Milford robotics team seeks donations
MILFORD >> Members of the LEGO robotics team, Lightspeed, used their own brain power to win the state championship and are headed this month to the first LEGO League World Championship.
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 were the best of more than 180 state teams, winning the contest by designing an app to curb depression in pet parrots.
For the event April 26-29 at the America’s Center in St. Louis, they are seeking donations for the registration fee of $1,000, for printing and other materials, and for shipping part of the presentation ahead of time.
Their parents have travel expenses, lodging and food covered.
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 with Amy Burns.
Burns said that along with LEGO building and working with technology, team membership helps develop good sportsmanship, mentorship and research skills.
Each year there is a theme, and this year’s was “Animal Allies.” The teams had to build a robot, develop core values and solve a real-world problem.
Aislinn, Burns’ daughter, said, “It’s cool to be able to say, ‘My team solved a real-world problem.’”
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.
The pupils 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 fascinated with 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 competition will include teams from 37 states and more than 20 countries.
In the 2016-2017 season, the Milford team’s awards included First Place Robot Design, FLL Connecticut Qualifying event; and Outstanding Teamwork Award.
To make a contribution to the team’s effort, visit https://www.gofundme.com/first-Lego-league-team-Lightspeed.
Team members said they are thankful for any donations, and none are too small.
To contact the team or to donate/sponsor directly, go to TeamLightspeedFLL@gmail.com