Updated Apr. 19, 2017 at 6:44 p.m.

Terrorbytes: Triangle robotics team headed to Houston for world championship

Published: 2017-04-19 17:00:00
Updated: 2017-04-19 18:44:36

Basements can be a scary place for kids, but at Research Triangle High School in Durham, the "Terrorbytes" are using the space to design, build and operate robots.

Each year, the group builds a robot to meet specific challenges in competitions.

"Last year's robot was designed to cross obstacles called defenses and, in addition, shoot large dodgeballs into a high goal," Kaiz Akhtar, a team captain, said.

As cool as last year's robot is, this year's is bigger and even better.

The team competes in a league called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which is made up of high school robotics teams from around the world.

At this year's state championship, Team Red Alliance, a group of students from Research Triangle High and two other Triangle-area teams, took home the crown with a robot that could place gears on pegs, shoot small Wiffle balls into a boiler and climb a rope.

After their win, Team Red Alliance is now headed to the world championship festivities in Houston, Texas.

"I could not be more proud of them," team mentor Brian O'Sullivan said.

O'Sullivan says the entire process, from designing, to building, to competing, teaches the students exactly the sorts of skills they'll need to become successful engineers.

"You can build something one way and it works all right, and then you keep working at it," O'Sullivan said. "You don't give up."

The team is looking forward to putting its machine to the test in Texas.

"It's almost like a dream to me. Houston is one of the best moments of my life," team member Afif Rahman said.

Teams from the North Carolina School of Science and Math and Holly Springs High School will also compete in Houston, joining hundreds of teams from around the world.

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Also worth a note is Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School is representing the Triangle Area.
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