About Us

NU Robotics is a student-run organization that sponsors a multitude of engineering focused projects for Northwestern University. Our mission is to develop a core community of undergraduate student builders interested in robotics and unifying them across majors. We offer a place for students to express their creative and innovative sides as they work on student-created projects and apply the knowledge learned in class to gain practical experience in a fun way. The projects range from technical research projects to start-up ideas to yearly competitions. We welcome every type of student and hold workshops during the fall to teach and provide hands-on experience to newcomers, so students from all over can join the build!

Our Projects

NURC's main focus, the projects we work on embody our mission to facilitate creativity and innovation. Every one of our projects is thought of, proposed, and executed by students who wanted to build their ideas. We are also very open to ideas for new projects, so if there's something you want to build and think it would fit well with the club, just let us know!

Lacrosse Goalie Robot

The Lacrosse Goalie Team is focused on developing a mechanical goalie that uses computer stereo vision to track and anticipate a lacrosse ball. The team has both mechanical and software engineering groups that work together towards building a stationary robot capable of finding and reacting to objects travelling at over 75mph! This project is great for those who want to learn more about computer vision and desire to explore the intersect between designing software and hardware that work well together.

Makers Division

A collective of makers who are learning by creating with a focus on open source hardware and sustainability. We work from low level hardware to web design, providing a space for people to build small-scale projects which can have direct impacts on people’s everyday lives. Some of our previous projects have provided opportunities for people to work with embedded hardware and wireless networks, including an electric kettle that can set a time to begin boiling from a mobile app or Alexa voice requests. Our current efforts are towards sustainability and are collaborating with Wild Roots to use the Norris Garden as a case study for the application open source hardware in medium-scale gardening.

Virtual Reality

The VR robotics group is out to build an interface with the HTC Vive VR system and a robot so that the robot will emulate the VR user’s movement. The project consists of three main parts: VR Software programming, Robot programming, and the interface between the two. With Unity, we estimate the movement of the VR User while the Vive gives us the location of both of the user’s hands and head. From this information, we calculate the position of the robot's arm and neck movements through inverse kinematics. Overall, the goal will be making a robot that can emulate a human accurately, starting with a single robotic arm that we recently completed, and advancing into a second arm and a camera feed directly into the VR headset.

Drone Racing Team

A new project, the Drone Racing Team is an exciting addition to our roster! The team’s goal is to develop a drone capable of breaking the quadrotor speed world record. Our team spent last year learning the ins and outs of drone creation and piloting (taking apart more drones than we can count), and are ready to approach this new challenge. This year will begin with us building our first prototype, testing it, and reiterating until we've reached our goal.


This year, NURC added a new competition group to our team. UROV, or underwater remote operated vehicles, is a group dedicated to designing an ROV to compete in the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) ROV Competition. We compete as a company in an effort to sell our design to the judges, or customers. Competition involves a product demonstration, in which our ROV completes a myriad of tasks such as retrieving sediment samples and clearing dead coral; a technical report, in which we detail and rationalize the design decisions incorporated in the ROV; and a presentation with the judges. We are always looking for more people to join us.


What's wrong with a little friendly competition? Every year, NU Robotics Club puts together many teams to enter competitions against other schools and classmates. We aim to perform at high-level and live up to our solid reputation wherever we compete. Click on the images to learn more about each one.


Midwestern Robotics Design Competition is an annual robotics competition that occurs at the end of winter quarter every year. If you participated in FIRST or VEX Robotics Competitions in high school, then you'll feel right at home working on one of our teams. The competition is held at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and we send a number of teams to compete. Preparing for the competition begins at the end of fall quarter, so check back with us for updates about teams then!


Robobrawl is a competition that lets you build your dream of creating robots that fights other robots! Our Robobrawl teams compete alongside our MRDC teams at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's annual Combotics Competition. Teams design and build a combat robot that competes in the 20lb class to become the last robot standing in a series of one-on-one cage matches against other schools' machines. After a successful first year, we're excited to iterate and continue to improve. This competition is a powerful and fun way to get an into the world of robotics!

McCormick Design Comeptition

Every spring, students compete for glory and prizes, running their robots against competitors and a challenging track in the Design Competition. Often teams are cross-departmental, and students of all years’ work together, learning from one another. There is a lot of support provided, so no one should be reluctant to participate for lack of technical expertise. And you can be sure you will gain a lot more in the process. Participants can also receive course credit for their work, making this one of the most fun ways to take an engineering class at Northwestern.

Meeting Times


Our Team

The NU Robotics Exec Board is a team of individuals passionate about the field and inspiring others.  They work hard to make the club an inclusive and collaborative environment in which all members have the opportunity to thrive.  You can find each member's contact info by clicking on their name.


Feel free to contact us to ask your questions about what we do or how to join.