Idaho youth robotics team advances to international competition

Some of Idaho’s brightest youth will take the national stage after winning the South Idaho FIRST Lego League Championship Saturday.

The ‘High Voltage Couch Bananas’ stand out far beyond their bright yellow shirts and spunky name; they will be representing the state of Idaho at the FIRST Lego League World Festival in April.

There, they will compete against 105 teams around the globe in an effort to build the most maneuverable robot possible using Legos.

The Couch Bananas took first in the state competition last year too, and even received recognition from Gov. Butch Otter during his proclamation of Idaho Youth Robotics Week.

Still, team members said this year’s win felt different. “It wasn't by accident. It was actually something that we worked towards this time.”

The championship title wasn’t the only thing this team accomplished during the statewide competition; they were also nominated for the Global Innovation Award. The award, presented by XPRIZE, challenges students to provide a real-world solution to an issue in their community.

The ‘High Voltage Couch Bananas’ came up with a project called ‘The Waste Wizard’ – a waste disposal system that dumps animal poop into the sewer.

"This was a big deal for us because we knew we had a good project, but earning this just proved that we have potential with what we created."

The winners of the award will be announced at the Houston World Festival. If chosen, the team could be asked to present their idea to the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C. in June.

The ‘High Voltage Couch Bananas’ are still looking for corporate sponsors. If you would like to help the team go to nationals, click here.