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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!

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Discovering Innovation and Technology-- Discovery Day 2016


On the weekend of December 3rd, over 120 second through sixth grade students flocked to the RHS Tech Lab for Robotics Discovery Day. Here, they learned and experienced the thrill of an engineering challenge, with the guidance of Nemesis team members, many of whom participated as campers in Discovery Day themselves. Captivated, students engaged in each of the four exciting activities that Nemesis had in store for them: building a robot to meet a game-inspired challenge, talking and dancing with the team’s humanoid NAO Robot, driving Daedalus, the award-winning 2016 robot, and attending a presentation and Q & A session with a Robbinsville FIRST Lego League (FLL) team.

Four FLL teams, Nerd Herd, Shockwave, IDK, and Electrons were inspired by the success of Nemesis. This year they built LEGO NXT robots and competed in the FLL Animal Allies Challenge. Their robots used color sensors and extensive programming to navigate their courses and deliver “food” to all of the “animals” scattered throughout their landscape.

The campers, divided into teams of two and guided by Nemesis members, worked on exciting LEGO projects. The younger campers participated in the Parachute Challenge where the ultimate goal was to drop a parachute crafted out of LEGOs and napkins from the second story walkway using a student-designed contraption. More advanced campers competed in the Catapult Challenge, using LEGO Mindstorms to engineer and build a motorized ping-pong shooting catapult. Campers who desired a more challenging exercise were invited to take on the Maze Challenge. Our most determined campers built NXT robots that utilized color sensors to navigate a maze. Nemesis member, Kaitlyn Young, who worked with the young students, was very impressed. “Watching my campers believe they can do anything,” she said, “filled me with pride.”

Discovery Day revolves around exposing young students to the ever-changing worlds of science and technology. Marketing Team member Rachel Gillmer offered her perspective on the success of the event, saying, “It was enlightening to watch these campers push themselves to learn new and exciting skills.” Ensuring campers are passionate about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) is essential to the future of Nemesis and robotics programs everywhere. Discovery Day 2016 was a great opportunity to get young campers involved. Campers who participated in Discovery Day left feeling enthusiastic about all that they accomplished and more passionate about robotics that ever before.

Only 364 days until Discovery Day 2017! See you next year!

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A TEDx Talk for Inspiration and Recognition of… STEAM Education in Gen Z!


This fall, Nemesis 2590 was honored with an invitation to present a TEDx talk at Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst, discussing their success in getting students involved in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). The event was attended by about 150 eager listeners and dozens of other speakers, from scientists to soldiers. Between presentations, musical entertainers performed for the crowd.

The TED program (Technology, Engineering, and Design) is a world-renowned nonprofit dedicated to spreading new ideas throughout the global community. This TEDx event was independently organized by a hardworking team at led by Colonel Cynthia Wong at Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Nemesis received an invitation in late August and quickly assembled a team of experienced members to prepare our presentation. They immediately recognized the significance of the opportunity. The topic was simple, and seemingly straightforward: “How does Nemesis inspire Generation Z to get involved in STEAM?” Generation Z, today’s young adults, have a uniquely intimate connection to technology. Gen Z children were the first to be born in the digital age. As such, they have grown used to immediate gratification, unceasing “connection” to the outside world, and ease of access to the internet.

In the earliest stages of development, the question of inspiration seemed straightforward, but the team soon ran into some unexpected challenges. What began as a simple answer drifted off topic as the writers tried to capture the spirit of our team-- the camaraderie and friendship that draws so many interested students into the RHS Tech Lab. Inspiration is an abstract concept.

With the help of their advisors, the writers gradually realized why Nemesis is inspiring: Team 2590 caters to the needs of today’s teens because they are today’s teens. For an impressionable young man or woman, who is more relatable than a student their own age? When a teenager sees their contemporaries doing something they could only dream of, inspiration is inevitable. With this in mind, the writers took to the drawing board one last time. The final draft not only captured the spirit of the team, but also helped the writers truly understand and appreciate the value of their work, and the investment of their mentors and advisors. It became a twofold learning experience; an external study of Generation Z, and an internal study of the workings of Nemesis.

