Four high school seniors at University High School in Tucson have engineered a robotics team thats taken the state by storm. The world could be next.

Robots are a full-time job for the team, known as VEX HEX 606X.

In the early days, freshman, junior year, we only had four hours a week [to work], said Ben Nguyen, the teams designer and builder. But now, were spending upwards of 40 hours a week.

The four friends build their robots from basic parts made by VEX Robotics, which also organizes competitions. This years game involves teams designing robots to pick up yellow disks and shoot them into a basket, similar to Frisbee Golf. One team member, the driver, moves the robot in the competition via a controller.

VEX HEX 606X has been dominant this year and is now ranked 24th in the world based on Skill Standings.

At the start of the season, our designs are very rough and theyre not perfect, said Journey Hancock, the teams builder. But as the season progresses, were able to fine-tune and figure out exactly how we should do stuff and the most efficient way to do it.

You also have to tune it after youve completed the build, to make sure it works really well on the game field, said Andy Zhu, the teams driver.

Were also always challenging ourselves and each other, said Sai Konkimalla, the teams programmer. And thats one really nice part of robotics is the teamwork aspect. And were always trying to develop our skills, whether its in building, designing, programming or strategizing, and thats something thats really nice to see as well.

The team fell just short in the State Tournament championship round, but it also impressed judges and won several awards there. That allowed the team to qualify for the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas later this month.

We wanna hang in there, be as competitive as possible and try to show the world what 606 means, said Nguyen.

The team also wants to mentor the next wave of robotics teams, receiving an award for its community service.

The members post videos of their work on their YouTube channel, where they have thousands of viewers.

At many local competitions, we see so many younger teams struggling with the basic designs, said Nguyen. We want to give as much of our creativity and our innovation to the community as much as possible, so that they can learn from us.

There were people who came up to us and said, Hey, thanks for your videos. So that was a really cool thing to see, added Hancock.

As these friends help younger teams, robotics is helping them leap into whatever comes after graduation.

All of the skills weve learned creating the robot will definitely apply, whether we go to research or industry anything beyond high school now, said Konkimalla.