The Koalabotz FIRST Lego League team based at Kenbrook Elementary in Farmington Hills took home a special award in its first-ever FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics competition.
Sponsored by the Farmington/Farmington Hills Education Foundation, which funded the robot, team members are: Matthew Goletz, Nihita Anand, Nicholas Thayer, Alex Ilyasov, Jacob Ilyasov, Kyle Rogers, Garrett Churill, Cameron Phillips, Srivatsan Balaji, and Tommy Buckhave. In addition to Ohm, coaches are Dan Phillips and Jeff Churill. Mentors were Balaji Ramaswamy and Doug Rogers.
The rookie team joined more than 20 other groups in last weekend’s Downriver Robot Rescue 2, hosted by the Allen Park Advanced Robotics Teams. Coach Danielle Ohm said students dedicated months of practice, hours of learning how to code, and innumerable tweaks to their robot’s design.
While the Techie Team began to see reasonably consistent results on the practice table, she said, they initially struggled in the robot game portion of the competition. After furiously tweaking their robot code during a lunch break, studentsf came back in the second half of the tournament to increase their highest match score 35 points.
While the team didn’t make the semi-finals, the Koalabotz took home the Judges Award, granted to teams that, during the course of competition display unique efforts, performance or dynamics that merit recognition, or are “so close to winning an award that the judges choose to give special recognition to the team.”