Full Steam Ahead: Nemesis FLIES Into 2017!
Even the threat of a winter storm could not deter them. On January 7th 2017, thousands of FIRST Robotics teams around the world held their breath as they anxiously awaited the release of the 2017 game. Each year at Kickoff, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) provides these high school robotics students with a new challenge to hone their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills at competitive regional, district-wide, and international events. The Kickoff marks the beginning of 6 hectic weeks to design, prototype, and build a robot to effectively address the game challenge.
On the frigid Saturday morning, robotics teams from high schools in North Brunswick, Bridgewater-Raritan, Ewing, West Windsor-Plainsboro, and Allentown joined Robbinsville's Nemesis Team 2590 at Montgomery High School for the Kickoff of the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition season.
Before the game reveal, students were able to attend a multitude of workshops hosted by Montgomery High School's own robotics team, Cougar Robotics. Providing instruction in a variety of subjects such as gearboxes, pneumatics, sensors, and Autodesk Inventor (a CAD - Computer Aided Design - program), the workshops served as an efficient way to assist students in learning some concepts that would benefit them in the upcoming build season.
"The gearbox workshop was extremely insightful," commented Robbinsville sophomore, Morgan Serra. "It especially helps new robotics members like myself to understand this topic before we begin to brainstorm. Without this workshop I would've been totally confused throughout build season!"
Excitement buzzed through the air as teams gathered in the auditorium and waited for the NASA-TV webcast to start, live from FIRST Headquarters in Manchester, New Hampshire. As the game was revealed, the applause was deafening. Introducing the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition challenge... FIRST Steamworks!
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 driven by student drivers. Each alliance's goal is to prepare their airship for takeoff by collecting as much fuel (balls) as possible and shooting it into the boiler (goals). They must also deliver gears to the pilots (human players) on their airship in the middle of the field who will install them in order to start the engines. In the last 30 seconds of the match, robots can latch onto the airship by climbing a thick rope, which earns them additional points. The alliance with the most points at the end of the match wins!
Feeling adrenalized after the game reveal, Nemesis members are already overflowing with ideas on how to design this year's robot.
“This is definitely much different from last year, especially with a drive team member on the field for the first time in FIRST Robotics history,” remarked senior and Build Executive Harsha Pavuluri. “With the many aspects of the game, I can’t wait to hear what the team comes up with!”
Nemesis will be competing at Hatboro-Horsham High School on March 4-5th, at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy on March 18-19th, and at the Festival de Robotique in Montreal, Canada on March 23-25th. Nemesis hopes to qualify for the FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship at Lehigh University and the FIRST Championship in St. Louis.
Nemesis would like to thank their sponsors for their continued success: Robbinsville High School, NAVAIR, CCL Label, New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Nordson, Robbinsville Education Association, Leidos, Triangle East Windsor, Skylink Technology Inc., Northstar Vets, RAS Process Equipment, Designtree, EAG, Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, Robbinsville Education Foundation, Lockheed Martin, SRI International, McGraw Hill Financial, Siemens, and Investors Bank.
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!
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.
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!
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.
2016 Week 5: Marketing Journal
Week five of the 2016 build season was yet another great week of accomplishments for Nemesis! Emerging from yet another very successful Sponsor Networking Night -- that the entire team spent the first four weeks of build season preparing for-- the business team felt a well deserved wave of relief immediately followed by an increased concentration and focus on the upcoming competition season. The Finance Team worked on finishing the business plan which will be presented to judges at competitions and will serve as the basis for our team to compete the Entrepreneurship Award. Meanwhile, the Marketing Team wrote and mailed thank you notes to the generous parents and sponsors who supported the team with donations and “sorry we missed you cards” with information about Sponsor Networking Night to those who missed the event.
Marketing also worked on designing apparel for the team to wear throughout the upcoming competition season, as well as writing articles to promote the team's community outreach programs. The Logistics Team is still hard at work continuing to arrange travel for our upcoming trips to South Florida, and hopefully St. Louis.
