A team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, led by students from University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI), was crowned the tournament champion and conferred an all-round excellence award with ten consecutive wins at the VEX U competition at the 2018-19 VEX Asia Open held from February 21 to 24.
The VEX Asia Open Championship gathered more than 2,000 participants from 400 student-led teams across Asia this year. During the competition, students are tasked with designing and building a robot to compete against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. The VEX competition, also named VEX Robotics Competition, is a robotics competition for elementary through university students. The VEX Robotics World Championship held in April each year in the United States is the largest robotics competition in the world by Guinness World Records. There are three divisions of this robotics competition meant for different age groups and skill levels: VEX EDR, VEX U, and VEX IQ. VEX EDR is for middle and high school students, VEX U is for university students, and VEX IQ is for elementary and middle school students only.
According to Chongdan Pan, a JI student and leader of the winning SJTU1 team, the team spent painstaking efforts to prepare for the competition, During the winter holiday, Pan and his fellow JI team members including Ruixing Zhou, Yingwen Tan and Zhiyi Pan only took seven days’ leave. They refined the idea of designing robots, updated the structure and materials used for building robots, and sought advice from previous competition winners.
After claiming the VEX Asia Open championship, the SJTU team will next attend the VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, in April.