Duluth students finish 2nd at world robotics championship

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A group of students from Duluth placed second in a world robotics competition, the best any Minnesota team has ever done.

The Daredevils from Duluth East High School was on an alliance of teams that finished second at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis Saturday night, the Duluth News Tribune says.

This year's challenge – Recycle Rush – involved students building robots that could lift boxes onto each other. The boxes were topped with a recycling bin, and then each alliance tried to have their robots "properly dispose of litter" by throwing pool noodles into the opposing alliance's bins.

The Duluth East Daredevils, who had been ranked 52nd in their division, were picked as an alliance partner Saturday after showing their versatile robot named Acervus "could perform many tote-stacking tasks to score points," the team told the Duluth News Tribune in an email.

The alliance included top-ranking Wave Robotics of Oshkosh, Wisconsin; High Rollers from Las Vegas; and the Wildbots of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a news release says.

They went on to win their division and advance to the finals, where after three rounds they came in second to an alliance of teams from California and Texas, the Duluth News Tribune notes.

A handful of other teams from Minnesota competed in the competition. Crimson Robotics from Maple Grove was on an alliance that finished seventh in the world.

The Green Machine from Edina didn't make it to the finals, but their coach and chairman of Minnesota FIRST Regionals Mark Lawrence received the Woodie Flowers Award, which is given to an engineer or teacher "who best demonstrates teaching excellence in teaching science, math and creative design," the release says.

There were more than 900 teams from around the globe that competed in the weekend's various competitions, the release says.

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