Another exciting development in the Robbinsville High School Tech Lab was the creation of the first 3-D printed hand for our partnership with e-NABLE. With them, Nemesis plans to donate prosthetic hands to those in need.
The Marketing and Finance Teams are very excited to see the robot that the Build Team has been working on for the past six long weeks and that the Marketing Team will be writing, promoting, and talking about for the next year.
Bienvenue au Québec
The team was up with the sun on Wednesday, March 14 and arrived at the high school by 7 AM in preparation to embark on our adventure. Excitement was in the air as we loaded our bags into the LEGOLAND bus and waved “good-bye” to Robbinsville and “hello” to Montréal and the Festivale de Robotique FRC a Montreal Regional.
But we had a lot of time to kill on the eight hour bus ride. In the middle of The Dark Knight, people starting dozing and Karla took this opportunity to snap… entertaining photos of the sleeping team members. Around the three hour mark, we stopped for lunch at Roy Rogers, then continued straight until the border. All team members were quickly “okayed” to cross into Canada (passport and green card holders alike) and it became the first time out of the country for Julia and the Principato family. From there, it was a quick 40 minute drive to the hotel.
Nemesis was ecstatic to arrive at the Le Centre Sheraton around four in the afternoon. After checking out our rooms and basking in the glory of three days off school, some team members met up for a series of intense card games, while our dedicated track team members hit the gym’s treadmills. A few build team members also went to drop Prince off at the Stade Uniprix, the arena where the regional would be held. A few hours later, we headed off to the pool for some games of categories and relaxing in the whirlpool. The day was ended with an interesting pizza meal, and the team was ready for the real fun to start the next day.
Celebrating A Quarter Century
Mr. Meredith’s evening full of celebration began with Mrs. Wolfe and the marketing team scouring the classrooms trying to find a lighter for the candles on his cake—from the ovens in the Life Skills room to the Bunsen Burners in the Science labs, while Baljot and Erica desperately tried to hide the secret birthday cake behind a cardboard box. Realizing that fire is a school safety hazard (who knew?), we proceeded to sticking two unlit candles on the cake and warning the Build Team of our entrance.
Finally, the doors were opened and the singing began—quite off-key, I must add, but I believe it’s the thought that counts. Also, since one cake was not going to cut it—no pun intended—for about fifty members, Mrs. Wolfe craftily borrowed the barely eaten RHS Cotillion cake from the teacher’s lounge. Continuing the night, some members agreed to give Mr. Meredith a present, or rather twenty-five of their present. From Eric, he received an engraved twenty-six sided shape (one more side for good luck). From Julia, he received a CD of twenty-five Taylor Swift songs, because he just loves songs to which “he can daydream about boys.” And of course, twenty-five pictures of ponies and horses from our—hush-hush—resident centaur, Jenna. Finally, Baljot and Karla created a large birthday card signed by each and every single one of our members. A half-eaten cake, a dozen pop country songs, and a rhombicuboctahedron later, dear Mr. Meredith’s birthday bash ends with a bang with a hilarious—including definitely no Googled pictures of Asian babies—montage video created by Baljot.
Charity walk "enables" Nemesis to give back
In an effort to reach out to the community and participate in more charity events as a team, Nemesis has partnered with Enable Inc., a non-profit agency devoted to supporting individuals with disabilities to live full and independent lives within the community. We have formed a team to participate in the Walk n' Roll with Enable event on Saturday, February 25th at Rider University. We plan to fundraise and/or donate pledges as a team to raise money, and then walk at the event on the 25th. The walkers will represent Team Nemesis while supporting a great cause to help individuals within the community.
SRI International Supports Team Nemesis with Generous Donation
We are proud to welcome a new sponsor, SRI International, who generously donated to Team Nemesis. Mr. Dimatulac, father of team member Karla, sent a request to SRI for a donation. They enjoyed reading about the dedication and success of the team, and support our mission. Alice Resnick, Vice President of Corporate & Marketing Communications, wrote “Best of luck to the team, and we wish you much continued success with your robotics program.”