On Tuesday, October 24, the four writers-- and soon to be presenters--, Emily Marsch, Amanda Quon, Nick Anderson, and Mariko McMurtry, were dressed to impress. That morning, they left school early with mentors Joy Wolfe and Karen Young, and a small robot drive team (Charlie D'Amico, James Aikins, Niratjot Grewal, and Harsha Pavuluri). Upon arrival at the base, they squeezed in a brief rehearsal before the event began. Ever calm and collected, time seemed to fly by as Emily, Amanda, Nick, and Mariko waited backstage, silently rehearsing the speech in their heads. Suddenly, one of the event coordinators leaned around the doorway and urgently whispered, “You’re up!” The walk out to the stage seemed surreal; the robot crew moved mechanically as they looked out at the audience, taking everything in. Time seemed to stop for a moment, and then the speakers began.

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen. We are Amanda, Emily, and Nick of the Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics team, Nemesis. Now, if we asked you to think of a robot, you might imagine one of these…”

Emily began with a lighthearted introduction, bringing the audience members back to their childhood as she talked about the rift-- of culture and time-- that separates Generation Z from Gen X and Gen Y. The audience was attentive, polite, and quick to laugh at jokes, helping the presenters relax as they spoke. Time, which seemed to slow before, passed in leaps and bounds as the speakers transitioned seamlessly from one point to another. As the speakers lined up with Bellerophon to take a bow, the audience erupted into cheers and applause. Following their presentation, the team fielded questions and networked with fellow speakers and audience members, many of whom were impressed by team and the FIRST program as a whole. Some of the younger audience members had competed in FIRST when they were in high school; they were amazed to see how the program has grown.

Nemesis would like to thank Colonel Cynthia Wong of the United States Air Force, Mr. Mangano of NAVAIR, and all those who supported us at TEDx: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. We sincerely appreciate everything you did for us, and it was a pleasure working with you!

Below is a link to Navair's article about the event:

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.NavairNewsStory&id=6411

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Robotics Technology In Action: Nemesis Tours NAVAIR


On June 5, 2016, FIRST Robotics Team Nemesis 2590 traveled to the US Naval Air Engineering Center in Lakehurst, NJ, to tour the NAVAIR robotics lab and facilities. Naval Air Systems, a key sponsor for the team, develops aircraft propulsion and arrestment techniques for use on the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carriers, as well as autonomous robotics systems that can accomplish certain tasks aboard ships at sea. After attending Nemesis’ Sponsor Networking Night, NAVAIR’s outreach manager, Mr. Gaetan Mangano, kindly invited the team to the base, where they were able to see the same technology they use every year to compete being applied in a professional field.

Upon arrival, Mr. Mangano led the team in for a presentation on the basics of NAVAIR’s technology, showcasing the broad spectrum of engineering careers essential to designing, building, and maintaining technology for the Navy. Following the presentation, students were a challenged to test their design skills in a catapult competition! Nemesis divided up into teams of three to design and build their own rudimentary catapults out of sticks, marshmallows, and masking tape.

After building, Nemesis was given a rare opportunity to tour the facilities of the Navy’s Hangar One, where the NAVAIR lab was located.The hangar itself was an engineering marvel, built on a gigantic scale, which once housed the German LZ-129 Hindenburg before it exploded during a docking incident at the facility in 1937. The team visited a scaled-down aircraft carrier runway in the hangar, and the robotics lab itself.

In the lab, Nemesis members were thrilled when the software engineers demonstrated one of their projects-- a robotic munitions cart to be used on aircraft carriers. Better yet, they even let students drive the robot and find bugs in the code! It was a remarkable insight into the work of real robotics engineers in industry, greatly appreciated by the aspiring engineers of Nemesis. Robot driver Christian Gavalchin said, “I was blown away by the familiarity of the NAVAIR lab-- it was so similar to the work we do! That was awesome to see.”

When the tours were over, the team ate lunch and launched their catapults before returning to the lab for the last activity of the day-- their own presentation! Nemesis Build Team members demonstrated their robots, Bellerophon and Daedalus, to NAVAIR Engineers, while the Marketing Team detailed the complex business and financial challenges of a successful competition season, something that that many of the engineers knew all too well from their own work.

NAVAIR employees seemed just as impressed with the accomplishments of Nemesis as the team members were with them. It was a thrilling and inspiring experience for the team, who extends their thanks to Mr. Mangano and his welcoming coworkers. Thank you to NAVAIR, for your generous sponsorship, and also your invitation to tour a real-life robotics lab! Your investment in the future will return great rewards.

