The Dublin First Lego League team, 8-To-Automate, won an award for Best Technology Exhibit at a technology-and-engineering showcase at the Ohio State Fair held July 24 to Aug. 4 in Columbus.
The team demonstrated its Lego-based artificial gravity robot and shared experiences about participating in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics program First Lego League, in which students research an engineering challenge and develop a Lego-based robot to solve the problem.
In May, the team won the overall Grand Champion award and second place in Robot Performance at the First Lego League 2019 LEGOLand International Invitational competition in California.
The competition theme was "Into Orbit: Identify a human physical or social problem faced during long duration space exploration."
The Dublin team developed a vacuum table that works like a reverse air hockey table to create artificial gravity, allowing astronauts options other than straps or velcro to hold objects down in space.
They worked with the NASA Glenn Research Center and 3D printing company IC3D on the project throughout its development. Glenn Research Center officials forwarded the idea to the International Space Station team and Lunar Gateway teams for further consideration.
The 8-to-Automate team is composed of Dublin City schools students -- Sathvik Allipuram, Bradon and Tyler Dietz, Kunaal Gudavalli, Max Imamura, Rishik Lingam, Max Masri and Anya and Arwen Zhang. The team advanced to the LEGOLand FLL international competition from Ohio's First Lego League state competition held in February.
The team placed first in robot performance at its respective regional, district and state tournaments this season.
The team earned seven awards this season including the regional grand champion award, a district project award and a state core value award.
Only seven of 525 teams from Ohio advanced to national competitions during the 2018-19 season.
The team competed at the international level against 67 other teams from North America, Africa, Asia and Australia.