Two seniors from Thornton Academy are heading to Dallas next weekend, competing in the VEX Robot Competition World Championship, with “Frank,” the 25-pound robot they built.
Ben Cobb and Zander Unger conceptualized the design of their robot last summer, and have spent the school year fine tuning their creation. The two were finalists at the State competition in March, earning them a trip to Dallas.
Ben and Zander will be paired with another team – an alliance – to take on two others. During the two-minute matches, alliances score points by moving mobile goals, picking up four-inch rings, and balancing their robot on a seesaw-like platform.
“I’m excited,” said Ben. “Going to Worlds has always been a dream goal of mine and we’re doing it.”
Since the successful State competition, the two have modified Frank by at least 25 percent, according to Robotics Club Advisor Tony Sequeira.
In the qualifying round, The Thornton team has been grouped with those from around the U.S. and world, including Spain, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Andorra. More than 800 teams are expected to compete.
“Regardless of how we do, it will be a new experience, with other countries and unique designs that I’ve only seen online,” said Zander.