LigerBots are Finalists at the Greater Boston District Event!
March 31, 2023

The LigerBots are off to the New England District Championship! Our playoff alliance finished second at the Greater Boston District Event in Revere last weekend, earning us a Finalist award. We competed against 38 other teams from across the district. We were captains of the seventh alliance and chose Lobstah Bots 246 and the Crusaders 238 as our partners. Thanks to them for helping us all succeed during the playoffs! 

We competed in 12 thrilling matches during the qualification rounds. One highlight was when all three robots in our alliance simultaneously balanced on the Charge Station (a field element similar to a wide and low see-saw) which earned us a lot of extra points.

All three robots from our alliance balancing on the Charge Station during a playoff match.

Overall, we played phenomenally! Our drive team kept cool under high pressure, and coordinated well with our alliance partners. The pit crew, who were responsible for maintaining the robot between matches, were quick and efficient in keeping Atlas, our robot, up to speed while also talking about our team’s accomplishments with FIRST judges. And, despite being formed at the last minute, the scouting group performed well in analyzing match data of every robot to assist with our strategy and our playoff alliance picks.

The pit crew makes sure the robot is up to shape.

To keep up team spirit throughout the event, LigerBots students painted each other’s faces with glitter and recited fun cheers. Two LigerBots, Juliana and Jeffrey, also performed the national anthem for the crowd on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Juliana sang, and Jeffrey played the guitar.

Juliana sings the national anthem.
Isabella paints our team number, 2877, on another student’s forehead.
Coaches John and Mark proudly don their facepaint.

Our excellent performance during both the Greater Boston and Rhode Island events has earned us a place at the FRC District Championship in Springfield from April 6 to 8.  Watch for an announcement with more information soon. The link to more information about the event is on FIRST’s website here.

Rhode Island Competition Recap!
March 15, 2023
The LigerBots pose for a photo after winning the Team Sustainability Award during the Rhode Island Competition.

On the weekend of March 11, The LigerBots competed at the New England Rhode Island Event, an official district event where teams can qualify for the New England District Championships. We competed alongside thirty other teams from across the district.

The Rhode Island Competition was a phenomenal experience! We were thrilled to watch our robot, Atlas, in action, as it dodged and weaved through defenders to score game pieces on the grid. 

Our robot, Atlas (bottom right), competes during the Rhode Island Event as seen on Twitch.
Roshan, a member of our pit crew, attends to Atlas maintenance in between matches.

In total, we had forty students and ten coaches attend the event. After competing in twelve qualifying rounds requiring some on the spot repairs in between matches, we were picked into the third seeded alliance and made it to the semi-finals. Many thanks to our drive team, build team, scouts, and our Alliance Captain, team Morpheus, for helping us achieve this!

In addition, FIRST also awarded us the Team Sustainability award, for developing a sustainable recruiting, training and mentoring team environment that will last for years to come. In all, these accomplishments placed us 33rd out of 187 teams across the district. 

We also had impressive individual awards earned during the event. Kevin, the LigerBots’ co-Chief Technical Officer, was awarded the District Championship Dean’s List Semi-Finalist for his immaculate leadership.

Co-CTO Kevin (right), nominated as a Dean’s List Semifinalist.

Greer Swiston, a mentor who has served for eight years on the LigerBots, was nominated as a finalist for the Woodie Flowers Award, acknowledging her long-time dedication to the team.

Greer Swiston (4th from the left), nominated as a finalist for the Woodie Flowers Award.

Our next competition will be on the weekend of March 24 to 26! The event will be held in Revere High School in Revere, MA. Come see us compete! More information here. 

In the coming weeks, we are looking forward to exhibiting our robot at Newton North High School Puzzle Day on March 15 and also running several STEAM activities for elementary school students at Cabot Schools Invention Invasion on March 16.

As always, we’d like to acknowledge our sponsors: Rotary Club of Newton, Honda Village, Teradyne, PTC, Village Bank, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Newton Schools Foundation, Newton Public Schools, Rockwell Automation, as well as the Cao, Chaudhury Karim, Franklin, King, Preston, Saitz, Sangiolio, Wang Ji, Schwartz, Nedeljkovic, and Housman Family. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Come to see us compete this weekend in Rhode Island!
March 9, 2023

Come see our new robot, Atlas, in action this weekend, March 11-12 at Ponaganset High School in North Scituate, Rhode Island! The competition will run at 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 8:00–6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Details can be read here. 

