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.
2017 Week 5: Marketing Journal
With two weeks remaining of Build Season 2017, all members of 2590 Nemesis found themselves in a mad dash to prepare for the looming competition season. Hot on the the heels of Sponsor Networking Night, the Marketing Team shifted priorities toward collectively collaborating on the Business Plan. Updating the plan to include the TEDx Talk at Joint Base Mcguire-Dix Lakehurst, Nemesis’ new Engineering Day, and the team's demonstration of Daedalus - the 2016 competition robot - at NAVAIR became the sub-team’s chief objective. Marketing also finished the designs for the team’s apparel from CustomInk. Going into Week 5, we eagerly await delivery.
Aligning with Week 4’s theme of dwindling time, Finance Team was in a rush to get the financial part of the Business Plan all together and in order. The pressure was alleviated by securing sponsorships for which the team is extremely grateful. The Logistics Team spent the week finalizing travel information for this year’s exciting trip to Montreal.
Nemesis is ecstatic to continue its hard work for the remainder of Build Season and into the promising 2017 competition season.
2017 Week 5: Build Journal
Concluding Build Season’s fifth week indicates we are in the homestretch. Prototyping has come to an end, and with a finalized CAD, the Build Team is working together towards fabrication and assembly of both the practice and competition robots.
Major headway was made by the Fabrication and Design students. Night and day, hours have been poured into the machining of various parts, including the shooter, intake, climber, drivetrain, et cetera. With the drive base complete, the addition of bumpers to ensure safety is a priority.
The Electrical Team’s schedule has been mainly comprised of testing each of the robot’s major functions. At this point, the wiring of both motors and sensors has been completed. One of this week’s Electrical successes is the practice bot’s mobility. The Team’s new focus includes the shooter and intake functionality.
This week, the Software Team coded controls for shooting, and configured the beginning of the autonomous routine. With prototype testing complete, the Team’s focus was working on an algorithm that efficiently maximizes the robot’s mobility. The Software team is ardently waiting to test on the competition bot.
With Build Season’s final week here, the entire team’s atmosphere reflects one of a community as members collectively work to finish the competition robot. Everyone is excited to see what our newest addition can do!
2017 Week 4: Marketing Journal
Heading into Week 4 of Build Season, the Marketing Team’s minds were all but fixed on one thing: Sponsor Networking Night. On Wednesday evening, we all waited anxiously as our gracious sponsors and parents began to flood the halls. With everyone assigned a sponsor or parent, we spent the night showing them our hard work. In the hallways, we were proud to explain our amazing showcases, filled with awards, trophies and achievements. In the Tech Lab, the Build Team executives revealed this year’s game, FIRST Steamworks. Meanwhile, Marketing members gave an astounding presentation of our 2016 accomplishments. The event went flawlessly, with our sponsors and parents all left with smiles on their faces. Everyone on Nemesis was elated, but at the same time slightly disappointed, as we realized that our exciting and much-awaited Sponsor Networking night had come to a close.
With the end of Sponsor Networking Night came the beginning of preparation for the Competition Season. Our team began to finalize designs for our T-Shirts, both our annual shirt and our special edition 10th year anniversary shirt. Other Marketing members worked on perfecting the Chairman's and the Woodie Flowers Awards.
The Finance Team continued to innovate and improve on the Business Plan. They are also planning to take new members of the Marketing team to businesses to interact with local sponsors.
The Logistics Team worked on the Montreal Travel Presentation and gathering every team member's schedule to determine their competition availability.
As Build Season draws to an end, Nemesis cannot wait to compete in another season of FIRST Robotics action. We look forward to the final two weeks of this exhausting, yet rewarding, experience, and can’t wait for the season to start!
2017 Week 4: Build Journal
With the build season approaching its climax, the team has kicked production into high gear to fabricate, test, and refine their design. Most team members are spending five to eight hours in the tech lab every day, tweaking elements of the design, testing and retesting each subsystem to build a machine of maximum efficiency. Prototyping has come to a close, and a final drivetrain has been manufactured.
