Their goal is to get their robot to pick up a little blue ball, put it into a crate, and lift the crate as high into the air as possible. Everyone has a job to do.
"Back up, back up…just enough, so, snap! There you go."
Millun Atluri says sometimes, he and his "Team Nova" teammates are at the mercy of things beyond their control.
Atluri: "If the field control system disconnects, will the robot fall apart and will we be done for the next four or five matches…"
Team Nova is going to the world championships, partly as a result of its competitive performance but also because it received the Inspire Award from the group U.S. FIRST, which stands for…For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The Inspire Award goes to the team that spreads interest in robotics most successfully.
Nova has spawned six other teams in Elk Grove and Eldorado County.
The other team that's going to Saint Louis is the "Robo Chicken Gator Flies of Papayaland." Thomas Tucker says he's not exactly sure how his team came together.
TUCKER: "I don't know. People just kind of sort of showed up at the door, and I'm like, "Cool, team members!"
The Robo Chickens won the northern California qualifying tournament. But, team member Ryan McLaughlin says they are building a new one for Worlds.
MCLAUGHLIN: "Like, we'll put a ball in the basket and pick the basket up in just taking it all the way up to the telescoping thing. It should go a lot easier."
Most of the members of both teams started out in middle school in the Lego League where they learned how to put a robot together and prepare for the next level of competition. The First Robotics Championship starts Wednesday.