Team 1503 -- Thanks and Congrats

On behalf of Team 1503, I want to thank a few teams and individuals who helped make our 2011 season a success.

After a very disappointing season for us last year, especially considering it seemed like we put more time and energy into the robot than ever before in a futile attempt to make it less awful, a few members of the team and I finally caught Karthik’s “Effective FIRST Strategies” seminar last fall at an event put on by Team 771. Galvanized by our failure and armed with a new outlook on design strategy, we set out to build the simplest possible robot that could play LOGO MOTION. I took Karthik up on his longstanding offer of help and visited 1114’s workshop several times (armed with cookies) during build and solicited the advice and feedback from him and Todd Willick that eventually resulted in our current design. Thank you, Simbotics! We couldn’t have done it without you.

To the members of the 1503 drive team who accidentally discovered one day during practice that we could pick up tubes from the floor by ramming them into a wall, major props. Thanks to you guys and some hard work from the programmers, a team that didn’t even have a floor pickup mechanism scored two ubertubes in autonomous in four matches at the Championship.

To 148 and 1538, thanks for making Qualification Match 39 as much fun as it was to plan out and then play. It was an amazing experience to get to coach a qualification match with the likes of Ricky and Jon, and now I have another thing to tease JVN about for years to come.

To Team 217, the ThunderChickens, thanks for picking us (and sorry your streak of never losing a Championship with a Canadian team was broken). 1503 had a tough qualification schedule that we failed to overcome, but somehow the rankings and alliance selection went in about as far in our favour as it possibly could. (It was also a personal thrill for me to be working with 217 again at Champs, having been on 296 in 2006.)

This is the first event since the inception of the serpentine draft that I can admit I was happy with its outcome. We were able to pick the perfect partner for our strategy with the 10th pick – Team 25, Raider Robotix, who could score, minibot or defend equally well as the situation demanded. You guys were awesome, and the reason we were able to get to the top of Newton undefeated.

To Paul and Shaun, it was a blast working with you in my first time ever coaching in the Championship eliminations. It’s easy to see why your teams perform so consistently well.

Congratulations to 111, 254 and 973 – there was no doubt you were the better alliance. Wish we could have faced off in the finals instead of the semis.

On a personal note, I want to thank the students, mentors and parents of 1503 for the awesome experiences we’ve shared since I joined the team in 2007. Soon after moving to Ontario to attend the University of Waterloo, I was recruited to be the lead technical mentor for 1503 upon the dissolution of the NiagaraFIRST triplets, but I can honestly say the team has done way more (professionally and personally) for me than the other way around. Stephanie, Ted, Mark, and other mentors have taught me so much, and students like Leanne, Nick and Andrew have inspired me to always improve and keep mentoring forever.

Having now completed my degree, though, I’m sad to say that this has been my last year on 1503. My career is taking me south and west to greener (or maybe bluer?) pastures. I’m really glad we were able to share a great final season together, and I wish 1503 success in the future. It’s been real!


On behalf of 1114, and the entire Canadian FIRST and VEX communities, let me just say that you’re going to be missed. It’s been a pleasure working closely with you for these past 5 years, and frankly I don’t know what it’s going to be like without you. I’m having a hard time imagining the Southern Ontario events without your expertise behind the scorers table and your sense of humour at the hotel or the team clubhouse. Just know that wherever you are, you’ll always be an honorary Simbot.

With much respect and humility.

Your friend,

  • Karthik

It was a pleasure being a part of your alliance and working with you. Your team is awesome and 25 was honored to be your partner.

Pat - Great luck wherever you move!! :smiley:

Congrads from team 772! unfortunetly we never got to be with you but we did have the pleasure to win a matchagainst you in pittsburgh! that was definitly our funnest match, but you did beat us on friday.

Good luck next year :slight_smile:

Pat- do you know where you are moving to? Bluer pastures sounds a lot like kentucky… Define what you mean by “south”.

Hmmmm, either you saying you are going south and west to be with a blue team is either really cheesy or since you graduated from college you are just acting like a n.e.r.d. :wink: good luck on your future adventures and gratz on what you have done as a member of 1503.

I’ve got a job lined up in the US but it’s not in Kentucky. I’m sitting on the details until I move down in the summer.

“Origins” are sometimes blue. Edit: Big things can also be blue (I used to work for one, in fact).


Congrats to 1503 on an outstanding year, seeing how effective and simple your robot was this year surprised me, and taught me a thing or two about simplicity in robot design. It made me think about some of the design choices my team made this year.

That last match we had against you on Saturday was one of my favorites of the year, congrats on making it to Einstein again, I don’t think it will be the last time.

Good luck on all your future endeavors down south.


On behalf of all the students (past and present) on 1503, I want to thank you for everything you have ever done for our team. From your sense of humor, brilliant ideas, and brownies, you have been an extremely valuable asset to our team. It has been an honor to work with you for the past few years, and you will be dearly missed, just as much as you are respected.

Thanks for putting us back on the map. We owe you one there. Good luck in all your future endeavors, we look forward to running into you occasionally throughout the years. Hope you won’t be feeling like the color of the shirt you’ll be wearing then. :slight_smile: