Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers
Robbinsville High School’s FIRST Robotics Team 2590 Nemesis went global.
Sponsoring a fun and exciting engineering experience in Haiti over the holidays, Nemesis shared their love of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) with the House of Hope Orphanage. Who would have thought that a high school club could make a significant educational impact in a developing country?
Nemesis alumna, Jolia Thadal, currently studying at the Rochester Institute of Technology, joined the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists (NYSCC) on a mission trip she co-organized to the House of Hope. The small but mighty orphanage cares for over 70 orphaned and abandoned children and simultaneously operates a K-13th grade school program where all expenses are covered by public donations.
On behalf of Nemesis, Thadal hosted an engineering camp modeled after Discovery Day, a highly successful day camp held annually at Robbinsville High School where children learn about the engineering design cycle through open ended challenges. Nemesis, the technology sponsor of the trip, supplied the resources and training needed to engage 43 children from both the orphanage and surrounding areas. Through the camp, entitled “Discover Engineering: Let’s Build and Be Creative!”, Haitian children were exposed to basic engineering principles in a fun and collaborative environment. Utilizing their creativity and problem solving skills, the campers worked in small teams to address engineering challenges.
The day camp was a massive success: the children treasured their experiences, as well as the t-shirts, hats, and goody bags that Nemesis provided. Robbinsville High School could not be prouder of Thadal and the team for their success in inspiring future generations outside of United States to develop a passion for STEM.
When asked about her experience, Thadal gushed, “I have traveled worldwide for many different reasons, but this trip was certainly one of the best experiences of my life. I was touched by the effort exercised by all the children to complete their projects.”
Nemesis is eternally grateful for their sponsors’ support of the team’s goal to mold the future STEM leaders of the world: Robbinsville High School, NAVAIR, CCL Label, Lockheed Martin, Investor’s Bank, NYSCC, Triangle Copy, Robbinsville Education Association, Robbinsville Education Foundation, RAS, McGraw-Hill Financial, Design Tree, and Knowledgent. Sponsors, family and friends are welcome to come out to Hatboro-Horsham High School for our first District Event on March 2nd through 4th. Admission is free.
Nemesis Starts Robbinsville High School’s First FTC Team
Fifteen students, a challenge, and a robot. In October 2017, Robbinsville High School’s (RHS) FIRST Robotics Team FRC 2590, Nemesis, started a First Tech Challenge (FTC) team 14020, Nemesis Prime. FTC is a branch of FIRST for students from ages 12 to 18. These students develop important skills in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) fields. Each year at kickoff, a new game is revealed and the season begins.
This year’s challenge, Relic Recovery, features two alliances whose goal is to organize foam blocks into one of six patterns to score points. FTC freshman Rugved Dikay explained the game as “a journey through a Pharaoh’s Tomb”. During the first thirty seconds of the game, known as the autonomous period, robots are controlled by pre-programmed instructions. The final two minutes, the robots zip around at the drivers command.
In preparation for their first competition, Nemesis Prime sought out help from members of Nemesis to give them a head start. Students from Nemesis aided Nemesis Prime members in areas of coding, driving, and building the robot. Mentors from the marketing team taught them how to present with confidence. All involved were rewarded a sense of leadership. Student mentor Matt Began shared his thoughts on Nemesis Prime, “Watching them persevere through obstacles gave me hope for FTC’s future.” Nemesis also shares their facilities and donated both financial and material resources to ensure the success of the FTC inaugural season.
Starting Nemesis Prime was a bold move for Nemesis. Their first competition was nerve wracking, and exciting. Members were swallowed by panic when the robot failed to work during the autonomous period. With fire in their eyes, the drivers managed to make up for what they lost during the driver operated period.
Nemesis Prime learned some valuable lessons so far this season. FTC freshman, Ashrith Pagedemarry, shared, “I have gotten a lot of hands-on experience and learned a lot from this program.” Nemesis looks forward to the rest of the FTC season and wishes Nemesis Prime the best of luck.
2018 Week 2: Marketing Journal
During Week Two of the 2018 Build Season, the Marketing Team worked on its preparation for Sponsor Networking Night. Invitations have been hand delivered to local sponsors, and collateral assembly has begun. Graphics for the showcases located just outside of our Tech Lab have been created, updated, and printed.
The Finance Team is hard at work on the 2018 Business Plan, applying for grants, and meeting with current sponsors. The Logistics Team has been in constant contact with transportation companies regarding the travel plans for the upcoming competition season. FIRST Power Up will be a very exciting game, and our Logistics Team is ensuring that we will be ready for the competitions in the upcoming months.
2018 Week 1: Build Journal
Another build season has finally arrived! After attending kickoff, Nemesis headed back to the RHS Tech Lab to discuss game analysis. We became familiar with the game field and rules for FIRST POWER UP. Both build and marketing students were able to participate in brainstorming, coming up with different ideas for all the subsystems. We focused on the ability to place power cubes on both the switch and the scale, which would be strategically beneficial. We also focused discussion on climbing. After hours of discussion we split into smaller groups to begin prototyping. The upperclassmen guided the underclassmen, turning sketches and ideas into working designs. Subteams worked on creating elevators to be able to reach the scale, fabricating a climber, and constructing multiple intake systems. This allowed all of the underclassmen to work hands-on with a variety of tools on their prototypes.
For our climber, we want a durable locking system to prevent us from falling. Subteams created a hook to grab onto the rung using pneumatics in ways that would be strong enough to support our robot. Although it isn’t as strong as we wished, we are still refining it in hopes to reach our goal.
The intake subteams have combined prototypes for the most efficient design. Using a combination of wheels and bands, we are able to pick up the power cube and securely hold it as the elevator rises, either to place the cube on the switch or the scale.
The elevator subteam has constructed two designs; a cascading and a scissor elevator. When tested to see which one is more effective, the cascading elevator proved to be the winner.