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Against all Odds: Nemesis at World Championships


Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics Team 2590 Nemesis has a long history of overcoming adversity, one way or another. As elimination matches begin on day two of the FIRST World Championship, this big time team from the small time town of Robbinsville, NJ, faced a challenge they had been versed in many times before. A long night of strategic analysis-- and some lengthy debate-- had paid off.The team was prepared to enter the final chapter of another wildly successful season. The mood was mixed; some team members felt goosebumps rise as the thrill of competition seemed to surround them. Others, an ecstatic excitement. But everyone shared a feeling of accomplishment and gratitude just to compete in St. Louis.

Alliance selection. Team 973, in first place, chose team 610, in twelfth place. No one could believe their eyes. Had team 973 just taken themselves and their alliance out of the running for division champions? Surely, there was some clever strategy at play. Team 2590 was up to choose, and invited team 225, as according to plan. The rest of the Alliance selection went mostly as expected, leaving Nemesis as captains of the second seed alliance, their highest-ever elimination round ranking at worlds, with teams 2590, 225, 2067, and team 11, MORT, as the backup player.

In competition, they say, if something can go wrong, it probably will. On Carson field, some of the world’s most resilient robots were succumbing to the constant stress of battle and breaching obstacle after obstacle. There were casualties every match. It wasn’t long before alliance two suffered its own loss, and Nemesis’ best shooting alliance partner, 225, was incapacitated. Nevertheless, the team fought on. Two matches later, team 2067’s robot also took some serious damage. For the first time that day, team 2590 faced a loss. A feeling of dread began to filter through the sea of red Nemesis shirts as deja vu spread over them. Everyone remembered what had happened earlier in the season at the South Florida Regional, when both of Nemesis’ alliance partners broke down, causing the trio to fall in the finals.

But alas, as fate would have it, history did repeat itself. The alliance won one match in the quarterfinals, then lost one, and lost another. All but alone on the field, there was little team 2590 could do to stop it. They finished their season as quarterfinalists at World Championships. Perhaps not quite what they were expecting, but a performance to be proud of all the same.

After the competition, the team went out to eat and spent the following day at the City Museum of St. Louis, a whimsical establishment where people of all ages can climb through huge, interactive exhibits and sculptures. For these budding engineers, it was quite an enjoyable experience. That night, Nemesis packed their bags and boarded a plane for Newark, NJ, arriving home in the wee hours of the morning. It was an incredible end to an incredible experience. See you next year, FRC!

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Nemesis: Otherworldly Robotics


In a dimly lit conference room tucked away in the corner of a Hyatt situated near the St. Louis Arch, a tight-knit group of dedicated team members convened and heatedly debated their next move in the FIRST Robotics World Championship.

From the start, the World Championship, held in St. Louis, MO distinguishes itself from every other competition in the FRC circuit. Besides the obvious notion of its finality, World Championship holds up to its namesake by featuring a plethora of teams from the international community. Teams originate from every region of the United States, not to mention Russia, China, Turkey, Brazil, Australia, France and others.

Drive team leaders Parth Mandrekar and Christian Gavalchin, along with mentors and fellow members of Nemesis sit around a conference table, sifting through data accrued over the qualification matches. With the guidance of a mentor on call from home, the meeting goes late into the night.

Today is Friday, the second of two days comprised of near constant work and difficult challenges. With only a single day remaining, the Robbinsville Robotics Team FRC 2590 Nemesis is selecting its alliance partners for tomorrow’s finalist matches. While the sheer amount of data poses its own host of difficulties, Nemesis also grapples with electing just three teams to its alliance.  

Nemesis kicked off World Championships with a rocky start, tying its first match and losing its second. Despite this and in true Nemesis fashion, the team held fast and maintained a positive outlook, as demonstrated by Parth Mandrekar, “...it’s going to be a battle but I’m confident we can come out on top...we’re pumped for the next few matches.” The optimism paid off, with the team sitting comfortably in second place out of all teams at the end of qualification matches for the Carson Division after a considerably extensive winning spree. This series of successes can also be attributed to skilled alliance partners such as fellow MAR team FRC 41 Robo Warriors. Another MAR team, 1089 Mercury, hailing from Hightstown, NJ, also performed exceedingly well.