SRI’s mission is to commit to the discovery and application of science and technology for knowledge, commerce, prosperity, and peace. Two of the consulting company’s main research focus areas are education and robotics. As a nonprofit research institute, SRI is very supportive of robotics programs which help to educate students in science and technology. The company believes robotics is a wonderful way to introduce and stimulate youth with an interest in engineering.
The contribution pays for the cost of parts and materials for the robot which will compete in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and Mid-Atlantic Region competitions in 2012. Team Nemesis appreciates SRI’s commitment to educate and encourage interest in STEM and is very grateful for their generous donation.
ROBBINSVILLE: Robotics Team Ready to Rumble
"Prince," named after the team’s CEO Eric Principato, will be competing in district and regional FIRST Robotics competitions culminating in what the team hopes will be a strong showing in the 2012 national championship in St. Louis. The FIRST Robotics challenge for this year is called “The Rebound Rumble,” a competition that requires the students’ robot to earn points by shooting basketballs into hoops of varying heights inside an arena. The students need to work with their team and in alliances and “coopertition” with other teams for maximum points.
The robot, which has a shooter, a rotating turret and a conveyor, uses a camera to locate the basketball hoop’s backboard, calculate the distance of the shot, set the appropriate speed and then fire the ball into the hoop at a 50-degree angle.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a national organization that runs mentor-based programs designed to teach students about science and technology, while giving them experiences that build their interpersonal skills and self-confidence.
The Robbinsville team, known as Nemesis (after the goddess of revenge and retribution) Team 2590, includes 66 students, RHS technology teachers Joy Wolfe and Scott Meredith, and a dedicated group of adult mentors. The group has been at work since the beginning of the school year making the plans needed to meet their robot deadline, but the actual “build season” is compressed into six short weeks. During the build season, students are often working in the RHS technology lab many nights until 11 p.m., as well as Saturdays.
The robot is only one small part of the club’s responsibilities. The entire endeavor is structured like an engineering business would be, including the creation of a business plan. The team is made up of various sub-teams, including Software, Marketing, Finance, Web and Build. Each of these teams is responsible for their part of the model business required for participation in the FIRST competitions.
Last Saturday, the students were working in the lab to prepare for the competition season. Members of the Build Team were busy putting together the robot structure, while members of the Software Team were working on how to control the robot, using a software program called LabVIEW.
In the midst of his work on the robot, Team 2590 CEO Eric Principato, a senior heading to Princeton University in the fall, was explaining the process to state Senator Linda Greenstein and Assemblyman Daniel Benson, both D-Mercer, who were visiting. Members of the Marketing and Finance teams, Jess Friedberg, Chris Karousatos, Ralph Petagna and Michelle Principato, also led a tour and were obviously well-versed in every aspect of the operation.
The Marketing Team works all year contacting sponsors, designing brochures and building community outreach programs. The Finance team is responsible for all donations and expenses. Michelle, a member of the Marketing Team, explained the philosophy of the team members not directly involved in the actual hands-on building of the robot.
”We pride ourselves on being well rounded,” Michelle said. “Even though we don’t build the robot, it is important to know how it works to market it,” she said.
During the competitions, while the Drive Team puts the robot through the required tasks, members of these teams will be in “The Pit” where they will be required to answer questions from the judges about their process. They also craft presentations for the awards that the FIRST competitions offer.
The Web Team runs an award-winning website that is constantly updated with the team’s progress and contains specific information about its many endeavors. Ric Principato, the website mentor among other roles, is the father of four robotics team members, triplets Eric, Michelle, and Alena, and their younger sister Christa.
”I have had the pleasure of seeing this for four years,” Mr. Principato said. “I can’t even measure the value it has had for my four kids.”
Another facet of the team’s work is community service. They recently organized a food drive at Sharon Elementary School and have participated in various fundraising walks for organizations, including Enable. The team also hosts a Discovery Day every year for 2nd to 5th grade students, using robots to encourage an interest in science and technology at an early age.
