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Winning Robot Team Returns To Competition

a group of middle school students is gathered around a robot with an elevator device extending from the top
Sehvilla Mann
/
WMUK

Students from Hillside Middle School in Kalamazoo won a state title last year in robotics. Now the team is getting ready for this year’s championship in Battle Creek.

A couple of nights before the FIRST In Michigan competition, the students test it on the things it will have to do win favor from the judges: picking up blocks, moving them to a foundation and building a stack.

Seventh grader Raj Bayyapuneedi said that for part of the championship, the robot is autonomous.

“Which is like the robot without any controls – it’s all programmed,” he explained.

If the robot performs well on its own, this is a major source of points, Bayyapuneedi added, since “everybody has driver controlled, but some people don’t even have autonomous.”

The FIRST championship takes place in both Battle Creek and Warren.

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Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.
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