With qualification matches over, Nemesis faces a greater challenge in the coming days upon entering the elimination rounds. As with yesterday and today, the team will no doubt continue to maintain a thriving optimistic spirit and excitement for each new challenge the FIRST Robotics World Championship offers

Let the games end!

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An Alumna Story: Stephanie Kovacs


Hello, my name is Stephanie Kovacs and I was a member of Nemesis for the entirety of my high school career, from 2010 to 2014.

I am currently a sophomore at Penn State University majoring in Advertising/Public Relations with a minor in Digital Media Trends and Analytics as well as possessing a certificate in Sports Administration.  At school, I am an active member of the Student Programming Association (SPA), an organization that brings a variety of acts to campus, such as concerts, comedians, lecturers, and even magicians.  These events are free for Penn State students to attend and I have the opportunity of planning, marketing, and running them.  Some acts that I have facilitated as a member are: Matt and Kim, Bleachers, Abby Wambach, and Brandon Stanton.

In addition, I have had two internships to date, achieving considerable success in both.  The first was during the summer of 2015 with the 14th Legislative District at the Office of Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo.  Here I assisted staff with community outreach, data collection, and office organization, as well as learning a great deal about the industry. Currently, I am working at my second internship with Penn State’s College of Communications External Affairs Office, helping to organize alumni mentoring and networking events for College of Communications students.  To do so, I produce programs and flyers, market the events to professors and clubs, and coordinate with the two Communications alumni boards to plan the events.  I also assist in spreading the word of job openings to communications alumni through LinkedIn with weekly job postings.  Finally, I write bios for many of the board members for the College of Comm website.

This summer, I will be studying abroad in Florence, Italy for 6 weeks, where I will take two courses, a Black and White Photography course and a Design Communications course, as well as exploring the plethora of cultural aspects presented by such an opportunity.

I began my journey with FIRST in 2010, right where my brother ended his. My brother, Tim, introduced me to FIRST during his graduating year and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity of joining something so unique. Nemesis became like a second family to me, and being a part of this team not only helped me to grow academically and professionally, but also personally.

During my time on Nemesis, I worked within the business team as the Lead Photographer and Marketing Manager.  With the help of my teammates and mentors, I learned how to plan trips, photograph meetings and competitions, present to judges, write a business plan, and organize and run professional events.  However, more than anything, I learned that dedication, passion and grit can only help when working towards aspirations.  I could not be more appreciative to have been able to work with this team, and to have the pleasure of calling them my family.

Being a member of Nemesis for four years changed my life in every positive way possible.  I have learned business, design, and leadership skills that will assist me through college and in a future job.  I was fortunate enough to experience Nemesis’ transition from teammates to family.  Although I have graduated, I will continue to be a part of this family.  I am a registered mentor for the team and I will continue to be involved in the team’s activities by assisting members in any way I can.  

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An Alumna Story: Erica Falk


Hello, my name is Erica Falk and I was a member of Nemesis from 2011 to 2014

As a Sophomore at Arcadia University studying Elementary and Special Education as well as the president of the Arcadia Education Club, I’ve come to overwhelmingly appreciate all the skills I learned while part of the Nemesis family.  I’m particularly excited on using my organizational and planning skills in junction with STEAM education for my future classroom and students.  I have continued to be part of Nemesis as a second year college mentor.

For me and many others, being a member of Nemesis was the best experience I had during high school.  While I was not a part of the team during my freshman year,  my brother was and with a logistics team position open, I had an opportunity to join. What really convinced me was when the team was competing at an off season event, and Mrs. Wolfe approached for the first time to ask me to manage sign-outs as members left the competition. The following September, I stepped into the technology lab to join the team.

Once I became a full time member my Sophomore year, Mrs. Wolfe tasked me of getting the entire Nemesis team of 36 people (3 with green cards) over the border into Canada for our Montreal competition trip. After months of careful preparation, the team successfully entered Canada in under 15 minutes, allowing the team to compete in Montreal. The following year, I received the title of Chief Operating Officer, effectively shifting my responsibility to planning every competition, Discovery Day and Sponsor Networking Night for the remainder of my high school career. During this period, Mrs. Wolfe taught me how to communicate ideas and present cases via coordinating with the high school administration for each event.

Being a member of Nemesis gave me confidence and allowed me to be myself.  When I first joined the team, I was very quiet and hesitant to do many things.  With Mrs. Wolfe believing in me and pushing me to challenge myself, I overcame countless obstacles and learned so much.

