Angelus Corporation Powers World Champions

As a member and now president of the Raider Robotics team for 2022, mechanical engineering student James Siedschlag recalls special moments over the past year. “One of the most inspiring experiences I’ve had with the team was traveling to the VEX U Robotics World Championship in Dallas in May.”

By the end of the week-long competition, the team took home the Design Award in the Technology Division, two online submission awards for their VEX pneumatic solenoid driver cable and custom 3D-printed traction wheel and were finalists in three other online challenges.

“We were finally given the opportunity to prove our team is competitive at the highest level,” said Siedschlag.

A generous gift from the Angelus Corporation made this experience possible. Angelus provides critical engineered products and services for the aerospace industry. The company is owned and operated by MSOE Regent Jim Gri­ffin ’88.

Angelus Corporation’s gift to support Raider Robotics enabled Siedschlag and his teammates to travel, meet and compete against robotics teams from around the world. It also provided them with the funding to ensure their equipment would be hard to beat.

“Thanks to Angelus, we were able to purchase advanced sensors to delve into the world of AI (artificial intelligence). We developed an AI-based computer vision model utilizing an Intel RealSense Depth Camera,” said Dylan Powers, computer science major and teammate of Siedschlag.

Alumnus and former Raider Robotics president Nathan DuPont ’22 also credits Angelus’ support for playing a role in his successes since graduating from MSOE in May. “Being a part of Raider Robotics gave me tons of practice and skills with project management and complex real-time software development. I wouldn’t have gotten my role at SpaceX as a software engineer without the experience I gained through this program,” he said.

In September the Raider Robotics team invited Vince Balistrieri ’85, ’98, vice president of engineering and operations at Angelus Corporation, and members of his team to the We Energies STEM Center at MSOE to share highlights from the competition and get a sneak-peek of plans for the upcoming year.

“We were really excited to give them a live demonstration of our advanced autonomous pathing system,” said Siedschlag.

Meeting members of the team and hearing about their success was a highlight for Balistrieri. “The excitement and passion the team members have for their work is o­ the charts! What’s more impressive is the thought they put into the structure, how they operate and how they sustain the level of innovation required to compete and stand out at this level of competition each year. On behalf of the Angelus team and Jim, our owner, it is an honor to support such a tremendous learning experience for these students. As an alumnus, I’m proud to be a small part of their success,” said Balistrieri.

Balistrieri also learned how much the team appreciated the company’s support.

“Angelus’ support is helping Raider Robotics continue our mission of pushing the bounds of technology and giving us the opportunity to learn about advanced ideas, compete at a high level and realize how much value we hold outside the classroom,” said Siedschlag.