La Vida Robot

Wired has the story of how four students from Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, Arizona, beat some of the best schools in the country, including MIT, to win the national underwater robot championship. The students, who are all undocumented Mexican immigrants, built their robot on the cheap in just three days, using PVC pipe, off-the-shelf electronics and a few tampons. Called "Stinky", the bot can record sonar pings and retrieve objects 50 feet below the water's surface.  In addition to the top prize, the bot also ended up winning the design and technical writing awards. The team's total budget ended up being just $800, compared to $11,000 for the MIT team.

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Underdog "Stinky" robot beats MIT in underwater bot championship