Utah robotics team heading to FTC World Championship

Mar 30, 2023, 10:44 AM | Updated: 10:46 am

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — After nearly a decade of trying, a Utah robotics team is heading to the world championships.

The FIRST Tech Challenge team, named “8641: The Masters,” is based out of Pleasant Grove. It is one of two that will represent Utah at the FTC World Championship in Houston next month.

After nearly 10 years of being a team, The Masters won the state competition, which earned them a coveted spot in the world championship.

High schoolers ranging from 14 to 18 years old make up the team.

Team captain Caleb Smith said this group has been competing together for the last six years together. Over the years, he said they have poured countless hours into perfecting their craft.

“Some 1,300 hours, at least,” Smith said.

Smith and his robotics teammates logged those hours in their coach’s basement working on robots, including “Badger 3,” which they will take to the world championships.

Badger 3 can quickly place cones on poles guided or all by itself.

“As we continue to work on a robot, it really gives you kind of like more hope in life. I guess because you see the whole process and how things can come together over like long periods of time,” Smith said.

Coach Karine Josien, who has been with them every step of the way, is proud to see the team shine.

“Some of them, we have pictures of them, like really, really little. It is just incredible to see how they’ve grown and everything they’ve learned,” Josien said.

The team needs to send 15 people to Texas to compete. They have established a GoFundMe* to help with expenses. The world championship event runs from April 19 to April 22.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Utah robotics team heading to FTC World Championship