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2013

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The 2013 robotics season has been exceptionally active for the RoboRaiders. After the team banquet at Johnson & Johnson, the team took all of its equipment out of the warehouse until Fall. The New subteam leaders were elected and began a long summer. In mid-July, the team organized and hosted a Summer Enrichment Camp for students in grades 5 to 6. at the camp, Team 75 members taught the students how to build and program FIRST Lego League robots. After the students built their robots in their respective groups, the groups then competed in challenges from the 2011 FLL competition.

The team has hosted robot demonstrations at various locations to show others what the team has accomplished since its founding in 1995. At demonstrations, members drove the robot, making it pick up and shoot basketballs from the 2012 FRC Competition Rebound Rumble. Demonstrations were held on the Space shuttle Pavillion at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City, the Somerset County 4-H Fair, Hillsborough Rotary Fair, Cozzoli Company Picnic and Woods Road Elementary School Science Fair in Hillsborough. The RoboRaiders then competed at the offseason competition Ramp Riot in Wissahicken, PA. After, Team 75 hosted BoroBlast; a FIRST Lego League event. Numerous FLL teams from across New Jersey as well as a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team were invited to participate.

With the announcement of this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition game “Ultimate Ascent”, Team 75 embarked on a long, demanding build season. From deciding on the strategy for the competition to designing, fabricating, wiring, and programming our newest robot, the six weeks of build season have proven to be productive and ambitious for the team. Using the field that the supplementary systems department built, the mechanical, design, electrical and programing subteams were able to test the robot to ensure it performs properly and efficiently. Animation, website, and Chairmans have all met their submission deadlines. Members have given tours of the warehouse space to various VIPs. The team looks forward to preparing the pits, presentations, strategy, and other aspects of our team for the competition season.


Mt. Olive FIRST District Competition

On Saturday, March 23, the RoboRaiders arrived at Mt. Olive High School in Flanders, NJ. The day prior to the competition, members set up the team pit and un-bagged the robot. The first day of competition proved to be successful for the team. In almost every competition, Team 75’s robot was able to climb up to the third level of the Ultimate Ascent pyramid, captivating the audience in excitement and awe. Team 75’s robot was the only robot capable of reaching the third level of the pyramid. Off the field, three members presented to judges to have Team 75 considered for the most prestigious award in FIRST, the Chairman’s Award. The team’s best moment of Day 1 at Mt. Olive was when the robot fell off the pyramid and continued to function during the match as a defense robot. The team’s outstanding Pit Crew was able to fix the robot in under seven minutes before going back onto the field for the next match.

On Sunday, March 24, Team 75 climbed both the pyramids and the rankings to sixth place out of the 36 teams participating in the competition, becoming a top 8 alliance. Once the alliance selection took place, the team moved up to the fifth seed. Team 75 formed an alliance with Teams 1367 and 3929. The team’s alliance advanced past the Quarterfinals to the Semifinals, however they lost to Team 75’s collaboration partner and the first seed alliance Team 11, MORT. MORT went on to win the competition. One of Team 75’s other collaboration teams, Team 1676, won Engineering Inspiration. At the end of the award ceremony, Team 75 won the Chairman’s Award, qualifying the team for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship. The team would like to thank to all of the students and team members who made these accomplishments possible. The competition was a huge success and the team can’t wait to compete at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.


Bridgewater-Raritan FIRST District Competition

On Saturday, April 6, Team 75 arrived to Bridgewater-Raritan High School in Bridgewater, NJ to continue the success that they accomplished the weekend prior at Mt. Olive High School. The robot demonstrated its efficiency at climbing to the top level of the pyramid. In certain matches, the robot even dumped Frisbees that were in the bot’s basket into the five-point goal at the top of the pyramid, causing the crowd to roar in excitement. Team members, as well as members from Teams 303, 1676, 4460, 1370 and 869 participated in a Bike Build hosted by Team 75. Members built bikes which they were to donate on the second day of competition.

On Sunday, April 7, Team 75 returned with even more energy and excitement. The robot continued to demonstrate its excellent climbing ability during each match the team competed in. In the Quarterfinals, Team 75 formed an alliance with Teams 1391 and 4460. The alliance was eliminated by the alliance consisting of Teams 3314, 714 and 1676. Team 1676, the Pascack Pi-oneers, is one of the RoboRaiders’s collaboration teams and ranked sixth at Bridgewater-Raritan. Team 1676 and their alliance would go on to win the competition. After the competition, the team members who participated in the Bike Build presented the bikes to children from the Asbury Park Boys and Girls Club. The boys and girls were very surprised and happy to have been given their bikes. During the award ceremony, Team 75 was awarded Engineering Inspiration. Next, Team 11 won the Chairman’s Award. The teams congratulated each other, exchanging high fives, handshakes and smiles. After another successful weekend, all three teams look forward to competing at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship at Lehigh University.


MAR District Region Championships at Lehigh University

On Thursday, April 11, 2013, a busload of RoboRaiders appeared at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA for the first of the three day MAR Regional Championships. The fifty best teams from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware competed to advance to the FIRST Championships in St, Louis MO. On the first day of competition, Team 75 unpacked the 2013 robot, Pinnacle, and set up the team pit. Though the first day was a practice day, Team 75 gave a preview of the robot’s climbing ability as well as the team’s spirit and enthusiasm. During one of the matches, however, Pinnacle fell from the pyramid after trying to reach the third level. When the drive team carted out the fallen bot back to the RoboRaider pit, ten other robotics teams offered to help fix the robot anyway they could. After about twenty minutes, the pit crew was able to repair Pinnacle and even test the robot on the practice pyramid to ensure that all systems were preforming to expectations. The robot was then ready to head back onto the field for the next practice match. When the match began, Pinnacle operated looked like new, as if it never needed repair. Pinnacle successfully reached the third level and stunned the audience. After the matches had ended, Team 75 joined Teams 1676, 3314 and 223 for dinner at a Lehigh University dining hall. The teams enjoyed a night of fun, food, laughs and friendships. The RoboRaiders are very grateful to Team 1676 for inviting the team to dinner.

Friday brought Day 2 of the competition as the majority of the Qualification matches began. Pinnacle and Team 75’s drive team proved to effectively reach the top of the pyramid during each match. Off the field, Team 75’s Chariman’s presenters set up a booth with signs and decorations each describing outreach efforts and accomplishments of the team throughout the season and throughout the team’s history. After the booth was prepared, the team’s presenters went to the judges’ room to give a five minute presentation about the team and then answer questions from the judges. When the presenters came out, other RoboRaiders were there to cheer for and congratulate them on all of the work that they have done to represent and promote the team. The members then returned to the stands to cheer for Team 75’s alliance. At the end of Day 2, the RoboRaiders finished with a 4-6-0 record.

Saturday was the third and final day of the Mid-Atlantic Robotics Regional Championships. The final Qualification matches were scheduled in the morning before Alliance Selection and the Elimination matches. Team 75’s alliance in each of the team’s final two Qualification matches lost, giving the RoboRaiders a 4-8-0 record and ranking them thirty-ninth in the competition. Unfortunately, Team 75 was not picked to join an alliance. Despite this, the team cheered for their collaboration teams, including Teams 11, 193, 1676 and 4460. After the final rounds, Team 75 was awarded the Innovation in Control Award Sponsored by Rockwell Automation.