Applebee’s Pancake Breakfast Postponed

Our Applebee’s Pancake Breakfast originally scheduled for tomorrow morning has been postponed due to the snowstorm.

The new date is scheduled for Saturday, March 26, 2016.

If you already bought a ticket and cannot attend the new date, please contact us at breakfast@raiderrobotix.org to request a refund.

New 2016 FRC Game: FIRST Stronghold!

Today was the day over 3,000 teams comprised of 78,000+ students from around the world were waiting for—the 2016 FRC Kickoff event!

After releasing a teaser trailer in October announcing the name of this year’s game, FIRST Stronghold, and a medieval theme, everyone’s interest was peaked as to what our robot would have to do this year.

Team members gathered at Montgomery High School in Skillman, NJ to watch the kickoff broadcast. Meanwhile, a small group of mentors visited the kickoff held in New Hampshire to go hands-on with the official playing field.

The game animation for FIRST Stronghold, below, was shown at the end of the broadcast:

We’re excited for all of the different strategic options available in this game compared to last year’s. Time to go brainstorm! We only have until February 23rd to design, build, and test a robot for this year’s challenge. We’ll check in periodically to update you with how things are progressing. For more frequent updates, be sure to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, @RaiderRobotix!

Brunswick Eruption 14 Fun!

On Saturday, November 9th, we hosted our annual off-season competition, Brunswick Eruption for the 14th time.

The fun of setting up for the event started the previous day. Team members arrived at NBTHS at 8 am and emptied out the POD trailers containing the playing field. We broke up into teams to divide and conquer. Cases of field parts were rolled into and staged in the main gym. Another group began lining the auxiliary gym, which would host the pit area, with gym guard to protect the flooring and set up each team’s pit table. The carpets for the field were rolled out in the middle of the main gym and construction of the playing field began. Once erected, the field electronics were wired and A/V systems tested. After the food concessions area was set up in the Commons, everyone went home to rest up for the big day ahead of us.

The next day, volunteers and 42 FRC teams from CT, PA, NJ, and NY started to arrive beginning at 7am. As they arrived, we put the finishing touches on the arena. After they settled into their pit areas and got their robot radios programmed, teams took to the field for practice rounds.

Next, the opening ceremonies took place, members of the NBTHS band played the National Anthem, qualification match lists distributed, and the competition got started! Our masters of ceremonies Katie Stevens and Nikki Stout continually introduced the six teams before each round and the on-field action was narrated by the charismatic game announcer duo of Ian Noel and Eric DelSanto. Matches ran smoothly and alliance selections were conducted before breaking for lunch. One scout from each team took to the field and exercised their knowledge of all the robots in attendance to form the strongest alliances they could for the playoff rounds.

1. 2607, 2590, 3142, 4653
2. 694, 869, 2601, 1626
3. 303, 1923, 3637, 3718
4. 4575, 1089, 25, 2602
5. 56, 222, 2495, 375
6. 271, 293, 369, 224
7. 1989, 1279, 2554, 806
8. 5666, 533, 395, 1807

Before the elimination matches began, our famous Evil Sundae contest was held. One student from each team volunteered as tribute to consume a rather nonconventional mix of ingredients atop ice cream. Butters from Team 869 finished his sundae first and proved he had the strongest iron stomach.

A short awards ceremony followed the evil sundae contest:

Team 806, the Brooklyn Blacksmiths, contributed the most items to both the food and shoe drives. This was their 5th year in a row winning the food drive and 4th year in a row winning the shoe drive. We continue to appreciate all of their donations and the difference they’re making in the community!

Team 2601, Steel Hawks, was the peer-nominated recipient of the Mahalo (GP) Award!

Kevin Mastropietro from Team 3637, The Daleks, was the winner of the Kumu (Mentor) Award.

Team 25 alumnus Howard Cohen was this year’s Big Kahuna winner.

At the conclusion of the elimination rounds, the third seeded alliance of teams 303, 1923, 3637, and 3718 finished as finalists after three hard fought matches against the number one seed and winning alliance of teams 2607, 2590, 3142, and 4653.

As teams left, it was time to tear down the field and clean up. We would like to give an extra big Mahalo to Team 869 who stayed and helped us with this effort. We appreciate the helping hand your team is always willing to lend!

Overall, Brunswick Eruption 14 was the event’s biggest year yet! We can’t wait to do it all again next year and hope you will visit to experience the excitement for yourself! Check out pictures from this year’s event on the Brunswick Eruption Facebook page.

