Teens in world challenge

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March 10, 2016 4:00 AM

The Baking Robots robotic team from Vermilion just got invited back to the VEX Worlds Robotics High School Division tournament in Louisville, KY. From left: Kadin Morritt, Cookie the Robot, and Rhys Racine.

The Baking Robots have been invited back to Worlds.
The young robotics team from Vermilion and their robot, Cookie,  were invited back to the 2016 VEX Worlds Robotics Competition High School Division after recently placing well at the provincial tournament, Border Battle, in Neilburg, Sask.
“It feels pretty good,” said Kadin Morritt, who rounds out the team with his friend Rhys Racine, of the Baking Robots’ invite to the Worlds Competition, taking place in Louisville, KY next month.
“We went last year; we got to Worlds on the account of we had the highest programming skills count in Alberta, minus the teams who were already going to Worlds.”
In the 2015 competition they placed 23rd in their division of 75 teams and were up against teams from places like Thailand, China and the United States. 
Racine and Morritt are both only 13 years old, but compete at the high school level because there often aren’t enough teams to fill out a middle years category.
The boys got their team name, as well as the name for their robot Cookie, from the fact they hold bake sales to raise money for parts and travel.
The team jokes they paid for their robot by selling one cookie at a time.
The Baking Robots are having another bake sale today in front of Morritt’s mother’s photography studio, Dragon Hare, in the Vermilion Mall to raise money to take them to Kentucky.
There are also local business people who chip in once in a while with donations.
“This year we’re figuring about fundraising $5,000 and we have some donators,” said Morritt, who added they’re open to more if people are looking to contribute.
“And we’re hoping to get some more donations from the people who’ve already donated.”
Robotics isn’t a cheap hobby and Cookie is evolving all the time, which requires new parts and electronics.
Cookie started as a robot that picked things up like blocks and poles and strategically placed them, to a machine that picks up balls and launches them for accuracy.
Morritt figures the team will need another bake sale after today to finance the trip to the Worlds Tournament.
“I think we’re going to have at least another one, unless we get lots of donations and we sell out at this bake sale,” said Morritt.
“Our shooter is not exactly the best shooter possible, so we’re trying to improve it a bit as well as with our mechanism that picks up the balls; we want to be more consistent and accurate.”

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