Robotics teams compete in Duluth regionals

More than 120 teams from schools around the region descended on the DECC to compete in two regional competitions.

Cloquet High School senior Parker Deters checks the programming on the Ripsaw Robotics machine before heading out of the pits for a game Friday, March 6, in Duluth. Jamey Malcomb/Pine Journal

The Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center was a loud, often chaotic symphony Friday and Saturday, March 6-7, with cries of “Robot!” punctuating the air.

The annual FIRST Robotics regional competitions were held at the DECC and featured more than 120 teams from across the country and even one team that traveled all the way from Sweden. The teams were divided into two regional competitions with 63 teams each, the Lake Superior Regional and the Northern Lights Regional.

Students moved the robots they’ve worked to build, tune and perfect over the last couple months would yell “Robot” to clear a path from the pit area to the playing field. The students wanted to ensure their creations didn’t meet an unfortunate end before getting to the competition.

Teams from Cloquet, Carlton, Esko, Barnum and Moose Lake all built robots from the ground up to use at the DECC competition. Students fabricated parts using everything from a welder to a 3D printer and then programmed the machines to shoot foam balls through holes and hook on to a bar in the middle of the field and pull itself up.

The top finishing team from Carlton County was Cloquet’s Ripsaw Robotics that finished 10th overall in the Lake Superior Regional, with Carlton’s Doomsday Dogs finishing just behind in 13th place.


Final team rankings for area schools

Lake Superior Regional

1. Edina Green Machine

6. Silver Bay Mariner Robotics

10. Cloquet Ripsaw Robotics

13. Carlton Doomsday Dogs

18. Ely Robots

19. Denfeld DNA Robotics

22. Esko's SubZero Robotics

24. Barnum Bombatrons


32. Cook North Woods Robotics

34. Marshall School TopperBots

38. Lakeview Christian Academy's Lion's Pride

41. Babbitt Iron Mosquitos

44. Proctor's Frostbyte

Northern Lights Regional

1. St. Paul NoMythic

15. Two Harbors Rock Solid Robotics

20. Hibbing's Industrial Revolution


27. Hermantown Talon

28. Virginia Boring Robots

46. Grand Marais Ice Storms

47. Duluth East Daredevils

57. Moose Lake Circuit Breakers

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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