BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — In addition to earning their degrees, members of SDSU’s robotics team are busy getting a battle bot ready for a national competition.

And they recently received some welcome help.

The SDSU robotics club is one of 100 college robotics organizations to receive a $10,000 grant from a group in Connecticut.

That money is helping the team as it prepares for a big competition.

The SDSU robotics team is hard at work building their combat robots.

“It really gives engineering students some hands-on experience as well as just actually being able to put some of the things that they are actually learning in class to use,” said Connor Olson, project manager.

The team is made up of 25 members.

“Robotics club is able to bring in engineers of all types whether you are ag engineering, mechanical, electrical, civil even sometimes, gives them the opportunity to get a hands-on experience and to get to know other people,” said Hailey Gruber, club president.

And, thanks to a recent grant, members now have more time to focus on getting their robots ready for a national competition.

“This just allows us to be able to go to the NHLR competition in March without having to be able to worry about covering the trip cost as well as being able to cover all of our team costs as well because we are making three different robots and all three of those have their own manufacturing costs,” said Olson.

“We don’t have to worry about the fees as much, fundraising and we get to enjoy the trip more and not be like ‘oh that’s going to be too much, everything like that’ so it makes the trip 10 times more enjoyable,” said Gruber.

Enjoyable and educational. The experience could even help them in their future careers.

“Basically we are going there with some other college teams, a lot of just hobbyists that are doing it for fun and we are just seeing how our bot does to theirs,” said Olson. “We are there with some people who have been doing this for years so it really gives us the chance to look at other bots too and kind of see the different design processes.”

The team will be traveling to Norwalk, Connecticut to compete in the combat robotics contest in mid-March.