2015 Recycle Rush Season Summary

Week 1: MAR Hatboro-Horsham District
February 27 – March 1, 2015

IMG_4275 We unveiled our new robot, Evil Machine 13.0 AKA Scorpion Stacker, at our first official competition of the 2015 season. As is typical at week one evens, teams were still making tweaks to their robots and figuring out the best way to play the year’s new game. For us, we had only just attached our robot’s can-lifting arm right before we had to bag it up at the end of build season and so we did not have any practice operating it. We quickly realized that since the arm was so long (nearly 6.5 feet), it created a large moment when fully extended and picking up a recycling container. Though it was a bit unwieldy, our drivers figured out how to acquire a can without tipping over. In our first qualification match, we managed to stack a full six stack with a container on top and another 3 stack of totes.

Pit crew members servicing the robot after a match.

Pit crew members servicing the robot after a match.

At the end of the qualification rounds we ranked 4th overall with an average qualification score of 65.67. Due to inter-picking within the top 8, we moved up to the 3rd seed. We selected teams 1218 and 708 to join our alliance. After losing our first match and coming back strong in the second, our overall average score of 52 was not high enough to advance us. We finished the event as quarterfinalists.

 


Week 4: MAR Seneca District
March 20 – March 22, 2015

IMG_4391In the three weeks following our first event, the team rallied hard to make improvements all around. First, the trailer the team uses to transport our supplies and robots to events received a makeover. Thanks to Agin Signs & Designs for doing an awesome job! Second, we used our 6 hours of unbag time to modify the pivot point of the robot’s arm. With a higher pivot point, the arm still had the same reach, but did not reach out as far when picking up a can from the floor.

Friday night we arrived at Seneca High School in the middle of a snow storm, but were able to unload the robot and get our pit area set up. The weather improved the next day and, though we had a few issues with tipping, so did our on-field performance from the last event. Being a week 4 event, many more teams had experience playing Recycle Rush and the competition was stiff. We ranked 17th with an average qualification score of 63.50. Our sister team, Team Mercury 1089 from Hightstown, NJ, seeded 4th and selected us as their first round pick. Team 423, Simple Machines from Wyncote, PA, rounded out our alliance. 1089 recognized our robot’s potential as a strong stacking robot to complement their capping-specialist robot. We removed the arm from the robot to focus on creating as many 5 stacks as possible for them to cap off with recycling cans for the multiplier bonus. Team 423 made additional stacks of 4 and 5. Our alliance was very strong and cleared out all of the totes from behind the player station multiple times. However, due do some strange electrical issues that appeared, our partner was unable to cap them all. The alliance made it to the semi-finals.

We got to visit with FIRST President, Don Bossi!

We got to visit with FIRST President, Don Bossi!

Additionally, our team was selected as the recipient of the Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox for our unique robot design!


Week 6: MAR North Brunswick District
April 2 – April 4, 2015

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Our Chairman’s Award presenters.

Two weeks later, we hosted a district event of our own! No stranger to hosting events since we host our off-season competition, Brunswick Eruption, every fall, we were prepared to both help run the event and compete our hardest. At the end of the qualification rounds, we seeded 8th overall with an average qualification score of 86.33.

We were the first pick of the third seed, Team 4285 – The Camo-bots from Honesdale, PA. We then selected Team 321 – the RoboLancers from Philadelphia to round out our alliance. The alliance made it to the semi-finals and just barely missed the cutoff to get into the finals by an average of less than 7 points.

We were delightfully surprised to win our second Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox of the season!


Week 7: Mid-Atlantic Robotics District Championship
in Bethlehem, PA, USA
April 8 – April 11, 2015

Our team’s performance at our first two district events qualified us to attend the Mid-Atlantic Robotics District Championship. The robot performed admirably, making many stacks of 5 and 6 totes with a recycling container on top, retrieving extra recycling containers from the center of the field, and capping other team’s stacks. The one piece missing from the puzzle was our qualification alliances receiving the co-op bonus points. Our qualification average score was 110.08 points and the co-op points were worth an additional 40 points per round (the first seeded team had an average of 156 points). We ranked 41st and were the first pick of the 8th seeded alliance, Team 4373 – RooBotics from Jenkintown, PA, and joined by Team 56 – ROBBE from Bound Brook, NJ. Our alliance finished as quarterfinalists, but we managed to earn enough points throughout the event to qualify for the FRC World Championship in St. Louis!


World Championship – Newton Division
St. Louis, MO
April 22 – April 25, 2015

Our first qualification match at the Championship and our highest scoring of the season—206 points!

Our first qualification match at the Championship and our highest scoring of the season—206 points!

