Students from the South Dakota State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison won the Land O’Lakes Bot Shot Championship on Sunday, beating out collegiate robotics teams from around the country in a game of H-O-R-S-E in Minneapolis. In addition to prevailing against two other student teams, they also took on basketball legends David Robinson and Christian Laettner in a skills challenge.
“It has been inspiring to see such engineering skill in action on the basketball court,” said Robinson. “Land O’Lakes Bot Shot is a celebration of STEM and the talent of young people as we speed toward a future increasingly impacted by robotics, automation and technology.”
Land O’Lakes Bot Shot challenged students from seven universities to build a robot capable of mastering shots from a variety of basketball court locations. The program sought to celebrate the talents of students in the fields of science, robotics and engineering and raise awareness of the advanced technology and innovation central to modern agriculture. Represented universities included: (*indicates final round participant in Minneapolis)
- Iowa State University
- North Carolina A & T
- Purdue University*
- South Dakota State University*
- University of Florida
- University of Minnesota-Twin Cities*
- University of Wisconsin-Madison*
The winning schools both received a $10,000 prize from Land O’Lakes. Each team built their robots with materials and supplies provided by Land O’Lakes and AndyMark, Inc., a leading mechanical and electrical parts supplier with a focus on robotics education. A full recap of the competition can be found here.
“It’s been a crazy past few weeks getting this robot together,” said student Nick Ackerman from Wisconsin-Madison. “We never imagined winning this competition.”
“We’re incredibly excited and grateful to Land O’Lakes and AndyMark for inviting us to compete in an experience like this,” added Joel Quanbeck from South Dakota State University. “It was a great competition.”
“Today’s event was truly an exhibition of innovation and creativity — as well as competitive spirit,” said Beth Ford, president and CEO, Land O’Lakes, Inc. “The talent on display here makes me excited and hopeful for the next generation of problem-solvers and creative thinkers. As future leaders in their respective fields, we know solving society’s greatest challenges depends on their success. Congrats to the two winning teams and all schools who took to the court throughout the competition.”