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UNI team wins robotics competition

November 18, 2011

Jin Zhu, assistant professor, industrial technology, 319-273-2597,

Stacey Christensen, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) student chapter robotics team recently won the ATMAE 2011 Student Robotics Competition in Cleveland, Ohio.

The goal of the competition is to retrieve color ping-pong balls placed on a table, sort them based on colors and deliver them to designated destinations on the table within five minutes. The robot with the greatest amount of ping-pong balls sorted by like color and in the designated areas in the shortest time wins. UNI, with its robot, Panther-Collect Analyze Transfer (P-CAT), placed first in overall score, as well as best poster design. The team won $800, robot kits, software for team members and three days worth of robotics training.

A total of eight teams participated in the competition this year, including East Carolina State University, Iowa State University, Jacksonville University, Mississippi State University, Morehead State University, Morrisville University and Sam Houston University. UNI robotics team members included Jeremy Ganfield, Cedar Falls, Iowa; Rick Ruport, Denver, Iowa; Peter Dekluyver, Ottumwa, Iowa; Jeff Rick, Waverly, Iowa; Mattew Wason, Humboldt, Iowa; Rodney Jones, Detroit, Mich.; and Sean Quarles, Fairfield, Iowa. The team advisor is Jin Zhu, assistant professor in industrial technology.

For more information, contact Zhu at 319-273-2597 or