Robotics Conference in Hawaii

Tim Ashley
Tim Ashley

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hundreds of kids from across the world are in Honolulu to play with legos.

But they're also learning some valuable lessons.

"We're the two-time defending champs," said Tim Ashley from Norman, Oklahoma.

They're the team to beat in the International Botball Tournament.

"Botball is just a robotics contest where they provide us with a kit of legos and sensors and motors and we get to put them together and try to compete pulling robots," said John Romanishin, from Oklahoma.

Students have 90 seconds to use the robots to pick up items and accomplish tasks.

"Even the smallest little mistake can result in something really bad," said Lauren Unemori, 8th grader from Iao School in Wailuku, Maui.

The tournament is a big part of the National Robotics Conference being held at the Hawaii Convention Center. Kids use robot building and programming to learn about math, science and beyond.

"I mean I started in the 7th grade and I didn't have any clue about computers and programming, and here I am today wanting to be a computer engineer," said Ashley.

While this is helping to shape many of these kids, students know there's a lighter side to this competition.

"You know I'm almost an adult and I still get to play with legos and people don't make fun of me," said Romanishin.

The tournament runs through Friday and is open to everyone.