Raider Robotix will be at Heritage Day Sept. 24 in North Brunswick

PRESS RELEASE 09-16-2016 North Brunswick, NJ: The North Brunswick Township High School’s robotics team robot that competed in the World Championships FIRST Robotics Stronghold game April 27-30, 2016 in St. Louis will be making an appearance September 24 at the North Brunswick Township’s 34th Annual Heritage Day. The Raider Robotix booth will be open from about 1 pm to 5 pm and will also collect shoes as part of its ongoing Shoe Drive fundraiser. Information on Raider Robotix, Brunswick Eruption and FIRST will be available. So, come down to see the robot in action and bring wearable, used shoes to donate! Heritage Day has a rain date Sunday, September 25.

The next robotics event for the Raider Robotix team is Brunswick Eruption, the FRC Team 25’s off-season event scheduled to be held at the North Brunswick Township High School on November 12, 2016. Robot teams from the Mid-Atlantic Robotics District and elsewhere will compete against each other at this event. To learn more about Brunswick Eruption, please visit www.raiderrobotix.org or the Raider Robotix’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BrunswickEruption. Public admission and seating are free.

# # #
More about the Robot and 2016 FIRST FRC Robotics competition: The robot, Evil Machine, was designed and built by NBTHS Raider Robotix FRC Team 25 team members during the 2016 robotics season, their 20th year of competition. The team gained recognition and status during competition, showing that Team 25 is a force to be reckoned with.

In addition to being the #3 seeded team in their division at the St. Louis World Championships, Raider Robotix also finished as a Finalist and #11 ranked team within the Mid-Atlantic Robotics (MAR) District Championships held April 13 – 16, a Finalist and #2 seeded team at the MAR district competition at Bridgewater-Raritan held April 1 – 3, and the #1 seeded team at the MAR district competition at Hatboro-Horsham held March 4 – 6.

Raider Robotix also won two Judges’ Awards during the 2016 FIRST Robotics competition season. The robot proved to be highly consistent in climbing for additional points, and in fact, had the highest amount of points for climbing across all 8 divisions at the FIRST World Championship. Due to the Raider Robotix climbing mechanism’s design, the robot’s custom drive train wheels, and the ability to quickly score boulders in the low goal both in autonomous mode and under operator control, a panel of industry professional judges awarded Raider Robotix the General Motors-sponsored Industrial Design Award, which “celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively addresses the game challenge” during the Bridgewater-Raritan MAR District Event. At the Hatboro-Horsham MAR District Event held in Horsham, PA, Raider Robotix was also awarded the Johnson & Johnson-sponsored Gracious Professional award, for “outstanding demonstration of FIRST Core Values such as continuous gracious professionalism and working together both on and off the playing field.”

In the 2016 robotics season, FRC teams played against each other in FIRST STRONGHOLD, a medieval-inspired game in which two alliances made up of three robots each try to capture their opponents’ castle tower by scoring balls, or “boulders”, into openings. Each boulder scored through an upper story window or ground-level goal earns the alliance points and reduces the tower’s strength. If enough boulders are scored, the tower becomes weakened and can be “captured” for bonus points if all three robots surround it at the end of the match. In addition to scoring boulders, points are earned for driving over or through a variety of different obstacles defenders place on the field to protect their tower. In the last 20 seconds of the game, robots may also attempt to climb the opponent’s castle wall for additional points by grabbing a 6.5-foot-tall rung and elevating at least 2 feet off the ground. During the robotics season, all FIRST events are open to the public and admission for seating is free. Please visit http://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc for more information on FIRST Robotics. The Raider Robotics Team will have a booth at North Brunswick’s Heritage Day Festival September 24, 2016 for those who are interested in finding out more about the Team and FIRST Robotics.

More about Raider Robotix FRC Team 25: Founded twenty years ago in 1996 at North Brunswick Township High School, NJ, this team has been a two-time world champion during the FIRST Robotics FRC Competition in 2000 and 2012. Team 25 has competed in District and Regional matches and has traveled to the World Championships each year since its founding. Raider Robotix is comprised of NBTHS students and mentored by adult volunteers. This highly competitive FRC Championship Robotics team participated in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2014 and has been featured on television, in books and news articles as well. Raider Robotix has secured sponsorship from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Becton Dickinson (BD), ABBE Lumber, American Alloy Fabricators, Inc., North Brunswick Township High School and the Raider Robotix Parent and Mentor Assoc., Inc. for the 2016 season, and continues with fundraising efforts. http://www.raiderrobotix.org https://www.facebook.com/RaiderRobotix/?fref=ts.
More about FIRST and Stronghold: More than 3,000 teams comprised of over 78,000 students worldwide competed in the FIRST STRONGHOLD game in 2016. FIRST Robotics combines the excitement of sport along with the rigors of science and technology. High school student teams comprising kids ages 14-18 in grades 9-12 build and program a robot in six weeks’ time to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. The teams not only sharpen their teamwork skills, but they raise funds and design a team “brand.” Team members come away with an experience that’s as close to real-world business and engineering as a high school student can get. Over a seven week period, these high school teams competed as family and friends cheered from the stands at over 120 multi-day events worldwide. All this led up to the 2016 FIRST Championship at the Edward Jones Dome held April 27-30, 2016 in St. Louis, MO. During FIRST events, the public is invited to attend at no charge. http://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc

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.

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.

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!

FTC Teams Compete at Liberty Science Center

On January 5th, 2013 all four North Brunswick FTC teams attended the NJ FTC Liberty Science Center Qualifier hosted by Team 4220, the Landroids. Two teams, FTC Team 3568, the ICE Wolves, and FTC Team 6508, the Radioactive Raiders, already qualified for the New Jersey State Championships and were at the event to help out by evening out the number of teams attending. The other two teams, FTC Team 2825, and FTC Team 3719, the Rampage Raiders, were at the qualifier fighting for a spot to go to the New Jersey State Championships.

Each team competed in five qualification matches at this event. At the end of the qualification matches, the top four teams each chose one partner to join their alliance to play in the elimination matches. These final matches would determine the final winners of the competition.

The ICE Wolves pose for a photo with their robot at the Liberty Science Center Qualifier.

The ICE Wolves pose for a photo with their robot at the Liberty Science Center Qualifier.

Since this was a qualifier event, the two North Brunswick FTC teams that had already qualified for the state championship were asked not to compete in the elimination matches in order to give other teams a chance to qualify. As such, FTC Team 3719, the Rampage Raiders, was chosen to be in alliance with FTC Team 6337, the Metal Marauders. In the end they came in forth after losing in semi-finals. FTC Team 2825 played and tried very hard, yet were seeded 8th out of 30 teams and were not chosen to be apart of an alliance. However, they will be trying and playing even harder to qualify for states as they compete this upcoming Saturday at the Frozen Frenzy Qualifier at the Timothy Christian School in Piscataway. We wish them and the other teams attending good luck and look forward to seeing them at states.

We would like to thank Liberty Science Center and the Landroids for organizing and hosting this competition. The event went smoothly and was a fun event for everyone in attendance. We’d also like to thank North Brunswick alum and FTC FTA and Referee Howard Cohen for being there to support our teams.