"Rasheed" can slam dunk like nobody's business and get the crowd going wild at North Brunswick High School basketball games. But he's not the 6-foot-5 star varsity star you might have in mind -- this basketball player is actually a 4-foot-tall student-made robot.
Rasheed -- the brainchild of North Brunswick's talented robotics team -- can pick up a ball on its own and launch a shot that arcs clearly into the hoop from the foul line. (Check out the video above to witness Rasheed's jaw-dropping skills for yourself!) The impressive accuracy of the robot's shots helped it to win an international robots competition held in St. Louis on last month, beating out over 3,400 other teams for the honor.
After winning local, regional, and statewide competitions, the team went on to wow the judges at the FIRST Robotics Competition. Rasheed nailed the performance of his career, scoring 14 out of 15 baskets in under three minutes.
Tom Ikus, a member of the North Brunswick robotics team, told the New Jersey Star-Ledger, "It’s full-time work. It’s like a varsity sport of the mind."
The afterschool robotics club from Middleton High School in Florida also won big at a student technology competition last month with their 42-pound device, "Meet the Beast!" In less than two minutes, the impressive "Beast" can collect and lift four crates filled with balls. And the "Landroids" team from Livingston, New Jersey won the #1 Inspire Award for being positive role models and embodying good sportsmanship, as well as earning top marks in all of the judging categories.
Until next April when the FIRST Robotics Competition returns, these teams and thousands of others from around the globe will put their heads together again to design and create their next robotic masterpieces.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story indicated that the North Brunswick team won the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship. In fact, it was the FIRST Robotics Competition.