2018 Kickoff Wrap Up

On Saturday, January 6th, twenty-three teams from around the region joined together under the roof of the Marshall Performing Arts Center (MPAC) at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) to learn about the challenge of this upcoming year.

As the time drew closer for the game reveal, the excitement and the amount of suspense in the room started to peak. However, before the teams could receive the new game, there were speeches and announcements to be listened to. Three speeches were given by three guest speakers. The guest speakers were Marc Seigar, Associate Dean from the College of Science and Engineering, Michelle Roemer, Cirrus Aircraft’s Executive Director of IT, and Anna Karas, a Daredevil alumni.

Marc Seigar gave a general thank you to everyone involved in FIRST. Michelle Roemer spoke extensively about how the skills learned in FIRST will help its members adapt and grow in the changing industries of the future. Anna Karas spoke out about how FIRST really has changed her life as a whole, helping her progress in her life up until this point and potentially beyond.

Finally, the video began. Students, mentors, coaches, and community members alike all thoroughly excited for what could come. This year, the video had its own twist to it. Since this year’s event, POWER UP, has a retro theme to it, the video itself was put into the form of an 8-bit video game! Throughout the video, laughing and giggle could be heard from the crowd, caused by funny character names to the supposed “water game” joke. Dean Kamen, Woodie Flowers, and Don Bossi made appearances as major characters in the video as they talked about safety, scholarships, sponsors, Gracious Professionalism, and the need for hard work.

In the new game, FIRST POWER UP, robots are trapped within a game, and must gain points and defeat the boss in order to escape the game. This retro themed game challenges teams to use their brains in order to gain points and climb to the top of the stage. Teams score points by taking control of a switch and/or a scale, exchanging power cubes in their alliance’s portal and into their vault, and climbing up 12 inches above the floor by climbing on the scale, reaching a bar 7 feet in the air. These challenges are accompanied by power ups that drivers can use to gain a certain advantage.

After the video wrapped up, teams rushed to get their kit of parts and began strategizing and designing their robots. Teams of all levels of experience mingled and swapped ideas for the season. The Daredevils in particular had the chance to Skype with Viking Robotics from Växjö, Sweden. Other teams in the call included teams from Norway, and the Netherlands. Together, they went over strategy and the rules of the game.

Alongside strategizing, part of the team stayed in the Marshall Performing Arts Center and interviewed some on the team alumni. Among some of the questions asked was, “What do the Daredevils mean to you?” The answer amongst all of the alumni was the same, and that one answer was that the team itself is like a family.

With the season just starting, the Daredevils are ecstatic to see what will happen once competition season starts off!


Daredevils Host FIRST Robotics Power Up Kickoff 2018

On January 6th, 2018, the eighth annual Kickoff for the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) game “Power Up” will be held at Marshall  Performing Arts Center (MPAC) at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), and hosted by the Daredevils.  Twenty-one teams across Minnesota and Wisconsin will be attending the event alongside the Daredevils. The MPAC space and facilities have been donated by UMD for the event. The live stream of the main event will start at 9:30 AM and end around 10:00 AM. The broadcast is at: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/kickoff-broadcast

Featured speakers include:

Marc Seigar, Associate Dean from the College of Science and Engineering

Michelle Roemer, Cirrus Aircraft’s Executive Director of IT

Anna Karas, Daredevil Alumni

The Daredevils are very excited to see what challenges the new game will bring!

Lowell Elementary Hour of Code

On Thursday, December 7th, the Daredevils’ programming department went to Lowell Elementary in Duluth, MN to help with the “Hour of Code” program, which aims to get younger children interested in coding. The students learned how to program in Javascript in a simulator  program where they had to navigate the robot a series of obstacle to complete a challenge. Then the Daredevils showed everyone how their 2017 robot, Aelous, performed after programming it to play this year’s game STEAMWORKS.

ICC 2017 Wrap-up

The Daredevils went down to Itasca Community College the morning of December 2, 2017. While there, members of the team gave presentations while other members attended presentations, with the purpose of building their knowledge on subjects ranging from photography to robot electronics. Another team that presented the workshop was team 4009 DNA from Denfeld High School, along with presenters from Itasca Community College. The Daredevils had an excellent time attending and presenting, and thank ICC for for offering their venue!

Daredevils at ICC Workshops 2017

The Duluth East Daredevils will be attending the ICC Workshops at Itasca Community College, in Bemidji, MN, this Saturday, Dec. 2nd. At the workshops, the Daredevils will be presenting on topics from Fabrication to Logistics, as well as attending other teams workshop’s. A few of the other teams presenting include DNA 4009 from Denfeld High School in Duluth MN, and Iron Mosquitoes 5653 from Babbitt, MN.

Minne Mini Tournament in Prior Lake, MN

The Daredevils are competing at the Minne Mini Regional in Prior Lake, MN today, November 18, 2017! The Minne Mini is an off-season tournament, used to get teams ready for the new season in January, and to  get team freshman used to how competition works. Opening Ceremonies begin at 9:15 and competition commences at 9:30. Championship elimination rounds begin at 3:20,  Matches can be viewed live via webcast at: https://www.youtube.com/user/FRC2169.

New Team Members!

The first meeting day for our new team members was October 30th! Welcome everyone! We look forward to a fun and productive season with you all! Thank you to everyone who applied for this season, and we hope to have more great applicants next year.

The first day was super exciting! It was interesting to see how the team functions. I’m looking forward to the upcoming competitions and meeting new people!  – Siiri Truckey (Team Freshman)   

Daredevils will be attending the ISD 709 District Meeting on Nov. 9, 2017!

On Thursday, November 9th, the Duluth East Daredevils will be going to the ISD 709 Annual District Meeting. During the meeting, the Daredevils will be demonstrating our knowledge and practical application of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to the Board of Directors and the Superintendent for the Duluth Public School District.

Daredevils at Duluth East Homecoming 2017

On Oct. 13, the Duluth East Daredevils attended Duluth East High school’s Homecoming, where we work and build out of. We shot shirts into the crowd watching the football game during halftime, and we had representatives march in the parade before the game.


Daredevils Sponsor Swedish FRC Team!

The Duluth East Daredevils have helped establish the inaugural FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team in Duluth’s sister city: Växjö Sweden.  They will be the only FIRST robotics team in all of Scandinavia!  Currently team 6819 Vikings Robotics has 11 students and 3 mentors. Their first regional competition will be at the DECC on March 8-10 at the Northern Lights Regional. We are excited to have this team in our sister city visiting Duluth in March and helping them to navigate their first Build and Competition seasons!