Robotics students report: Robots drive to victory
With thousands of robotics students, mentors and volunteers under one roof, technical difficulties are rare at robotics competitions. But the system at the Northern Lights Regional at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Arena crashed for a...
With thousands of robotics students, mentors and volunteers under one roof, technical difficulties are rare at robotics competitions.
But the system at the Northern Lights Regional at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Arena crashed for almost an hour early on Saturday, the time of eight qualifying rounds. The referees had to think on their feet to keep the audience engaged, creating a pool noodle-throwing contest on the fly. Working under pressure is a constant in robotics competitions.
That pressure rose exponentially during Saturday’s final matches. The bracket was composed of eight alliances of three teams each. Only the teams on those alliances competed to go to World Championships.
While the final matches were underway, not all of the robots were in top-notch shape. During the final match at the Lake Superior Regional, Team 2052 KnightKrawlers of New Brighton, Minn., lost connection with their robot. The team was about to set a recycling bin on top of six totes when the connection was lost. As soon as the match was over, referees rushed to the field, where the officials spent the next 10 minutes checking the robot for technical difficulties. When the final scores were posted, the Blue Alliance had won 101-100 over the Red Alliance.
The winning alliances were Team 525 Swart Dogs (Cedar Falls, Iowa), Team 3130 The ERRORS (Woodbury, Minn.) and Team 4215 Tritons (Eagan, Minn.) at the Lake Superior Regional, and Team 2526 Crimson Robotics (Maple Grove, Minn.), Team 93 NEW Apple Corps (Appleton, Wis.), and Team 4818 Taurus Robotics (West Fargo, N.D.) at the Northern Lights Regional. Those teams will go on to compete in the World Championships in April.
Besides competing with a robot, teams vied for the Chairman’s Award. This award is the highest honor given at any FIRST Robotics competition. The Chairman’s Award is for teams that represent the values and mission of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics to promote involvement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) by youth. Teams prepared oral presentations and wrote essays to present to judges. The Chairman’s Award was given to Team 1714 MORE Robotics (Milwaukee) at the Lake Superior Regional and Team 2512 Duluth East Daredevils at the Northern Lights Regional, qualifying them to compete at the World Championships in
* The Daredevils placed second in the Northern Lights Regional along with Team 5172 Gators Greenbush (Middle River, Minn.), and Team 4786, Nicolet F.E.A.R. (Glendale, Wis.).
* Anna Karas, a co-captain for the Daredevils, won the Dean’s List Award, which celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary. Karas, who carries a 4.0 GPA at Duluth East, will compete at the World Championships for the overall Dean’s List Award.
* Dareredevils mentor Timothy Velner won the Woodie Flowers Award, which is the highest honor bestowed on a mentor. This award is presented to an outstanding mentor in the robotics competition who best leads, inspires, teaches and empowers his or her team using excellent communication skills. He will be a finalist for this award at the World Championships. Velner has been mentoring for seven years.
Maeve McGuire is a member of Blue Twilight (Team 2220) in Eagan, Minn., which is a partner with the Duluth East Daredevils (Team 2512) in BlueDevil Press. Find more coverage at http://bluedevilnews.areavoices.com . Elise Kuutti, a mentor for the Daredevils, contributed to this report.
This content was produced by BlueDevil Press, a student-based partnership between the robotics teams at Duluth East and Eagan high schools.