We decided on a 6 wheel west coast drive train with no drop center. The front and back will be curved up to allow out robot to drive onto the platform. In the upcoming week we will continue to improve and finalize these prototypes. We are all excited to see everything come together.
Pixelated Hijinks At Kickoff
Get ready to build robots! The annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) game competition has begun. The game brings great joy and excitement to hundreds of thousands of high school students in real time all around the world, including the Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics Team 2590, Nemesis.
Well over 400 students from several local teams including Robbinsville, Montgomery, Hamilton, The Peddie School, Hightstown, and many more from Mid-Atlantic Robotics had the opportunity to attend robot themed seminars prior to kickoff. The students chose from gearboxes and transmissions, sensors, pneumatics, and Autodesk Inventor, (computer aided design software) among others. These seminars supplied students with the preliminary knowledge needed to tackle the challenges of the 6 week build season. Finally, it was time for the moment that all FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) enthusiasts around the world were waiting for: the reveal of the FRC challenge.
The students settled into the auditorium. As the clock counted down the moments until the big reveal, the excitement was overflowing inside the auditorium. Prior to the reveal, a representative from Picatinny Arsenal, Shah Dabiri, came onto stage and spoke inspirational words about the children of today, and the hope we have for the future. His words definitely spread the message of STEAM and FIRST to the young engineers and future business leaders sitting in the audience. 0:03, 0:02, 0:01, 0:00. The lights dimmed while deafening applause traveled through the auditorium. The presentation had begun and wonderstruck students gazed upon the screen. FIRST Power Up has arrived.
Alliances of 3 teams each are trapped in a nostalgic video arcade game, where the field consists of 1 scale located in centerfield and 1 switch on each end. Power cubes are used to control the balance of the scale and switches and can be found throughout the field. For every second a scale/switch is tipped in one alliance’s favor , that alliance gains 1 point. During the 15 second autonomous mode, the robots are operated with the use of pre-programmed instructions; anytime the scale or switch is set in an alliance’s favor, that alliance earns 2 points per second. During game play, Power-Ups give temporary scale or switch ownership resulting in score boosts. Robots can boost their alliance’s score even more by climbing the scale’s structure during the end game.
After the video ended and the lights slowly lit the room, many students minds were already at work on the infinite possibilities for their upcoming build season. Kavya Velliangiri, a Robbinsville freshmen on Nemesis stated, “The kickoff was exhilarating, and it was an experience to remember!” From the faces on many of the students in the room, they were feeling exactly the same way.
Teams were quick to flood out of the building, eager to return to their high schools to study the manual, filled to the brim with rules and information pertaining to the challenge, and share their newfound ideas during brainstorming sessions. Nemesis is very excited to start their build season off right.
Nemesis will compete at the Hatboro-Horsham District Event on March 3rd-March 4th, the Bridgewater-Raritan District Event on March 17th-18th, and the Hudson Valley Regional in Suffern, NY on March 23rd-March 25th. All events are free admission and all are welcome.
Nemesis would like to extend great thanks to their generous sponsors: Robbinsville High School, NAVAIR, Bristol Myers Squibb, Department of Defense STEM, CCL Label, Knowledgent, Lockheed Martin, Nordson, Picatinny Arsenal, New York Society Of Cosmetic Chemists, Leidos, Robbinsville Education Association, RAS Process Equipment, Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, Investors Foundation, Robbinsville Education Foundation, Sharbell Development Corporation, Gilbane Incorporated, Design Tree, Northstar Vets, Skylink Technology Incorporated, Triangle Copy, and Coldwell Banker.
2018 Week 1: Marketing Journal
The Nemesis team members are working harder than ever to ensure a great season. The Marketing Team, has spent Week 1 performing many tasks, most notably, preparing for 2018 Sponsor Networking Night. Save the date emails have been sent, formal invitations are on their way out, and presentations are being prepared. Additionally, new photos have been picked out to be displayed in the showcase, and a new backdrop theme is being developed.
The Finance Team, is busy writing new sponsor grants, and all marketing members are making their first “cold calls” of the year. The Logistics Team is planning for our competition season. Finally, flyers have been made for Nemesis’ first ever Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraiser. After only one week, the marketing team has completed a lot of work, and as the week closes, the team is really looking forward to what the rest of the season holds!
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Nemesis Hosts Another Successful Discovery Day
Smashing pins, flying pucks, robots, and happy faces. That’s what you would have seen if you stepped into the Robbinsville High School Technology Lab on December 2nd and 3rd during Robotics Discovery Day, a half day robotics experience for 2nd through 6th graders run by Nemesis, Robbinsville FIRST robotics competition team FRC 2590, and Nemesis Prime, Robbinsville rookie FIRST technology challenge team, FTC 14020. Campers came to learn and have fun with diverse robotics challenges. By the end of their sessions, the campers had an exhilarating experience building cool robots, playing with their creations in competitive challenges, and watching robotic demonstrations. Campers were left inspired, interested and wanted to keep building.
The campers, started off their day by meeting Nemesis’s humanoid NAO robot. He shot a ball, drew a picture, and danced around as the campers watched with delight. Next, the campers saw a FIRST Lego League (FLL) demonstration put on by Pond Road Students. Teams I.D.K, Shockwave, Electrons, and Nerd Herd awed the campers with their LEGO EV3 NXT robots that completed tasks in a model “Hydroelectric Society” game. The FLL teams showed an in-depth demonstration to the campers to help them understand the different motors and gears used to make the robots work. Additionally, the campers experienced the thrill of driving Nemesis’s own 120 pound, 2017 award winning robot, Eris. They navigated onto a game field like experts and then shot a flurry balls into the high goal to score points.
