SARASOTA, Fla. — They call themselves the Blackout Robotics Team. They’re sort of like the Ninja Turtles of engineering at Suncoast Polytechnical High School. They even have a Rafael.
“Everybody knows who the four are, we’re the ones with the robots, everybody talks about us,” said Rafael Treminio Bravo.
“We all have our niche and we all adapt to what roles need to be completed,” said Armand Segui.
Cannon Spencer does the designing, Quinn Coomer does the programming, Rafael does the building and Segui does the driving.
This group of seniors has been building bots together since 6th grade. Spencer’s living room has been turned into their personal workshop.
“It’s kind of fun, it’s like an everlasting sleepover with my best friends, working with robotics, it’s our favorite thing to do,” said Spencer.
They say most of the time working together is a blast, but every once in a while they’ll find themselves in a dispute.
“Oh yea, definitely without those head butts we wouldn’t go anywhere,” said Bravo.
What they can all agree on is they want to be the best. Over the years they’ve racked up more than 60 awards, including state and national titles.
“I don’t think I would do it with any other people, I could do it in college as well, but I don’t think it will be the same,” said Segui.
So this May 5-7 marks their final match together and their most challenging, the VEX World Championship in Dallas, where they will compete against 800 teams from around the world.
Everyone has access to the same parts, but how you use those parts is up to each team. The good news for Blackout Robotics, they’ve been preparing for this since middle school.
“It would be amazing, it’s something I dreamed of since I started robotics, we’d be fulfilling the legacy of Blackout, it would be a good close on our chapter,” said Coomer.