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Robots to go head-to-head in Batavia

BATAVIA – Mia Garbaccio feels a great sense of pride when the robot she has programmed does what it is supposed to do.

Garbaccio, a senior at Benet Academy in Lisle, is a member of Fox Valley Robotics team 355E Cobalt, which is ranked 10th in the world for programming skills.

The team will be going to the VEX World Robotics Championship High School Division that will be held April 23 to 26 in Anaheim, Calif.

“The code that I write is pretty much like a language,” said Garbaccio, who has been in Fox Valley Robotics for four years. “It is a creative outlet for me.”

After she graduates from high school this year, she plans to go to college to study biomedical engineering.

“Being a part of Fox Valley Robotics has really inspired me,” Garbaccio said.

The team is raising funds for its trip.

Donations by check, which are tax-deductible, can be sent to Fox Valley Robotics, P.O. Box 96, Batavia, Ill. 60510-0096, Attention: COBALT 355E, or online at

Her younger sister, Gabby Garbaccio, an eighth-grader at Holy Cross Catholic School in Batavia, is following in Mia’s footsteps.

She also is a member of team 355E Cobalt, along with Sue Park of Geneva and Katie Miller of Hampshire.

“It’s been a really great experience,” she said. “I like going up there and driving the robot around.”

The public can experience it by attending today’s Illinois Vex Robotics State Championship at Rotolo Middle School, 1501 S. Raddant Road.

Two Fox Valley Robotics teams, Cobalt 355E and Steel Pythons 355B, will be competing this weekend and are already confirmed for the U.S. Open in Nebraska in early April.

Steel Pythons is ranked 36th in programming skills worldwide.

Today’s tournament will feature more than 30 teams that will compete with and against other schools in a series of back-to-back robot challenges.

Opening ceremonies will be at 10:15 a.m., and the event will continue through 5:30 p.m.

Know more

Want to know more about today’s Illinois Vex Robotics State Championship at Rotolo Middle School, 1501 S. Raddant Road? Go to

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