The Buildbots "Coopetitive" Robotics Team, composed of five children from Weston, Florida, attended the FIRST® LEGO® League Invitational Championship at Legoland California and brought home the 9th place out of 80 teams competing. Teams from across the US and around the world, including Canada, Mexico, Brasil, Korea, Japan and Spain gathered in celebration of the FIRST® core values.
Thomas Glock, Anagh Sangavarapu, Brandon Qian, David Alfonso-Vargas and Sriram Subramonia Pillai, members of BuildBots Robotics Academy, were invited to participate in the FLL Championship at Legoland California after achieving outstanding results at the FLL South Florida Regional Tournament on February 2017. The team obtained the Best Programming Award, an award that recognizes a team that utilizes outstanding programming principles, including clear, concise and reusable code that allows their robot to perform challenge missions autonomously and consistently.
2017's competition, known as Animal Allies, saw 32,000 teams from accross the world participating in several qualifying tournaments, testing their robotic creations and highlighting their research projects in the field of animal co-habitation with humans.
The teams had three months to design, build, program, and test an entirely autonomous LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot, which could not be directly controlled by the team at any time during the match.
During the qualifying tournaments, each team’s robot competed in an obstacle course, tasked with missions as diverse as swaping zoo animals, retrieving their food from a food dispenser and feeding them. Students had two and a half minutes per round to complete 36 different tasks.
The children also presented slideshows and took part in interviews focusing on the strengths of their robots’ technical design as well as their ability to work as a team.
An important part of the challenge is a research project in the field of harmonic cohabitation with animals. As a result of careful fact-finding and consultation with real-world experts in the field, the Buildbots team prototyped a solution to draw sea-life away from water pumps that pull water from the ocean.
Buildbots Robotics Academy offers afterschool programs and summer camps in the field of educational robotics. Afterschool sessions take place at the City of Weston's Community Center every Monday at 4:45 pm and The Ridges community every Thursday at 4:30 pm.