Although I’m unable to attend most of the team meetings, the team knows I am just an email, text or call away.  Being a member of Nemesis allowed me to be part of a group that I was able to call my second family, which isn’t just because my brother was on the team. The tech lab at Robbinsville High School is always going to be a place that I can call home, and I know that I can count on Mrs. Wolfe to continue teaching me valuable lessons that will translate into my future career and aspirations.

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Finalists In Florida


West Palm Beach: seventy-eight degree weather, an ocean view, and robots galore! On Wednesday, March 30th, Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics Team Nemesis 2590 hopped on a plane and headed to the Sunshine State for the South Florida Regional.  

Proudly representing Central Jersey, Nemesis was one of sixty teams to arrive at the Palm Beach County Convention Center early Friday morning. There, an international showing of talent included teams from Turkey, the Dominican Republic, and Columbia. Team 2590 was lucky enough to play in the opening match of the competition. Their alliance scored an impressive 120 points, setting the bar high. The robot's success continued throughout the day, going undefeated throughout qualification matches and holding a strong grasp on the crucial number one ranking. Meanwhile, the Entrepreneurship Team and Pit Crew were busy in the pits conversing with judges about this year’s robot, the team’s award winning business plan, and community outreach.

Friday night, after a long, but successful day of qualification matches, Nemesis returned to the hotel to hold a crucial scouting meeting in which a list of teams was identified as potential alliance partners. Continuing their dominant performance into the final day of competition, Team 2590 held the first seed for the elimination rounds and chose to ally with Team 179, The Children of the Swamp and Team 5472, the Stallions, who had both made names for themselves in the qualification rounds.

Following alliance selection, Finance Team member Jared Glassband represented Nemesis 2590 in a friendly team mascot dodgeball game in the spirit of friendly competition. Clad in a toga to represent the Greek origins of Nemesis, he was supported not only by members of Team 2590, but by many others as well. A cheerful chant of, “Neme-sis! Neme-sis!” rang through the crowd. Of the game, Jared said, “I was impressed by the positive energy and friendly competition that I experienced not only in dodgeball, but all over the South Florida Regional. This place really has a great atmosphere.”

Returning to actual competition, as the matches wore on, Nemesis’ alliance faced some capable competitors, but was able to battle their way to the finals against the third seeded alliance: Team 1065, The Moose, Team 180, S.P.A.M, and Team 3932, The Dirty Mechanics.

The last three matches were among the most intense of the weekend. Vigorous play led to the field being damaged, which required the gameplay to stop, and the match to be discarded and reset-- not once, but twice! The third repeated match spelled disaster for our heroes. Team 5472’s robot, who played defense for the red alliance, took too many hits to its frame, and became so bent out of shape it was crippled for the remainder of the competition. Worse still, the Children of the Swamp’s robot succumbed to the increased stress of playing without a full alliance, and the sensory system fried itself completely. The game was paused while Nemesis and Swamp team members worked feverishly to repair the smoking robot. In the end, power was restored to the systems, but the dead sensors rendered the Swamp Machine blind during autonomous mode, and practically eliminated its shooting ability. As the match began, the Swamp Machine rolled to a dead stop on the field, and it didn’t move again. Battered and alone, Daedalus stood against the third seeded alliance, and were only able to score 94 points against their opponents’ combined score of 159. While Nemesis’ alliance managed to overcome adversity to take the second finals match, further technical difficulties in the deciding third finals match meant a disappointing end to Nemesis’ time in Florida.  

Nevertheless, Robbinsville was ecstatic to receive a wild card slot at World Championships, as the finalists. The team also took home the Industrial Design Award recognizing a team with an efficiently designed machine that addresses the challenge of the game effectively.

Drive Coach Parth Mandrekar reflected, “All else aside, our performance here in South Florida has been our best by far. Our high goal shooting has improved drastically, as has our autonomous mode. We will certainly be a force to be reckoned with at FIRST Mid-Atlantic Regionals and at the World Championships!”

From the opportunity to meet and compete with teams from all over the world to the chance to escape the bitter cold of the Northeast for a few days, All members of Nemesis thoroughly enjoyed the competition in Florida. Despite losing the finals, everyone is incredibly excited to compete at the World Championship in St. Louis on April 28th-30th, 2016!

