Our Program

About Our Organization

University of Minnesota Robotics is a student organization at the University of Minnesota.  We have three major goals: to design and build robots, to support the FIRST Robotics program in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas, and to host outreach events to raise awareness of robotics and STEM education. Currently, our teams compete in the ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition, Vex U, the Nasa Robotic Mining Challenge, FTC U and Bot Shot.  Additionally, we participate in non-competitive robot builds, including Robot in 3 Days (RI3D).  Outside of competition, we mentor local robotics teams, volunteer at regional events, and facilitate workshops for students in Minnesota.


University of Minnesota Robotics began orginally on December 3, 2009, as GOFIRST Robotics. The organization consisted initially of six students, and has seen continued growth and evolution throughout the years. With this growth came a natural interest to continue building robots and participating in competitions. Now a designated Campus Life Program within the University, University of Minnesota Robotics hosts six project teams, as well as noncompetitive projects and outreach events.

Timeline of Achievements

2010: GOFIRST Robotics is presented the Scouting, Strategy, Team Spirit, Pneumatics, Programming, Marketing Communications, and Other Awards presentations at the December 4th, 2010 MN Splash Event. GOFIRST Robotics members mentored teams 706, 1675, 1816, 2175, 2470, 2500, 2508, 2846, 3130, and 3524.

2011: GOFIRST Robotics organizes the first annual Post Kick-off Collaborative Strategic Design Meeting (PoKo).  Additionally, the organization attended the 2011 St. Louis Championship conferences, participating in the 2011 FIRST Alumni Conference.

2012: GOFIRST Robotics organizes the first annual Mock Kick-off (MoKo) to help teams start planning their seasons before Kick-off.  GOFIRST also hosted the first annual Summer Robotics Summit. The organization continued its volunteering and mentoring with FRC teams, and developed additional robots.

2013: GOFIRST Robotics delves into FLL outreach by hosting a non-qualifying tournament in partnership with High Tech Kids on February 23. GOFIRST Robotics also continued participating in competitive robotics by attending the AUVSI IGVC competition in Rochester, Michigan.

2014: IGVC robot is converted for the ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition. The Hexacopter project is completed.

2015: The group competes for the second year in the ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition.

2016: The group builds an entirely new robot to compete in the ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition.

2017: The GOFIRST Robotics Autonomous Snowplow Team designs a new robot, dubbed “Snow Squirrel”, which takes fourth place at the ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition. Additionally, the NASA Remote Mining Competition Team was formed.

2018: The GOFIRST Robotics Autonomous Snowplow team takes first place at the ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition with their robot "Snow Squirrel". The VEXU team advances to the World Competition, and the  NASA RMC Team places 11th out of 44 teams during their first year of competition.

2019: In January, 2019, the group officially becomes known as University of Minnesota Robotics under the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department. Professor Qie He serves as the group's faculty advisor. In April, the group sent a team to Bot Shot competition, and won the Student Union and Activities Tony Diggs Outstanding Undergraduate Student Group and College of Science and Engineering Tin Man Most Improved Student Group.

Our Program
VEX Robots
Autonomous Snowplow
State Fair