Team 25 to be Featured on American Graduate PBS Special

FIRST will be featured on the American Graduate all-day live show on local PBS channels tomorrow, 9/27/14, from 10 AM to 6 PM.

FIRST founder, Dean Kamen, FIRST Advisor, Woodie Flowers, and FIRST President, Donald Bossi will be part of a panel discussion about our education system, the high school drop-out crisis in the US, and how to motivate kids to stay in school. Other panelists will include educational leaders, government officials, and sports stars.

Three FIRST Robotics Competition teams from the New York City area will also be featured throughout the day:

  • FRC Team 4263, Cyber Dragons from Manhattan will be on in the morning, around 11:00 AM.
  • FRC Team 1796, Robo Tigers from Long Island will be on in the afternoon, around 3:00 PM.
  • FRC Team 4122 O-Bots from Ossining, NY will also be on around 3:00 PM.

Team 25 will be closing the show, using our 2012 robot to shoot confetti (as we did in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade) and the robot will lead a marching band down the street. Our spot should be aired at approximately 5:45 PM.

Head Coach Mr. Cokeley and team members Sarah Sleiman and Ashwin Venkat will be there to represent the team.

Tune in to watch the show, but be sure to watch at 5:45 to catch our robot in action.

Please spread the news to friends, family, and other interested parties. We apologize for the last minute announcement, but we were just given the OK to go public with this after having to keep the information confidential.

For more information on the American Graduate program, visit http://americangraduate.org.

Fundraisers!

Though the official FRC season may have ended with the conclusion of the Championships in St. Louis two weeks ago, Raider Robotix has been hard at work planning events to help the team raise funds for the 2015 season. We’re holding two events this weekend!

Harlem Rockets Comedy Basketball Show
Friday, May 9th @ 7:00 PM in the NBTHS Gym
Tickets can be bought at the door. $8 for adults/$7 for kids.
For more information about the Harlem Rockets, visit http://www.harlemrockets.com/.

Bake Sale & Robot Demonstration
Saturday, May 10th from 9:00AM-2:00PM
Held at Major Car Wash in South Brunswick. Come eat some yummy treats, talk to our team members, and see one of our robots close up!

We hope you will attend one of these events and help support our team!

District and World Championship Recap

After our performances at the Hatboro-Horsham and Lenape-Seneca district events, Raider Robotix ranked 13th overall out of the 110 teams competing in the Mid-Atlantic district. Going into the MAR District Championship, held at Lehigh University from April 10-12, we knew we had to be on top of our game in order to qualify for the FRC World Championship to be held in St. Louis, MO two weeks later. Eighteen teams from MAR would go on to attend the world championship based on awards won at the MAR Championship and the final district point rankings. Winning the Engineering Inspiration award at the Hatboro-Horsham district event qualified us as one of six teams to compete to win the same award at the MAR Championship.

By the end of the qualification matches on Saturday morning, we had a 7-5-0 record and found ourselves ranked 16th, once again having amassed the most assist points of any team at the competition. Some other highlights from the qualification rounds included:

When alliance selections came around, we were the first pick of the 6th seeded alliance, captained by team 56, Robbe Xtreme. Our teams then selected team 1279, Cold Fusion, to round out our alliance with their two ball autonomous mode and long, lofty truss shot.

Unfortunately the third seeded alliance edged us out in the quarterfinals, winning the second match by a mere margin of 13 points. Though we were eliminated from the tournament, we garnered enough points via our qualifying match wins and alliance selection to be in contention as one of the teams to qualify for St. Louis via the district point rankings. Judges had been visiting our team’s pit all weekend, so we were hopeful that we might have won a technical award, which would give us just enough points to secure a spot in the MAR top 12.

