Our Robot, PT-109

Throughout the season, you’ve seen photos of the development of our design. Here’s the final (for now!) product that we’ll be taking to the East Super Regional this week. (Anyone scouting, take note!)

All of our information is on our team sheet, but here is a quick overview of our robot, PT-109:



  • 360º rotation on mecanum wheels
  • 5 large ball capacity
  • Goal pushing/pulling

Autonomous Period

  1. Offensive- Rolls off ramp, scores into 60 cm and 90 cm goals
  2. Offensive- Rolls off ramp, scores into 60 cm goal
  3. Defensive- Starts on floor and moves opponents’ 60 cm goal

Tele-Op Period

  • Able to score in all goals
  • Can move goals up the ramp
  • Can play defense
  • High solo score- 429
  • Average solo score- 360

Check out our robot in action:

Posted in Uncategorized

Microsoft Danbury Demo

Today 2 members packed up PT-109 and kitten-bot, and hosted a demonstration at the Danbury Fair Mall inside the Microsoft Store. We had a great time presenting to the shoppers. One family already had heard of FIRST, and are planning to attend the Pi Day event hosted by our friends at Danbury LEGO Robotics! Although it was relatively uneventful, it was a great experience. Even if only that group was inspired,  we consider it a success!


Find more photos over on our Facebook album!

Many thanks go out to the Microsoft Store! We were asking about so many different dates, it must not have been easy; yet, you still accommodated us!

Posted in Community

This Week: A Recap

In preparation for the Super Regional, we’ve started the crunch time early (so maybe we won’t be sleep deprived by the time the tournament comes)!

On Thursday, we met to refine our autonomous program. Our previous mode involved rolling off the ramp, scoring in the 60 cm goal, and moving that goal to the parking zone, all for a total 70 points. After the meeting, our mode was able to roll off the ramp, score in both the 60 cm and 30 cm goals, all for 80 points. This all took 24 seconds, so we hope to squeeze in parking a goal as well to bring the total score up to 100 points!

On Friday, we met to finish up our new harvester. The design in a plastic/aluminum column that would be able reach all goals, including the elusive 120 cm. A sweeper collects from the floor and it has one-button programming to reach certain tube heights.

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Finally, we demoed at the Hudson Valley FLL Championship with fellow FTC teams 5997 SuperUsers, 6567 Roboraiders, and 9541 Xeno Gaels. It was a productive day for us as we were able to make our new harvester operational plus issue robot drivers’ licenses! All in all, it was a great day of fun with friends new and old.

Check out a video recap of it all:

Posted in Community, Events, Meetings

Valentine’s Day

Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

Today we met to decide the course of our future! After careful thought, we have agreed on withdrawing our spots in the New York/ Long Island and New Jersey Regional Championships. This way other teams may have a chance at another tournament.

By withdrawing, we are looking at extra time to revamp our design. Without going into the specifics just yet, we hope to change our harvester to allow us to collect 5 balls and dispense them both in front of and behind the robot. We also think our new design will give us the capability to not only score in the 120, but be able to do so totally automatically.

Other advantages to withdrawing are that we may cram in some other outreach events for the coming weeks. Our ideas include demoing at the Microsoft Store in Danbury, CT and at the FLL Hudson Valley Championship and volunteering at one of the championship events we withdrew from. We also look to hold a scrimmage with local teams to prepare us for the East Super Regional. If you’re interested in joining us at a demo or playing at our home turf, shoot us a message! We’re looking for all the friends we can find!

Posted in Meetings

Empire NY Regional Championship

“Science isn’t in a vacuum, it has value” -Dr. Iris Pagan, Opening Ceremonies

Yesterday we kicked off the championship season at the Empire NY Championship at Pace University’s Pleasantville campus.

We had a tremendous showing! With great partners, we were able to create a 5-0 qualifying record. Our strengths had to be our offensive autonomous mode (which only missed finding the rolling goal once!),  our ability to reliably fill the 60 cm goal, and our speed in moving the goals up the ramp.

We were 2nd Alliance Captain and went into the elimination rounds with partners 7012 error 404 and 4107 Mohonbots. In the semifinals, we lost two out of three matches, but we certainly gave the 3rd Alliance a run for its money! The matches were so close we couldn’t even predict the results!

During the Award Ceremonies, we were named a finalist for the Control and Think Awards, and had the tremendous honor of winning the Inspire Award. What a day!

East Super Regional, here we come!

East Super Regional, here we come!

Many thanks go out to our great elimination partners, all of our qualifying partners, and the gracious volunteers. Congratulations to 6081 i²robotics, 4174 Atomic Theory, 8391 W-Prime Robotics, and 7487 Super 7 for advancing!

Check out our Facebook album as well!