Nemesis would like to thank its generous sponsors for their continued support: Robbinsville Board of Education, NAVAIR, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CCL Label, NY Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, Investors Bank, RAS, Robbinsville Education Association, EAG, Princeton Sports & Family Medicine, McGraw-Hill Financials, Robbinsville Education Foundation, Gilbane, Coldwell Banker, Carfaro Fencing, DesignTree, Triangle Copy, & GrabCad. For additional information, please contact FRC 2590 at frc2590@gmail.com.

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Nemesis Sweeps the Seneca District


After another exciting two days of competition, Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics Team 2590 Nemesis emerged as victors at the Seneca District Event, and as proud recipients of the Engineering Inspiration Award… for the “FIRST” time in Nemesis’ eight year history! The Seneca District Event is an annual competition hosted by Team 1647, the Iron Devils, at Seneca High School. After a tough win at Hatboro-Horsham two weeks prior, the team was anxious to see if their repairs to the robot’s battered frame and intake would hold out. And they certainly did, as Nemesis’ robot, Daedalus, maintained a number one ranking throughout the Qualifying Rounds.

Meanwhile, back in the pits, the Business and Build Team members fielded questions in numerous interviews with their respective judges, seeking to win awards for their creative engineering, world-class marketing and finance strategies, and extensive community outreach efforts. The judges, who returned to speak to the team multiple times, showed a great deal of interest in Nemesis.

Of the experience, first-time Marketing Team member Sophie Billings said, “It’s not every day that you get to be a part of a team like this. Being able to say that I helped win a prestigious award like the Engineering Inspiration Award is incredible.”

During Alliance Selection, Nemesis had their pick of teams, being ranked first during qualifications. They chose FRC teams 365 and 1626, the Miracle Workerz (MOE Robotics) and Falcon Robotics, who had both demonstrated innovative designs and clever gameplay strategies earlier in the event. MOE’s robot had a remarkable high goal shooting ability, even in autonomous mode, while Falcon Robotics’ robot was capable of scaling the tower and earning a major bonus at the end of the match.

Skillfully overcoming the two alliances faced in the quarterfinals and semifinals, Nemesis’ alliance looked ahead to a tough matchup in the finals where they stood against FRC 1640 SaBOTage and their alliance partners the Titanium Knights (FRC 6203) and SRNJ Rambotics (FRC 4573). SaBOTage and their allies made a formidable trio, twice setting a new high score in the semifinal rounds. It looked to be a nail-biting finale! In the finals, which are best of three, Nemesis and the red alliance rose to the challenge and won the first round, but the blue alliance came back in round two with a win of their own. Neck and neck, the teams prepared for the tiebreaker as the spectators watched with bated breath. The red alliance triumphed! Nemesis and their partners set a new high score of 179 points in the final match of the day to take the win.

“When the final match score was displayed and finalized, I was overflowing with emotions from the excitement and anticipation of our victory to the joy of our success, and finally the pride of knowing I was involved with such a wonderful team,” enthused junior Build Team member Charlie D’Amico.

In the awards ceremony, the team was honored with the prestigious Engineering Inspiration Award by the judges that had interviewed them in the pits, to commend their success and outreach efforts in spreading engineering throughout the community. Furthermore, Team Advisor Joy Wolfe, who has been the backbone of Team 2590 since its inception, was awarded the Woodie Flowers Nomination in recognition of her work with the team and the FIRST Community. Nemesis enjoyed a joyous team dinner after the event, and looks forward to competing at their next competition, the South Florida Regional in West Palm Beach, Florida, on March 31st-April 2nd. Wish them luck!

Nemesis would like to thank their sponsors: Robbinsville Board of Education, NAVAIR, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CCL Label, NY Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, Investors Bank, RAS, Robbinsville Education Association, EAG, Princeton Sports & Family Medicine, McGraw-Hill Financials, Robbinsville Education Foundation, Gilbane, Coldwell Banker, Carfaro Fencing, DesignTree, Triangle Copy, & GrabCad. For additional information, please contact FRC 2590 at frc2590@gmail.com.

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Murphy’s Law Debunked: Nemesis Wins Hatboro-Horsham Again!