To moderate the difficulty of the challenges, campers were divided into two age groups. 2nd, through 4th graders, took on the design of using only two motorized gears to create an air hockey striker that could both score goals and defend their area. Through propellers and wheel shooters, the campers brought their creative ideas to fruition. They faced off against each other, high school mentors, and the daunting “fun table” which required pinpoint accuracy to navigate past spinning pieces placed around the table. Even at the younger age, the Nemesis (high school) mentors took a hands-off approach as the campers let their imaginations run wild.
More advanced 4th, 5th, and 6th grade campers put their building skills to the test as they built a robot made out of LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT pieces. Their first goal was to create a robot that could hit a ball and knock down pins. The campers then used the same robot but started at a different position. This would challenge them to create a new program that could move over to the ball before hitting it. In the final and toughest challenge, the campers used an ultrasonic sensor to seek out and topple pins scattered around an area. In this challenge the mentors helped create the programming, but, building the robot was all up to the campers.
The goal of Discovery Day is to heighten campers’ interest towards a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) future. Through challenging the campers to see what they could build in a finite time, they were introduced to a pre-engineering environment. Cassidy, a Discovery Day camper, enthusiastically said, “I liked building robots because I’ve always wanted to be an inventor.” We hope that the campers go onto a successful career that started at Discovery Day 2017.
Discovery Day also has a huge impact on the Nemesis team members. Mentoring the campers was a great experience for everyone involved. They created friendships with their campers in a dynamic learning situation. Finance team member and senior Jarelle Boac said, “The campers made my day! They had such raw enthusiasm and curiosity and were so smart. I'm glad I could be a part of such a rewarding experience as a Discovery Day student mentor. It's bittersweet knowing this event was my last.” At Discovery Day, the campers learn that they can all achieve their goals in order to accomplish whatever mission is ahead of them while the mentors learn how to help the campers succeed, fail, and create their own robots.
Discovery Day 2017 was a huge success. Nemesis gives a big thank you to all the campers and can’t wait for next years event. It is always a highlight of the robotics season!
Nemesis also expresses their gratitude to the many sponsors that make community outreach ventures like Robotics Discovery Day possible. Special thanks to Robbinsville High School, NAVAIR, CCL Label, Lockheed Martin, Investor’s Bank, NYSCC, Triangle Copy, Robbinsville Education Association, Robbinsville Education Foundation, RAS, McGraw-Hill Financial, Design Tree, and Knowledgent. Sponsors, family and friends are welcome to come out to Hatboro-Horsham High School for our first District Event on March 2nd through 4th. Admission is free.
Brunswick Eruption Gives New Members a Feeling of Unity
While upbeat dance hits played on the loudspeaker, Nemesis competed at the off-season event Brunswick Eruption, hosted by Raider Robotix, North Brunswick Township High School’s FIRST Robotics Team. With over thirty teams from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York, it was an exciting competition. Members could be seen faithfully scouting other robots, providing crucial data for future alliance decisions. Nemesis furiously cheered and chanted for the drive team as they skillfully advanced Nemesis’ 2017 competition robot, Eris, through the grueling matches.
On the field, the drive team tactfully maneuvered Eris. Brand new team members were fascinated, watching from the edge of their seats. New drivers had the opportunity to test their skills out on the field. Nemesis emerged from the qualification matches ranked 14th. During alliance selections Nemesis was quickly chosen by the third seed alliance captain, FRC 1279, Parallel Universe, and was later joined by FRC 219, Team Impact and FRC 56, ROBBE. Together they made a strong alliance that valiantly fought through the elimination matches.
Brunswick Eruption had space for more than just robots. Party music kept everyone in high spirits. The Evil Sundae competition included member Emmy D'Amico eating a combination of sardines and whipped cream.
Faltering in the semifinals, Nemesis did not bring home the coveted win. The day was highly memorable for new team members. It gave them their first taste of just what to expect from competitions and a sense of comradery with their teammates. Freshman Kavya Velliangiri exclaimed that: “...seeing everyone as a team made me feel unified -- like a part of something bigger!” A feeling that new members relate to as they eagerly wait for kick-off in January.
Nemesis attends the FIRST Ladies Conference
Sunday, October 8th, the Ladies of Nemesis woke up bright and early to attend the inaugural FIRST Ladies MAR Conference. Hosted at The College of New Jersey, the girls were excited to see what FIRST Ladies had in store for them.
The brainchild of Nikki “Panda” Stout and Elizabeth Olshanetsky, the FIRST Ladies Conference was envisioned to a place where girls in FIRST can be heard, ask questions unique to them, and learn from those who have ‘been there’. Attended by girls from Nemesis FRC2590, Redbird Robotics FRC1807, Gearheads FRC1189 and ZeroGravity FRC2180 it was a day to be remembered.
There were four seminars available for the attendees to choose from:
Libby Kamen - Leadership and Student Development
Jessica Kaestle - Resume Building
Deborah Berrien - Life Lessons From a Career in Information Technology
Nikki Panda - Web Design and Development
The Ladies of FIRST were encouraged to mingle and get to know each other not only as competitors, but as people with a common goal.
Following the seminars, the professionals held a panel discussion where the girls were asked to pose the questions that had been plaguing them throughout the season.
Sophomore Constance Mehl reiterated “It was great to talk to the other girls and find out their experiences are so similar to mine. I really appreciate the opportunity to meet with the other girls, not competing with them but as friends.”
Informative and interesting, it was an eventful day.
Thank you to the FIRST Ladies of MAR for hosting!
2017 Nemesis Library Demonstration
Saturday, November 4th, Nemesis took a ride to the Robbinsville Mercer County Library. Following days of preparation, Nemesis planned a presentation, fully equipped with videos, speeches, two robots, and games for kindergarteners through seventh graders.
The attendees had a blast!
“It was really nice to see how many students were interested in what we do, despite being so young,” exclaimed Likhitha Patlolla, Marketing member.
