Competition Timeline

2013 Ultimate Ascent

2012 Rebound Rumble

2011 Logomotion

2010 Breakaway

2009 Lunacy

2008 Overdrive

2007 Rack N' Roll (Rookie Year)

  • UTC New England Regional           (Mar. 15-17, 2007)


The various robots from competitions past and present built by FIRST Team 2168

Ninth Year of Fitch Robotics, Sixth Year of the Aluminum Falcons 

Robot Design 2015 robot is dank

 As a result of a major game change this year with no defense and minimal interaction with other robots the Aluminum Falcons shifted from our traditional drivetrain design of using only colson wheels and used omni wheels in addition to colson wheels to improve maneuverablility. This robot's design constantly changed throughout the season as the team constantly made modifications to improve functionality during competition. After our first competition improvements were made to the intake system so the robot could easily acquire totes. Then, the tote gripper was improved upon and a bin retention mechanism was added for better control of our stacks. At World Championships the team added a ramp tethered to the robot for easier tote loading as well as a bin ripper system for the autonomous period. As a result of the hard work and modifications the Aluminum Falcons constantly improved all season and ended with a victory at Battlecry. 

  • Size: 28x36 
  • Weight: 120 pounds 
  • Drivetrain: 4WD single speed 8 f/s with experimental 6 inch colson omni wheel swerve drive
  • Lift: Two cim worm gearbox powering a pulley system using Kevlar timing belts in a single stage lift
  • Intake: 2 position intake arms for acquisition as well as seamless stack release, custom polyurethane wheels and low profile hubs provide for great grip on totes and cans while eliminating the need for constant replacement, surgical tubing and pivot blocks built into the arms for compliance in the landfill
  • Tote Gripper: Two position arms that close in on totes to stack and open up to score, hooks made out of semi-compliant material for opening up around totes but providing the strength to support a full stack
  • Can Gripper: Free floating gripper on 80/20 t slotted frame and carriage grips upright cans and holds them in place to build stacks under
  • Bin Rippers: Twin pneumatic powered bent-aluminum tubes with polycarbonate hooks capable of ripping 2 bins off the step within 2 seconds
  • Small Ramp: Weighed ~ 0.5 pounds, was tethered to robot for human station tote loading, could be carried in robot 
  • Large Ramp: Capable of holding three totes in a row for the robot, expedites human loading for our robot as well as other robots in our alliance

Drive Team: 

  • Base Driver: Emma Stark (Senior) 
  • Operator: Finian O'Connor (Senior) 
  • Human Player: Jacob Kowalski (Senior) 
  • Coach: Josh Miller (Mentor) 
  • Head Scout: Eamon Costello (Junior) 
  • CAD Designer: Matt Nowak (Senior) 


  • 2015 Pioneer Valley District Event: Winners, #5 Alliance (3146, 3718, 2168) 
  • 2015 Rhode Island District Event: #4 Seed, Quarterfinalists (2168, 1517, 1757) 
  • 2015 New England Championship: Innovation in Control Award, #26 Seed  
  • 2015 World Championship Galileo Division: #20 Seed, Semifinalists (2836, 2067, 2168, 1) 
  • 2015 WPI Battlecry 16: Victors (2168, 2067, 4564), #2 Seed 

Eigth Year of Fitch Robotics; Fifth Year of the Aluminum Falcons 2014 robot


Robot Design 

Lance was designed as a very robust robot to meet the strong defensive challenge of the Aerial Assist challenge. The robot was designed with an open superstructure and could intake balls from the floor, from a human player, or from another robot. The catapult designed by the team could accurately shoot from a wide range, but was most effective when lining up close to the goal. As the season progressed our programmers developed an effective autonomous that was able to score two balls during said period. Lance was produced in Solidworks and fabricated by Hillery.


