Vaughn College Robotics Team Named World Champion at Record-Setting 2016 VEX Robotics Competition

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Vaughn College defeated 60 college teams to secure the win at the 2016 VEX Worlds in Louisville, Kentucky. More than 1,000 elementary, middle, high school and college teams competed in the event.

The Vaughn College Robotics Team poses with their faculty advisor, Engineering and Technology Department Chair Dr. Hossein Rahemi (third from left).

Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology’s Robotics Team defeated 60 other college teams and was named world champion at the 2016 VEX Worlds robotics competition in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, April 23. The event received recognition from Guinness World Records as the largest robotics event ever, with 1,075 elementary, middle, high school and college teams competing.

This is the eighth time Vaughn’s robotics team has competed in the VEX Worlds championship. They placed sixth in the world in 2015 and second in the world in 2014. The team began preparations for this season’s challenge, called “Nothing But Net,” in the fall and began competing in qualifying matches in January 2016.

“This is an incredible victory for our team,” said Vaughn College President Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo. “Students apply mechanical and programming skills in the development of these robots, actively utilizing theories they acquire in the classroom. This experience is exactly what employers are seeking across a variety of industries where design, programming and troubleshooting are critical for the next generation of automation.”

The team of 12 beat out a group from Mexico in the final round, and before that, many U.S. institutions in a series of terrific matches that was only possible because of almost a year's worth of work by the students.

The team built their winning robots in Vaughn’s robotics lab; a room dedicated to helping students utilize the knowledge they’ve gained from lecture classes and combine it with hands-on experiences from lab exercises. The students were able to build a practice field in the lab that mimicked the ones used in the competition in order to perfect their robots’ techniques.

Vaughn College qualified for this year’s VEX Worlds at a college competition on Friday, February 12, and hosted a high school qualifier at its campus in Queens on Saturday, February 13. The high school qualifier allowed students from all over New York City and Long Island to meet with Vaughn students and faculty, see a demonstration from the robotics team and learn about Vaughn’s degree programs in engineering and technology.

Vaughn currently offers one of only four ABET-accredited mechatronic engineering programs in the U.S., which combines aspects of robotics with mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering.

Founded in 1932, Vaughn College is a private, four-year college that enrolls more than 1,700 students in master’s, bachelor’s and associate degree programs in engineering, technology, management and aviation on its main campus in New York City and online. The student-faculty ratio of 14 to 1 ensures a highly personalized learning environment. Ninety-two percent of Vaughn College graduates are placed in professional positions or choose to continue their education within one year of graduation. They work in 20 countries and all 50 states. The institution serves many first-generation college students and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. For more information visit

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