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The OIA Robotics team is participating in the World Championship for the 5th year in a row

Owensboro Innovation Academy’s Event Horizon Robotics team is currently in Dallas, Texas, competing in the VEX Robotics World Championship Tournament for the fifth consecutive year. Members are confident that they can compete with the rest of the teams from around the world.

Seniors William Wilson, Tyler Strobel, Dawson Strobel and Ben Austin have become the most decorated robotics team in school history, winning nine awards at various events this year. The OIA robotics club has won a total of sixteen awards this season.

The game in which they compete is largely like football for robots. The team must place 50 balls in their goal, after which their robot must hang from a beam for 30 consecutive seconds. In preparation for the season, the team said they focused on improving their robot’s overall speed and grip strength.

Tyler Strobel is the team’s programmer who focuses more on taking things to the next level between competitions.

“We have virtually updated it compared to our former robots. Each robot is a bit like Iron Man, where he creates all his new suits to keep fighting whoever he encounters. So right now our robot is probably at its peak,” Strobel said.

Wilson noted that as team captain he was able to judge the competition during the tournament and said their robot is different from other schools he has seen.

“A lot of other teams focus on the hanging part of the game, and we focused on scoring the tri-balls,” Wilson said.

The increased speed gives Wilson the feeling that they can hold their own against the competitors.

Austin, the team’s driver, said he has a nice job. He said playing the league is always exciting, and the level of competition reminds him of a video game. That’s why he comes back every year.

“It’s like a video game to me; it’s so much fun. Then we go through the process of ‘we need this to do something better.’ Now we have six engines and it can go faster, push more and do a lot of things better,” said Austin.

The team will compete in 2v2 matches with a random opponent until the field is reduced to 32 teams, at which point they will begin 1v1 matches. The competition runs until Saturday and a winner will be crowned that evening.