Duluth East Daredevils, Team 2512, competes in 2015 FIRST Robotics
Tom Spendlove posted on January 19, 2015 |

Timothy Velner was a curriculum specialist when he initially heard about FIRST robotics, and he knew immediately that the idea had merit. The Duluth East Daredevils first competed in 2008 with eight students and have grown to thirty six students for the 2015 competition, Recycle Rush.

Mentors for the team include an aircraft technician, a production controller for the 148th Fighter Wing, and an Archer Racing technician. Several alumni for the team have come back to help and mentor new generations of students.


The most inspiring alumni story is a student who went from the team to a NASA internship and worked on components that regulate electricity flow for deep space missions. She then went on to intern at Rockwell Automation during her college career.

Keeping robots from previous years allows the students to constantly practice driving and manipulation. Current drivers are comfortable with Xbox style controls for the robot. This year's game of stacking and moving is similar to the 2011 Logo Motion game, so practicing the hoisting motion while moving will be helpful to the drivers.

Several awards have been won by the team, including 1st and 2nd place finishes at regional competitions, the Excellence in Engineering Award, the Gracious Professionalism Award, and the Industrial Design Award.

Promoting the team and the ideas of FIRST Robotics are important ideas for the group, and their website showcases several public events. Meeting Senator Al Franken and acting as a Student Spotlight Group at the Duluth Symphony Orchestra are some highlights.

The Daredevils have an excellent website that acts as a central hub for communication and showcases the work that the team does along with recaps of previous seasons. It's great to see students that are excited about engineering and building. This year the team will compete in the Northern Lights and Lake Superior Regionals, and the Central Illinois Regional competitions.


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