pic: Teams 1114, 1503 & 1680; NiagaraFIRST.org

Here it is, the proud work of NiagaraFIRST.org

Team 1114 - GM Simbotics
Team 1503 - GM Spartonics
Team 1680 - FESStronics

That is an awesome-looking 3 team alliance.

Excellent arm structure, with 2 stages of actuation. The drive bases all have a low Cg. I wonder if they are planning on hauling tetras around on those flat-top drive bases.

Also… gotta love the outrigger skirts. No one will want to hit you in the side with those innocent-looking, defensive ramps.

All for one and one for all!!!

Way to go, NiagaraFIRST.

Andy B.

Is that three identical robots I see? I guess team 1114 took a mentorship role for the two rookie teams here? Those look pretty good and you are all going to both Canadian regionals! I think it would be quite interesting to see an alliance of identical robots compete in the finals (or any time). Good job.

Looks awesome!!! Can’t wait to see those bad boys in action.

There they are in all their glory. The three NiagaraFIRST.org robots. Here’s the story.

The 2004 FIRST season was an amazing adventure for Team 1114. Many awards were won, and an entire team of students and mentors realized the power and importance of FIRST. After having such a positive experience, we knew we wanted to expand. The Niagara Region only had one team at the time, and we knew this needed to be fixed. Unfortunately, without a creative strategy our GM St. Catharines funding and mentor base would end up being spread to thinly.

This is where the idea of collaboration came into effect. By having the teams build the same robot, we could better use our funding and our mentor base. Hence, NiagaraFIRST.org was formed.

[font=Verdana]NiagaraFIRST.org uses creative and collaborative strategies to minimize development, manufacturing, and travel expenses, allowing for smaller allocation of resources to support a greater number of FIRST teams. By uniquely managing mentor support and financial resources, NiagaraFIRST.org was able start two new FRC teams in the region. Team 1503 (Westlane SS) and Team 1680 (Fort Erie SS) became the newest members of the NiagaraFIRST.org community.[/font]
[font=Verdana]As a result, almost four times as many students in the Niagara Region have been inspired by FIRST. These robots were designed and built by GM St. Catharines engineers, students and mentors from all three teams. The teams functioned together as one unit.[/font]
[font=Verdana]The results are amazing. The three teams have created a large level of excitement in the community, and many new sponsors of jumped on board. It’s been such a great success, we’re hoping to add three new teams for 2006![/font]
[font=Verdana]Our rookie teams are nothing like rookies, because of the guidance they’ve received from our experienced group 1114 mentors and students. The learning curve has been blown away, and these guys are ready to compete.[/font]
[font=Verdana]Thanks to all who made this possible. Special thanks to NiagaraFIRST.org executive sponsor Steve Rourke, who came up with this wonderful idea. NiagaraFIRST.org General Manager Matthew Vint, who steered this ship through even the choppiest waters. Lead engineer Derek Bessette who is the main man behind this wonderful design. My role on the team has been reduced due to other personal commitments, but the team hasn’t skipped a beat.[/font]
[font=Verdana]Also, AndyMark.biz, we would not have been able to put out this high a quality machine without your wonderful products. We will proudly be displaying those AndyMark stickers where ever we go. [/font]
[font=Verdana]Teams 60 & 254. Without your land breaking collaboration last year, we never would have thought to do this. Any success we achieve this year, will in part be yours. [/font]
[font=Verdana]If you have any questions or comments about the actual robot or the collaboration, ask away. We want to share as much information, in hopes that others will follow in our footsteps.[/font]
[font=Verdana]Two new teams, an entire community energized about FIRST, and three rock solid robots. I couldn’t be happier. This season is already a success.[/font]

Looks like three great robots there, Karthik. Great job, and congrats to you, Ian, and so many others at GM and your schools. I can’t wait to see the product in person at The Championship. Good luck this season to all three of your teams.


NiagaraFIRST.org never ceases to amaze me. Personally 2004 was a turning point in my FIRST career and I attribute much of that to you and your aweosme team, 1114 Simbotcs. Im so glad to see that you have taken the role of the “pied piper” of FIRST and inspire students. You’re one of the coUlest Canadians I know. Keep up the good work and all of us here in Ohio are lookin forward to workin with you and your “collaboratives.”

They say the third time’s a charm…

In Simbotic’s third year, they collaborate to build three robots…

Teams better watch out! Because in the year of the three’s, these bad boys are ready to shine!

Great work all! See you guys in Waterloo!


P.S. I can’t help but wonder if those end-effectors were at all 188 inspired… hahaha!

To be fair, I really can’t take much credit for these robots (as much as I’d like to!). I’ve been reduced to watching from afar, admiring all the logistical work necessary to coordinate design, construction, wiring and programming across three different schools. As Karthik already mentioned, a big congratulations is in order to the GM mentors, teachers, and students on the three Niagara FIRST teams for somehow making it work this well in their first year together.

And that is a cool-looking grabber…THAT wasn’t there when I saw the robots on Sunday… :slight_smile:

Good work from all! 188 had the opportunity to visit 1114’s practice facility on the saturday before ship and we were quite impressed with the quality of workmanship on all three robots that were there. Though like Slimbo said, as we were leaving, I couldnt help but notice someone holding something oddly familiar :wink:

Looking forward to seeing these badboys again!


After seeing 188 work out at our practice facility, we knew we needed to work hard if wanted to match the quality of their end effector. (For those who haven’t seen it, I predict it will win them at least one design award this season) Although similar in shape, they vary greatly in function. We found that the tetra shaped device really helps stabilize the tetra, and provides a greater level of consistency for the drivers.

We have another end-effector that was shipped in our crates. I can’t reveal any details, but it has the potential to be a crowd pleaser.

Wow, that is one awesome looking alliance you guys got going on there. Have you guys had mini competitions amongst yourselves? Probably eh? What were the outcomes.

Team 1114 is a great inspiration to all FIRST teams , you guys have achieved so much in 3 year, huge props to your mentors, teachers, sponsors and students. I am still not over the amazing robot you guys built last year, and now i see triplets!, i am just sitting here starring with awe. You guys are role models for all of us. I will be looking forward to see you at the canadian regional. Best of luck to all the three of you! :slight_smile:

Thank you all for the support.

It has been a long build season but it has all been well worth it. I truly believe that these two rookie teams will have a good head-start in FIRST. This collaboration helped us share the resources necessary to run one team and turn it into three teams.

I’d like to thank Steve Rourke for giving me an opportunity to be involved in this adventure. I’d like to thank all the GM mentors, teachers and students for putting in a lot of hours to make this a success. I’d also like to thank AndyMark.biz for their incredible products that allowed us to build competitive drive trains in a much shorter time. Joseph Pavliga, Joseph Johnson along with the Chief Delphi team also deserve a lot of credit. The Nothing but Dewalt whitepaper saved us countless hours in designing the arms.

Thanks also to Karthik and Ian for all the help last year in getting this team going. The waterloo seminars and the regional itself will be key in this teams success. Your guidance throughout this season was very valuable.

I hope that the results Kathik has mentioned continue to grow the future. I am convinced we have done something good here. I hope that these new rookie teams can thrive in FIRST and help it grow. I also hope other teams can use our experience to help them decide how to grow FIRST in their communities.

Good luck to all,
I look forward to any feedback you have. Good or bad.
See you at competition!

OoOooOoO i cant wait to see what THIS suprise might be… :ahh: :smiley:

Great job. they look really sweet. love the defensiveness of the bots. hopefully i can get to see them in action.