Robotics Team qualifies for World Championship


Photo courtesy of Anaketh Rayuda

Naperville Central’s robotic team advances on to worlds with their robot, Robohawks A. Left to right: Faculty sponsor Flint Collier and junors Kevin Chen, Kiran Kasbekar, Setul Parekh and Aniketh Rayudu.

Prem Chandrasekar, Staff Writer

The Naperville Central Robotics Team made school history on Feb. 23 when they qualified for the VEX Robotics World Championship.

The team, which consisted of juniors Kiran Kasbekar, Kevin Chen, Setul Parekh and Aniketh Rayudu, became the first robotics team in Naperville Central history to qualify for the World Championship.

“We were extremely happy and couldn’t hold the excitement in,” Kasbekar said.

The team placed fourth in the state competition held at Niles West High School, which allowed them to qualify for the World Championship.

This year’s challenge, called “Turning Point,” required teams of four to six students to build robots that could flip flags by shooting balls, flip caps and park robots on different platforms.

“I really liked this year’s challenge and thought it was pretty cool,” Rayudu said. “There were two different types of playing styles, so every robot was different and varied in ability.”

Qualifying for the World Championship required months of hard work and changing aspects of the robot.

“After the first regional competition, we found a lot of major problems that we could fix for the next competition,” Kasbekar said. “Then after that, it was tweaking the robot to make it more advanced to have a better chance at State.”

The robotics club at Central, while only eight years old, has had numerous accomplishments over the years.

“[We] made it to the State competition for the last five years, and qualified for Nationals the last three years,” the Robotics Club sponsor, Flint Collier said. The national competition is an invitational that is separate from the World Championship and is not required to qualify for Worlds.

The World Championship will be held in Louisville, Ky. from April 24 to 27.

“We had a lot of competition with some of the best teams in state,” Rayudu said. “However, it is the teamwork that was put in since the beginning of the year that got us this far.”