A group of students in Southington are on their way to a world championship and the skills they're learning in the process are helping them prepare for real-world experiences.
The Southington Cyber-Knights recently won the New England Robotics District Championship, which landed them a spot at the upcoming world competition next week in Detroit.
"The competitions are like NASCAR and a football game all mashed into one," said Keyleigh Carmichall, a senior. "Every team screaming and cheering.”
From prototyping to building a robot, the team members love what they do.
“I think everyone should do robotics," Carmichall said. "There’s so much to it."
Members said what sets them apart is their knack for improvement.
“Even once it’s built we’re making all these revisions," Carmichall said. "There’s hundreds of hours of that.”
“We love the program because it gives these students something different to do besides sports or band where they can take their interest and put it into this robot and into this team," said Dr. Gino Brino, team mentor.
Students said many late nights go into building a robot.
“We actually went through a redesign this season which is one of the most challenging tasks I’ve ever went through," said Andrew Bauer, a senior. "It really paid off because our robot is doing really well this season, better than we would have hoped it would do."
First Robotics puts out a new game every January, which gives teams around the world six weeks to build a robot that can play the game.
This year's game is modeled after old school video games.
Southington's entry is called the Dark Knight.
“We’re going to win," Carmichall said. "We’re going to bring home the banner!”
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