Drilling the lockOn June 11, FIRST Team 2168 traveled to Wolcott, CT for the Where is Wolcott Invitational.

We started the day off realizing we forgot the key to our tool chest in the workshop, and there was no way to open the chest and keep the lock intact. We were lucky enough to borrow a drill from another team and drill out the lock.

During the competition, students Zoe and Shriji operated the robot as well as the normal season drivers Niral and Tim. Niral and Tim took over for the elimination rounds.

We did well in qualifications, but we went up against strong alliances in eliminations and did not fare as well.




2011 FRCOn January 9th, the Fitch Robotics Team headed to the Millstone Power Station to view the kickoff of the 2011 FIRST robotics season. There was much anticipation amongst the team and many questions were waiting to be answered: What is this year’s game going to be? What will be of the field elements and their functions? What type of robot will have to be constructed? However, when they arrived, there were technically difficulties in projecting the live broadcast. Luckily, the spirit of FIRST could not be diminished and with the help and participation of the many other FIRST robotics teams who have attended the kickoff, the kickoff was successfully projected.

During the kickoff, musician Will.I.Am (member of the Black Eyed Peas) appeared and talked about how the world needs people like the members of FIRST so more people can be involved in the fields of Science and Mathematics. Later, Dean Kamen (founder of FIRST) came in to talk about the game for this year’s season. It was called Logomotion, and the object of the game was to place tubes onto a rack in order to gain points. During the first 15 seconds (known as Autonomous mode) the robot would be remotely activated and would try to score the tubes by itself and in the final 15 seconds, a minibot would be launched onto a tower to score extra points.

After the kickoff, all the teams went downstairs into a big conference room in order to gain a better understanding of the game. Aspects such as the field elements, the scoring, and the rules of the game were discussed. Then, all the teams would split up and each would discuss their own strategy of this year’s game. With the official start, the Fitch FIRST Robotics team was determined to make this season one to remember.

On May 24th veteran astronaut Capt. Stephen G. Bowen visited Robert E. Fitch High School to share his space experiences and answer questions for the students. Students from several Eastern Connecticut schools including N.F.A. and Bacon Academy gathered into Fitch's auditorium to hear Captain Bowen speak.

Audience from several Eastern Connecticut schoolsCaptain Bowen holding a team shirt

After a presentation about his space travels, student representatives Dominick Twitty and Zoe Yopp presented the astronaut with gifts from the team. These gifts included a 2011 team shirt and a plaque thanking NASA for their sponsorship support.

After the presentations, Captain Bowen was delightfully surprised with a demonstration of Talyn in a game of Logomotion by drivers Tim Entwistle and Niral Patel. Before leaving Capt. Bowen happily signed Talyn's bumper . The Aluminum Falcons and Fitch High School are grateful for Captain Bowen coming out to share his experiences with the students.

Captain Bowen's visit was generously sponsored by the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board in collaboration with the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory.


Niral and Josh awaiting their next match

 This was certainly our best showing yet.

Our robot worked flawlessly throughout the entire event. We successfully hung an uber tube in every one of our matches, including all our practice matches on Thursday. We also didn't have a single electrical or mechanical issue, everything just worked. This allowed us to focus on adding "Nice-to-have" features to the software to allow the drive team better control of the robot, and to fine-tune our minibot deployment mechanism.

We played consistently well at this regional and our drive team really put up a fight. Nearly every round we completed a logo on the top rung with time to spare, but the match was typically decided by the minibots. Not having a working deployment mechanism or alliance partners with minibots was usually the only reason we didn't win a match.

Our efforts were recognized by Team 2067, Apple Pi of Guilford, CT. Our alliance was completed by Team 126, Gael Force of Clinton, MA. Our first match put us up against the number one seeded alliance (Teams 195, 1923, 155). The winner of this "best two out of three" quarter final moves on. Our alliances strategy in the first match did not work as well as planned, losing 123 to 50. Our team suggested we have one robot play defense to slow down the other alliance, this strategy worked much better as the final score showed, losing 89 to 81. This would have been a victory had our 2nd minibot been deployed to the pole.

It would have been nice to close on a higher note, but our team has grown tremendously this year and our future looks even brighter. Despite our loss, everyone walked away satisfied knowing how well we did this season. We built an awesome robot that played every aspect of the game. We proved to ourselves that we could be successful and that we certainly have what it takes to be a major contender.





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