Winning Robot Team Returns To Competition

Dec 12, 2019

From left, Dylan Kean, Miguel Cruz-Davis, Keegan Bierema, Raj Bayyapuneedi and Justin Nguyen work on the elevator on the robot they'll take to the state championship in Battle Creek Friday.
Credit 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.