David Robinson, Christian Laettner Ball with Bots in University Robotics Competition
Students from the South Dakota State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison earned the title of Land O’Lakes Bot Shot Champions 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.”
“At a time of year when so much focus is put on college basketball, it’s exciting to also recognize student all-stars off the court, putting their skills on display for basketball fans and robotics enthusiasts alike,” added Laettner.
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 at www.landolakesinc.com/botshot.
“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.”
Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. With 2018 annual sales of $15 billion, Land O’Lakes is one of the nation’s largest cooperatives, ranking 216 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 98 years of operation, Land O’Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands in agribusiness and food production including LAND O LAKES® Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition, WinField United and Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O’Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minn.
AndyMark, Inc. develops, manufactures and distributes mechanical and electrical parts for the mobile and competitive robotics market, with a focus on robotics education. With simple beginnings in 2004, the business operated out of the homes of the company’s founders, primarily to impact the FIRST Robotics community. Today, AndyMark employs over 55 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees at its 54,000 square foot facility located in Kokomo, Indiana. With its innovative and original designs, AndyMark is a global market leader for robot builders and mobile robotics.