After the 7th seeded alliance of team 2590, 11, and 341 beat out 1089, 193, and 484 in the finals, we sat anxiously on the edge of our seats during the awards ceremony. As all the robot design awards were handed out, we did not hear our team’s name announced. Then the judges started to read the description of the first of MAR’s two Engineering Inspiration Award winners. They began to describe a program that was bringing hands-on STEM activities to elementary school classrooms, which sounded very much like our Parson’s Elite program. We erupted with excitement as the judge’s announced the award went to one “catchy” team, Raider Robotix!

Winning Engineering Inspiration at the MAR District Championship automatically qualified us to attend the World Championship in St. Louis (we also ended up ranked 11th overall within MAR). With flights and hotels quickly booked, we made the journey to the midwest two weeks later.

At the World Championship, our team was assigned to the Newton division, which we previously won twice before in 2006 and 2011

At the end of the qualification rounds at the world championship, we ranked 23rd out of 100 teams in our division with a 6-4-0 record, and the 6th most assist points. Our team also had the second lowest cumulative teleoperated score. This statistic, when compared to our other stats, highlighted the effectiveness of the low goal/assisting specialist strategy we played.

During alliance selections, we were drafted as the second selection of the 7th seeded alliance, the 10th overall pick. We joined an alliance with teams 4039, MakeShift Robotics from Hamilton, Ontario, and 3539, the Byting Bulldogs from Romeo, Michigan. 4039’s captain explained to the alliance how they selected us because no matter where the game ball was, we were always able to fight our way through field traffic and acquire it. For the elimination rounds, we took on the role of inbounder and defender. After initially receiving the ball from a human player (made easier by the giant target of our catching net), we would pass the ball off to 3539 and then play defense against the opposing alliance’s main scorer. In the quarterfinals, we faced the second seeded alliance, which included our friends and alliance partners from when we won the World Championship in 2012, Team 16 – The Bomb Squad. After three intense matches, the third including a record setting number of fouls on both sides, our alliance emerged victorious and moved on to the semifinals. After losing the first match (by 27 points), we came back strong in the second and won 215-151, forcing a third match. The outcome of the final round was 171-147 in our opponent’s favor.

However, this year there was also a new award structure at the championship, where technical awards were given out at the division level instead. We were honored and delighted to have won our division’s Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox for our unique strategy of play and catching ability!

Breakfast with the bot fundraiser!

Raider Robotix will be holding an Applebee’s Pancake Breakfast fundraiser on Saturday, March 15th from 8 AM to 10 AM at the Applebee’s on Ryder’s Lane in Milltown.

Tickets cost $10 and can be bought in advance from any Raider Robotix team member or by emailing breakfast@raiderrobotix.org. Extra tickets will be sold at the door. Each meal includes pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs and a beverage (coffee, juice, soda or tea.)

Please come on out to have a delicious meal and support our team!

Download flyer [PDF]

Hatboro-Horsham Event Recap

This past weekend, February 28 – March 2, Raider Robotix competed in our first official event of the 2014 competition season.

FRCGameSenseHHIn the week leading up to the MAR Hatboro-Horsham District Competition, there was some online buzz about how Team 25 would perform. On ChiefDelphi, Looking Forward, notorious for his event predictions, mentioned us twice. On the new online webshow, FRC Game Sense, four out of the show’s five hosts predicted Team 25 would either seed first at the event or be part of the winning alliance. We felt confident in our robot and design strategy coming into the event (that our new driver also had three weeks of practice under his belt helped too).

In typical Raider Robotix fashion, we encountered transportation issues on the way to the event. Unlike our battery cart falling off of a bus onto the NJ Turnpike in 2007, running out of gas on the way to kickoff in 2008, or having a bus break down on the way to Championships in 2012, this time the battery in the truck we rented to transport the robot to the competition had died.

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 10.38.34 PMOnce the robot finally arrived at the event, we set up our pit display, which included a new pit banner and a 7% scale 3-D printed model of our robot. Our pit was located right next to the robot inspection station, so we received a lot of attention from all of the teams passing by. In the room full of robots with catapults and other launchers, our dedicated catching robot stood out in a good way. We happily demoed the robot’s functions to everyone who asked.

