back to top
Class of 2016
Monday, March 23, 2015

Victorieux à Montréal!

After an eight hour drive, a stop at the border, a visit to McGill University, and a confrontation with the bitter Canadian tundra, Robbinsville High School Robotics Team 2590 Nemesis excitedly entered Stade Uniprix, the venue of the Montreal Regional. Also known as Festival de Robotique, the Montreal Regional is a 3-day FIRST Robotics Competition primarily featuring teams from the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. But in 2015, a myriad of international teams including 1511 Rolling Thunder from Penfield, New York and even 5553 Robo’ Lyon from France made the long journey to Montreal for the event.

Arriving for a day of practice rounds on March 19, it quickly became clear that the Festival would prove challenging. Nevertheless, Nemesis seized the opportunity to meet with international teams and enjoy their time at the site of their first ever competition win in 2012. Team 2590 met with their old friends from Team 3990 Tech for Kids, who they shared an alliance with when they took the inaugural Montreal Regional three years ago. It had been an incredible experience, and Nemesis was excited to come back.

“I vividly remember winning Nemesis’ first ever blue banner my freshman year,”” said CEO Arnav Vast, “It’s great being able to go back to Montreal after three years and seeing how we’ve all developed as teams.”  

The Festival  kicked off the following day, and Nemesis faced fierce competition.This year’s challenge, RECYCLE RUSH, is a recycling-themed game played by two alliances of three robots each. Robots score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter, into the recycling containers. Alliances also could throw “litter” onto the opponent’s side to raise their overall score. The playing field is divided into two halves by a landfill of totes and recycling containers.

Calypso, Nemesis’ 2015 robot, and the all-rookie drive team, still proud of their win at the Hatboro-Horsham District event earlier this season, were eager to prove their formidability on an international level and with a spot at the 2015 FIRST World Championship in St. Louis on the line.

Team 3360 Hyperion, from Sherbrooke, QC, started out strong with a fast, reliable design. The rookie Team 5528 Ultime used a double set of hooks to grab two recycling containers from the landfill at a time. At the close of day one, Robbinsville ranked third out of 48 teams, with Team 3360 Hyperion in first.

That night, Nemesis dined with Tech for Kids at their school, located in Montreal. Robo’ Lyon and a team from Vancouver also attended. It was a great opportunity for Nemesis to meet with other teams from around the world, and was an invaluable and rare experience.

The following day opened the second half of the competition. By the start of the playoff rounds, Nemesis was ranked in second place, just behind Hyperion. Hyperion selected Nemesis and Ultime, the rookie team, to join the first alliance for the playoffs. Dominating throughout the early playoff matches, including scoring the highest number of points of the entire competition in their first match, victory seemed within grasp for Nemesis’ alliance. They made it to the finals.

Against the third ranked alliance, Nemesis’ alliance valiantly lost in a very tight first match. Stress levels were high for both the drive team and the sea of Nemesis red supporters in the stands struggling to comprehend how important the next match would be. A win would force a final, decisive, winner takes all match. A loss would send Nemesis back to Robbinsville empty-handed.

Finally, it was time. Everyone in the arena had their eyes glued to the events on the field. Who would prevail? Stacks upon stacks were created in the both unbearably long and excruciatingly short 2 minutes and 30 seconds of the match. A last-gasp stack by Nemesis in the closing seconds of the match ultimately sealed victory for the alliance. In the final match, another very very close one that saw a flawless autonomous routine seal 20 points for Nemesis’ alliance in the first 15 driver-free seconds of the match. Those 20 points proved vital as the first alliance closed out the competition win and a trip to the World Championship with a resounding 189-166 victory.  

Reflecting on the finals, Build Team Executive and junior Parth Mandrekar enthused, “Losing that first finals match and then winning the next two opened my eyes not only to a victory, but also to what FIRST really is: a chance to display our expertise during those tense moments that define the competition”.  

Nemesis also won the Engineering Excellence Award for their highly efficient and reliable design. As a result of the team’s achievements in Montreal, Nemesis will be competing at the World Championships in St. Louis, MO, for their third consecutive year on April 8-11. Best wishes to the team in all their competitions to come!

Nemesis would like to thank their sponsors: Robbinsville High School, New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists, CCL Label, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Navair, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, Robbinsville Education Association, Carfaro Fencing, SRI International, McGraw Hill Financial, R.A.S. Processing Equipment, Citibank, DesignTree, Gilbane, Elite Dental Care, Eagle Systems USA, Inc., Gaum International, Evans Analytical Group, Robbinsville Education Foundation, Coptis, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., and Triangle Copy. For additional information please  contact Team Advisor Joy Wolfe at