Members of the Florida state champion Trinity Dragons robotics team visited the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital May 13 to demonstrate the robots they built that were judged among the best in the world. Additionally, the Robotics Club, has just received honors from the VA Hospital and the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners

The team put on a demonstration of their robots’ abilities for staff and patients, and then toured the Spinal Cord Injury Center, where they were treated to a showing of the center’s exoskeleton, a robotic device that allows paralyzed Veterans to walk with assistance.

The robots, built by the students to perform specific actions called for in the annual competition, had to gather balls from the ground and shoot them into a net. For extra credit, one robot also had to dock with another once all the balls were gone.

The students, all part of a local home school group, were undefeated in tournaments throughout Florida and qualified for the world competition in Kentucky. There they went up against 500 other high school and 150 elementary school teams from 37 countries, with the high school team finishing among the top 10 qualifiers, with both of their robots making it to the elimination round. The robots are soon to be dismantled so their parts can be used for next year’s competition.