ATU Robotics Best in United States, Top 2 in World

ATU Robotics February 2024
Group photo of the Arkansas Tech University robotics team following the 2024 Texas VEX U Tournament.

Arkansas Tech University is home to the No. 1-ranked college robotics team in the United States and the No. 2-ranked college robotics team in the world.

ATU earned those distinctions during the Texas VEX U Tournament at the Clear Creek Independent School District Robotics Event Center in Houston on Friday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 24.

Arkansas Tech’s skills challenge score on Friday night allowed the ATU team to earn its No. 1 national ranking and No. 2 world ranking as compared to other collegiate robotics teams attempting the same challenge across the nation and the globe.

“To be so highly ranked this late in the season is phenomenal for us,” said Jacob Weidenfeller, ATU instructor of electrical engineering, lab director and advisor for the ATU VEX U robotics team. “There was another VEX U tournament at Purdue this weekend with many of the most highly-regarded VEX U teams in attendance. There was one team at the event that came close to knocking us into the No. 3 spot, but we are still currently locked at No. 2. Our team plans to run more skills runs at our state event in Tucker Coliseum in March to see if we can go even higher.”

As the tournament continued with head-to-head competition on Saturday, Arkansas Tech finished as runner-up after falling in the championship match to Texas A&M University.

However, ATU’s performance in the skills challenge and head-to-head competition was enough to earn Arkansas Tech the top overall prize at the Texas VEX U Tournament: the excellence award.

“We were so close to getting the triple crown of excellence, tournament champions and skills challenge champions, but we are still very happy,” said Weidenfeller.

Arkansas Tech’s performance in Houston qualifies it to return to the VEX U World Championship, which is scheduled for April 28-30 at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.

ATU advanced to the quarterfinal round of its division at the 2023 VEX U Robotics World Championship and finished top 16 in the world last year.

Weidenfeller said the Arkansas Tech team is seeking sponsorships to help defray the cost of competing in the 2024 world championship.

For more information about the ATU robotics team, send e-mail to