They loved hearing about Steamworks, the FIRST Robotics 2017 challenge and meeting Eris, Nemesis’ 2017 competition robot. Students learned how the robot was built and how the software and electrical systems are integral parts of the machine. The marketing team introduced the concepts of fundraising and community service, making sure to thank those that participated in the Nemesis 2017 food drive with Sharon School.
“Watching those little kids be astonished by the robot was a great experience. It really showed me what robotics is all about,” gushed Nemesis junior, Rahul Sawant.
Everyone enjoyed playing games pretending to be the robot, finding hidden gears, and shooting fuel into the makeshift boilers. For many, dancing with the Nao humanoid robot was the highlight of their day.
With a goal to inspire a love for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathemathics), the library demonstration is an outstanding opportunity to connect with younger students and show them what makes us excited to be Nemesis.
Nemesis would like to thank the Robbinsville Library for this wonderful opportunity.
Ladies of Nemesis Rock girlPOWER
It was still dark out when team Nemesis 2590 hit the road headed for Mount St. Joseph Academy, Flourtown, PA, for the annual offseason event, girlPOWER. This one day event had been a relaxing and pleasurable event in the past; with an expected 15 teams to compete, Nemesis was looking forward to the journey to come. After two practices a week for a month and a half, Nemesis’ female drivers, Constance Mehl and Kaitlyn Young, were ready to take Eris into battle. Upon arrival, Nemesis was greeted with good spirit and to their satisfaction, a working robot. The day was shaping up to be a successful and memorable experience.
girlPOWER is a time for girls to bond together and show themselves and each other what they are made of. The ladies of Nemesis love their chance to take the field. In fact, Julia Ruch, a Nemesis marketing senior executive was ‘lent’ to the Lunatecs as their human player for the day. Ruch loved her time in the spotlight, “Having the opportunity to play with another team allowed me to experience the true meaning of gracious professionalism, and coopertition, two idea that FIRST strongly promotes. I felt honored and totally humbled to be able to witness my team preform from a different lens, while collaborating with new friends on new alliances, whom were all there to support women in STEM, an issue I feel very passionately about. “
The first practice match started and Nemesis took a turn for the worst, crashing into the airship during autonomous mode, leaving Eris dead for the remainder of the match. Having faced defeat, the team hurried to fix the radio which had been knocked out of place. Over the course of the first couple of matches Nemesis faced a rocky start; however, with the help of quick thinking, strategizing, and a positive attitude, Nemesis found their way into the 9th seed for alliance selection.
Picked by the 2nd seed alliance captain, 203 (One TUFF TEAM) and allied with team 316 (Lunatecs), Nemesis took the field for eliminations. Fighting their way through the round robin, Nemesis’ alliance successfully defeated all of their opponents. One match in particular shall be remembered in Nemesis girlPOWER history. With a successful autonomous routine and a single gear from the human player station, an alliance member ejected three gears adjacent to the peg for Nemesis to efficiently mount on the peg, and ended the match with a climb with time to spare. However, as finals approached, Nemesis’ climber hit rock bottom. As the team scurried to fix the broken robot, the driver prepared for the finals matches to come.
During the first finals match, Nemesis faced technical issues, preventing Eris from achieving the climb. After the unfortunate loss, Nemesis faced the the second finals match with full of hope, desperate to stay in the game. During in the last few seconds, horror struck as the peg got stuck in the robot and Eris was unable to make the final climb. Connor Hofenbitzer, team Nemesis 2590 programmer, voiced “I feel the first-time drivers really played top notch, they should be very proud of their performance”.
Nemesis Takes on 2017 FIRST Championship
On April 26th, FRC team Nemesis 2590 from Robbinsville High School embarked on their final adventure of the season to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO for the 2017 FIRST Championship. That same day, teams from around the globe gathered within the confines of the Dome to begin gearing up for the competition ahead. Separated into six different fields -- Daly, Darwin, Carson, Tesla, Archimedes, and Curie -- the FIRST Championship hosted 400 FRC teams ranging from regions all across the globe.
Competing in the Archimedes division, Nemesis went head to head with 65 other teams, participating in a total of ten qualification matches, two quarter final matches, and two semi-final matches. For each qualification match, Eris, Nemesis’ 2017 robot, was in fierce competition mode. Nemesis’ alliances scored an average of 315 points per match, securing Nemesis the 12th place position at the completion of the qualification rounds.
The excitement was palpable as Nemesis awaited the start of alliance selection. After anxiously awaiting to be chosen by a top-ranked team for the elimination rounds, Nemesis was selected to join an alliance with teams 3357, The Comets, 1730, Team Driven, and Team 4779, RoboSapiens. Together these four teams made up the sixth seed alliance and were ecstatic to begin competing as a unified force.
The last time Nemesis played on the Archimedes field, they left as Einstein competitors. Finding themselves once again on Archimedes, the excitement of a potential repeat performance loomed. Quarterfinal match number one was a success for the alliance as they trounced the third seed alliance 465-210. Next, Nemesis and their alliance partners went on to secure their position in the semifinals with a score of 484-471.
The alliance entered the semifinals with high hopes, and while they put up a hard fight and played some of their best matches, they were defeated by the second seed alliance 507-468. The next match would be crucial. A win would keep the hope alive and allow Nemesis and their alliance partners a second chance to move on. They gave it all they had and played a strong game, but the final score was not in their favor, ending their competition season.
With the official 2017 FIRST Steamworks season behind them, Nemesis looks forward to their upcoming off-season events, including MidKnight Mayhem, the Indiana Robotics Invitational, and girlPOWER.
Nemesis would like to extend its sincerest gratitude to all of their sponsors Robbinsville High School, NAVAIR, CCL Label, DoDStem, Knowledgement, Nordson, Leidos, the Robbinsville Educator Association, Lockheed Martin, Sharbell Development Corp., the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Investors Bank, RAS, the Robbinsville Education Foundation, Triangle Copy, Skylink, Coldwell Banker, Northstar Vets, Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, Designtree, Siemens, SRI, McGraw Hill Financial, as well as all the Friends and Family of Nemesis.