  • Size: 28x28 

  • Weight: ~120 pounds 

  • Drivetrain: 8WD 4"x 1.5" Colsons, 6 cim single speed 11f/s 

  • Intake: Twin rs 775 motors on vex pro planetary reductions, Banebot wheels and lateral mechanum wheels for maximum peripheral intaking 

  • Winch:Twin bag motors on vex pro planetary reductions powering a spool with built in dog shift 
  • Catapult: 3 position pneumatic pistons adjust the shot for trussing, shooting from against the 1 point goal, and long range shooting

Drive Team 

  • Base Driver: Emma Stark (Junior) 
  • Operator: Finian O'Connor (Junior) 
  • Human Player: Jacob Kowalski (Junior) 
  • Coach: Josh Miller (Mentor) 
  • Head Scout: Robert Tompkins (Junior) 
  • CAD Designer: Matt Nowak (Junior) 


  • 2014 Groton District Event: Creativity Award 
  • 2014 Groton District Event: #7 Seed, (8-6-0), Quarterfinalists (2168, 125, 5112) 
  • 2014 Rhode Island District Event: Innovation in Control Award 
  • 2014 Rhode Island District Event: #9 Seed, Finalists (1519, 2168, 5163), (13-6-0)
  • 2014 New England Championship: Innovation in Control Award 
  • 2014 New England Championship: Semifinalists (228, 2168, 3525) 
  • 2014 Connecticut State Championship: Semifinalists (176, 2168, 3182) 
  • 2014 WPI Battlecry 15: Victors (4048, 2168, 3719) 


Seventh Year of Fitch Robotics; Fourth Year of the Aluminum Falcons

Robot Design

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The Pheonix arose from the robot that won the WPI regional. The original design was an awesome defensive machine, but we knew that for the Championships we needed a machine that could shoot more reliably. A complete redesign of the superstructure was done between WPI regional and Connecticut regional, thanks to a collaboration with team 228, GUS robotics. The Pheonix emerged at Connecticut with a high success rate for shooting  6 points in Autonomous mode.  Produced in Solidworks, and fabricated by Hillery, sheetmetal was primarily used in the construction of the chassis and superstructure.


  • Size: 24" x 32" x 28" In Starting configuration
  • Weight: ~105bs
  • Drivetrain: 8WD 4"x 1.5" Colsons, 6 CIM Single Reduction, GT2 15mm Belt Drive, Dead Axle, Geared for ~12.5ft/s
  • Shooter: Two position, Dual Wheel (McMaster Sure-Grip Drive Rollers) 4" Static (~5.5" Dynamic) individually nested belt drive from two miniCIMs, pnuematic "pull" trigger
  • Collector: Human fed, "Bucket Brigade" hopper, 4 Disc Capacity
  • Climbing Mechanism: Pnuematically actuated Dual sided hooks, able to hang from front or rear safety

Drive Team5

  • Base Driver: Emma Stark (Sophomore)
  • Operator: Finian O' Connor (Sophomore)
  • Human Player: Jacob Kowalski (Sophomore)
  • Coach: Josh Miller (Mentor)
  • Head Scout: Shriji Amin (Senior)

CAD Designer(s): Matt Nowak (Sophomore)


  • 2013 Suffield Shakedown Scrimmage - Winners (2168, 2067, 2836)
  • 2013 WPI Regional - Winners #10 Seed, 6th Alliance Captain (2168, 3280, 3044), (15-4-0)
  • 2013 Connecticut Regional - Quarterfinalists 5th Alliance (228, 2168, 263, 3104), (8-4-0)
  • 2013 First Championships - Quarter Finalists Curie Division (103,4564,2168)
  • 2013 Connecticut State Championship - Finalist 2nd. Alliance (2168,230,2064)


The Game 

The 2013 Competition was Ultimate Ascent

See our 2013 stats at The Blue Alliance

Sixth Year of Fitch Robotics; Third Year of the Aluminum Falcons

This was definitely an exciting year for the Aluminum Falcons. Combined with our highest student membership yet and a highly motivated student body this was an amazingly successful build season for FIRST Team 2168. Primed coincidentally by our Aim High game mock kick off, we were able to develop a game strategy quickly and begin development on our design. Right from the start the Aluminum Falcons were ready to rebound and rumble. 

Already an initial success here is early footage of our 2012 robot during the Final Rounds of Suffield Shakedown. From being alliance third picks to becoming first seeded alliance captain twice, playing in the first seeeded alliance four times, and winning three offseason events, Aluma Fett is our most successful robot to date. 

Robot Design

  • Dubbed "Fat Swan" for its robust design and curved superstructure. A fixed height shooter with a two position hood was used as the primary method of scoring for the superstructure on this 2012 robot. Tuned by our programmers Aluma Fett is able to shoot in the high and middle basket with a high accuracy rate. Pnuematics were also used again this year for the two position hood, the lift/hooper, and bridge manipulator. The back panel of Aluma Fett serves a dual purpose as a hopper and device for the human player to load balls into it. Produced in Solidworks, and fabricated by Hillery, sheetmetal was primarily used in the construction of the chassis and superstructure. 

