Bowled Over!

It is here!

The new FTC game for 2011-2012, Bowled Over, teams must “revert” inverted plastic bins and score balls inside them, bonus points given if a bin is stacked higher up (with a ball inside). During the end game teams can try to push a 6 lb. bowling ball up the ramp into the goal for an extra 30 POINTS!

Cannot wait to see the different robots designs, especially to seek out those 12 hidden magnet balls.

Check out the new game here.

IRI and Off Seasons

Even though our performance at IRI was not one our team’s best (we had multiple robot issues all related to a late discovered failing digital sidecar), we all still had a great time. For some of us, the joy of being served by one of our own mentors (see the picture at the right) is a memory that will last a while. Maybe we should head back there next year…

Brunswick Eruption is only few months out and will be the last chance to play with or against our bot from this year! More on Brunswick Eruption here!


Written by Joey Ikuss, member of the build team, pit crew, and a very loud person.

My name is Joey Ikuss and I.Believe.That.We.Will.Win.

Watching the FIRST games from the stands is very exciting. When I see the Team 25 machine working well and winning, I get so excited. This year, along with Harrison and Erik’s help, we were able to take cheering for Team 25 to the next level. Before each match, we had a ritual that we did as many times as we could, to help psych everybody up before the match even started. The three of us lead the cheering for the team, and went absolutely crazy when the robot was winning. Specifically, this year we began to do a cheer known simply as “I Believe.” This is a simple, yet effective chant that psychs up the drive team when they hear it. It starts off with Erik, Harrison, and myself screaming “I” at the top of our lungs. Then, everybody else repeats after us. We then shout “I Believe,” and everybody follows. Then “I Believe That,”  and “I Believe That We,” which everybody keeps following, getting progressively louder. Then with one final scream, the three of us scream “I Believe That We Will Win!” Everybody then goes crazy chanting “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN” repeatedly at the top of their lungs for around 30 to 45 seconds. In this time, we go crazy. I do my signature move, The Monkey Dance, during which I go crazy and flail my arms like an animal. The three of us lead the craziness amongst our teammates, and we know everybody can hear us when we do an “I Believe!”


Another Perspective

While watching from the stands many team members do not always see what goes on just before a match. Who better to hear from on this topic than a member of our drive team?

Hi, my name is Prash Ramani, and I am a member of the Raider Robotix drive team. I was able to experience the Saint Louis Championships from a unique point of view—on the field. Compared to all of the regionals, the Championship was CRAZY! Queuing, the Pits, and the excitement on the field was ridiculous! This is how my day went, along with the other drive team members:

Our match comes up: We have to get ready to go. The drive team heads down to the pits to get the robot ready for field play. Along with the pit crew members, we make sure the batteries are fresh, zip-ties are locked, the pneumatic system’s air pressure is filled to capacity, the bumpers are the correct color, and the mini-bot is in place and ready to go. Once all systems are checked, we roll out, through the narrow little walkways making sure that innocent bystanders are safe as we tow the robot and control board towards the field. Once we get to the queuer, he/she points us to where we have to be, depending on our alliance’s color and driver station position for our next match. As we are waiting, we watch the intense ongoing matches, seeing tubes getting put up in bunches, mini-bots flying up the poles, and the crowds cheering and chanting their brains out. That’s when the anticipation builds up in my mind and in the minds of the other drive team members, as we eagerly wait for our match to come.

Once we are up, I take the drivers station, and head over to our designated area, and hook up the controls to the field. The other drive team members place the robot on the field, carefully aligning the robot with the desired peg for the autonomous mode. Once the station is set, I head over to the opposite side of the field, to my human player spot, making sure all 9 of my tubes are inflated. Then the teams are introduced, and the anticipation builds up even more. The match begins, and the robot begins to move in autonomous, and I look on from the opposite side, hoping that the robot hangs the tube. When it does, I get excited and pumped up. When it doesn’t, all I think to myself is “Shaun screwed up the alignment…”, but he gets it most of the time, he’s good at that.

Watching the match, I survey what tubes are on the field and what tubes our alliance needs, and I use my overhead toss method to throw them out there. It’s a great feeling when the tube goes straight into the scoring area for our alliance to easily grab, or when the tube goes straight to our robot, and the drivers pick it up and score it. But when my throw is off, I feel bad, and almost embarrassed.

It’s near the match end, and it’s time to see the mini-bot race! I always feel like we are going to win the race, but I know in the back of my mind that one little thing could screw it up. The drivers align the deployment and I try my best to signal them if they are aligned, or if they are off. Then when I see the mini-bot FLY up to the top and see those four lights go off indicating first place, joy overcomes me. That is a great feeling.

Walking back to the pits, I eagerly wait a few minutes to see the score, which can sometimes take a while to appear on the screen. Then when the score finally comes up, and we win, I signal towards our team members in the stand by giving a few emphatic fist pumps.

We then go back to the pits, fix a few things depending on the current state of the robot, and wait for our next match, which is usually around an hour or so later.

But in the playoffs… Imagine this but with 100x more intensity! That’s how it was at the Championships. Not a lot of time between matches, and usually a lot to change or fix on the robot. Even though it got hectic, and tempers even flared at times, it was a great experience and I can’t wait to go through it all again next year.

FTC Champion’s Challenge


Champion's Challenge field set up

As many teams in all levels of FIRST gear up for the World Championships in St. Louis, last Saturday at DeVry University there was a local FTC Champion’s Challenge.  Eight teams who have all earned their way to St. Louis from the  NJ/Philly area practiced against each other in a scrimmage. A huge shout out to the Landriods, Lancers, Say Watt, and the NJ FTC committee, you guys were like family the entire season!

Divisions are out!

Divisions are out! It’s hard to believe it’s already time to think about St. Louis.

Kind of sad we are not in Galileo for a chance to have a complete set of flags from every field…

Oh well, off to Newton, check out some of your other favorite teams. here:

You can click on the team list to see what division your team is in.