2017 Food Drive Winners Meet Nemesis
Summer is upon us, and while everyone is getting ready to hit the beach and meet up with friends, Nemesis, Robbinsville High School’s FIRST Robotics Team 2590, is still hard at work.
After 8 successful food drives, the team continued its partnership with Sharon Elementary School. To encourage community service, a friendly competition between classes enabled Sharon School students to find their inner champions and support their community at the same time.
Students and their families donated nonperishable food items, garnering points towards the ultimate goal: a visit from Nemesis.
This year, over 2,000 non perishable items were donated to the Robbinsville Food Pantry!
The three classes with the largest donations were awarded a plaque signifying their contributions and spent an afternoon with Nemesis. Congratulations to Ms. Dilts, Ms. Gehle, and Ms. Zaffarese and their classes
On June 5, Nemesis took Sharon School by storm, captivating the students interest with their 2017 award-winning competition robot, Eris. The event was set up into three stations. At one station, students able to witness Eris in action. The students cheered as the robot shot yellow wiffle balls high into the air, picked up gears, and navigated the Sharon School cafeteria.
“The kids were in awe when they saw Eris driving around the cafeteria and shooting the balls, cheering wildly as the balls went higher and higher in the air. Their excitement was contagious, and I was really happy to see them get more and more interested in our robot and what we do” said junior Nikita John, who helped program the NAO robot for this special event.
At another station, students watched past FIRST competitions with fascination. In the videos, robots were battling it out, trying to score the most points for their team. Students interacted with Nemesis team members where the students got to learn more about building robots and how to get involved.
At the last station, students were able to interact with Nemesis’ humanoid Nao robot. Together they laughed, told jokes, and had a dance party
“We are very thankful for the 2,000 food donations from our generous community,” said team member and food drive captain, Nick Began. “It amazed all of us to see how many students in our town love science, technology, engineering, and math, and we were fortunate to be able to reward three generous classes with a fabulous robot demonstration.
Nemesis would like to thank all of the students, families, and faculty of Sharon Elementary School. This drive would not have been possible without them. The team looks forward to continued partnership with Sharon.
Redbirds, Dragons, and Greek Gods: Allentown & Robbinsville Move on to FIRST Robotics World Championship
By: Liam O'Toole and Elizabeth Olshanetsky (from FRC1807)
Upon thinking of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, statistics, and precise surveying, few exciting implications come to mind. Yet, for the scouts of Robbinsville Robotics Team 2590 Nemesis (named after the Greek goddess of retribution), these words serve an essential role during robotics competitions across the region and country. Head scouts Jared Glassband and Jared Miller - affectionately referred to by team members as “The Jareds” - worked around the clock during last week’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, cataloguing opposition robot data acquired by teammates during matches.
Across the field, on the other side of the stands in Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena, the 23 members of Allentown’s Redbird Robotics cheers as it makes its comeback; a “phoenix rising from the ashes” lead by PLTW teacher, Robert Tackett. After eight years of near misses following a win at the 2009 New York City Regional, Tackett’s team’s hard work and concentrated, collective efforts paid off on April 8, 2017, they qualified for the FIRST Robotics Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) Championship at Lehigh University. Like Nemesis and the other 58 teams present at MAR, 1807 finally saw its efforts come to fruition.
Around the world, FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams have only six weeks short weeks to design, virtually test, fabricate, and ultimately assemble the parts to create their robots. Following this build period, local teams compete on the district level to qualify for Regional Championships during March, with regional winners advancing to the World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri.
Steamworks, the challenge for the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition, places teams in an industrialized Victorian-era motif wherein they collect gears to power airship rotors for points. Additional points can be gained upon the delivery of wiffle balls, known as “fuel,” to boiler-goals from the robots.
During qualification matches, teams work together in randomized alliance trios until the final rounds of the competition, when alliances are selected and led by the top eight teams. The alliance with the highest score wins the match, while the winning teams advance in ranking.
Astounded, the twenty-three member Allentown High School team scaled the regional ranking ladder from 54th to 2nd with a record of eleven wins and only one loss. As such, 1807 became an Alliance captain, selecting Team 2590 “Nemesis” of Robbinsville, NJ and Team 3929 “Atomic Dragons” from Philadelphia as their partners for the Final matches. Due to cooperation backed by data provided by scouts, each robot featured a unique design that strategically complemented each other, a strength that carried into the elimination rounds.
Allentown FRC 1807’s simple, effective design along with a cyclical, speedy strategy revolving around gear placement produced cinematic chases up and down the playing field, weaving between opponents and alliance members. With the assistance of Sam Kohler, driver Joey Sofia maneuvers the robot across the playing field through all obstacles. When the robot reaches the other end of the field, Tommy White adroitly slides the gears into the robot from the feeder station. Immediately, the robot glides back to the pilot station where Jared “Skiddy” Skidmore lifts the gears to power the airship rotors. At the end of each match, 1807’s bot spins its axle and swiftly scales the climbing rope for 50 crucial points.
The Atomic Dragons, FRC 3929 from Philadelphia, PA focused also focused on gear placement, expediting the alliance’s three rotor strategy. Their amazing driver Kazi Tasnim, backed by drive coach Andrew Yarovoi and operator Celestina Saven, then played a fierce defense, blocking the opposing robots from reaching their feeder station.