A swift pass through the portcullis. A goal scored. The screeching of the drive train. The roar of the crowd. Robbinsville’s champion, Daedalus, scores a goal and starts to breach another defense when suddenly, it stops in its tracks. Team members in the stands are shocked. This is the final match of the Hatboro-Horsham District event, after two days of perseverance over countless challenges for the Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics Team 2590 Nemesis. Narrowly surviving into the quarter-finals, fiercely overcoming the first seeded alliance in the semi-finals, and splitting the first two final matches until this ultimate battle for the crown, the team isn’t prepared to surrender easily. 10 seconds left. Still no activity. The Drive Team is pursuing all options to revitalize the robot. Refreshing the code, resetting the encoders, healing potions, nothing works. 5 seconds. Just as suddenly as its stagnation, Daedalus springs back to life and smoothly drifts onto the batter, earning last-minute points, shaking the gymnasium with applause. Nemesis, along with its alliance partners Captain FRC Team 1218 Vulcan Robotics and FRC Team 5407 Wolfpack, has won the Hatboro-Horsham District Event for the 4th consecutive year. Inconceivable!

FIRST’s game for the 2016 season, Stronghold, basing itself on heavy medieval influences, splits a field in half for each alliance of three teams and features motif-fitting game pieces. Teams breach portcullises, gates, and moats to enter their opponent’s courtyard and launch 10-inch diameter foam balls into either low or high goals to capture the enemy tower and win the match. Alliances earn increased points when scoring a high goal due to its heightened difficulty. Each match starts with a 15-second autonomous period, wherein robots are solely controlled by pre-programmed code rather than remote human operation.

Daedalus, Nemesis’s latest robot, was designed to address as many aspects of Stronghold as possible while retaining a focused plan. Build Team members opted to construct this year’s robot with an offensive strategy in mind.

Grappling with Daedalus’s main feature- its articulating shooter and intake- falling apart after nearly every match, it appeared that everything that could go wrong, went wrong. In an attempt to repair the multitude of small yet collectively destructive problems, the Build Team completely dismantled and reassembled Daedalus in under two hours.

With time running low, Nemesis put Humpty Daedalus back together and out on the field, hoping to recover from the previous losses. The impromptu repair session yielded positive results almost immediately, increasing the point output and number of high goals scored, yet not enough to pick up the distance between Nemesis and the top eight teams who would later become alliance captains. Unfortunately, instead, the team fell from 13th place to 15th place to 22nd place just in time for alliance selection. The team remained optimistic, a sentiment paying off when they were the first pick of the fourth-seeded alliance.

Behind the scenes, the Software Team entered a frenzy from the first match, attempting to reform the glitch-prone code in time for Daedalus’s next showing. During the autonomous period, the robot consistently crossed into the opponent’s courtyard successfully under the low bar obstacle, but failed to score with similar consistency. Upon resolving one problem, another promptly appeared in the ensuing match. However, much like the Build Team, Nemesis’ Software Team executed a complete overhaul of the code. By quarter-finals, within the autonomous period, Daedalus not only swept the enemy defenses, but also scored the coveted and punishing high goal, effectively laying the groundwork for the Drive Team’s triumphs later in each match. The revised code played an essential role in establishing a strong point lead over opponents early.

Although the Build and Software Teams may have experienced a much more exhilarating event, the business side of Nemesis did not walk away empty-handed. The team’s Chief Financial Officer Colin Riley became a Dean’s List Finalist, recognizing his efforts in exemplifying the core values of FIRST and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics). Additionally, the team was honored with the Quality Award, recognizing their robust robot design and construction. 

Few times in Nemesis’s admittedly short history have there been such an emotional rollercoaster as this past weekend at the annual FIRST Mid-Atlantic Hatboro-Horsham District Event. A story befitting the medieval legends its central game was based on, Nemesis rose to the challenge and overcame considerable obstacles on and off the field, despite facing difficulty at nearly every turn. While it seemed that every facet of the event possible of going wrong did, in fact go wrong, Nemesis and its alliance partners stuck the battle out to its victorious end.

Next, Nemesis will be competing at the Seneca District Event on March 19-20th. Nemesis would like to thank their sponsors: Robbinsville Board of Education, NAVAIR, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CCL Label, NY Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, Investors Bank, RAS, Robbinsville Education Association, EAG, Princeton Sports & Family Medicine, McGraw-Hill Financials, Robbinsville Education Foundation, Gilbane, Coldwell Banker, Carfaro Fencing, DesignTree, Triangle Copy, & GrabCad. For additional information please  contact Team Advisor Joy Wolfe at wolfe@robbinsville.k12.us.