”Our small club could have such a big impact on the local community,” said Jess Friedberg about the many community endeavors. “We want high school students to reach back,” Mrs. Wolfe.
The robotics team, started in 2007 by Mrs. Wolfe with a NASA rookie grant, consists of students in grades 9 through 12, many of whom learn about it in the school’s technology and Project Lead The Way pre-engineering classes.
There are more freshmen on Nemesis Team 2590 this year than at any time before. The seniors mentor the freshman so that the underclassmen can step in to leadership roles after the upperclassmen graduate.
Some recruitment to the team “family” comes from blood relatives. In addition to the Principato clan, there is a set of twins and many members who are siblings of Nemesis Team 2590 alumni.
The team brings together students of diverse skills whose future plans are also diverse. They have applied and been accepted to many prestigious universities and plan to major in fields ranging from engineering to finance.
The students, who recognize that schoolwork comes first, are also involved in other extracurricular activities, including sports, at Robbinsville High School. They all seem to excel in time management. Zach Brown (Software/Build Teams), CEO Eric Principato, and one of the two CTO’s (chief technological officers) Matt Schwartz will also compete in the Panasonic Challenge, where they will build a robot on a smaller scale with low-cost materials, vying for up to $5,000 in scholarships. Mentor Peter Wolfe, a software engineer by trade, who, alongside his wife, the enthusiastic Mrs. Wolfe, spends many hours after work and on weekends working with the team, summed it up. “It’s not about the robot, the robot is a Trojan horse; just a trick to get kids interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics),” he said. “The kids love this; it’s a lot of fun and they learn a lot.”
To find out more about the Robbinsville High School Robotics Team, visit its website: frc2590.org.
The Robbinsville High School robotics team includes: Ben Arenstein, Sid Ayyagari, Christopher Banziger, Vivek Barbhaiya, Brandon Bellero, Julia Borowski, Zach Brown, Shannon Casserly, Nick Cenni, Venkatesh Chinnakonda, Regan Clarke, Kate Coggins, John Coriasco, Karla Dimatulac, Al Drake, Julian Esteban, Erica Falk, Josh Falk, Michael Filipek, Justin Francis, Jessica Friedberg, Kyle Gavalchin, Dan Gavrushenko, Kendrick Grace, Mehaa Gupta, Dylan Hong, Maddison Hughes, Uddhav Joglekar, Ryan Jurek, Alec Karousatos, Chris Karousatos, Stephanie Kovacs, Meghna Kuppuraju, Scott LaRochelle, Bhargav Lingala, Urmila Lingala, Christian Marsala, Christopher May, Austin Mayweather, Taylor Mayweather, Zach Mclaughlin, Anisha Mohan, Jenna Mollica, Karthik Paka, Snigdha Paka, Antonio Papa, Avani Pavuluri, Ralph Petagna, Alena Principato, Christa Principato, Eric Principato, Michelle Principato, Jason Puglisi, Saveetha Raghupathi, Baljot Ranu, JP Ranu, Shravali Reddy, Alec Regulski, Ali Riad, Nick Sanders, Matthew Schwartz, Danielle Stepien, Shashank Sundararaman, Brett Vantassel, Arnav Vast, Harrison Young.
A Visit from Assemblyman Benson and State Senator Greenstein!
Assemblyman Benson and State Senator Greenstein visited Team Nemesis on Saturday, February 18 in the Tech lab. Michelle Principato, Jessica Friedberg, Chris Karousatous and Ralph Petagna welcomed them. The Website team was introduced to them by Michelle, while Jessica introduced the Marketing team and Ralph and Chris introduced the Finance team.
Michelle explained how the website is developed and introduced Ric Principato, the team website mentor, to them. Jessica discussed how the team’s message and current news are spread to the school, community, and corporate sponsors and about fundraising events such as the Shoprite bagging to the Assemblyman and Senator. Ralph explained in-depth how the Finance team manages the team’s money by taking care of the costs of bus transportation, competitions to how much money the team has left over as of the end of this build season.