Alliance partner FRC 2590 Nemesis utilizes a comprehensive robot design created to address all aspects of Steamworks, perfectly complementing the rigid defense strategy by 3929 Atomic Dragons and the recon by 1807. Nemesis’ specialty is rapidly shooting fuel into the boiler during the Autonomous Period - the first 15 seconds of each match - for double points, as programmed by Connor Hofenbitzer. Driver Dahany Choi then lunges to the controls, racing the robot across the field. Swiftly swerving around robots and obstacles alike, he collects gears off the ground with the robot’s award winning “dustpan” gear intake. Coach Harsha Pavaluri, constantly on the lookout for gears scattered across the field, directs Dahany’s attention as he swoops in and steals them from the opposing alliance. Above all the commotion, Niratjot “Strongman” Grewal hoists the gears up onto the pilot station and puts them in place to turn the rotors.
The alliance ultimately won the championships, undefeated in elimination rounds, after a close match of 460-446. “Once we entered the finals, that’s when I realized we could win.” said Joey Sofia, sophomore and robot driver for 1807. “[Winning] was really a sort of David and Goliath moment for us.”
The win at MAR Championships marks the third time Nemesis takes home the title, and the first time for Redbirds Robotics and Atomic Dragons. Nemesis won the Industrial Design award for its innovative and creative expanding box to hold fuel and finished first in MAR rankings. Redbirds finished 5th and the 3929 Atomic Dragons finished 7th among the 120 MAR teams.
Redbird Robotics, Nemesis and the Atomic Dragons will be traveling to St. Louis on April 26 to compete against 600 other FIRST Robotics Teams across the world. However, financial matters have recently become conflicting for teams, with expenses for registration, shipping, and travel.. Redbirds Robotics stated that there are students on the team who are unable to pursue the opportunity due to the high costs. Redbird Robotics and Atomic Dragons continue to actively seek donations and sponsors for financial aid via their GoFundMe.com pages.
Redbird Robotics also stated that “they could not have made it this far without their sponsors, Bristol-Myers Squibb and United Technologies.”
Support local robotics teams Robbinsville Robotics FRC 2590 and Allentown 1807 Redbird Robotics by watching the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship in St. Louis, streamed live April 26-29, 2017 on thebluealliance.com!
Nemesis Springs Into Action
A streak of color burst across the field in a desperate attempt to reach the dangling rope and scale it before the buzzer rang. Seven seconds. The robot couldn’t grip the rope, and the drivers furiously reversed and rushed forward again. Four seconds. Suddenly the rope was snatched into the robot. It jerked sharply upwards and began the ascent. Would it make it? Three seconds...two… The light above the robot blazed red and the crowd erupted in cheers as the buzzer rang.
After learning from their mistakes two weeks prior at the Hatboro-Horsham District Event, Nemesis was back and better than ever. Boasting a newly designed intake, which now featured a ground pick up for gears, the team was determined to rise beyond their last competition.
After an early Saturday morning start, Nemesis joined 31 other local MAR (Mid Atlantic Robotics) teams at the Springside-Chestnut Hill Academy for their second district competition, hosted by FRC 1218, Vulcan. The team was excited to be joined by so many of their friends and alumni, some of which even volunteered their time as robot inspectors, queueing personnel and judges. Nemesis is truly a family, always there supporting each other.
A promising performance in the practice matches resulted in high anticipation among Nemesis members. By midday, spirits were high and the team wasn't far out of the top 8. A resilient team often regarded for their ability to overcome setbacks in gameplay, Nemesis’ team members were still hopeful.
Meanwhile in the pits, both marketing and build members conversed with entrepreneurship and technical judges to compete for awards honoring their world-class business team and first-rate engineering skills. "It was an interesting experience to be able to share our story with these judges and I look forward to doing it again!" remarked first time marketing member Rachel Gillmer.
Back on the field, an aura of suspense filled the air. After 64 tense qualification matches, it was time for alliance selection. Nemesis finished qualifications 6-6-0 in 15th place. Within minutes, Nemesis was chosen by the first ranked seed, FRC 225 TechFire. Not long after, the pair was joined by FRC 423 Simple Machines. With Nemesis’ proficient gear-scoring strategy, Tech Fire’s inconceivably accurate shooter, and Simple Machine’s rope-scaling consistency, the top alliance was ready to take on their first competitors. The six robots lined up against their driver station walls. 3...2...1...GO! The eliminations were underway!
The announcer's voice was drowned out by the deafening cheers of the crowd. Gear after gear, ball after ball, both alliances fought valiantly. TechFire’s shooter brought shouts of delight from the fans, and remarkable communication between pilots and drivers illustrated the beautiful chemistry during the match.
Unfortunately, every competition isn’t without its misfortunes. As a result of a series of hapless moments, the top alliance was not able to start the third rotor on the airship, nor get all three red robots ready for takeoff. Similar performance in the second quarterfinal match made it official: Nemesis would not be moving on to the semifinals.
Although disappointed, Nemesis did not leave empty-handed. The team won the Industrial Design award, a celebration of form and function in an efficiently designed robot that also effectively addresses the game challenge. Team Advisor Peter Wolfe was honored with the Donald Bowers Inspiration Award in recognition of his demonstration of FIRST core values within the team and the community, and finally, juniors Nick Anderson (Director of Marketing) and Mariko McMurtry (Head of Electrical) were Dean's List Semi-finalists, a prestigious FIRST award that identifies exemplary individuals who effectively illustrate the ideals of FIRST, STEAM, and Gracious Professionalism.
At the end of the day, Nemesis knew that it wasn't over yet. Next stop: the Festival de Robotique in Montreal, Canada!
Nemesis would like to thank their sponsors: Robbinsville High School, NAVAIR, CCL Label, DoDStem, Knowledgement, Nordson, Leidos, the Robbinsville Educator Association, Lockheed Martin, Sharbell Development Corp., the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Investors Bank, RAS, the Robbinsville Education Foundation, Triangle Copy, Skylink, Coldwell Banker, Northstar Vets, Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, Designtree, Siemens, SRI, McGraw Hill Financial, and the Friends and Family of Nemesis.