While the Design Subteam finalizes the CAD, the other build members continue to build upon the practice bot. The team has also begun constructing the competition bot— the practice bot’s more polished, mechanically identical twin.
The different subsystem teams are ready for integration, after successful testing with wooden prototypes. The subteams are currently waiting on their parts to be machined and assembled on the practice bot for further trials.
Meanwhile, the Electrical Subteam continues to work on wiring new motors and sensors. The Software Team has started to code the drivetrain and the prospective subsystems in advance, and is eagerly awaiting the chance to test the code on the finished product.
As week 5 approaches, members buckle up and prepare to charge FULL STEAM AHEAD!
Nemesis Lends a Hand
By: Melinda Beyer & Nicholas Began
In a heart-warming fusion of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and charity, FIRST Robotics Team Nemesis 2590 has partnered with e-NABLE, an organization of countless volunteers whose mission is to build and distribute 3D-printed prosthetic hands to those in need.
Ivan Owan founded e-NABLE in 2011, after he posted a video on Youtube about his cosplay metal hand for a science-fiction convention. The video reached a South African carpenter named Richard Van As, who had lost his fingers in a woodworking accident. Despite the 10,000 miles between them, the pair began to communicate, sending each other prototypes constructed from materials found around their houses over the internet. Enabling The Future gathered a following and the organization was born.
The 3D-printed hands provide an affordable option for many families for whom prosthetics are financially out of reach.
Harrison Young, a Nemesis alumnus, spearheaded the initiative to use the team's skills in MakerBot technology to create 3D-printed hands for the life-changing organization. Exuberance flooded the Technology Lab when our first hand was finally complete. Word of the prosthetic hand spread like wildfire and many students not involved with Nemesis visited the Technology Lab to see the source of all the excitement. The entire Robbinsville High School community was delighted to see one of their own creating such an impact.
Through this partnership with e-NABLE, the team spreads the STEAM message while emphasizing the importance of altruism and service. Nemesis plans to continue working with e-NABLE to better the lives of those in need.
If you are interested in supporting Nemesis or e-NABLE, please contact our Team Advisor Joy Wolfe at email@example.com.
2016 Week 4: Build Journal
As week 4 is coming to a close and the competition season is just around the corner, the build team's productivity levels are still going strong. As prototyping is officially over, most of the build team has started to work on the final robot. We are working wholeheartedly to make sure that the robot will be completed in time to ensure our drivers get to practice before bag and tag.
This week we worked on milling the final parts of the drivetrain. The exec team is evaluating their options for the electrical board and requirements for the drivetrain.
The complex game obstacles are giving us a run for our money. The intake and shooter have final designs and have been tested on a practice bot.
During Week 4, everyone, from freshmen to seniors, was hard at work developing the robot.
2016 Competition Dates
Build season is coming to a close, and competition season is right around the corner. Nemesis invites you to come to any of the free high energy tournaments the team will be competing in...
Hatboro-Horsham District Competition: March 5 - 6, 2016
Hatboro-Horsham High School
899 Horsham Rd, Horsham, PA 19044
Seneca District Competition: March 19 - 20, 2016
Seneca High School
110 Carranza Rd, Tabernacle, NJ 08088
2016 South Florida Regional: April 1 - 2, 2016
Palm Beach Convention Center
650 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
We hope to qualify for:
FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship: April 14 – 16, 2016
Stabler Arena, Lehigh University
124 Goodman Dr, Bethlehem, PA 18015
2016 FIRST Championship: April 28 - 30, 2016
Edward Jones Dome
901 N Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63101
2016 Week 4: Marketing Journal
Week 4 of Build Season can be described by one word for the Business Team: Perfection! Nemesis’ Annual Sponsor Networking Night was held on Wednesday, February 3rd. Weeks of preparation went into ensuring this evening was a huge success. This week Business Team members mentored the Build Team members in public speaking and presenting, ensuring that they would uphold Nemesis’ reputation for excellence.