3D Printed RobotIn our practice matches Saturday morning, we performed two successful catches and felt good heading into the qualification rounds. Unfortunately since this was a week one event, there were a variety of field issues and inconsistent referee calls. After playing 12 qualification matches, we had a 6-6 record and were ranked 16th out of the 40 teams attending. Ignoring the field issues that decided the outcome of several of our matches, we all believed we played and strategized well enough to be a top pick during the alliance selections. Our friends on Team 1647, the Iron Devils from Tabernacle, NJ, seeded third and selected us as their first round draft pick. We then rounded out our alliance with Team 2234 from Newtown Square, PA.

We swept the quarterfinals in two matches, posting the highest scores in the series. In the first quarterfinal match, our robot caught two balls, one of which was a last second buzzer beater! In the video below, you can hear the crowd erupt in excitement!

We then went on to win our semifinals in two matches, advancing us to the finals to play against the number 1 alliance consisting of Teams 2590, 341, and 272. In the finals our alliance partners experienced some mechanical difficulties that prevented us from playing to our full potential and we lost in two matches. However, the powerful #1 alliance was very deserving and we congratulate them on the win!

Hatboro-Horsham TrophiesIn addition to winning the District Finalist award at the competition, we were ecstatic to have been selected by the judges as recipients of the District Engineering Inspiration Award! The Engineering Inspiration award “Celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s school and community” and is one of the top honors in FIRST. Our team will go on to compete against the five other MAR Engineering Inspiration Award winners at the MAR Championship held at Lehigh University in April. We also received a peer “Stormie” award from Team 2729, STORM Robotics, for our robot’s creative design.

Our next competition is March 22-23 at Seneca High School in Tabernacle, NJ.

Brunswick Eruption 12 Thanks and Congrats!

The 12th installment of our annual off-season event, Brunswick Eruption, was held on Saturday, November 11, 2013 and was our largest event yet! 40 teams hailing from Connecticut, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania descended upon the NBTHS gymnasium to play the 2013 FRC game, Ultimate Ascent, one last time.

Congratulations to the following teams for taking home coveted Brunswick Eruption Tiki Trophies at this year’s event:

Winners: 1923, 369, 375
Finalists: 1626, 1279, 1143
Hoku Award: 1676
Mahalo Award: 303
Food Drive Champion: 806
Shoe Drive Champion: 806
Evil Sundae Survivor: Tyler from Team 2559
Kumu (Mentor/Teacher) Award: Craig Evans (Team 1089)

Additionally, congratulations to team mentors Kristian Calhoun and Lauralynne Cokeley for being the recipients of this year’s Big Kahuna awards!

Finally, we would like to thank Mid-Atlantic Robotics (MAR), the North Brunswick Board of Education, Raider Robotix Parent & Mentor Association (RRPMA) and the following key volunteers for helping make this event possible!

Master of Ceremonies: Katie Stevens
Game Announcer: Jeff Bunca
Event Manager: Bharat Nain
Volunteer Coordinator: Nathalie Tran
FTA: Wiliam Limratana
FTAAs and CSAs: Oliver Graff, Mark McLeod, Josh Morris
Field Supervisors: Brian Sherman and Corey Kirschner
Scorekeeper: Kevin Dieterle
Referees: Kristian Calhoun, Sam Alexander, Angela LoPiccolo, Jeffrey Huber, Nour Srouji
Lead Queuer: Koko Ed Patterson
Judges: Sam Couch, Holly Waldman, Clifford Dey, Amanda Fowler
Executive Sponsor: Chef Timothy McGuire
Webcast and A/V Manager: Brian Mollica
Photographers: Brandan Calhoun, Carl Hansen

Pictures from the event will posted shortly.

Additionally, match footage will be uploaded to the Raider Robotix YouTube Channel. Subscribe!

Match Results: http://be.raiderrobotix.org/matchresults/
Rankings: http://be.raiderrobotix.org/rankings/

We look forward to seeing everyone back at next year’s Brunswick Eruption!