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Duluth East robotics wins state title

The Duluth East Daredevils were part of the winning alliance at the 2017 State Robotics Tournament. Photo courtesy of Duluth East Daredevils

The Duluth East Daredevils were part of the winning alliance at the 2017 State Robotics Tournament for Minnesota high school teams, held Saturday at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis.

Duluth East joined with teams from Warroad and East Ridge of Woodbury to win a best-two-of-three final against an alliance of teams from Greenbush-Middle River, Edina and Prior Lake.

The alliance that included the Daredevils lost the first finals match before regrouping and hitting its stride to win the final two matches and claim the state crown.

It’s the second state robotics title for Duluth East, which also won a state title in 2015 as part of alliance that also included East Ridge. Duluth East and Esko represented the Northland in the 2017 FIRST Robotics World Championship last month in St. Louis.

FIRST Robotics teams must build and operate their own robot, but during competition they form alliances with other teams.

This year's challenge, called Steamworks, required teams to build robots that picked up balls and put them into a "boiler." The more balls that went into the boiler, the more "steam" was created in the boiler to power an "airship." The robots needed to move gears to the airship, where students put the gears together to power the ship. In the final part of the competition, the robots pulled themselves up a rope to board the ship.

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