Using a robot named Dingus, which four Wood River High School seniors designed and built themselves, the group competed last month in an international robotics competition in Anaheim, Calif.
The WRHS robotics team, composed of Chandler Gifford, Andrew Graves, Drew Morse and Ty Reinemann, qualified for the VEX Robotics World Championship, held April 24-27, by winning the VEX Robotics Idaho State Championship in February.
The robotics competitions, both regionally and internationally, are sponsored by VEX Robotics Design System, a company that designs and builds components for robots. The competitions test various robotic skills, such as moving, lifting, throwing and other manipulations. The robots perform during competition in both preprogrammed and controlled modes.
Wood River High School teacher Kevin Lupton, who serves as team advisor, reported that the world competition drew 760 teams that qualified from some 10,000 teams that compete in VEX robotics in the United States and 33 other countries.
At Anaheim, the WRHS team competed in the Science Division, which requires science, math, technology and engineering skills in designing, building and operating a robotic device.
They competed against 86 other teams in the Science Division and placed 34th, with six wins and four losses.
Lupton said he was pleased with the performance of the team and their finish.
“I may never have a group of seniors like these again,” Lupton said. “It was their first year in robotics and I wish they could have been involved for the past four or more.
“These boys have always been very big fish in a small pond. I would liken it to being a 24-inch trout in Magic and then being thrown into the ocean. These four boys will flourish in the ocean. I’m confident of it.
“I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with students like these,” Lupton said. “They were