Supporting FIRST, a Nemesis Tradition
The Springside-Chestnut Hill District Competition was filled with volunteers, as every FIRST competition is. However, at this competition these volunteers consisted of 5 Nemesis alumni and 2 Nemesis mentors as judges. Alumnus, Jenna Mollica is the youngest Lead Robot Inspector in FIRST history. The other volunteering Nemesis alumni included Julia Borowski (Yale), Griffin Della Grotte (Carnegie Mellon), Josh Falk (Lafayette), Christian Gavalchin (The College of New Jersey) and Anthony Heulitt (Rutgers). Mr and Mrs.Young, build and marketing mentors, experienced the competition from the other side, volunteering as judges..
Nemesis is beyond proud to see their alumni come back to support them and volunteer for FIRST. Jenna Mollica voiced her experiences on FIRST and why she decided to come back and volunteer. “I loved my time in FIRST during high school and I wanted some way to continue to be involved in something that changed my life. Volunteering allows me to help out and make sure that students now get the same experience I received while on Nemesis and get to meet and work with a ton of great people in the process”. Majoring in engineering, Jenna is currently attending Drexel University.
Nemesis alumni come back to mentor, volunteer, and regale the team with stories of college life and beyond. Being part of the Nemesis family is a lifelong choice. Nemesis would like to express their deepest thanks to their alumni and extended family for all of their gracious support both technical and otherwise.
Némésis Aime Montréal
By: Liam O'Toole and Julia Ruch
It’s 19 degrees, amid a swirl of French, English and the palpable exuberance - a Joie de vivre - of Montréal. The Robbinsville FIRST Robotics team Nemesis 2590 is gearing up for Festival De Robitque in Quebec, marking the team’s third visit in ten years. But they’re not alone. Teams from across Canada, France, the United States, and Morocco have gathered here to compete in the FRC 2017 design challenge: FIRST Steamworks.
After six weeks of 15-hour days of CADing, virtually testing, and fabricating parts in-house, Nemesis is proud to introduce Eris: our 2017 competition robot. Fast, adaptable, and capable of picking up game pieces off the floor to score, Eris does it all, embodying the cooperation between students and their guiding mentors: Peter Wolfe, Jeff Keller, Marc Began, John Ruch, Tom Young, and Alex Marincas. A shooter, climber, dual-speed drivetrain, and an innovative dustpan gear intake makes Eris an offensive playing powerhouse. Such versatility earned Nemesis the Industrial Design Award at the Springside-Chestnut Hill District Event.
The pressure and high stakes aren’t limited to the field. Based on the team’s sustainability, fiscal responsibility, professional image, and community service, judges at the Hatboro-Horsham District Event honored Nemesis with the prestigious Entrepreneurship Award. Nemesis runs like a business with six subteams, build, marketing, finance, operations, social media, and software (guided by Peter Barlis, Joy Wolfe, Shilpa Vast, and Karen Young). Nemesis’ social media team documents all of the team’s endeavours through articles and photographs on the team website.
“FIRST Steamworks, inspired by steam power technology from the Industrial Revolution, features two alliances of three robots each. The game starts with a 15 second autonomous period in which robots operate solely through pre-coded instructions. The remaining 2 minutes and 15 seconds of each match consists of fierce competition between the alliances in which robots are student driven. Each alliance's goal is to pick up gears and bring them to the airship, an elevated platform located within the field. Teams are also tasked with preparing the airship for takeoff by collecting as much fuel (balls) as possible and shooting it into the boiler (goal). In the last 30 seconds of the match, robots climb onto the airship via a rope, which earns additional points. The alliance with the most points at the end of the match wins! (FIRST Robotics).”
During the high-pressure, pre-programmed autonomous period, Eris swiftly delivers valuable gears to the airships from code written by students Conner Hofenbitzer, John Miranda, and James Aikins, mentored by Jeff Keller, Peter Wolfe and John Ruch. After these 15 seconds, driver Dahany Choi enters the pilot’s seat, racing Eris down the field, avoiding defensive robots, debris, and other game pieces to the pickup station. Here, Aditya Pillai drops gears near Eris, which sweeps them into its dustpan intake. Dahany whips Eris around for the dash back to Niratjot Grewal, stationed at the Airship. Niratjot pulls the gear onto the platform, slams it onto the rotor pegs, and turns the crank to spin the gear train to activate the rotors. In the last 30 seconds, Niratjot drops a rope, which Dahany skillfully maneuvers the robot beneath. Eris’ velcro coated climber grabs the rope, and winds the 120-pound robot up to the top, 6 feet in the air in 4 seconds to score a crucial 50 points. The drive team is backed up by drive coach Harsha Pavuluri and Nemesis’ crack pit crew - Charlie D’Amico, Matthew Began, and electrical whizz Mariko McMurtry - prepared to tackle any repair at any given moment. “This has been a phenomenal experience. We have the freedom, yet the responsibility to design and build this world-class robot. I’m proud to be a part of this extremely dedicated team.” said RHS senior Charlie D’Amico.
Exposing themselves to a new culture, the team spent a day exploring the streets of Old Montréal, starting at the beautifully gothic Notre Dame Basilica. Among their adventures, Nemesis happened upon a French cafe, complete with a live pianist to add to the mood. Members visited the modern PHI Center for virtual reality, where they experienced 3D, 360 degree view movies of Jurassic World, Yosmite National Park, and Cirque de Soleil. Nemesis perused the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. “I was part of the 2015 Montreal trip...the culture, the camaraderie and enthusiasm of the other FRC teams, and hospitality are really welcoming,” said team member Emily Marsch. In Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard, laser lights are persistant, and entusiam is contaious amongst the competing teams.
After an action-packed five days and a long bus ride home, FIRST Robotics Team Nemesis 2590 is back home from an incredibly successful and enjoyable competition at the Festival de Robotique in Montreal, Canada. The team secured a wildcard bid to the FIRST World Championships in St. Louis as finalists and were honored with their second Entrepreneurship Award this season for exemplary business strategy, community outreach, and team sustainability.
