FIRST Robotics Regionals: A competition where helping your opponent isn’t cheating

FIRST Robotics Regionals: A competition where helping your opponent isn't cheating
Published: Mar. 5, 2022 at 10:57 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - Thousands of teenagers traveled from all over the Midwest to battle it out in Duluth this weekend for the First Robotics Regional Competition.

For many high school students, extracurricular activities are all about teamwork and having fun.

“The enjoyment is working really really closely with all these people, kind of building a bond with them and building a robot is of course, always fun.” said Qasim Mujteba, a senior at Duluth East High and member of the robotics teams.

But just because Mujteba and his teammates find their sport fun, doesn’t mean it’s easy.

The Duluth East High School robotics team was just one of 110 teams that competed Saturday.

For this robotics tournament, teams aren’t just competitors, they’re also collaborators.

“Everyone here wants everyone else to succeed,” said Mark Lawrence, FIRST Robotics’ Minnesota Planning Committee Chair.

According to Lawrence, three-team alliances compete against each other.

But those alliances change as the competition continues, so a competitor in one round could be a teammate in another.

“So for instance, if a robot breaks on the field, a bunch of other teams will help them go fix that robot. So it’s something that’s unique to this sport,” said Lawrence.

According to officials with FIRST Robotics, they want students to take what they learn from the robotics experience and use it to improve the world.

It’s something Mujteba will be incorporating into his career path.

“So I want to become a doctor and work on prosthesis. I think that prosthetics right now can get a lot better,” said Mujteba.

The competition concluded on Saturday.

For information on the final standings, click here.

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