© 2024 The Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation (WDSE)

The North 103.3 FM is licensed to The Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation (WDSE)
Locally Curated. Community Owned.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Daily interviews with a local focus airing at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Northland Morning.

Community Connection: Patrick Mulcahy and Robots

A small, wheeled gizmo on a grey floor spattered with upright yellow poles
Luke Moravec

Children are the future. The future is robotics.

The two collide in a church basement in east Duluth where the Devil Dogs and the Rogue Cats (two youth robotics teams) gather to design, build, and compete. Many of the youth involved in the highest levels have been working together since grade school and the program offers Lego robotics experiences for students as young as kindergarten.

The actual matches are two-and-a-half-minutes long and consist of three different phases. “The autonomous part is thirty seconds,” says head coach Patrick Mulcahy. "The rest of it is driver controlled. The last thirty seconds of that is endgame." Each year comes with a new focus for the robots. This year's task is to design and construct a robot that will be able to grab a small cone, lift it up, and ultimately drop it onto a junction - one of many yellow poles arranged throughout a small, contained section on the floor.

Robotics is a team sport in many ways. Running the robot is a two-person job; one to drive the robot and another to handle the additional mechanics. "Each team has four people on it. You have two drivers," says Mulcahy. "You have your driver coach and then you have a human player." This allows team members to focus and thereby help out with the common goal.

On Thursday, Community Connection will focus on a couple of the young members of the robotics teams and the value they find in being involved.

A wooden box next to a grey section of floor, two wheeled robots wait inside, controls rest on the box
Luke Moravec

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
Related Content