Robotics teams with local ties finish strong at World Championship


Last month, several students from Carmel and Zionsville competed on teams that enjoyed success at the 2023 VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas, Texas.

Team Robokauz Robotics, which has members from Carmel and Zionsville, placed 19th at the tournament and won the VEX Robotics World Championship Excellence award, a top honor.

The award is given to a team that shows overall excellence in building a high-quality robotics program. Team Robokauz coach Bob Lach said the award is evidence of tremendous progress the team has recently made.

“When we first started in high school, we got last place in a couple of tournaments. It’s a pretty dramatic transformation,” Lach said.

Team Killer Instinct, which placed 12th, has two members from Carmel and won the Amaze Award. The honor is presented to a team that created a high-scoring robot that exhibited overall quality.

Coach Mallory Jurkash said the team advanced to the quarterfinals and tied during its first match against the top ranked team, which is rare in championship tournaments.

Team strategist Luke Aikin said despite not winning, the experience was an award in itself.

Team Ghost Code has members who are all from Carmel. The team placed 19th, a finish that pleased its members.

The team’s driver and lead strategist Matthew Bender said the team did well in comparison to their previous performance. In the 2022 championship, the team was ranked No. 62.

“The goal this year was to do better than last year,” Bender said. “Be a high seed in both qualification rankings and the eliminations. We ranked 19 out of 81 teams, which for us was a great goal to achieve.”