You are hereThe Ligerbots and FRC
The Ligerbots and FRC
The Ligerbots compete annually in FRC, a competition run by FIRST. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization that hopes to inspire schoolchildren to become engineers via three annual robotics competitions. FLL (FIRST Lego League) is targeted at elementary schools. They design and build a robot using Lego NXT parts that completes various tasks on a double 6'x10' field. FIRST always provides one cooperative challenge that both competing teams must complete for points to be earned. FRC is the most intensive of the programs. Teams must raise money, find members, create a presence in the community, and (of course) build a large robot in six weeks, using custom parts. FIRST created FTC as a more affordable version of FRC. Teams still create robots from custom parts, but the smaller scale of the robots keeps costs low.
The LigerBots are an FRC team based in Newton, Massachusetts. The team is a union of the two city high schools, Newton North and Newton South. The two are rivals in sports, but united for FIRST. Our name reflects the union of the schools: the LigerBots are the child of the Newton North Tigers and the Newton South Lions. We maintain the spirit of unity when we attend events. Our mascots have the body of one school, but the head of the other.
Our first experience as a team was in late 2008, when the team was allowed to retrofit the Nu-trons old robot for the current season. It wouldn't have been possible without the coordinated efforts of Robin Saitz (of PTC), and North and South teachers and administrators. We refitted the robot in Northeasterns shop, giving it new arms (and new life). The team went on to compete in the Beantown Blitz, an annual post-season event hosted by the NUTRONS. As we started work after the season ended, we weren't registered as a FIRST team. We competed at the Beantown Blitz as team 3125 as we were a "child" of the NUTRONS- FRC Team 125.
The next year, Robin Saitz, a parent and PTC's vice president, helped the team raise enough money to compete. We held several meetings to scour Newton North and Newton South for prospective members. By the start of the season, the LigerBots had more than 50 team members, divided between North and South. During the six weeks of build season, chaos reigned. Tools were abused, meetings ran long, designs were replaced, yet, somehow, a robot took form. We finished the robot a few minutes before it needed to ship. All of our members survived the build season of our rookie year, and our robot performed incredibly well!