News Archive 2018

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Westtown FLL RQT - 8-December-2018

Downingtown Area Robotics had the opportunity to help out our friends and neighbors the Metal Moose with their Westtown RQT. Thanks to the DAR volunteers who stepped up and volunteered for this event!

Presentation to the Manufacturing Alliance of Chester & Delaware Counties - 4-December-2018

Clem McKown made an invited presentation of Downingtown Area Robotics and Team 1640 to the board of the Manufacturing Alliance.

Downingtown FLL RQT - 1-December-2018

The Downingtown Area Robotics Regional Qualifying Tournament was held at the CCIU's Technical College High School Brandywine Campus on Saturday, 1-December. This was our 7th Downingtown RQT. (25) teams participated; six advance to the PennFLL Championships.

D-Town Dustoff - 10-November-2018

The D-Town Dustoff FIRST LEGO League scrimmage was held at the CCIU's Technical College High School Brandywine Campus, 443 Boot Road, Downingtown on Saturday, 10-November. This was out 7th Dustoff. As always, the Dustoff was run like a Qualifying Tournament to provide teams with a useful practice session prior to their qualifying tournament. Sixteen (16) local FLL teams participated.

Alliance Captain at Ramp Riot - 3-November-2018

This was a good event for Sab-BOT-age. The team finished qualification matches ranked 7th in a field of 36 teams 3-2-0. Since there is no in-picking at Ramp Riot, we were the 7th alliance captain, inviting teams 4362 (Roxbotix), 2016 (Mighty Monkey Wrenches) and 432 (Simple Machines) to join our alliance. We made it through the quarterfinals (against 2nd alliance 708, 316, 103 & 5404) 2-0-0, but were eliminated in semifinals by the 6th alliance (1712, 834, 1403 & (2)607) 1-2-0, who finished the event as winners.

Alliance Captain at Duel on the Delaware - 20-October-2018

The team did well, winning all five qualification matches. Unfortunately, we received 3 RPs for only two of these and as a result finished as 4th seed. We made an alliance with 4342 (Demon Robotics) and 321 (Robolancers), but we didn't get past quarterfinals.

Vinny served for the first time as Lead Scout. He did a great job!

Ella and Sai alternated as Operator. Ella for the first time (Sai was at HAVOC).

Daniel was Drive Coach.

Bhavanah served as Human Player.

Kids Tech Exploration Day - October 13, 2018

We were very happy to participate in Turn5's Kids Tech Exploration Day with all four FIRST programs. This Tech Outreach event was very well organized and packed with young families. Special thanks to Turn5 for organizing and hosting this outstanding event! At Turn5, 600 Cedar Hollow Road, Paoli.

CHAMPIONS at HAVOC - 6-October-2018

We won! 1st seed 2590 Nemesis picked us. Good start in building a strong alliance. Our 2nd pick, the last robot left to pick (607 & 1717 were removed from selection, to allow all teams to be picked), bizarrely declined our invitation! Really? Does this ever happen? Honestly, if they were planning to decline, they should have let the organizers know so that one of the eliminated robots could have taken their place in the normal order of picking. So we ended up with 607 as our 3rd robot. Wow. This bizarre turn of events left us with a super alliance.

With 20 students graduating from 1640 at the end of the last season, our crew was new. On our drive team, only our driver, Cameron, was a veteran. The rest of the drive team was:

  • Drive team mentor: Eric Weissman
  • Coach: Daniel
  • Operator: Sai & Aerin (alternating)
  • Human Player: Joey & Bhavana (alternating)
  • Technician: Nathan

Braden served for the 1st time as pit captain. The balance of the pit crew comprised:

  • Nathan
  • Sai
  • Bhavana

The drive team and pit functioned very well, both pulling together as effective teams. Cameron stepped up to serve as the glue and voice of experience on the drive team.

Laura receives NCWIT Aspirations Award

Congratulations to FRC 1640 alumna and outgoing team Co-Captain Laura, who received the National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations Award! Great job, Laura!

DAR Inaugurates its FLL Jr Program - 13-September-2018

Moon Buggies
Downingtown Area Robotics has launched its first FLL Jr teams: 16179 (Moon Buggies) & 16312 (Mission Moon Explorers)!

DAR launches a 3rd FIRST Tech Challenge team - 1-September-2018

In response to overwhelming demand, Downingtown Area Robotics is launching its 3rd FTC team, 14842 (SpyGears). Our sincerest thanks to Sathya Yalvigi, Gyani Mamidala, Stephen Suchower, Andrew Goddard and Daniel for stepping up to mentor this rookie team.

FIRST LEGO League Coach Training - 25-August-2018

Downingtown Area Robotics Open House - 11 & 12 August-2018

DAR Picnic - 1-August-2018

Indiana Robotics Invitational - 12-14 July 2018

Our 9th consecutive year of participating at IRI. We finished as quarterfinalists.

Downingtown Area Robotics (home of Team Sab-BOT-age) moves, reorganizes, grows

For the past five years, the Chester County Intermediate Unit’s (CCIU’s) Technical College High School (TCHS) has very generously supported Downingtown Area Robotics’ (DAR’s) educational program by providing us with a home in which the team and the program has been able to thrive and grow. But nothing lasts forever and important new construction at the TCHS means that DAR will be moving to a new base. Effective July 1st, DAR will operate out of 190 Exton Square Mall.