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This year was the first year of an expanded championship. 600 FRC teams attended and were split across eight divisions. Our team was placed in the Newton Division. Competing with and against the best teams in the world allowed us to put up some of our highest scores of the season. We finished qualification rounds ranked 26th with an average score of 134.70 points. Unfortunately we were not selected to play in the elimination rounds. Many of the top seeded teams were looking for robots that could quickly grab the recycling containers from the center of the field in autonomous mode. The team is proud of our accomplishments and continual improvements we made throughout the season, as well as winning two creativity awards! You can bet we’ll be working harder to improve and refine our processes for next season so we can make it back to the world championship!

New Season + Indiegogo Campaign!

Saturday, January 3rd marked the beginning of the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition season. Around the world, FRC teams gathered to watch the unveiling of this year’s new challenge, RECYCLE RUSH:

To go along with the new season, we’ve also launched a new fundraising campaign on Indiegogo! Indiegogo is a crowdsourcing website that allows communities to donate funds to help organizations to achieve their goals. Depending on the amount donated, donors will receive different perks and rewards for their generosity. All funds raised via the campaign will go directly towards the expenses incurred as we build our new robot, compete with it throughout the season, and perform STEM outreach activities.

We would very much appreciate it if you could share the link to our campaign with your friends, families, and followers:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/frc-team-25-raider-robotix

We look forward to sharing what we come up with this season with you!

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.

2014 MidKnight Mayhem Champions!

Written by Kevin Zimmerman

The excitement of Aerial Assist did not end in April with the FRC championship event in St. Louis. On June 28th, 32 teams came together for the second annual MidKnight Mayhem off-season event hosted by the Midknight Inventors, Team 1923. Following our first place victory at the Hoboken Engineered Robotics Event at Stevens Institute of Technology the previous weekend, we hoped to keep the season’s spirit going strong and have a good competition, which the attending teams delivered.

10428512_10204205118158124_188978484652048934_nHaving only five qualification rounds put emphasis on making each match count. Continuing the strategy we adopted during the World Championship elimination rounds, we took over the inbounder spot on our alliances, focusing on receiving human tosses and freeing up our scoring oriented partners to finish cycles. Meanwhile, we pounded the defense home to prevent the opposing alliance from scoring. During our first match, a little rust on our alliance kept us from gaining the upper hand, but a foul on our opponents put us ahead following the final buzzer. We claimed out first victory of the day,

Moving into our second match, the team decided to switch things up a bit and let new team members step in the shoes of our drivers to feel the heat of competition. The match was mostly controlled by the outcome of the autonomous mode, which put our alliance ahead. Partners on our alliance focused on moving the ball downfield where we finished off at least two full cycles and played some defense. Then the mayhem ball fell off the truss and entered play. Originally hit out of play, it was given to our human player to inbound near the low goal where we had just scored. After tossing it our robot, a driver error failed to close the net in time, but the ball bounced off the back of our robot and was inadvertently scored, earning our alliance an extra 20 points. Once the dust cleared following the buzzer, a high score gave us a record of 2-0 for the event.Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 4.42.46 PM

 

 

 

 

 

The lineup for our third match looked fierce going up against the blue alliance, which had Archimedes Division Champion, team 2590, Nemesis. Scoring was fast and furious coming out of the gate, seeming to favor our opponents following autonomous mode. They unleashed a full salvo of high scoring from a 2-ball auto, trusses, and high goal shots. Things then changed dramatically. While trying to defend our alliance partner, team 225, from inbounding on the far side of the field, 2590’s robot was tipped over after some inadvertent entanglement. Our alliance got the break we needed to pull ahead and hold on for the victory.

Our remaining qualification matches were relatively routine in strategy and outcome. In the next match, we made a catch and scored another mayhem ball that was introduced from accurate trussing from team 3015. Getting lucky with good partners helped us to clinch another two victories and hold our spot in the qualification rankings. By the time the rest of the matches were said and done, our morning ended with a 5-0 record, having scored two of the elusive mayhem balls, and saw ourselves seeded in first place. As alliance selection came and went, our representative picked up good partners in teams 225, Techfire, 1626, Falcon Robotics, and 329, the Raiders.

10329090_10152364277974086_7258211478394991246_nWhile most teams left to prep their robots for the elimination rounds, our robot rolled onto the field for its best match of the day, the mentor match. Tapping alumni and former drivers alike led to an interesting lineup for the match, which saw Kristan driving, Bharat operating, Howard barking orders as drive coach, and Cokeley running around as the inbounding human player. While they dueled it out on the field, the rest of the team was able to catch a short break and enjoy a spectacle that happens rarely during a season. The action during the mentor match was great: our robot managed to catch a ball trussed by team 1640 and Cokeley lost his shoe while inbounding the ball.

