Parsippany Teens Advance to Robotics World Championship

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    parsippanyteensParsippany will be well represented at the 2014 FIRST Tech Challenge World Championships in St. Louis, MO during April 22-26. FIRST is a competitive robotics league promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and “Gracious Professionalism “ as a “Sport for the Mind”. Both the Metal Marauders and Nano Gurus will be competing at this pinnacle event.

    The 2013-14 Metal Marauders team consists of Nikhil Jog, Sean Levorse, Pranav Nair (all seniors at Parsippany Hills High School), Eshan Saran (a junior at PHHS), Sahaj Patel (a sophomore at Morris Knolls High School/Morris County School of Technology School of Math, Science and Engineering), Rohan Khajuria (a freshman at Parsippany High School) and Tirth Patel, (a seventh grader at Brooklawn Middle School). The team Nano Gurus was founded in 2006 and currently consists of five students from Parsippany Hills High School.

    The Metal Marauders began their rookie season during the 2012-13 school year. The team was started by then Parsippany Hills High School junior, Nikhil Jog. Gathering up some friends interested in robotics, Jog and his teammates competed throughout the fall and winter at qualifying matches and state competitions, earning several nominations for top awards, and qualifying points, that ultimately earned them a spot at the 2013 NJ FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Championships at NJIT.

    With a year of working together and participating in qualifying matches and various state competitions under their belt, the team re-grouped, with a few new members, for the 2013-14 school year with even more determination to advance to the NJ FTC Championships and beyond. Due to the success of the FIRST program goal of promoting STEM and robotics in the community, a record number of teams joined the program for the 2013-14 season. In an effort to allow more teams to have a chance to advance further toward the FTC World Championship, a Super Regional Championship program was developed to bring teams together from each corner of the U.S. (North, South, East and West).

    The 2013-14 season FTC game, “Block Party”, is a timed event lasting 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Click here for video). During the first 30 seconds (autonomous mode), each team runs a computer program to accomplish the task of putting a 2 inch square block into a basket on a balanced bar and then driving up a ramp and parking with all four wheels on the ramp. More points are scored if the robot can place the block in the basket above an infrared beacon. During the next 2 minutes (tele-op mode), each robot is operating with remote controls (like game station remote controllers). During this time each alliance team (of 2 robots) tries to scoop up and place as many blocks in the baskets as possible, in order to out –score their opponent alliance. More points are scored for blocks in the outer baskets and if the bar is level at the end of the game. In the last 30 seconds of the game, the EndGame, each alliance seeks to raise their team flag to the highest point and to drive up the ramp and hang their robot from the cross bar between the two alliance balance bars. Points are earned for each task completed, but penalty points can be assessed for unsportsmanlike conduct or breach of rules.

    During the 2013-14 competition season, the Team #6337 Metal Marauders has earned several nominations for the “Think Award,” were First Runner-up for the “Inspire Award,” and were PTC Design Award winners at the Vermont State Championship which secured their advancement to the FTC East Super Regional Championship in York, PA, April 3-5. They were the PTC Challenge Runner-up in the NJ State Championship.

    During the FTC Super Regional Championship in York PA, April 3-5, 2014, the Metal Marauders won 6 of 8 qualifying matches, finishing in 6th place in their division before the finals. The 3rd ranked winning team after the qualifying matches, the Landroids of Livingston High School, selected the Metal Marauders to be an alliance partner for the Super Regional finals matches. Through an exciting and nail-biting series of battles, the Landroids, Metal Marauders, Wrecker Robotics (CT) won the finals and claimed the bragging rights of First Place Winning Alliance for the FTC East Super Regional Championship. As a Winning Alliance Partner at the FTC East Super Regional Championship, the Metal Marauders advanced to the FTC World Championship in St. Louis.

    The FTC Super Regional Championship event drew qualifying teams from ME, NH, VT, CT, RI, PA, NJ, NY, MD, VA and Washington, DC. 72 teams advanced from their states to the FTC East Super Regional Championship. 25 teams from the FTC East Super Regional Championship advanced to the FTC World Championship (7 teams from NJ).

    The FTC World Championship in St. Louis will host 100 U.S. teams and approximately 50 international teams, competing for bragging rights of “2014 FTC World Robotics Championship Team.”

    FIRST Tech Challenge is a robotics league designed to promote Science, Engineering, Math and Technology (STEM) and bills itself as “Sport for the Mind.” Several league levels promote robotics at various ages. Junior FIRST Lego League is for children grades K-3, or ages 6-9. FIRST Lego League is for children in grades 4-8 or ages 9-16. FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) is a high school robotics league working with robots that, when compacted, must be no larger than 18” X 18” X 18”. FRC (FIRST Robotics Challenge) is a high school robotics leagues working with larger robots that approach 10 feet in length.

    Anyone interested in this robotics league can find more information at www.usfirst.org.

    You can follow the battles and success of the Metal Marauders on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MetalMarauders . They are sponsored by FST Engineers, Sunvision, JSA Architecture and Design Group LLC, Figtree Consulting Inc. and Windham Construction. Companies interested in sponsoring the Metal Marauders are welcome to contact the team through their facebook page.

    Information about The Nano Gurus can found on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheNanoGurus

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