Nemesis presented their successful 2015 season and this year’s progress to the team's previous and potential sponsors along with team parents. Assemblyman and avid Nemesis supporter Dan Benson tweeted, “Great job by everyone tonight! Awesome challenge ahead, confident you're up to the task!” Many of the sponsors and parents complimented team members for their organization, professionalism, and poise. Nemesis is incredibly grateful to all of their sponsors.
In other news, the week was spent finishing up the Chairman’s Award, the Woodie Flowers Award, and the Entrepreneurship Award. The team really came together to get it all done!
Sponsor Networking Event 2016
With the commotion of the 2016 FIRST Robotics build season at an all time high, Robbinsville High School’s (RHS) Robotics Team Nemesis FRC 2590, held their annual Sponsor Networking Night on Wednesday, February 3rd to demonstrate their gratuity and appreciation for their generous sponsors and parents. The evening showcased Nemesis’ culture, the 2015 season, and a look towards 2016. Chief Financial Officer Colin Riley and Chief Operations Officer Juhi Rajgopal gave a presentation familiarizing sponsors with the team’s financial status. Meanwhile, in the RHS Technology Lab, Senior Build Executive/Drive Coach Parth Mandrekar and Safety Captain Charlie D’Amico educated attendees on the 2016 FRC Challenge, FIRST Stronghold and on the progress and design of the 2016 robot.
Following the presentation, Mr. Gaetan Mangano of NAVAIR announced, “I was blown away by how well-organized and thoughtful this event was. I’m incredibly impressed with the enthusiasm everyone has shown on this team.”
The Marketing Team coached Build Team members on public speaking and presentation skills ensuring they uphold Nemesis’ reputation for excellence. The hours dedicated to preparing for Sponsor Networking Night paid off. The evening was an unquestionable success.
Robbinsville Town Council member Dan Schuberth was beyond impressed by Nemesis, “I wanted to thank you for the warm welcome and wonderful presentation at Wednesday evening's event. I was so impressed by the organization, professionalism, and passion demonstrated by every single person I met. You folks have built a powerhouse organization, and I am confident that you'll be successful in this year's challenge.”
For new team members this is an event like nothing they have experienced before. Freshman Marketing Team member Ethan Silberberg gives an impeccable description of his participation in Sponsor Networking Night, “It was amazing to talk to successful business executives and have them recognize us as a force to be reckoned with.”
Nemesis’ 2016 Sponsor Networking Night was a success, which can be attributed to all of the sponsors and parents and their continued belief in Nemesis. For that, Nemesis would like to give a special thanks to: Robbinsville High School, Navair, New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CCL Label, Lockheed Martin, Investors Bank, Siemens, Robbinsville Education Association, RAS Process Equipment, Evans Analytical Group, Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, The McGraw Hill Financials, Carfaro, Robbinsville Education Foundation, Gilbane, Designtree, Northstar Vets, SRI International, Triangle Copy, Coldwell Banker, as well as the Friends and Family of Nemesis.
If you are interested in supporting Nemesis or would like additional information, please contact Team Advisor Joy Wolfe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 Week 3: Build Journal
As we close out the first half of build season, we come closer to our final design. Prototyping is almost finished for the main systems. Meanwhile, various groups for smaller subsystems are working feverishly. Small adjustments are all that’s left to do on the intake and shooter. The CAD team is finished with our drivetrain and we have begun to mill the parts.
For the past week, we have been prototyping and developing a multitude of devices to get through the defences, trying to combine multiple subsystems into one to save space and weight. Plans have changed several times to make the intake work.
We have a mostly finished prototype that our driver is currently testing. So far we have been successful in crossing the different terrain types. Still up, getting through the doors and gates. Once we have a successful prototype which can do that we will have a finished prototype robot.
