CHICAGO — Students from seven different Chicago Public Schools are competing in the biggest robotic competition in the Midwest.

Friday, the stadium at Credit Union 1 Arena was filled with judges, ref and many students from neighboring Canada and all the way from Turkey and South Africa.

“There are these amazing robots that are flying all over the field and it’s got the energy of a basketball game or a major sporting event considering the size of the area,” Taft High School Robotics mentor Tony Schmidt said.

Each team built a 150-pound robot that measures close to seven feet tall.

For two and a half minutes per round, the student-controlled robots will play ten knock out rounds of basketball scrimmage on a half-court. The top teams to make it through would face off in a championship round Saturday afternoon.

“There are definitely a lot of very cool robots and they all have very cool mechanism,” Taft High School team captain Yehansa Dissanayake said. “But we are very competitive and I think our teams is at a good place.”

Teams have been working on their robots for the last eight weeks and will compete in a series of games and challenges over the course of the two days.

The competition goes until Saturday evening. The winner will go on to the 2023 first Robotics World Championship event in Houston next month.