Innovation First International Names Executive to Lead Global Expansion of the VEX Robotics Design System
New Corporate Structure and Management to Facilitate Continued Rapid Growth
Greenville, Texas – January 6, 2010 – Innovation First International announced today that Paul Copioli has been named president of VEX Robotics, Inc. This newly formed and wholly owned subsidiary of Innovation First International and the position of president have been created to accelerate and manage the global expansion of the VEX Robotics Design System and related programs.
Mr. Copioli has more than 16 years experience in robotics, engineering and management and a strong background in competition robotics for education. After receiving his undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from the US Air Force Academy, he received a Masters degree in engineering from the University of Michigan. He joined Innovation First after working for Lockheed Martin and subsequently heading the mechanical product development group at FANUC Robotics America. A long time mentor to school robotics teams, Mr. Copioli was recognized in 2005 by FIRST as the national Woodie Flowers Award winner. The highest honor among mentors in the FIRST robotics community, the award celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design.
“Paul is a tremendous talent and is well respected as a leader among the professional and educational robotics communities,” said Tony Norman, president and CEO of Innovation First International. “He is well suited to lead the further global expansion of VEX Robotics and the new corporate structure will allow us to focus our resources toward this end.”
“There is a pressing need to involve more students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs,” said Paul Copioli, president of VEX Robotics. “VEX has proven to be a powerful catalyst to engage and motivate students and educators alike. I look forward to serving the wide range of students, classroom teachers and organizers of co-curricular and extracurricular robotics competition programs currently using the VEX platform. I’m also excited to lead the expansion of our global distribution network to reach even more students.”
The VEX Robotics Design System was launched in 2005 and has expanded rapidly in the United States and beyond. VEX is the platform of choice for many middle and high schools that have adopted robotics in the classroom and for extracurricular competitions. Intelitek, Carnegie Mellon and Autodesk have each developed extensive classroom curriculum based on VEX and are authorized resellers of the product line. To meet growing global demand, the company is currently setting up additional sales and distribution partnerships in Europe and Asia.
The VEX Robotics Competition is the largest and fastest growing middle and high school robotics program globally with more than 2,000 teams from 20 countries playing in over 170 tournaments worldwide. The VEX Robotics Design System is affordable, robust and offers an assortment of over 200 of the most advanced educational robotics products available today. See www.vexrobotics.com for more information on the VEX Robotics Design System and the VEX Robotics Competition.
About Innovation First International
Innovation First International, a privately held corporation, was founded on the belief that innovation very early in the design process is necessary to produce simple and elegant product designs. Innovation First began producing electronics for unmanned mobile ground robots and is now an industry leader in the hobby, competition, education and toy markets. The company’s award winning VEX Robotics Design System, HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures and RackSolutions span the education, consumer and business-to-business markets. In 2007, the company launched www.RobotEvents.com, an online portal dedicated to the advancement of educational and competitive robotics, which provides comprehensive information on the latest robotics competitions, educational workshops and information for teachers and mentors. The company also created the VEX Robotics Competition in 2007, designed to give a diverse group of students the chance to celebrate their accomplishments and share their passion for robotics with each other. Leveraging the company’s core competency in electrical and mechanical engineering, the RackSolutions division works closely with all major computer OEMs to provide custom mounting solutions and industry-wide rack compatibility for data installations of all sizes. In 2009 the company added offices in Hong Kong, China, and the United Kingdom to better serve the global marketplace. With an advanced in-house metal fabrication plant, distribution center, and corporate office located together in a 13 acre complex in Greenville, Texas, the company is poised to continue on a rapid growth path. Please visit www.innovationfirst.com for additional information.
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