We have had a few minor setbacks, including a blizzard, but that has not slowed down our progress. Thanks to GrabCad, our team was able to work in and out of our Tech Lab. The CAD is nearly complete and our team is running the mill whenever possible in this race against the clock. Once the frame is milled and assembled we can work towards adding subsystems to our robot. With the team entering the second half of build season we can only guess what will happen. Hopefully week 4 can as productive as the previous weeks have been.
2016 Week 3: Marketing Journal
It's hard to believe week three is already coming to a close! All week, the Marketing Team has scrambled to add the finishing touches for its annual Sponsor Networking Night! Ribbon and other decorative touches were added to the recently updated showcase, making it appear more beautiful than ever. New pictures were printed and added to the Chairman’s board to showcase all we have done since the past season when the judges last laid eyes on it. Our business plan and Chairman's Award submissions have come a long way recently, in preparation for their due date later this week. Meanwhile, the Finance Team busied themselves contacting current and potential sponsors via cold calls and emails.
The Sponsor Networking Night presentation was completed and is now ready for sponsor viewing. Additionally, our Web Team took official photographs of each subteam along with diligently working on the script for this year’s Chairman's Award video. The Logistics Team had their work cut out for them while continuing to book travel information for our upcoming trips to South Florida, and hopefully St. Louis.
Girls on the team had an especially exciting week filled with a trip to the spa alongside a few of our team mentors. They also visited the NARS makeup counter at Lord & Taylor where they all had their makeup done by professional makeup artists to give our girls a fresh new look in preparation for Sponsor Night.
2016 Week 2: Marketing Journal
Woah! Week 2 of build season has already reached an end and the marketing team had their work cut out for them! Everyone on the marketing team continued to work countless hours to put the finishing touches on our annual sponsor night event, which is next Wednesday, February 3. Invitations have been sent out and now we patiently wait for the responses from our generous sponsors. Our beautiful showcase in the main hallway of the high school is finally up to date and we couldn't be happier. Logistics is currently finalizing our trips to South Florida and St.Louis for competition season travel. Finance is working vigorously on updating our business plan as well as overseeing invitation responses. Meanwhile, the sponsor PowerPoint is being perfected and polished to ensure our sponsors are up to date and fully aware of all our 2015 successes and our plans for the 2016 season.
Next on our agenda is to coach our build members on the current FAQs and prepare the whole team for sponsor night, ensuring that the team can present themselves in a professional and polished manor. All in all, this week has been yet another success on the Marketing side of Nemesis, and we can not wait to see what the third week brings us.
2016 Week 2: Build Journal
An intensive Week 2 of build season finally comes to a close. It has been a dramatic week as the build team had to work fast, due to an impending winter storm. The blizzard of 2016 cost us 3 valuable days of prototyping, CADing and building which made week 2 seem to fly by. After a review of week 1, the build team divided into subteams. Each lead by a mentor and at least 2 upperclassmen so that every aspect of the game could be covered. Subteams began to work on initial prototypes ranging from scoring systems to drivetrains. Our mentors also began to build different field elements for our team. We appreciate them for dedicating so much time to Nemesis.
Throughout week 2, prototype subteams continued to develop and create different mechanisms and drivetrains to overcome the defenses as well as scoring boulders. As field elements became available, subteams began testing their systems and refining them to near perfection. Later in the week, subteams started to combine the individual systems to eventually form a fully prototyped robot that can overcome most obstacles.
While the prototypes were being perfected the design team worked hard on concept sketches and began to develop the final CAD of the robot. They also refined the designs of the prototypes so that they will work with the layout of the robot. Although work in the lab was brought to a halt due to Winter Storm Jonas, the design team was able to collaborate over GrabCad and continue progress on the final CAD of the robot from home. With Week 3 beginning, fabrication of the final robot is expected to begin shortly.