Aluma Fett

  • Size: 26" x 34" x ~50"
  • Weight: ~118lbs
  • Drivetrain: 8WD, 5" Colsons, Dead Axles, #35 Chain, 4 CIMS, AM Shifters geared for ~5fps/~12fps
  • Lift: 2 BB550s, Custom Spur Gearbox (Cim-Sim/Toughbox internals), 2" Rollers w/ Black Roughtop Grooves, 1/4" Clear Round Urethane Belt, Back Opens Pnuematically To Become a Hopper
  • Shooter: 2 FP 0673s, Custom Spur Gearbox, (2) 6" Colsons, Two Position Pnuematic Adjustable Hood
  • Bridge Manipulator: Single large bore Pnuematic, 4" Colson Wheel
  • Balance Manipulator: A single large bore pnuematic with a ball castor (added for CTR)

Drive Team

  • Base Driver: Tim Entwistle (Senior)
  • Operator: Niral Patel (Senior)
  • Human Player: Finian O' Connor (Freshman)
  • Coach: Josh Miller (Mentor)
  • Head Scout: Zoë Yopp (Senior)

CAD Designer(s): Matt Gentry (Senior)


  • 2012 Suffield Shakedown Scrimmage - Highest Score
  • 2012 Suffield Shakedown Scrimmage - Most Impressive Autonomous
  • 2012 Suffield Shakedown Scrimmage - Winners (2168, 176, 716)
  • 2012 New York City Regional - #1 Seed, (10-2-0), Semifinalists (2168, 1676, 329)
  • 2012 New York City Regional - Innovation in Control Award
  • 2012 Northeast Utilities FIRST Connecticut Regional - #1 Seed, (12-3-0), Semifinialists (2168, 118, 2791)
  • 2012 WPI Battlecry 13 - Victors (2168, 1519, 125), #2 Seed (15-1-0)
  • 2012 Beantown Blitz - Semifinalists (2168, 125, 4048)
  • 2012 Beantown Blitz - Mentor Champions (2168, 125, 78)
  • 2012 Indiana Robotics Invitational - Semifinalists (2168, 341, 2056, and 148)
  • 2012 Bash@theBeach - Victors (2168, 1124, 3462)
  • 2012 Rah Cha Cha Ruckus - Finalists (2168, 610, 1559)

The Game 

The 2012 Competition was Rebound Rumble

See our 2012 stats at The Blue Alliance


Fifth Year of Fitch Robotics; Second Year of the Aluminum Falcons

In the preseason leading up to the 2011 game, Logomotion, The Aluminum Falcons gained new students, new mentors, and a new direction. Substantial funding was in place for the first time ever, extremely talented students were drawn to the excitement of robotics, and we got a infusion of organization from mentors with years of FIRST Robotics experience.  All the ingredients were there to make the 2011 robot a powerhouse. 

Not only did this robot do it all, but it required nearly zero maintenance throughout the entire season. From software to hardware this machine ran like a dream through 5 events and countless hours of driver training. It has exceeded our expectations. Building this robot has given the team the boost of confidence and direction that it so desperately needed. 

Robot Design

  • The objective was to build a robot which could place tubes at all levels, score in autonomous, deploy a minibot, and hold its own ground when up against the competition. Talyn is the robot that could; it's the robot that does it all. It plays every aspect of the game, and it plays them well. At the WPI regional our Alliance needed a robot that could play defense, and our skilled drive team showed everyone how it should be done. At the Northeast Utilities Connecticut Regional, AND Battlecry@WPI 12, Talyn was 100% successful scoring in autonomous mode.

Tayln--Click for larger image

  • Chassis: 0.090" Sheetmetal Construction for Drivetrain and Tower Supports
  • Drivetrain: 4CIM Motors, 6 Wheel Drive, 2 speed transmission (5fps/11fps)
  • Superstructure: 1 Fisher Price Motor, 2 Stage 80/20 Linear Lift, ~1.5s Floor To Score
  • Manipulator: Pnuematic Claw, 3 Position Pnuematic Shoulder
  • Minibot Deployment: Pnuematic To Lineup, Pnuematic Release Surgical Tubing Slingcart
  • Minibot: Direct Drive ~1.2s contact of pole to trigger (2 Pole Style Mount)

Drive Team

  • Base Driver: Tim Entwistle (Junior)
  • Operator: Niral Patel (Junior)
  • Human Player: Matt Myles (Senior)
  • Coach: Josh Miller (Mentor)


