GRANDVILLE, Mich. – A group of students from Grandville High School had to get creative for a robotics competition after a truck and trailer containing some of their supplies and robots were stolen from a hotel parking lot.
Grandville High School Senior Frank Dara has been building the robots for the event along with around 60 other teammates since January.
He says the robots compete with those from other teams to launch discs and climb a 9-foot metal tower.
“This year`s game is like ultimate Frisbee,” said Dara.
However, their plans to show off their creations in the international competition near Toronto were put in jeopardy by a thief who stole one of their trucks and trailers in broad daylight out of a Quality Hotel parking lot.
The crime happened right after they arrived in the city of Owasha.
Dara says at first they thought the driver of the truck was playing a prank, but soon realized things were more serious than that.
The trailer that contained luggage, computers and the team’s three back-up robots was taken.
Team coaches estimate the cost of the lost items totaled more than $40,000.
It also gave the students a new challenge, to work without some of their tools and materials.
“We`re really strained on parts and pieces,” said Dara. “It`s really hard to do some of the stuff we do with the pieces that we have.”
With the help of other teams in the competition who donated items they are finding they can overcome the challenges.
“We`re going to keep pressing on, keep trying,” said Dara.