The competition began on Thursday, March 23rd, with a day of practice matches; it was the ideal opportunity for Nemesis’ scout team to study the competition and identify the best robots. Friday morning’s official opening ceremonies-- delivered with Montreal’s trademark gusto-- preceded a long run of qualification rounds. With 46 competitive robots challenging Nemesis to bring out their best, the rankings fluctuated constantly.
As the returning 2-time champions of the Montreal Festival de Robotique, we hope to qualify for the MAR and FIRST World Championships. Nemesis extends its sincerest gratitudes to Robbinsville High School, NAVAIR, CCL Label, DoDStem, Knowledgement, Nordson, Leidos, the Robbinsville Educator Association, Lockheed Martin, Sharbell Development Corp., the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Investors Bank, RAS, the Robbinsville Education Foundation, Triangle Copy, Skylink, Coldwell Banker, Northstar Vets, Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, Designtree, Siemens, SRI, McGraw Hill Financial, as well as all the Friends and Family of Nemesis, for believing in the team and encouraging further STEAM education.
To follow or make a donation to the Robbinsville High School’s robotics team 2590 Nemesis, please visit FRC2590.org.
Climbing Up The Competitive Ladder
The horn blew signaling 30 seconds left in the match. Nemesis attempted to mount a gear to the airship but were too far away. After multiple attempts they gave up on the gear and headed straight for the newly released rope. Suddenly Nemesis was driving in circles. 5 seconds remained. More circles.The horn blew declaring the end of the match. A win would have sealed the victory delivering Nemesis’ fifth consecutive Hatboro-Horsham win. With this devastating loss, Nemesis was carried off the field only to discover it was missing a wheel.
It is Saturday March 5th and the Hatboro-Horsham District competition is underway. Nemesis FRC2590 from Robbinsville, New Jersey is one of the 36 robotics team from New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania at the event. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, Nemesis arrived at Hatboro High School in Horsham Pennsylvania ready for the 7:30am start. With matches not starting until 11:00, Nemesis is hard at work in the pits. Build Members are scurrying about, making last minute modifications to the robot and Marketing Members are taking pictures and eagerly awaiting visits from the judges.
During their only practice match, Nemesis had a rocky start, struggling to place gears on the pegs, but showcased a successful climb. The Build Team knew what needed to be fixed, and exactly how to fix it. Nemesis was ready.
Back to the pits to prepare for their first qualification match and to fix the gear issue, Nemesis impatiently waited for their time on the field. While Build Members were working on the robot, the Marketing Members were conversing with judges about what it means to be on Nemesis and how “we run our team like a high-tech business”.
Let the games begin. Eris, Nemesis’ FIRST Steamworks robot, had a rough start. After losing the first three matches, the Drive Team worked hard to counteract each issue as it arose and things started looking up. Nemesis finished the qualification matches 6-4-0.
Sophomore Build Team Member, Bhargavi Lanka professed, “My first competition was such a surreal experience! It’s incredible seeing our robot start at the bottom and climb its way up the competition.”
Sunday, shortly after 11:00, alliance selection began. Nemesis found itself on the third seed alliance joining captain FRC3974, E=mcD, and their alliance partner FRC2539, Krypton Cougars.
Dominating both the quarterfinal and semi final matches, Nemesis and the Blue Alliance headed into the finals hoping to bring home the district championship trophy. Alas, the alliance encountered several unwanted difficulties.
The first three finals matches were a win, a tie and a loss for the Blue Alliance. Throughout the tie breaking match the Red and Blue Alliances kept the scores close. By the end of the match the score was 240, Red, and 235, Blue. It all came down to the climb and when a Red robot fell off of the rope the Blue Alliance knew they had the win. But, as Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” As fate would have it, with less than two seconds left on the clock, a Blue Alliance scaling rope broke and the Krypton Cougars’ robot crashed to the ground as the final bell tolled. Because of this series of unfortunate events, the score remained 240-235, with the Red Alliance taking home the win, breaking Nemesis’ Hatboro-Horsham District Event win streak.
The Nemesis family joined together to watch Eris play in her a inaugural competition. Not only were team members and parents on hand to cheer her on, but also, alumni, alumni families and Nemesis friends. Nemesis also had many alumni volunteering at the event and Nemesis students volunteered at the Mid-Atlantic Robotics donation table.
Nemesis took home the Entrepreneurship Award showcasing the Marketing and Business Teams hard work and efforts. The award celebrates a team which has developed a comprehensive business plan and the business skills to ensure a self-sustaining program.
Nemesis and Eris will be competing at Springside-Chestnut Hill Academy District Event, March 18-19 and Festival de Robotique - Montreal Regional, March 23-25.
Bag and Tag 2017
With the clock nearing midnight Nemesis drapes the bag over their hard work to officially end another Build Season. The team is proud of their finished product. Six weeks filled with designing, prototyping, machining, and assembling concludes as they seal up the bag and the Build Season, opening the door to Competition Season. The team celebrates with sparkling cider and a little fun.
The finished robot consists of a compilation of ideas from nearly every member of the team, hopefully forming a force to be reckoned with. With new and innovative ideas constantly being proposed, the robot underwent numerous changes and transformed from a simple concept to a fully functioning robot, eager for Competition Season. Feeling satisfied after facing the many engineering obstacles, Nemesis wipes their brows and lays down their tools.
Now it’s time for Nemesis to make all necessary preparations for the first competition of the season. This includes ensuring that the driver practices extensively with the team’s practice robot in order to master the game, putting the finishing touches on the software for the autonomous routine and teleoperated period, and planning game strategies. But mostly, Nemesis looks forward to showcasing and competing with their robot at the Hatboro Horsham District Event.
Nemesis anticipates the upcoming season with hope and excitement, ready to put their hard work to the test and go FULL STEAM AHEAD!