 

10418315_10152364180994086_4895621488929296983_nWith the fun matches in the books, it was time to focus on the elimination rounds. Being the #1 seed, we felt ready to take on the #8 alliance of teams 4575, 316, 2495, and 810. Autonomous modes in the opening match fell short of the mark, leaving two balls of each color bouncing around the field. The first balls were cleared in short order, but our tough defense made it hard for 2495 to get rid of their second ball. Beginning to cycle, we had some issues passing to 1626 due to our robots’ varying designs, but were able to keep the ball moving down field. The match continued on as a good defensive effort kept us on top to gain a win. To begin our second match, we decided to swap 329 for 1626 to get a fresh look to our offense while abiding by the Mayhem rulebook that every team must get a chance to play. Both sides started off the match with improved play, each side only missing one ball a piece. Defense was found on both sides of the field, as blue kept messing with Techfire’s firing solution while our robot hammered any robot that had a blue ball. Passing the ball became easier with 329’s similar intake that ran the ball to the floor and into their robot. One interesting moment from the match occurred when a truss pass was inadvertently blocked by another truss shot. As 329 trussed a ball, our opponents also shot, but our red ball deflected theirs and it bounced out of play. When the buzzer sounded, our alliance stood on top and moved on to the semifinals.

After the valiant effort we saw from the number 8 alliance, we were amazed that the number 4 alliance composed of teams 2016, 3015, 87, and 1257 had even more heart. Some passing practice with 1626 while waiting to learn who our semifinal opponents would be brought back high hopes for an agile assist bot to scoot around. In the first match, autonomous mode was in favor of the red alliance, with us scoring all four of our autonomous balls while blue only scored two of their four balls. Some minor issues and robot interference made passing difficult but getting our assist, dumping off the ball, and shifting into defensive mode helped to stifle any offense from our opponents during match one. Moving into match two, our alliance decided to tag 329 back into the mix and saw almost instant results in the form of reduced cycle times. Rough defense was continued by both sides, but the stronger drive trains in the red alliance helped us break through the blue alliance wall. Around the 30 second buzzer that traditionally signaled the endgame, the mayhem ball came into play and robots swarmed its smiling face as 329 performed a snatch-and-grab that gave our red alliance a 20 point bonus. In the end, the mayhem ball’s smiling reward helped to push us up and over our opponents and advance to the finals.

With the semis all said and done, the stage was set for the finals. Sporting red was the #1 alliance of 25, 225, 1626, and 329 facing off against the boys and girls in blue, the #2 alliance of teams 11, 193, 369, and 4954. Scoring was fast and furious from the start of round 1, both sides using 4 ball autonomous routines. When the buzzer to end autonomous mode rang, the blue alliance had the upper hand from one red missed ball that rolled back down the field. Tough defense was found in every zone as neither alliance wanted to give an inch. MORT collided with us in ways that would have damaged many robots, but ours refused to back down and was saved as all the red robots converged on the blue zone and became too much for them to handle. Overwhelmed, our alliance was finally able to effectively pass the ball off to 225 who brought us ahead until MORT scored a ball and finished blue’s first cycle to regain the lead. Our alliance was able to make up some lost ground and then pull ahead with a last-second truss shot from 329, which put match one down as a red victory. After a short reset period, both alliances met under the truss for handshakes and then the mayhem was on for finals match 2. The first round had bolstered our confidence, but 11, 369, and 4954 (subbing for MORT Beta, but driven mostly by 193) wouldn’t go down without a fight. With Final Countdown setting the tone for many a finals match, both sides readied for a battle. In the early going our alliance took the lead with a perfect 4 ball auto while blue missed one of theirs. Since MORT BETA wasn’t on the field to provide a 2-ball autonomous mode, blue was down by a total of two high-goal autonomous scores. Blue worked their hardest to overcome the deficit, but small mistakes, such as a trussed shot that bounced off the truss and flew backwards, kept piling up and hindered their progress.  Balls flew everywhere as both sides trussed back and forth like there was no tomorrow up until the buzzer sounded. When the dust settled and the robots were powered down, the referees declared the match had been clean. After a few announcements updating the crowd with the current World Cup scores (thanks Jeff!), the score from the last match was posted. It showed that our alliance had won, thereby making us MidKnight Mayhem champions.

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We would like to thank the MidKnight Mayhem crew for running a wonderful event, our partners 225, 1626, and 329 for being great elimination partners, 11, 193, 369, and 4954 for a superb effort in the finals, and all the teams that made the event fun. We hope to see some of you at Brunswick Eruption, and, until we meet again, thanks for the memories.