DAR is using this move as an opportunity to expand its program to serve younger students. When formed in 2011, DAR was an organization supporting FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) team 1640 serving area high school students. Our move to the TCHS in 2013 allowed the foundation of DAR’s FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) team 7314, thereby broadening our service to include 7th and 8th grade students. Now, with the move to Exton Mall, six FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Teams will join the DAR organization. As a result, DAR will offer FIRST robotics programs for area students from 4th through 12th grades. DAR is also starting a 2nd FTC team.

Larry Dodds has graciously stepped up to the role of Head Mentor for FRC team 1640 (Sab-BOT-age). This is a role that Larry has effectively been filling through the 2018 season. FRC 1640 is DAR’s flagship.

Scott Featherman will continue to lead the FLL program.

George Abersold will serve as Head Mentor for FTC 7314; Scott Mengle will lead the new FTC team.

While DAR is leaving the TCHS, our partnership with the CCIU and TCHS remains important and strong. We continue to cooperate in hosting educational robotics events including the D-Town Dust-off FLL scrimmage, the Downingtown FLL Qualifying Tournament and a TechGirlz workshop.

DAR is not school-affiliated and its robotics programs are open to all area students. DAR is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization.

FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their work-life skills.

Clem McKown - President, Downingtown Area Robotics

Congratulations to our Graduates

DB14 KOP 180519-1.jpg
FRC 1640 (Sab-BOT-age) broke all records with the 2018 graduating class of 19 students. The records broken relate not only to this cohort's size, but its list of accomplishments and its impact on the team's performance, culture, processes and growth. Team 1640 bids bonne chance to it largest graduating class ever. May they change the world as they changed the team.

King of Prussia FIRST Expo 2018 - 19-May-2018

FIRST Robots at the Court at King of Prussia Mall! How cool is that? Our sincere thanks to FRC 708 (Hatters) for organizing this event.

We played all day. A number of new students had the opportunity to drive and play other new role, including Daniel, who tried his hand at Announcing.

FRC 1640 applied to the Indiana Robotics Invitational

The team has participated in this "All Star" competition every year starting 2010.

Watch our video.

1640 Carson Sub-Division FINALISTS at FRC Championship - 25-28 April-2017

Sab-BOT-age at 2018 FRC Championship - Detroit
Finishing qualifications in 11th place (in a field of 68), we were the 1st pick of the 5th alliance comprising 71 (Team Hammond - Captain), ourselves, 5254 (HYPE) and 422 (Mech Tech Dragons). We made it to the finals, but were stopped there by the 2nd alliance.

Sab-BOT-age received the Excellence in Engineering Award for Carson-Tesla. This is the first time that the team has won an award (other than Winner or Finalist) at FRC Championships.

The team also won the 2018 FedEx Innovation Challenge Award, which comes with a grant of $10,000.

FIRST Mid-Atlantic Championship - 4 (load-in only) - 7 April-2018

We were the 1st pick of FRC 25 (Raider Robotix), the 2nd Alliance Captain. FRC 1089 (Team Mercury) completed this powerful Alliance. We finished as Finalists in the rubber match.

Sab-BOT-age received the Industrial Design Award.

At the close of the FIRST Mid-Atlantic competition season, 1640 is ranked #4 in MAR with 274 ranking points (behind 2590 Nemesis - 355 pts, 225 TechFire - 336 pts, and 25 Raider Robotix - 309 pts).

Hatboro-Horsham - 29-31 March-2018

Sab-BOT-age wins the District Chairman's Award
We were invited by 1218 (Vulcan Robotics) to join the 2nd Alliance. Together with 1218 and 1647 (Iron Devils), we blew through Quarter and Semifinals. So did the 1st Alliance (2590 Nemesis, 25 Raider Robotix, and 6226 Blue Devils). In Finals, we lost the first round to the 1st Alliance by 15 points (259-244). We then took the victory in the 2nd match by 17 points (252-260). These were two amazingly evenly-matched alliances! Alas, in the 3rd match, the fiberglass cascade anchors in our lift shattered early in the match, leaving us unable to score. We finished as finalists.

For the first time ever, Team Sab-BOT-age received the District Chairman's Award! This is a significant achievement for the team. Our fedoras are off to our Chairman's sub-team!

In addition, Head Mentor Clem McKown received the FIRST Mid Atlantic Don Bowers Inspiration Award.

As this was our 3rd District Event, we did not receive any qualifying points.

CHAMPIONS at Seneca - 23-25 March-2018

We were invited by 834 (SparTechs) to join the 3rd Alliance. Together with 834 and 2600 (Team Falcon), we went on to win! Collect 60 district qualifying points.

Westtown - 9-11 March-2018

DEWBOT places power cubes on the Scale
The Westtown event is co-hosted by teams 1391 (based at the Westtown School) and 1640. Steve Compton (1391 Head Mentor) serves as Event Coordinator, while Clem McKown (1640 Head Mentor) serves as Volunteer Coordinator. This was our 3rd year of co-hosting this event.

1640 performed well at this event, finishing qualifications in 3rd place with a 9-3-0 record. We led the 3rd alliance with teams 341 (Miss Daisy) and 4373 (Roobotics), making it to semifinals (3-3-0). Sab-BOT-age received the Creativity award, and 49 district qualifying points.