After the introductions, Assemblyman Benson and Senator Greenstein went to the back of the Tech lab to observe the students working on the robot. Eric Principato provided them with details of this year’s competition and the logistics of the robot. Assemblyman Benson went to the basketball hoops in the hallway and even took some shots at the three hoops. Later, a team picture was taken with them in front of the basketball hoops with Assemblyman Benson and State Senator Greenstein each holding a basketball. This was a great experience for both the team members and the Assemblyman and Senator to discuss robotics. In the end, Assemblyman Benson and Senator Greenstein gave sound bites about Robotics that will be included in the team video.
An Army Runs on Its Stomach
Anyone who has made it through an FRC build season knows the truth in this statement. Long hours, a crowded lab and little sleep take their toll, and team members often forget that they need to find time to take in some nutrients in order to press on with the challenge at hand. Enter the generous families of team Nemesis. The team has been treated to many bountiful snacks, lunches and dinners; the latest sampling provided by the Gavrushenko family included salad, pasta with meatballs, garlic bread, cookies and cupcakes. After the dinner bell is rung four or five times, the team retreats to the Student Activity Center and eats family style. It's a much needed refueling / breather and also a great team builder. Many thanks to all the families that generously donate their time and the meals that help keep our small army running.
Nemesis Has ShopRite in the Bag
To relieve the expenses for future trips, Team 2590 members—armed with their very own, handy dandy donation buckets—took part in bagging groceries at the local Hamilton Marketplace ShopRite. The nine-hour long day was divided into slightly less hair-pulling timeslots of three hours, from ten in the morning until closing at seven at night.
As it turns out, ShopRite is actually a zoo on Sundays. Nemesis team members worked hard bagging customers’ groceries—eggs and bread on top, of course. Some helpful customers thought to offer endless constructive criticism about the art of bagging groceries. Fortunately, we all learned something by the end of the day. For instance, when the customer says they would like their groceries in both paper and plastic, Al learned to avoid lectures by placing the paper bags into the plastic ones (word of advice for all readers).
After a long, grueling day of particular “my-meat-cannot-touch-the-veggies” customers, the team satisfyingly went home with a whopping $1600.
Robotics Discovery Day 2011
"I think I'm going to be an engineer one day," said a camper as he proudly held his newly created robot, preparing to release it onto the track.
This boy and many other enthusiastic children took part in the RHS Robotics Discovery Day, hosted by Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics Team 2590 Nemesis. The event was held on Saturday, December 3 and aimed to teach 2nd through 5th grade boys and girls the basics of robotics while having fun. Robotics team CEO Eric Principato said, "Robotics Discovery Day allows kids to learn about robots and helps them to pursue their interest in science and technology."
“My favorite part of this camp was making my robot, Speedy. I can't wait to make an even bigger robot when I get to high school.”
Upon arrival, the campers were split into three groups. All campers created simple and fun Bristle-bots out of toothbrushes, a vibrating motor, and a battery. Returning campers worked with "LEGO MINDSTORMS," a computer program to create code for autonomous robots. The kids worked in pairs with an RHS Robotics Team member, who was their mentor. After the design and build process, they raced their robots. Kids who were participating for the third or fourth time created sumo wrestler robots that competed to push the other out of the way.
The room bustled with activity all day. Over sixty enthusiastic young engineers made their own unique robots that could do many things using sensors like following a line on the ground, racing toward a wall and turning at the last moment, and even catapulting objects across the room.
The team worked hard to spread the enthusiasm of building and programming robots, and received a lot of positive feedback. "My favorite part of this camp was making my robot, Speedy. I can't wait to make an even bigger robot when I get to high school," said one camper.
To give the kids a taste of the high school level, everyone drove the team's competition robot, Andy. Working with the high school robotics team ignited the spark in the future generation as they applied their knowledge to create their own designs.
