Hoops-playing robot reported stolen from Riverside students
A trailer containing a student-built robot that can pick up and shoots basketballs was reported stolen from a parking lot in Riverside, police said Friday.
A 17-foot trailer belonging to Team Robokong 2493 was taken with the robot inside Wednesday from Gethsemane Lutheran Church on Blaine Street near UC Riverside. Team members estimate the loss at at least $18,000.
At the time of the theft the robot was being used for activities at a summer camp at the church.
Built by students in grades 8 through 12, the robot is used by Team Robokong for science competitions, summer camps, school events and other public displays. In 2008, the team won a prize when the robot hoisted a 6-pound, 42-inch ball over a bar that was hung 6 feet in the air.
“We would appreciate it being brought back, no questions asked,” Richard Sisk, a team leader, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. “It’s not just a monetary loss to us, it’s a huge loss to the kids who worked hard to build these robots over the years, and the community outreach we are not going to be able to do.”
Dona Sisk, a science teacher who organized the team, said Friday that the robot was still missing.
Anyone with information about the theft can call the Riverside Police Department or Sisk at (951) 790-9216.
-- Dan Weikel