Milford robotics team seeks donations

From left, Marco Buschauer, Kyle Chy, Aislinn Burns and Diya Daruka.

From left, Marco Buschauer, Kyle Chy, Aislinn Burns and Diya Daruka.

MILFORD >> Members of the LEGO robotics team Lightspeed used their own brain power to win the state championship and are headed to the first LEGO League World Championship later this month.

And now they are looking for some dollar power to help fund their presentation.

The four students in grades 6 and 7 from the public schools Enrichment Program, beat out of more than 180 state teams by designing an app to curb depression in pet parrots.

The parents have travel expenses, lodging and food covered for the April 26-29 event at the America’s Center in St. Louis, and the team is looking for money to cover other costs, such as the $1,000 registration fee, printing and other materials. They also need to pay for shipping part of the presentation ahead of time.

This is only the team’s second year. Its members are Aislinn Burns, Marco Buschauer, Kyle Chy, all 12, and Diya Daruka,13.

“We like the challenge of building a robot that does missions in the field,” said Marco’s father, Michael Buschauer, a coach along with Amy Burns.

Burns said that along with LEGO building and work with technology, the team helps develops good sportsmanship, mentorship, research skills.

This year’s theme is “Animal Allies.” Around that idea, teams had to build a robot, develop core values and solve a real-world problem.

“It’s cool to be able to say, ‘My team solved a real world problem,’” said Aislinn, Burns’ daughter.

She said the team worked on improving the lives of pet parrots, that can quickly get depressed if not stimulated with toys. That can become a problem when their owners are away long hours at a time, she said.

They designed a device and app to activate toys and treats while owners are not home. The owners control the treats through the app.

When parrots get depressed, they chew their cage and pluck their feathers, she said.

Kyle said he’s fascinatedwith all that can be made with LEGOs and their accompanying motors.

“The possibilities are endless,” he said. “This is a once in a lifetime experience for me.”

The championship will include teams from 37 states and more than 20 countries.

In the 2016-2017 season the Milford team earned awards including: First Place Robot Design, FLL Connecticut Qualifying event; Outstanding Teamwork Award.

To contribute, visit Team members said they are thankful for any donations, and none are too small.

To contact the coaches or to donate/sponsor, go to


From left are Marco Buschauer, Kyle Chy, Aislinn Burns and Diya Daruka.