Robotics Discovery Day has continued to be a great fundraising event for the award-winning RHS FIRST Robotics Team, which is going to compete at multiple Mid-Atlantic events and the Montreal regional competition. The funds will be used to buy parts and materials for the robot and cover traveling expenses for the team. Please contact Mrs. Joy Wolfe, Robbinsville High School, 155 Robbinsville-Edinburg Road, Robbinsville, NJ, 08691, if you would like to make a donation.
Click here to see pictures from Robotics Discovery Day.
Nemesis Teams up with Sharon School to Give Back
Robbinsville High School’s FIRST Robotics Team is a program dedicated to developing students’ problem-solving abilities through the hands-on construction of a competition robot. Although the team focuses with science and technology skills, it also strives to embody the values of Gracious Professionalism in which we channel our commitments to bettering the community.
The team celebrated the holiday season by giving back—organizing a food drive with the Sharon Elementary School. Over 600 canned and boxed non-perishable goods were collected during the holiday season. The winning class, Miss Raymond’s first-grade class, collected a total of 73 food items and received a plaque honoring their hard work. All of the food collected was donated to the local Robbinsville Food Pantry to aid families in need.
The Nemesis Robotics students created the custom designed personalized plaque in Illustrator and engraved the design in acrylic using the RHS laser engraver. The students learned how to make the plaque in their Digital Fabrication class.
Nemesis Team Member Selected for Governor's School of Engineering and Technology
FRC 2590 Nemesis team member Eric Principato was chosen from a pool of top students from New Jersey schools to participate in the Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology, a 4-week residential summer school held at Rutgers University’s Busch campus. Applicants must be nominated by their high schools, with each school able to nominate one applicant for every 325 members of their junior class. The Admissions committee generally receives between 300 and 400 applications. “Of the nominees, who are the best and brightest students at their respective schools, fewer than 25% generally receive offers of admission,” according to the GSET website. Being selected as a finalist to this competitive program is a huge honor.
The program took place from June 26th to July 22nd. Students got a taste of college life as they moved into their dorm rooms and took engineering and technology classes, some of which were taught by professors. In addition to basic courses like physics, students had a choice to take electives related to their personal interests. In his class on biodiesel, Eric had the opportunity to discuss alternate forms of energy and actually create samples of biofuels. In Polynomiography, he worked with software developed by a Rutgers professor that allowed users to create art with math. Working with a group, Eric was able to design, build, and test an 8-foot tall, wooden trebuchet for a class on catapults. When it came time for Robotics, Eric’s FIRST experience came in very handy—his team won the robot soccer competition, having used LEGO Mindstorms and LABview to create and program their winning robot design.
Despite their busy academic schedule, students still found time to have fun with foosball and soccer competitions and a surprise dance party while a talent show and art show allowed them to show off their skills. Students also signed up for “Life Skills” classes which covered a range of topics, from “How to Do Laundry” to “African Drumming.” Field trips to Google, PSEG Nuclear, Lockheed Martin, NASTAR, Bloomberg, ProtoCAM, and the Federal Aviation Administration, among others, gave students the opportunity to tour the company’s facilities and learn about their work in engineering and technology.
Students were also divided into groups of 4 or 5 to complete a research project. Eric described the process of his research on Autonomic Computing, explaining that, “We worked with a mentor in the Computer Science department and had to autonomically cool the temperature in a series or servers, write a paper, and give a final presentation.” Each group presented their research to an audience of family and peers at the end of the program.
Eric says of the overall experience, “It was a great opportunity to meet people with similar interests and to explore my passion for engineering, while also getting a taste of college and dorm life.”
About Us | 2010-2011
It was a snowy Saturday morning as Team Nemesis congregated at Montgomery High School for the FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff. The group consisted of memorable seniors, adept juniors, hardworking sophomores, and inexperienced yet dedicated freshmen. Leading the group were our faithful mentors and teachers. Team 2590 soon learned about the new game, LOGO MOTION.
