Into the Spring We Go!
March 16, 2021

It’s the midst of another intense competition season! Over the past month, the LigerBots have been hard at work, discussing ideas, finishing up submissions, and practicing for interviews!

The team working on Infinite Challenge at Home have had regular in-person meetings in the school to modify and upgrade the robot, as well taken videos of their challenge submissions. They have also made a slideshow for a presentation of the process of making the robot, from prototyping to the various elements of the robot. As interviews for all groups will be held in March, they have been preparing well for their speech.

The Game Design Challenge Team, tasked with designing a new FIRST game, have devised a train-based game, called Locomotive Linkage and complete with manual and field elements, for submission. The graphics team aided in the creation of visuals for field elements and the logo. Currently, they are rehearsing their script and finalizing their presentation. 

Over at the Innovation Challenge, where teams come up with a solution to encourage individuals to obtain more physical activity, the team has decided to build hardware to facilitate better communication between deaf players and referees. Two versions of the prototype are in development. The team has submitted the executive summary and is editing their business pitch and technical presentation. 

The Chairman’s team, working on the most prestigious award that FIRST can give, has submitted both the executive summary and the essay, and is drafting a presentation based around our outreach during the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, we kicked off a new session of our mentorship program, AMP Spring 2021.  The marketing team has made progress on planning a Scratch hackathon (a coding competition to code the best project in a day) for children grade 4-8. 

As always, there is so much going on within our team, and we can’t wait to show you what’s next. Stay tuned for more! 

Calling all hackers!
March 12, 2021

            Do you have students who are creative and like problem-solving? Programming is a great way to combine storytelling and problem solving, especially when using Scratch. 

           The LigerBots, Newton’s award-winning FIRST robotics team, will be hosting a Scratch hackathon for students grades 4-8 on April 3, 2021, from 1 pm-5 pm. Programmers of all levels can compete in teams of 2-4 to code the best animation in Scratch. There will be workshops in the first half of the event and prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. 

           Please register here if you would like to participate and send this message along to anyone who may be interested. Contact us at [email protected] or [email protected] with any questions. 

Innovation Challenge
February 14, 2021

The LigerBots, a robotics team based in Newton, Massachusetts, is part of FIRST, an organization that encourages young people to use science and technology to create a better future. 


Due to Covid-19, FIRST recognizes that not all teams will be able to compete in the robotics competition, so they have created three at-home challenges that teams can participate in. The challenges are the Game Design Challenge, INFINITE RECHARGE at Home, and the FIRST Innovation Challenge.


Our FIRST Innovation Challenge team has chosen to address the challenges people in the hard of hearing community might face while participating in team sports. Currently, they are in the market research stage of the project, and are hoping for anyone who is in the HoH community or works with the community to give them some insight. 


If anyone is in the HoH community or knows anyone who is, please help us by filling out this anonymous survey and sending it to others who can give insight into the community. 



Competition Season Has Begun!
February 8, 2021

On January 9th the 2021 officially began at kickoff. Normally we travel to attend kickoff but it was remote this year due to COVID. We carefully watched the live stream as Dean Kamen inaugurated the new season. This year we are repeating the game from 2020, so unlike usual, we did not spend the day scouring the game manual.

That does not mean there was not work to be done. We had three projects to work on. First, we wanted to modify and upgrade our robot with the knowledge we gained from the one competition we played in last year. We recently have been allowed to use the school workshops with limited numbers of people and following COVID safety procedures, finally allowing u to access our robot. There was also two challenges released by FIRST for teams to work on, the innovation challenge and the game design challenge.

The innovation challenge has teams identify a real world issue and create a solution for it. We then give a presentation to FIRST judges on our solution. Our team has decided to work on a solution to the problem of deaf participation in competitive sports. Our solution is a bluetooth system that allows coaches, player, and referees to send non-auditory signals to deaf players to make it easier for them to participate.

The game design challenge is exactly what it sounds like. Teams create a new and original game like the ones FRC creates every season. FIRST the determines which games are the best and most creative. The game that we created has teams load cargo into a moving train and activating a “telegraph” in the final part of the match.

Although this year has been hard we are as busy as we have ever been. Despite the difficulties inherent with working remotely we have multiple projects in the works and many more in the near future. We hope you’ll see it through with us!

Happy Holidays From The LigerBots
December 21, 2020

It’s almost Christmas and the LigerBots have been busy as ever!


As always, the team continues to train students in all aspects of robotics. The computer design, mechanical, electrical, and programming groups showed students, both rookies and veterans, how a robot goes from idea, to design, to construction, and to completion. 


These groups got a major opportunity recently as we are now allowed to access our engineering room once a week. This has finally given us the chance to make modifications to our robot and use it for practice. Previously we were unable to do work on our robot or anything else in or shop.

The robot proved to still be fully functional and parts which had been removed at the end of competition season were re-added and any non-functional components were removed and replaced. There is also ongoing discussion about the possibility of either a major overhaul of the current robot or building an entirely new robot.


The marketing group has been working on contacting old sponsors and sending them a team photo and letter thanking them for their support. They have also been working on lawn signs for the team. Team members and coaches who wish to spread publicity and promote team spirit will get a sign to put in their front yard. They will help publicise our team in the difficult times of the pandemic.

We also recently spoke at an event by another robotics team, team 6731 Record Robotics. We previously worked with them on a scouting alliance with several other teams and it was a pleasure to work with them again.


We have several major projects in our near future, chief among them are the Game design challenge and innovation challenge. The former requires us to create an entire competition like the ones FIRST creates every year for us to play. We must create the field, game pieces, scoring system, and design requirements for robots. The other challenge requires us to find a real world issue and create a solution for it. Once we have our solution we will give a presentation on it. In both cases FIRST will decide the winner.


A lot will happen after winter break. We sincerely hope you have a happy holiday!