadian university team to compete.

Five engineering and two computing science students will represent the SFU VEX Robotics club, which has a core team of about 20 students. Members are making final tweaks and adjustments to their robots after final exams wrapped up over the weekend.

The Robotics Education and Competition Foundation holds the annual contest for both high school and university students. It involves solving an engineering challenge using the VEX Robotics Design System.

VEX robotics is an integrated and versatile design system for creating robots, says Gordon Ho, club president. Members of the SFU team, newly formed last fall, have built competitive robots that are run by motors and sensors and can be programmed to solve engineering problems.

“Students are given challenges that address many aspects of real-life engineering,” explains Ho. “We engage our robots in solving problems using a mix of mechanical, programming, and electrical solutions. This year, new obstacles such as a speed bump and bridge will be new challenges. We’ll also rely on our teamwork to help us succeed.”

During the year leading up to the contest, students participate in local qualification matches and self-designed skills challenges. The goal is to tally the most points possible. Earlier this year, the SFU team ranked #1 in the world in the skills challenges component.

In January, the team competed in Edmonton in a similar engineering design competition using the VEX system and finished third. At the end of its contest season the team had worked its way into the World Championships as one of the top 30 teams in the world.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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