Photo by Tom Wagner/SDELC/Missouri S&T

May 15, 2021

By Peter Ehrhard of

Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Combat Robotics Design Team recently earned second place at BotsKC, an industry-driven robotic fighting competition that was held in late April in Pleasant Valley, Missouri.

In addition to earning second place overall out of 26 teams, S&T’s team earned third in robot battles and first in engineering documentation. This was the team’s first-ever robot build and first year taking part in a competition – the team was formed in the spring of 2020.

S&T’s robot, named Ankle Grinder, competed in the 15lb division at BotsKC. During the competition, the S&T robot went through several rounds of fighting-style competitions against other teams’ robots.

The BotsKC competition paired Kansas City-area manufacturers and students to design, build and battle robots in gladiator-style contests while teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills and aiming to building a larger STEM workforce. For more information about the competition, visit

The Combat Robotics Design Team is one of the 19 student-run teams in Missouri S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center (SDELC). The SDELC, housed in the Kummer Student Design Center, provides teams with computer design laboratories, a manufacturing shop, office space and logistical support. Design teams mirror small start-up companies that plan large-scale projects, organize into departments, raise funds, communicate their ideas and solve open-ended design challenges. Almost every team competes annually at an event against other collegiate teams from around the country and the world. For more information about the teams, visit

The following S&T students are a part of the team: Levi Madden, senior, mechanical engineering; Brandyss Sherman-Hall, sophomore, electrical engineering; Payton Stropes, freshman, engineering; and Tyler Wascom, sophomore, engineering

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,600 students and part of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 99 different degree programs in 40 areas of study and is ranked by CollegeFactual as the best public university to study engineering. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit