MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) - A robot named R.J. belongs to students enrolled in the Monroe County Vo-Tech robotics and engineering course.
After winning at the state competition earlier this year against other schools, three Nettleton High School team members qualified for the VEX Robotics World Championship in California.
Instructor Alan Moore said, "They learn all the components of a robot. They learn how to put it together. It's up to them as a team to brainstorm, come up with ideas and come up with a robot that can compete."
The winning robot must pick up small bags and put them in a trough.
Sometimes that's easier said than done if the robot breaks down.
The students must know how to repair it.
Student Erin Taylor said, "Things happen to the brain. If the motor breaks the brain messes up. If the wires get disconnected you have to reconnect them. You have to program it to work with the brain."
Moore said, "It's totally up to them how the robot responds and which one of the controls they use for the different functions."
The students are competing against thousands of students from 20 countries.
They spend the entire school year creating the robot and developing a plan to hopefully make it the best of the best.
Taylor said, "It's hands-on, it's technology, it's something we've all been interested in. We all like taking things apart and putting them back together again to see how things work."
Moore said, "This gives them engineering skills they can use long-term in college and further into working in the engineering field."
Along with the Nettleton and other students, companies like Chevron, Texas Instruments and even NASA are also at the competition to encourage and possibly recruit the young people into these specialty fields.
We will keep you posted on how the team does at the world competition.
Also, the students are looking for financial support from local individuals and businesses in order to stay competitive with their robot.
Call the Monroe County Vo-Tech if you can help.