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Four teams from Forsyth headed to robotics world championship

POSTED: March 5, 2017 5:00 a.m.
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Four teams from Forsyth County middle schools will attend the VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville in April

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A team from Forsyth County heading to a world competition is a big deal. Four could mean something even bigger.

Teams from Lakeside, South Forsyth and North Forsyth middle schools were recently the top three finishers at the Middle School Georgia VEX State Championship held at West Forsyth High School. About 33 teams from across the state attended the event.

The competition paired off schools for the final competitions, and an alliance between Lakeside’s LionBot and South Forsyth’s Electric Eagle teams won the tournament.

“We won the state championship,” said Rohan Aluri, an eighth grader from South. “We allianced with South Forsyth.”

Meanwhile, Domo Arigato, North’s team, took home the excellence award, the highest award in the competition given to the top all around robot based on performance and judging.

“We did end up getting the excellence award, which they say is one of the most recognized awards,” said eighth-grader Tyler Harris. “It’s more recognized than the tournament champion’s award. We were really, really excited for that.”

During the competition, students must build and program robots from a kit. They then compete in a game against robots from other schools.

This year’s game was called Starstruck and looked like a cross between volleyball and jacks. In the competition, the two robots on each team attempt to launch stars, shaped like jacks, and cubes to the other team’s side. The team who got the most over won.

The game also begins with an autonomous period, when the robot is controlled by programming done by students. After that, teams use a video game-like controller to move the robot.

Robotics has grown in popularity in Forsyth County in recent years, which is evident by three teams moving onto the world championship in Lexington on April 19-22.

Interestingly, another team from Lakeside, the Killer Monkeys, also qualified for worlds without needing to go to state.

“We did not compete in the state championship because we just wanted to save money for worlds,” said seventh-grader Jauston Neeley.

Representing Lakeside at the competition will be the Killer Monkeys – Emilee Tran, sixth grade, and Neely – and the LionBots – Aluri and Nitin Bhogaraju, eighth grade.

From North, Domo Arigato was made up of Harris, Jackson Nicholson, seventh grade, and Hayden Nicholson, eighth grade.

Officials with South Forsyth could not be reached for comment, but school’s website lists Avinash Atluru, Aditya Diwaka, Sujay Jagadeesh and Niyanth Thatta as heading to state.

Another team from South Forsyth also won the design award, given to the robot with the best design. The team was made up of Nik Dunna, Erin Keough, Hyun Lee and Chelsea Yang.

A third team from the school – made up of Aadi Jain, Sriharsha Kocherla, Pranav Munagapati and Prabhanjan Nayak – won the build award for their robot, as well.

 

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