2016 Week 1: Marketing Journal
Week one is over and it has been busy! The Marketing Team has been preparing for Nemesis’ annual Sponsor Networking Night. The invitations have been made and are on their way to the post office. In the meantime, the powerpoint and oral presentations for the evening are being created. Team members are excited to meet sponsors and present all of the hard work we’ve done so far. In the weeks leading up to Sponsor Networking Night, the Marketing Team will be enlightening Build Team members on presentation techniques and how to carry themselves properly, ensuring the entire team will have a polished and professional demeanor.
Furthermore, the showcases are being updated with a new set of wings and the awards and trophies won in the 2015 season. Logistics has been working diligently to plan the team’s South Florida and St. Louis trips. Finally, the Finance Team has sent letters thanking sponsors for recent donations as well as continuing the search for potential sponsors. All in all, week one has been a huge success for the Marketing Team. They jumped headfirst into the work needed to be done during build season.
2016 Week 1: Build Journal
Finally! The long awaited build season is upon us. All of us here at Nemesis are excited and already hard at work. We kicked off the week with a full team game analysis meeting where we held enthusiastic discussions on how to approach this year’s challenge-- FIRST Stronghold! After hours of brainstorming and sketching our design ideas, we picked ideas and started prototyping. Shooting the boulders and overcoming outer work defensive field elements were our priorities. Subteams were assigned to prototype several methods to achieve these tasks. In this past week, we have successfully accomplished prototyping several subsystems for our robot, such as the intake, shooting, traversing difficult terrain, and even overcoming some of the most difficult obstacles.
Both catapult style and flywheel powered shooters were designed earlier in the week and have been refined and are now consistently reaching our desired target, the high goal of the castle. Our underclassmen were heavily involved in the creation and development of these prototypes, and we are proud to see them getting so involved this early in their FIRST Robotics career. As far as getting our ball into our shooter, our intake prototypes are able to bring in the ball quite effectively. We modified our old kit-bots with pneumatic wheels to stagger our way across the low field elements. We are looking to improve our drivetrain in this upcoming week by designing our very own custom rhino tank drive! Subteams have been working on creating an elevator rotating hook mechanism to actuate the more complex field defenses. These designs still require further improvement, but more on that next week. We are excited to combine our prototypes and turn them into a honed machine that will hopefully lead us into an exciting competition season.
Prepare Your Robots, Stronghold is Coming
Let the countdown begin! On January 9, 2016, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics teams around the world waited impatiently to discover what game would rule their lives for the next year. The task: build a competition robot in a short 6-week period with finite resources. Each year, FIRST releases a new challenge that gives high school students the opportunity to test their robotics and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) knowledge in competitions at local, regional and international events.
Nemesis, Robbinsville High School’s FIRST Robotics Team, along with robotics teams from Allentown, Bridgewater-Raritan, Hamilton, Hightstown, Moorestown, and North Brunswick gathered at Montgomery High School for the kickoff of the 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition season, excited to watch the NASA-TV webcast revealing this year’s challenge.
A collection of workshops led by members of Montgomery’s own Cougar Robotics taught students a variety of subjects including Autodesk Inventor (a Computer-Aided Design --CAD-- program), pneumatics, gearboxes, and sensors.“The workshops are a great way to start the new season. Using Autodesk Inventor challenged me in a new way and I would love to work with it again!” stated senior and Director of Marketing and Communications Mitaali Taskar.
Anticipation was high as teams gathered in the auditorium for the live stream launch of the 2016 challenge. Students held their collective breath as they waited for the game to be announced. As the countdown neared its end, the crowd went wild. The official challenge of the 2016 season would be called FIRST STRONGHOLD!
FIRST STRONGHOLD, a medieval battle-inspired game, involves two alliances of three robots each who defend their castle while storming the opposing alliance’s citadel. They can elect to utilize a spy robot in enemy territory. The end goal of the game is to capture the enemy’s tower by successfully shooting balls into the opposing castle tower then surrounding it. The match begins with a 15-second autonomous period, when the robots are controlled solely by pre-written code. The remainder of the battle is 2 minutes and 15 seconds of intense, student-driven robot competition.