Posted in Events

The Calm Before The Storm

This is it, folks! Our last weekend before the championship season. :O Today we held an open field day with teams 18 Techno Chix and 8699 The League of Extraordinary Roboticists. We and the Chix are working towards the Empire NY Regional Championship at Pace next Sunday, while the League is preparing for the rescheduled “Gater Bowl” Qualifier for the Connecticut Region. 0131151233 We spent the day working on our ‘bots and autonomous modes and had some driver practice as well. We even had an interesting conversation about using underpants on our robot (which was not one of our finer moments); this did lead to the modification of our scoop (which remains underpants free) with elastic headbands to guide the balls during dispensing. We also prepared scouting sheets for the Empire NY Regional Championship. We went through the tournament results for each of the five qualifiers and included those results on our sheets. We are providing both an edit-able Microsoft Word version and a PDF version here as well. (Take note, there is not a sheet for 5602 Bionic Gaels!) Microsoft Word: Cascade Effect Scouting Sheets ENY champ PDF: Cascade Effect Scouting Sheets ENY champ

Posted in Meetings

Lower Hudson Qualifying Tournament

Yesterday we went to compete at the Lower Hudson Qualifying Tournament hosted by team 9094 EDISON Robots at Yonkers Riverside High School.

We had a great day of competition, coming out of qualifying matches with a record of 2 loss, 2 win, and 1 tie. Our robot was at its best, as we made modifications this past weekend to put on last season’s scoop, which allowed us the height to score not only in goals attached behind the robot, but also into the 90 cm goal.

Recognize Scraps's scoop on PT-109?

Recognize Scraps’s scoop on PT-109?

After the morning matches, we were chosen by the fourth alliance captain 4244 Robusters, of Yorktown BOCES, along with 9605 Excelsior, of Excelsior Academy in Newburgh. We lost both of our semifinal matches to the first alliance, however we were still proud of our performance.

In the awards ceremony, we were named a finalist for the Control Award (the second time this season!!) and were honored to win the Inspire Award (again for the second time!).

IMG_20150125_180625850We congratulate all teams that played today! Special congratulations go out to our friends at 9541 Xeno Gaels, 18 Techno Chix, and 4654 Jellyfish  for advancing! See you all at Pace!


Posted in Events

Bionic Brouhaha II: The Second One Recap

After a long time of preparing, yesterday, January 10th, brought us the Bionic Brouhaha II: The Second One Mid Hudson Qualifying Tournament for the Empire NY Region.

We could not have asked for a better tournament event! 21 teams from the Empire, NYC / LI, and Connecticut Regions were in attendance despite Friday’s snowstorm. Everyone seemed to have a great day, and our 9541 Xeno Gaels had an exciting first tournament.

Our opening ceremonies included comments from KCHS President Fr. Vaillancourt, Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino’s Chief of Staff  George Oros, and Somers Town Supervisior Rick Morrissey.  January 10, 2015 was proclaimed to be Technology Day in the Town of Somers to commend the Bionic Gaels and teams present for their hard work in FTC (check out around 7:30 to see it during the ceremony).

The game play was great, with scores reaching the 200’s. We saw successful autonomous modes drive off the ramp, move goals to the parking zone, and hit down the kickstand. During the teleop, there was lots of goal moving and scoring in the goals. Several teams made the 120 cm goal!

Our winning alliance was 28 PolyGnomes, 6081 i²robotics, and 7487 Super 7. Our finalist alliance was 9541 Xeno Gaels, 7094 Basementalists, and 36 Wyverns.

Finally, we had a wonderful closing ceremony with awards presented to very well-deserved teams.  The advancing teams were us, 5602 Bionic Gaels (for hosting), 6081 i²robotics for the Inspire Award, 28 PolyGnomes for the Winning Alliance Captain, 7890 Space Lions for Inspire Runner-Up, 7094 Basementalists for Inspire 2nd Runner-Up, 7487 Super 7 for Winning Alliance 2nd Pick, and 5017 RoboEpic for the Think Award.

All-in-all, it was a great day. Congratulations to our 21 teams, you played well and made the event worth it to us volunteers. Bring on Bionic Brouhaha 3!

Posted in Community, Events

How To Tournament: A Guide

Happy New Year everyone!

For some of you, like 9541 Xeno Gaels, there are but 9 days until a tournament. On January 10th, we will be hosting Bionic Brouhaha II: The Second One. This will be 9541’s first-ever tournament, so to help them out, we whipped up a guide for making the day run as smoothly as possible.

We call it “How To Tournament,” and we are posting it as a PDF for everyone to read. It is mainly aimed at rookies who have never “tournamented” before, but there might be some tips for veterans too. Feel free to comment with other things that might be of help that we can add in later!

Open “how to tournament” here!

Posted in Community

2014 in review

This year was fairly momentous for the Bionic Gaels. In January, we hosted our first ever tournament. In February, we qualified for the East Super Regional. In March, we were on the Winning Alliance of the Connecticut State Championship…. Well, if I keep going on it will just get boring. All in all, between the end of Block Party! and the beginning of Cascade Effect! we have had the great fortune of many successes, all of which we owe to our gracious sponsors and dedicated mentors. Thanks to everyone who has helped us along our FIRST journey!

As 2014 closes, we hope you had a wonderful year and wish just the same for 2015! To see how our blog did this past year, checkout a super cool annual report:

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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