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:

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

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.


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.



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

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!

Lenape Seneca Event Recap

After winning the Engineering Inspiration Award, becoming event Finalists at our first District Event at Hatboro-Horsham, and taking the Mid-Atlantic Robotics region by surprise with our unique and innovative design, there was again quite the buzz online about how Team 25 would perform at the Lenape-Seneca MAR District event. Chief Delphi’s Looking Forward mentioned us once again in his Week Four Post:

“25 took a different approach to Aerial Assist than most teams, and right now are looking pretty smart, despite only having a silver medal.”

After taking one of the highest total assist points (330) in week one of MAR and ranking 8th in MAR points, we felt confident in our robot’s design, driver capability and strategic role on the field as we entered our second competition of the season.

This time, the pit crew and trailer arrived without any pre-competition roadside accidents to load in on Friday afternoon. With the exception of having to replace some recalled pneumatic air tanks for ones provided by FIRST, we moved through robot inspection with no problems at all.

In our Saturday morning practice matches we impressed teams with a couple of catches and felt good going into the qualification rounds. While the drive team warmed up, juniors Sarah Sleiman and Keertana Chirra spent the entire afternoon interacting with judges, sharing our team’s story, robot design, and community outreach efforts. In between small  repairs and regular robot maintenance, Seniors and pit crew leaders Tristan Tushinski and Urmil Shah answered questions about our robot for any scouts from other teams.

Our elimination alliance at the Lenape-Senece District Event. Photo courtesy of Team 1647.

Our elimination alliance at the Lenape-Senece District Event. Photo courtesy of Team 1647.

We ended the qualification rounds on Sunday ranked 5th out of 40 teams with an impressive record of 9-3, and the highest assist points in MAR and second highest of any Week 4 event (790). We were invited to join the 3rd seed alliance by our friends and alliance partners from Hatboro-Horsham, Team 1647, Iron Devils to see if we could go for the gold this time around. We completed our alliance by inviting Team 1923, The MidKnight Inventors, from the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District in New Jersey. Before the beginning of the Elimination matches, the coaches, drive team members and head scouts from all three teams met for an alliance strategy meeting in one of the computer labs at 1647’s high school. We won the first quarterfinal match against the 6th seeded alliance (816, 1218, 708) with a score 224-113. Unfortunately, in the middle of our second quarterfinal match, one of our alliance partners’ pickup mechanisms stopped working, which rendered us unable to score the three assist cycles that gave us an edge. After taking it to a third match to determine who would advance to the semifinals, we suffered a narrow 4 point defeat.

At the end of the day the judges transitioned into the awards ceremony. Team 25 was selected as the recipient of the Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox for our unique design and game strategy. We had a great time at Lenape High School and would like to thank all of the volunteers and Lenape Regional School District for helping make this event run as smoothly as possible. At the end of week 4, we are ranked in the top 15 out of 105 teams in the MAR Region and are optimistic about our chances of attending the MAR Regional Championship to be held April 9-12th at Lehigh University.

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 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]