CUPERTINO, Calif. - A high school robotics team in the South Bay is reeling from the theft of their beloved robot over the weekend. Someone stole the trailer containing their robot from a motel parking lot in Utah near their competition site.
The Monta Vista robotics team flew to Utah over the weekend to compete with over 50 other teams. One of their mentors drove their robot creation up there in a U-Haul trailer that was parked behind their motel.
Student Andy Ding said, "I think somebody saw the trailer and saw an opportunity. I doubt they were targeting a robot, they just happened to see the trailer and we were unlucky."
A truck can be seen in surveillance video pulling out of the motel parking lot with the trailer. Police recovered the trailer minus the contents.
Team member Sameer Kapur lamented, "Six weeks of such hard work and then to have that thing taken away from us."
They lost not only the robot but all of their tools and spare parts. Student Michael Wan said, "We've reached out to other teams and they've reached back to us and they've been willing to donate and help us manufacture tools. "
Teacher Ted Shinta said, "They instantly started thinking of the things they had to do to get their robot back together."
They've only got 20 days to re-create the robot from scratch until the regional competition in Idaho. They say they've gotten over 30,000 hits on Facebook and have raised thousands of dollars. The ultimate challenge!
Students say as they reinvent their "El Toro 21" robot, they are going to call this new version El Toro 21.5.