We also have a second competition coming up on March 25-26 in Revere, MA. We’ll tell you more details soon!

Build Season Update!
February 10, 2023

The LigerBots have been hard at work throughout the build season, and we’re excited to share with you our progress so far!

We launched into the start of the season strong: throughout preseason, we worked hard on training our CAD team and our new members, with our CAD team working on making complex mechanisms like continuous elevators.

CAD model of a continuous elevator mechanism for mock 3DD, which was centered around the 2018 game

In addition to giving first-years CAD experience throughout preseason, we did a mock three-day design (3DD) prior to build season, where groups within the team created mock designs of robots.

Prototype of the intake brainstormed during Mock 3DD

After kickoff, build season officially began! We started with the actual three-day design process, where LigerBots students brainstormed and designed all the mechanisms for the robot this year.

Then, the CAD team set out to create sketches, and later in-depth models, of the mechanisms we planned for this year’s robot. Prototyping intake mechanisms also began during the first week.

Prototype of the pinch claw, a possible end-effector (a device attached to the end of a robotic arm)
Sketches by Elliot brainstorming possible ideas for a roller claw, a type of manipulator able to draw in and release an object through a powered roller.
LigerBots build leaders catch up on progress within each mechanism.

During the second week, the CAD team delved deeper into the CADing process to finalize mechanism designs on OnShape, the mechanical team worked in the shop to test prototypes and manufacturing parts, and this year’s prospective drive team completed tryouts. We also began assembling the chassis—the base frame of the robot—and other mechanisms, some of which were designed during 3DD. We also finalized our swerve drive and superstructure frame, which holds up a pivot gearbox along with a rotating and telescoping arm—this design will allow the robot to reach high nodes and pick up both game pieces during competition.  

Team members Kavya and Phillip test a linear claw mechanism for grabbing objects.
Juliana and Roshan assemble a pneumatic-powered roller claw.
Lulu, Yutong, and Coach Noa test the straightener, an intake mechanism to rotate fallen cones to an upward position

By week three of build season, we were able to fully build the chassis as well as create some mock swerve modules—which allow for smooth, controllable movement—that the drive team could practice with. The programming group also worked towards creating a working auto-leveling system for the charging station to ensure that the swerve drive and maneuver securely on and off the station.

The FIRST Impact Award team has also begun to finish up rough drafts for the award essay, executive summary, and the award video—all of which we will be presenting to FIRST judges. The marketing team has also prepared for a Women in STEM fair, held at Newton North this past Saturday, as well as creating team merchandise, the team booklet, and the competition pit banner.

LigerBots students attach mock swerve modules to the chassis.
Front of this year’s t-shirt design in adherence with the FIRST game theme, featuring Thaddeus as a lineman for LigerBots Power Co.
LigerBots members help younger students create slime during the Women in STEM event on Feb. 4.

As we approach the end of build season, we’re super excited to show off more of what we’ve been doing! Everyone has been in high gear throughout build season, and we’re looking forward to showcasing our hard work at our first event.

This a friendly reminder to consider helping the LigerBots through our NorWex fundraiser! For any proceeds made to NorWex, the LigerBots receive 25%. The fundraiser ends on February 20th.

As always, we’d like to acknowledge our sponsors for making possible our progress this build season: Rotary Club of NewtonHonda VillageTeradynePTCVillage BankRaytheon Missiles & DefenceNewton Schools FoundationNewton Public SchoolsRockwell Automation, as well as the Cao, Chaudhury Karim, Franklin, King, Preston, Saitz, Sangiolio, Wang Ji, Schwartz, Nedeljkovic, and Housman Family. Your support is greatly appreciated! 

Support the LigerBots with Norwex!
January 30, 2023

From now until February 20, if you buy a Norwex product using this link, we will receive 25% of the proceeds! By making a purchase through our Norwex Fundraiser, not only will you receive quality and eco-friendly cleaning products, but your support will also directly help us build our yearly robot, attend competitions, and promote STEAM participation in our community. No minimum purchase required. Thank you in advance for your support!