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Robotics kicks off season

On Jan. 3, the Rock Solid Robotics Team from Two Harbors High School gathered with other Minnesota robotics teams at the University of Minnesota Duluth to receive this year's FIRST Robotics challenge.

The FIRST Robotics challenge for this year is called Recycle Rush. The task is to stack as many totes as possible in three minutes. Extra points are added if pool noodles (called "litter") are placed inside a tall recycling bin, which can also be stacked on top of totes for more points. During a match, no alliance will be declared a winner, as in previous years. Teams move up the ranks based on the points they score during matches. The final top eight teams after the qualifying rounds will be able to pick their own alliance teams. Those eight alliances will compete in the semi-final rounds. The top four alliances will then compete in a quarter-final, with the top two alliances moving on the finals.

Since Jan. 3, the Rock Solid Robotics team has been creating prototypes and brainstorming possible ways to complete this year's challenge the best way possible. They have been training new team members on many skills including programming, designing and building. They have four weeks to complete their final design and build a robot for this year's challenge, in order to have two weeks of practice driving and fine-tuning the robot. Building a robot is a small part of the FIRST experience. The team must work with the community in several ways including partnering with sponsors and participating in volunteer events. While Rock Solid is still working on securing sponsorship commitments this year, they continue to receive sponsorship from Stanley/LaBounty and Maher Trucking. The main ideas centered around FIRST are gracious professionalism and teamwork. Teamwork will be key for the Rock Solid Robotics team in the next six weeks.

Come support the Rock Solid Robotics team at their regional Feb. 27-28 at the DECC.