Mon. Dec 11th, 2023
    Pine River-Backus Robotics Team Shines in Northern Minnesota Robotics Conference

    The Pine River-Backus robotics team recently showcased their skills and determination at the Northern Minnesota Robotics Conference tournament held in Babbitt. The team, consisting of both experienced and first-time competitors, brought home a well-deserved first-place trophy.

    The event, organized by the NMRC, has been a platform for FIRST Robotics Competition teams in greater Minnesota since its formation in 2017. This year, the Iron Mosquitos of Babbitt hosted the championship, welcoming 16 teams for two days of intense and friendly competition.

    The featured game at the tournament was “Charged Up,” which was also the game for the 2023 winter season. Robots were tasked with picking up plastic “cones” and inflatable “cubes” and strategically placing them in scoring grids on the playing field. Points varied based on the location and arrangement of the game pieces.

    One of the key challenges in this game was the endgame, which involved maneuvering the robots onto a double-hinged balance board called the charging station. Successfully balancing the robots on this board could earn valuable bonus points, but it also carried the risk of tipping over the large and heavy machines.

    Despite facing adversity in their first qualification match, where one of their alliance robots was broken, the PR-B team demonstrated resilience and fought hard in a 2-vs-3 match. Qualifications do not allow team substitutions, making it an uphill battle for the team. However, they showed great teamwork and tenacity throughout the tournament.

    The Pine River-Backus robotics team’s achievement in this competition is a testament to their dedication and innovative problem-solving skills. They continue to push the boundaries of technology and inspire the next generation of young engineers and scientists.


    Q: What is the Northern Minnesota Robotics Conference?
    A: The Northern Minnesota Robotics Conference (NMRC) is a conference of FIRST Robotics Competition teams in greater Minnesota, providing a platform for competition and collaboration among robotics teams in the region.

    Q: What was the game at the tournament?
    A: The game at the tournament was called “Charged Up,” where robots had to pick up plastic “cones” and inflatable “cubes” and score them in designated grids on the playing field for points.

    Q: What is the endgame challenge in “Charged Up”?
    A: The endgame challenge involved driving the robots onto a double-hinged balance board known as the charging station, where successfully balancing the robots would earn bonus points but carried the risk of tipping over.

    Q: How did the Pine River-Backus team perform in the competition?
    A: Despite facing challenges in their first qualification match, the PR-B team showed resilience and determination, ultimately earning a first-place trophy in the tournament.