Two teams from high schools in Sudbury are headed to the robotics world championship in St. Louis, Mo., later this month — and their robots are already on their way.
Teams from Lo-Ellen and Lasalle Secondary schools worked together to qualify for the championships, to be held later this month.
Lasalle student Emily Fratin helped fit her team's robot into a special crate for what could be a long and bumpy journey to St. Louis.
“It's sports ... but better,” she said of the competition.
Her teammate Braeden Martel said the Lasalle robot was designed to help other teams score.
“We pretty much designed our robot to compliment other robots.”
In the world of competitive robotics, teams compete in alliances of three.
The experienced Lo-Ellen team chose to play alongside Lasalle in the final round of the regional competition in North Bay in late March.
While they may be cross-town rivals in some sports, it was collaboration that earned the two robotics teams a spot at the World Championships.
This was Lasalle’s first time competing this year. The experienced Lo-Ellen team mentored the newcomers as they designed and built their robot.
“I didn't think it would be like this when I first started,” Fratin said.
“Once you go to the competition, it's more intense and more interesting than a sporting event. There's a better sense of sportsmanship.”
Lo-Ellen teacher Dan Monti leads the team. He said he hopes their robot “will be in one piece when we get to St. Louis. We are hoping … that Fedex will take good care of it.”
This year's robo-sport is Aerial Assist, a game played with exercise balls. Two alliances of three robots each compete on a large field, with the objective to score as many goals as possible during a two-minute and a 30-second match. Additional points are earned if robots work together and assist each other in goal scoring.
Watch the video from the competition in North Bay: