KUdos VexU Team With Build Award from World Championship

Every part of our robot is tested for durability before heading to a competition. We ensure everything works before we even build the final robot.”

Nathan Nguyen (Mechanical Engineering, ‘26), Lead Designer, Fabricator, Driver, and Build Lead for the B-Section team

Takes Home ‘Build Award’ from the 2024 VEX Robotics World Championship

KUdos, the VEX U team, claimed a Build Award at this season’s VEX Robotics World Championship, held in Dallas from April 25 to May 3, 2024. This prestigious accolade is awarded to teams that demonstrate exemplary robot construction with an emphasis on durability and meticulous attention to detail—qualities essential for withstanding the rigorous conditions of competition.

The key criteria of the Build Award are:

  • Designing a robot with attention to safety and detail.
  • Constructing a robot that is durable and robust under competition conditions.
  • Demonstrating effective communication skills, teamwork, professionalism, and a student-centered ethos during the student interview process. 

Connor O'Keefe (Computer Science, ‘25), the KUdos software lead, strategy lead, and one of the team’s drivers, explains how experimentation and improvement factored into winning this award. 

“We made six robots throughout the season, and each time we made a new iteration, we learned from our competitors and previous builds to find ways to improve,” Connor said. “For example, I tested several types of bearings and shafts for our drivetrain until we found ones that met our quality standards for our final robots.”

Nathan Nguyen (Mechanical Engineering, ‘26), the lead designer, fabricator, driver, and build lead for the B-Section team, had prepared for this year’s VEX Robotics World Championship long before KUdos touched down in Dallas.

“Every part of our robot is tested for durability before heading to a competition. We ensure everything works before we even build the final robot,” Nguyen said. “We manufactured enough 3D printed & aluminum parts for VEX Worlds to build an entirely new robot in case anything broke, but honestly, we did not have to replace a single custom-manufactured part during the competition.”

KUdos continued to impress with their teamwork, building on their reputation for professionalism that earned them the Sportsmanship Award in 2023. At the VEX High School Robotics Competition, the team showcased their robots, “Chip” and “Dale,” at the booth, captivating many prospective high school students.

Looking ahead, KUdos is actively recruiting new members from across , offering a valuable opportunity to engage in a team that values ingenuity and toughness in engineering. Their recognition for build quality at the World Championship marks a significant achievement for the team and inspires students who are passionate about robotics and engineering.

Katee Callicutt (Mechanical Engineering, 2027), KUdos' team captain, drive coach, and social media manager, explains how the Build Award is just the beginning of the team's success. "This victory is just a stepping stone for our future. We have significantly improved from last year and we plan on improving more and more each year," Callicutt said. "This year, we saw how much better our robot design and functionality was when we CAD the robot beforehand, so we will continue to do that in the future."

Those interested in joining KUdos can visit the team’s Instagram , or reach out via email at vexu@kettering.edu.