Robots and Projects

One of the core pillars of our group is to design and create robots! We participate in several competitions around the United States and locally, as well as other non-competitive robot builds. Teams are generally formed around a robot, and are organized by one or more project leads as well as sub-team leads. UMN students of any major or skill level are welcome to join, no prior experience required! Teams are made up of a variety of backgrounds and majors, and are usually organized into sub teams for areas like mechanical, electrical, software along with other project specific sub-teams.

Competitive builds:

University of Minnesota Robotics competes in a variety of collegiate robotics competitions such as Autonomous Snowplow, VEX U, NASA robotic mining, and FTCU. It is not mandatory to participate in these teams as a member, but we highly encourage interested members to join.

Noncompetitive builds and projects:

We also host several noncompetitve robot builds as well as fund members project proposals, be it robots or otherwise. Our Robot in 3 Days build for the First Robotics Competition (FRC) is the most popular build we do, with a live stream of the entire event available. Robot in one weekend is another similar project, but designed around the First Tech Challenge (FTC).

Previous non competitve robot builds include:

  • an air hockey bot
  • Hexacopter, a drone project
  • mini-6, drivetrain prototype bots
  • "Paul-Bot", a smaller FTC robot
  • a large scale BB-8 robot

Other non-competitive projects the group has funded include:

  • designing games for the Kinnect sensor
  • a powdercoating oven
  • a 3d print shredder and filament recycler


GOFIRST Robotics also creates an assortment of robots used to advance our own skills and to be used in demonstrations to inspire and educate. A detailed profile of our robots can be found in the robot gallery.