For the next six weeks the team spent hours upon hours together; Build Season had begun. Pizza became our worst enemy, sleep our distant relative, and the Robotics team our family. Members lived in the depths of the Tech Lab and on weekends were consumed entirely. The moment we walked in, we broke up into our separate sub teams: Build, Finance, Marketing, Software, and Web.
Every club needs money to exist; Robotics is no different. A handful of devoted students, the Finance Team of Nemesis, handled all donations and expenses. From requesting grants to organizing fundraisers, the team ensured that we had money to build our robot and travel comfortably to competitions. The Finance team managed travel, food, and supply costs. They balanced the books, wrote the Business Plan, and kept our team breathing. The Shoprite Bagging, Robotics Discovery Day, and new T-shirt sales were run by them. The members of the Finance Team owned a business and were the fuel to Nemesis’s 2011 Build Season.
Marketing worked tirelessly to perfect the Chairman’s Award and to redesign the website all throughout the year. Countless hours were spent working to create the Chairman’s Award essay, video, and presentation. Documenting the team’s progress through a series of journals and photos became a daily task. The Web team beautified the website with a significant redesign. Now easy to navigate, informative articles and artistic photographs cover the website. The team’s efforts were successful; Nemesis won the Best Website Award at the New Jersey Regional. In addition to recreating the website, Team 2590 also decided to update the team logo. Marketing and Web had a successful year in 2011.
Our robot began as a combination of ideas and sketches. The Build Team branched out to experiment with every concept brainstormed. The mentors guided and taught each individual member the secrets of t-slot, pneumatics, PVC pipes, and zip-ties. From bolts, screws, and wood, models of the different parts materialized. Nemesis mended the pieces together as the robot took shape and manifested itself in the form of metal. The compressor roared to life as the robot took its first breath and soared across the high school floor. At 11:00 PM on Tuesday, February 22, 2011, our robot was “bagged and tagged”. The team sat in anticipation until the day they would bring the robot to life again in a heated competition.
Nemesis went on to compete in the New Jersey and Washington DC regionals, winning the Best Web Site Award in New Jersey. The team thoroughly enjoyed the competitions and freshmen were quoted saying it was one of the greatest events of their young lives. Making it to the elimination rounds in both competitions, the robot and drive team performed admirably. It was a late Saturday evening when Team Nemesis shut down the lab and went home, eager for next year’s build season.
Nemesis 2590 Takes on 2011 DC Regional
The evening of Wednesday, March 23rd--after competing in the NJ Regional-- it was finally time to depart for Washington, DC to compete for our 2nd regional this season. Everyone looked forward to this day for a very long time and were ecstatic to finally arrive at L’Enfant Plaza Hotel. The team split into their rooms, following an evening of watching movies and playing card games with each other.
Thursday morning came around and the team woke up bright and early for the practice rounds—using the Metro to get to the competition held at Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The pit crew set up for the long day ahead while the scout team prepared to observe the matches. For lunch, we dined at one of the restaurants in DC’s Chinatown. The Marketing team enjoyed themselves by going sightseeing at the Museum of Natural History before joining the rest of the group at dinner in the Capital.
On Friday, the autonomous mode worked consistently and thankfully, so did the minibot. Scouting was absolute torture. There were only a handful of people who were able to assist with this task, spread out to scout over sixty teams. Needless to say, it was a bit stressful. While the scout team carefully watched each team compete, our drivers—Eric and Matt—were fortunately able to complete a logo with the tubes every round.
At last, Saturday finally arrived. After finishing off the final seeding rounds, Team Nemesis 2590 finished in 6th place out of the 63 teams. Since the top 8 of these teams had to pick two other teams for their alliance, we were able to choose Team 378, the Circuit Stompers and Team 1511, Rolling Thunder for our alliance partners.