Nemesis is very excited to tackle this year's challenge and build upon the success of the 2015 season, where the team won the Hatboro-Horsham and North Brunswick District Events, the Montreal Regional, and competed at the FIRST World Championship. In addition, the team was recognized for its advantageous robot design with the Excellence in Engineering Award at both the Hatboro-Horsham District and Montreal Regional competitions.
“Although a much more complicated game than last year, we hope to repeat our prior success and continue learning throughout the build sesaon,” stated Build Executive and senior Parth Mandrekar.
Most notably, in 2015, was the strong performance of Nemesis’ Business Team. The students’ comprehensive business plan and business acumen was recognized with the Entrepreneurship Award not only at the district level at North Brunswick, but also at the international level at the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis. Triumphing at the global level for the second consecutive year, Nemesis was recognized as one of the four strongest Business Teams in the world.
In the 2016 season, Nemesis will compete at the Hatboro-Horsham and Lenape-Seneca District competitions and the South Florida Regional in West Palm Beach, Florida. Qualification for the FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship and FIRST World Championship is dependent upon the team’s performance at the district and regional competitions. The team is always looking for financial and material sponsors and technical mentors. If you are interested in supporting the team please visit our website FRC2590.org.
Nemesis would like to thank their sponsors. Without them, none of this would be possible: Robbinsville High School, NAVAIR, Bristol-Myers Squibb, New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists, CCL Label, Siemens Corp., Lockheed Martin, Investor’s Bank, Robbinsville Education Association, Robbinsville Education Foundation, Designtree, Carfaro, Gilbane, RAS Process Equipment, EAG, Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, Triangle Copy, SRI International, The McGraw Hill Financial, NorthStar VETS and Coldwell Banker .
Food Drive Winners Meet Nemesis
As two classes of 4th grade students of Sharon Elementary School walked into their usually unchanged cafeteria, they were greeted instead by an enthusiastic team of red-clad high school students representing Robbinsville High School’s FIRST Robotics Team FRC 2590 Nemesis, a complex robot, and an interactive humanoid robot. “Seeing the wide smiles and bright eyes of the children when our robot came to life made the long nights in the tech lab worthwhile,” said build team member and junior Charlie D’Amico. The two classes were not just any two classes, but the two classes that donated the most canned goods in Nemesis’ annual food drive in November. Overall, the food drive was a success, with over 3,000 donations collected for the Robbinsville and Allentown Food Pantries in coordination with Sharon Elementary School. While all classes exhibited unprecedented altruism, the class that donated the most non-perishable items, winning the friendly competition instilled at Sharon School, was Ms. Dilts’s 4th grade class, while the class that donated the second-most goods, or the finalists, was Mrs. Berkey’s 4th grade class.
Thus, on January 8, 2016, Ms. Dilts’s and Mrs. Berkey’s classes were treated to a demonstration of Nemesis’ 2012 competition robot, Prince, and its interactive humanoid NAO robot. The visit began with an introduction of the team members and a presentation describing what it’s like to be part of the team, especially during the tense six-week long build season and the ensuing competition season. Then, the classes were split, with one third of the students first receiving a demonstration of Prince and a description of the brainstorming and design processes of the Build Team, another third experiencing an explanation of the importance of coding from the Software Team, and a final third witnessing an entertaining routine featuring “The Macarena” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”courtesy of the NAO robot. At each station, the students eagerly asked questions, acquiring an in-depth look into the team.
After the groups rotated through the three stations, a question and answer session highlighting the Marketing Team immediately followed. Members from Nemesis elaborated on the responsibilities of the Marketing Team, including organizing travel, writing and publishing articles, and attaining sponsors to finance the robot.
