Milford robotics team returns from world championship

MILFORD >> Team Lightspeed members Marco Buschauer, Aislinn Burns and Kyle Chy, along with their coaches

Michael Buschauer and Amy Burns, just returned from a successful First LEGO League World Championship in St. Louis.

More than 15,000 students from around the world traveled to this four-day event, which was attended by more than 30,000 people from more than 33 countries.

The team had fun interacting with great teams from many interesting places, joining in the festivities of the opening and closing ceremonies, including representing their state in the opening parade, and discovering innovative approaches to robotics and presentations.

This was the team’s first trip to the world championship. They placed 40th out of 108 teams during the official rounds of the Robot Game, with a high score of 201 out of a total available 439 points. Lightspeed battled head-to head with teams from New York, New Jersey, North Dakota, Belgium, Mongolia and Germany. The judges cited programming, sound construction, and strategy as strengths of Lightspeed’s robot.

During the project presentation, judges commended the team for a clear explanation and identification of a real-world problem, in addition to a well-defined and innovative team solution.

The core values judges commented on the display of the “team’s dedication.”

In all areas, the team received feedback from the judges on how to improve.

More important than winning, the team members came home with new knowledge they hope to share with other local LEGO robotics teams, and anyone interested in forming or mentoring a new team. They found that the robots, particularly from Germany and the Republic of Korea, were unbelievable in their design and performance. The coaches have already formed contacts with those teams to continually improve on the designs and ideas in Milford.

Team Lightspeed, and the volunteer coaches/mentors, aim to return to First LEGO League

next season even stronger. They know not only what is required to compete, but what is needed to excel, at that level of competition.

City students in grades 4-8 who are passionate about robots and research, with dedicated parents who are willing to help mentor, or anyone interested in starting a team of their own, may go to

The team thanks the donors and sponsors who made the experience possible, especially the Hubbell Foundation, the Milford Education Foundation, MAGE PTA, Spectrum Associates Inc., and top personal donors Tina Chy-Diaz, Garrett Driscoll, Glen Maxwell (the students’ former physical education teacher at Meadowside School), Heinz Stock and Charles Weber.

The team was overwhelmed with Milford’s generosity and support and hopes to find consistent sponsors for the future as they continue on and expand in First LEGO League.