  • 2011 Suffield Shakedown Scrimmage - Quarterfinalists (2168, 3125, 88)
  • 2011 WPI Regional - Semifinalists (2168, 3280, 236), 
  • 2011 WPI Regional - Coopertition Award
  • 2011 Northeast Utilities FIRST Connecticut Regional - Quarterfinalists (2168, 2067, 126)
  • 2011 BattleCry@WPI - Semifinalists (2168, 176, 157)
  • 2011 Where is Wolcott? Invitational - Semifinalist (2168, 155, N/A)
  • 2011 Bash @ the Beach - Semifinalists (2168, 176, 2555) 
  • 2011 Bash @ the Beach - Pushing the Envelope

The Game

The 2011 Competition was LogoMotion

See our 2011 stats at The Blue Alliance



Fourth Year of Fitch Robotics; First Year of the Aluminum Falcons

The 2010 Season marked a major re-branding for FIRST Team 2168. This is the year in which our name, "The Aluminum Falcons", came into being.

Robot Design

  • The 2010 Robot was built mostly out of the kit of parts. It featured a 4 wheel drive powered by 1 CIM motor for each wheel. The Andymark C-base was taken apart and reassembled inside a custom housing fabricated aby our sponsor, Hillery Company. This design allowed the CIM motor and gears to be placed lower, giving the robot an ultra-low center of gravity and thus more stability as it traveled over the bumps on the Breakaway field. 


  • The robot featured a kicking mechanism which was powered by stretched surgical tubing. A winch pulled the kicker back to reset.  The kicker was released by disengaging the winch gears with an excentric cam. We were occasionally successful in scoring a goal during the autonomous period, but without a mechanism to hold a ball while driving, scoring during play was difficult.


  • Al Falcon's real success came from its "Elevation" apparatus. This design evolved through input from the entire team. A long fiberglass sail batten was loaded in a curled position at the start of the game. When the end game began, the batten was released. The two carabiners fixed at the end of the batten (and sometimes just one of them) would hook the bar, and then a Banebot motor would winch in the 4mm Perlon line, lifting the robot above platform height. With low-scoring games being common that year, the elevation bonus points often would win the game.

Drive Team

  • Base Driver: Tom Rowland (Senior)
  • Operator: Josh Hohlfelder (Senior)
  • Human Player: Rachael Kokomoor (Senior), William Wang (Senior), Jenn Chan (Senior)
  • Coach: Brian Chidley (Head Coach)


  • 2010 Bash at the Beach, Best Play of the Day

The Game

The 2010 Competiton was Breakaway 

See our 2010 stats at The Blue Alliance


Third Year of Fitch Robotics; Third Year of the Cyber Falcons

The last year of the Cyber Falcons, but a highly competitive year.

Robot Design

  • The 2009 FRC game, Lunacy, was played on a slick surface and robot wheels were required to be made of hard plastic. Because of these features in the game, our team thought we should focus on making a maneuverable robot. We hoped to do so by installing a gyro on the robot which would allow us to use what we knew about conservation of angular momentum to improve our robots ability to turn on the field. Implementing this feature required numerous prototypes in an effort to improve the performance of the design. Ultimately a simple flywheel with single axis tilt control was used. 

Drive Team

  • Base Driver: Anthony Tadros (Senior)
  • Operator: Tim Chesnut (Senior)
  • Human Player: Zack Nado (Freshman)
  • Coach: Varied


  • BattleCry@WPI 10 - Finalists (2168, 190, 1153)

The Game

The 2009 Competition was Lunacy

See our 2009 stats at The Blue Alliance


Second Year of Fitch Robotics; Second Year of the Cyber Falcons

Robot Design

  • Due to a lack of funding the team only had the resources to fabricate a robot that had a rotatable arm that could extend and retract. The intention of the arm's design was to allow the robot to knock balls off of the Overpass bracket. This allowed our robot to knock over the opposing alliance's balls so they were unable to get the extra points at the end of the round. We played primarily defensive and aimed to block the opposing alliance from placing their balls on the overpass. The robot was programmed in EasyC a drag and drop programming interface that was easy to use with a steady learning curve.

Drive Team2008 Robot

  • Base Driver: N/A
  • Operator: N/A
  • Human Player: N/A
  • Coach: N/A

The Game

The 2008 Competition was Overdrive

See our 2008 stats at The Blue Alliance




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