Five Northland teams headed to Minn. state robotics competition

The Two Harbors Robo Dweebs practice maneuvering their robot. The Two Harbors Robo Dweebs practice maneuvering their robot. |  Photo: Two Harbors Robo Dweebs

Baihly Warfield
Updated: March 15, 2021 10:47 PM
Created: March 15, 2021 03:55 PM

It's not easy for anyone to collaborate over a distance, but it's an obstacle the Two Harbors Robo Dweebs overcame.

The Dweebs and four other Northland teams are on their way to the FIRST Lego League state championship

"I am so proud of these guys. It's been a hard season, but it's been a great season," Robo Dweebs coach Jenna Udenberg said. "They've been going since Aug. 1, so it's a very long season and a very different season, but they've been working hard." 

All of their practices have happened via Google Meet. The theme for the 2021 state challenges is exercise. 

"Our challenge this year for our project is making sure that people are active. The problem that we're trying to solve is that people are not necessarily as active as what they should be," Alex Stone, one of the Robo Dweebs, said. 

"And the challenge for what our solution is we have to try to make something that will motivate people to exercise that includes technology," Erik Gischia added. 

The Robo Dweebs came up with an app. 

"On the app, you can chat with people in your community, you can set personal goals, you can compete with friends," Lizzy Radke said. "And we're adding a feature like if you go to a park or a walking trail, you'll be able to scan a QR code and get more points."

That's the project part of the championship. They also have to man a robot, of course. 

"We have like a robot board and all kinds of missions that we can complete, and they all have to do with exercise," Gischia explained. "For example, there's a pull-up bar and a step counter, a row machine, that kind of stuff."

They'll earn points for each task they can complete in 2.5 minutes. 

The other Northland teams participating are: 

  • EV3 Lego Pros - Hermantown Elementary School
  • Super Smash Bots - Hermantown Middle School
  • The Team with No Name - Many Rivers Montessori (Duluth) 
  • Spaceotics? - Lester Park Elementary (Duluth)

Performances started Sunday and wrap up Wednesday. Awards are on Saturday. 

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Baihly Warfield

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