Our alliance battled phenomenally—winning 2/3 of the quarter-final matches and proceed into the semi-finals. During the first round, a cable was knocked loose on Nemesis’ cable which made our driver station lose connection—rendering our robot motionless and we lost to our opponents. In the second round, we tied for most of the game, however we lost the minibot race in the end—concluding our part in this year’s DC Regional.
Despite the loss, Nemesis was proud to have reached the semi-finals and celebrated at dinner that night. Despite the sadness that the season was reaching its final stages, no one could argue that the team had become one family and the 2011 season would never be forgotten; we went home satisfied that Saturday evening. panoramicdcarena
After the official competition season ended for Nemesis, we started working on other events to promote the FIRST message and team bonding. Recently, we participated in a walk for Multiple Sclerosis and plan on joining similar charity events in the near future.
2011 New Jersey Regional
FIRST Team 2590 Nemesis kicked off the LOGO MOTION competition season at the New Jersey Regional on March 3-5. After passing inspection at a weight of 119.8 pounds, we prepped the robot and tested our driving on the practice field. We made it to the Quarter-finals and won the Website Award!
At the regional, autonomous mode worked well and we consistently placed three tubes per match. Our main problem was the minibot, which failed to align properly, preventing it from climbing the pole. Finally, during the last qualifying match, the robot was lined up at the pole and as everyone in the stands had hoped, the minibot finally made it up the pole. Thanks to the success of the minibot in the last match, we were picked by the fourth alliance to compete in the Quarter-finals.
Unfortunately, the minibot did not work in the elimination rounds. If we had gotten it up the tower in both Quarter-final matches, we would have advanced to the semi-finals. Overall, the team’s hard work during the build season paid off as we were able to succesfully compete with our robot and the experience we have gained from this event will allow us to improve the robot as the team gears up for the Washington D.C. Regional
Through The Eyes of the Freshmen: 2011 Season
A Creative Piece by Our Freshmen Team Members
Freshmen are the newest kids to join the Robotics team. We have now survived our first season of the legendary Build. *cue epic music – Lord of the Rings soundtrack* We spent more time in this school, in this room, than we did with our family, our homes, and even our beds. We slept for only a few hours, ate only when we were told, and bathed not quite frequently enough. Instead, we were here –writing our name, our legacies into the making of the 2011 robot.
It all started during the pre season. These nights were short and simple. We learned the ropes of Gracious Professionalism™. We even had a competition in the pre season. Our hearts were bold and our minds were strong. We made new friends, fought old enemies, and experienced victory and defeat. We helped children and showed them what we were all about. Then the days of happiness ended and we traveled to the Mad Land of Montgomery. The FIRST Gods spoke of an impending depression that would blanket the world. We freshmen had no idea what they were speaking of. A so-called menace, known as “The Build Season” was all we understood and our hearts grew weary. The team returned to their home of Robbinsville intrigued and hungry. Unfortunately, a few could not handle the pressure. They fled the land and became outcasts to the team – merely peasants that would come and go on short occasions. Their names were lost to the sands of time.
These were dark times for 2590 Nemesis. The Ancient Beast, Andy, the 2010 robot, refused to communicate with our new tools. As we struggled to test our new code, the build team failed to sort through the massive sea of ideas. But through the darkness, hope arrived. In the third week, software had a breakthrough. The old robot awoke. With this new opportunity to test our software, our code grew. The software team strove ahead, while build struggled behind.
With only two weeks left, people were getting worried. They buckled down to work and soon rediscovered the forgotten pneumatics. They created the claw which was the weapon needed to fight their enemies. The robot was coming together. The monster was being brought to life. There were only so many days left and the final touches were needed.
The last (extended) weekend (Thank you dead presidents)– those four days were spent working. From the crack of dawn to 11:00 at night, we worked. We worked with all of the determined dedication that we could muster. We attempted to finish in time for a pre-challenge skirmish, but this deadline passed us. Still, we worked. On the final day, without hours to spare, we achieved victory. Everything fell into place, the robot could drive with the grace of a deer, and it could autonomously accomplish its great task. We had won. We are the freshmen.