As senior and Director of Marketing Laura Quon, explained, “Nemesis is more than just building robots, there is another side of the team that is just as important. It’s important that the students understand that the Marketing and Finance Teams are crucial to our success as a whole team.”
Afterwards, the team opened the floor to questions and immediately many students’ hands shot up in the air. After addressing the students’ questions, Nemesis bid farewell to the budding engineers and entrepreneurs of Sharon Elementary School.
Nemesis hopes that this demonstration will spark an interest in STEM that will inspire the students to continue pursuing their passions. “The students of Sharon School did an amazing thing for the community. Being able to give back to them was a truly rewarding experience", said Samantha Young, a senior build team member. Once again, Nemesis would like to thank the students and families of Sharon Elementary School for their generous donations that made the 2015 annual food drive the most successful ever.
Discovering Innovation at Discovery Day 2015
On Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th, Robbinsville High School’s FIRST Robotics Team FRC 2590 Nemesis invited 2nd through 6th graders to venture into the world of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) for the day. In total, around 120 campers, split between four sessions, attended Nemesis’ Discovery Day at Robbinsville High School. These campers were separated into teams of two or three and paired with a Nemesis team member as a mentor, who served as guides to the eager campers.
Nemesis Discovery Day consisted of two unique challenges, one for second and third graders and another for fourth through sixth graders. The younger groups were tasked with constructing “robot soccer players” using legos and simple motors. The first robot they created had to be a goalie that “blocked” shots from the opposing alliance. The second robot they designed had to be able to shoot and score goals. Both robots were controlled by a switch box and connected to two motors, enabling campers to drive their creation. Robots then competed against opposing teams to try and score the most goals possible.
This small taste of the intricacies of engineering left the campers with a greater appreciation and excitement for world around them. As described by Nemesis mentor and sophomore Julia Ruch,”I absolutely adored watching my campers improve upon their already existing ideas. By the end of the day they were all miniature engineering prodigies and I loved it!”
For the other challenge, more experienced campers were put to the test using Lego NXT, a more advanced operating system, which could be controlled by a joystick or autonomously through a Lego Mindstorms program coded by the campers. They created robots that could play a game simulating a robotic version of Hungry, Hungry Hippos. After their robots were carefully assembled, the campers strategized a way to win each of the two-minute matches. In these matches, each team’s robot had to collect ping-pong balls with various point values and raced them back to their home corner.
The campers also had the opportunity to explore FLL (First Lego League) and meet with fourth through eighth graders on Team IDK and Team Shock Wave. The FLL team members and mentors showcased their 2015 season robot in order to excite the campers and promote the FLL program. They discussed the 2015 FLL Challenge, Trash Trek, an exciting environmentally- themed challenge in which teams raced to complete as many missions as possible in a limited amount of time.
Not only did the campers view Nemesis’ past competition robots, they also experienced driving Prince, the team’s 2012 basketball shooting robot, and Bellerophon, the team’s 2014 yoga ball shooting robot. Many of the campers were incredibly excited to have the opportunity to drive and control a robot as advanced as Prince or Bellerophon. Nemsis’ competition driver, Christian Gavalchin elaborated, “The campers were ecstatic, their faces were full of joy when they learned they would be able to shoot an NBA worthy robot.”
Campers also had the opportunity to interact with the highly interactive NAO humanoid robot. The NAO robot performed a routine including push-ups, and two dances Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the Macarena.
It was a successful weekend for all. Ping-pong balls flew, winning teams cheered, robot gears turned. Innovation was in the air. As the event came to a close, mentors bid adieu to their newfound friends and ended their session with a closing ceremony--and pizza, of course. As Build Team member and junior Michael Cocciolillo described the day, “I loved working with the campers and watching their love for STEAM grow. Discovery Day was definitely a great learning experience for the kids.” Discovery Day 2015 was a raging success and Nemesis looks forward to seeing familiar faces, as well as some new ones, next year.