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WDIO-TV Video Report: Students Prepare for Double DECC'er Robotics Competition

Mar 06, 2020 05:35AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

There will be a total of 90 matches taking place throughout the weekend with the top teams heading to the Minnesota State High School Championship and The World Championship.  Photo: WDIO-TV


By Emily Ness from WDIO-TV - March 5, 2020


Robots—once a dream of the future—are now a reality of the present. This weekend, the DECC will host the 2020 Double DECC'ers Regional— the largest First Robotics Competition to be held under one roof. On Thursday, teams from across the globe worked to polish and perfect their robots prior to the competition ahead.

This year, many robots were designed to reflect the competition’s Star War’s theme.

“Our robot here is named Ashoka after the Princess Ashoka in the Star Wars Series,” Kylene Schubitzke, Junior competing for the Duluth Daredevils of Duluth East High School said. “We designed our robot to be fast and very good at defense.”

There will be a total of 90 matches taking place throughout the weekend with the top teams heading to the Minnesota State High School Championship and The World Championship

The goal of the competition is to gain as many points as possible on a playing field equipped with a variety of obstacles.

“You can gain points by shooting the balls or you can also gain points by climbing,” Schubitzke said.

In the past, the playing field was fixed. New this year is a moving bar.

“We’ve had climbing in other years, where you have to pick the robot up and hang off of a bar. This year, that bar now swings back and forth,” Tucker Johnson, Mentor for the Duluth Daredevils said.

According to Tucker, the competition at large has grown and evolved greatly since the time he was in high school.

“Back when I was on the team, we were building it with hand tools. Now we've implanted CNC, the 3D design and all that stuff—3D printing is a big thing this year and its allowed us to do a lot of different things,” Tucker said.

Collectively, Tucker has participated as a competitor and a mentor for eight years.

“Of course the games have also gotten more and more complicated and more and more fun aspects and different aspects to the game you can play,” Tucker said.

In addition to technology, the competition allows participants to utilize a variety of skills. Each team is made up of drivers, technicians, coaches and members dedicated to handling communication and media.

“I take pictures for the yearbook and the school’s Facebook page and I videotape the competition when we’re on the field,” Dylan Lillis, Freshman competing for the Silver Bay Mariners of William Kelley High School said. 

On Thursday, inspections took place to clear robots for the competition. Things like size, safety and a host of other factors were taken into account.

“We’re being inspected just to make sure that our robot is safe and we don’t hurt anyone else on the playing field and over all, just make sure that our robot is acceptable,” Kale Engen, Junior competing for the Duluth Daredevils of Duluth East High School said.

While it is a great learning opportunity and resume build, students say it is also something they enjoy.

“Robotics is just a really fun activity where I get to make more friends and I get to learn some cool career options,” Jackson Janzig, Freshman competing for the Proctor Frostbytes of Proctor High School said.

The competition kicks off with opening ceremonies Friday morning. There will be a total of 90 matches throughout the weekend.

“I’ve been so excited this whole year. I’m just really hoping that all these mechanisms I’ve worked on and others worked on just work flawlessly and it never really is, but we can always hope,” Engen said.

At stake is a chance to compete at the Minnesota State High School Championship and The World Championship.


To read the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.  https://www.wdio.com/duluth-minnesota-news/students-prepare-robotics-competition-/5666316/?cat=10335

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