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2016 Week 6: Build Journal


Wow! It seems like it was just yesterday that the team was brainstorming, yet here we are at week 6. This week, the Build Team worked tirelessly around the clock to finish assembling the final competition robot.

Week 6 went by in a flash without a single dull moment. Whether it was cleaning the lab to prepare for inspections or picking up last minute orders, everyone from freshmen to seniors had something important to do.  

Luckily, the final assembly was completed without too many issues. However, we are close to the weight limit at 116.5 pounds. After assembling the robot, the team got right to work creating the technical documentation. While sections of the Build Team wrote documentation, the Drive Team began testing the competition robot. We are happy to say that we can conquer most of the obstacles and shoot from both the outer works and the batter.

We are sad to have finished build season, but are all incredibly excited for the upcoming competition season. Finally, we would like to thank the mentors and Executive Team for all their support and everything they have taught us over these 6 short weeks.

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"Investing" in the Future


On Tuesday, February 23, Nemesis members proudly accepted a generous $2,500 donation from the local branch of Investors Bank, who were eager to support the team. As competition season rapidly approaches, FRC Team 2590 continues to search near and far for financial cooperation in their ambitious venture. Finance Team member Jarelle Boac recently  cold-called Investors Bank and CFO Colin Riley followed up by applying directly for a grant from Investors Foundation. After this, the team was ecstatic to see an email from Investors, promising sponsorship and asking to arrange an official check presentation with the team.

The team sprung into action, quickly arranging the meeting. With the help of  dedicated parents and mentors, four team members (Marketing Director Laura Quon, CFO Colin Riley, Jarelle, and Marketing Team member Nick Anderson) met at Investor’s Bank promptly after school. The group received a warm welcome and met with the team’s new sponsors. The people of Investors Bank were more than happy to offer support to Nemesis.

While it is often unmentioned, this process of reaching out to sponsors and quickly reacting to positive responses, no matter when they may arrive, is something the Marketing and Finance Teams must do regularly. Similar to the real world of business, team members must rely on their own sense of judgment and initiative to make quick decisions, a skill that many members have refined greatly in their time with the team. It certainly pays to “run the team like a business!”

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2016 Week 6: Marketing Journal


While week six included a surge of red, heart shaped Valentine’s Day purchases, the Marketing Team managed an outpouring of orders for red, Nemesis-branded apparel. Marketing members also continued working on Nemesis’ competition standard, which will be raised proudly at upcoming competitions. In a collective effort, the business subteams made edits to the business plan including adding new graphics, writing and editing, and updating financials.

Shadowing Chief Financial Officer Colin Riley and finance mentor Peter Barlis, rookie Finance Team members looked over the business plan and learned accounting tricks of the trade. Meanwhile, the Finance Team evaluated Nemesis Cares and Shares applications and maintained Nemesis’ financial well being. In conjunction with emails reaching out to local businesses, select marketing and finance members conducted an array of cold calls in hopes for potential sponsorship.

Throughout the upcoming weeks, the Business Team plans to continue preparing for the Entrepreneurship Award, the Chairman’s Award, and the Media & Technology Innovation Award. Competition season is just 14 short days away. With this in mind, Nemesis team members intend to hone their soft skills, by rehearsing for the upcoming competition season.

Hatboro-Horsham… Here We Come!

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2016 Week 5: Build Journal


With Build Season coming to a close, the Build Team is working around the clock to finalize designs and finish fabricating parts. All of the designs have been finished and the team is working to assemble and test the robot mechanisms.

For week 5 the team was focused on fabricating the drivetrain, shooter, and intake parts. All pieces of the robot were machined by students using the school’s CNC Mill and CNC Router.  Not only was this week spent advancing robot production, but also teaching underclassman how to use these machines. Upon completion of fabricating the parts, the practice robot began to be assembled. With testing, the team began tweaking and further improving the design.    

The Software Team is working diligently to tackle various autonomous routines and better understand vision processing. Meanwhile, the Electronics Team fitted the assembled drive train with electronics.

For week 6, our team hopes to finish assembling and fine tune the robot. Everyone is looking forward to the final push before the bag and tag.  

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