Thank You to 195

This is not me brown-nosing. This is me pointing out that spreading trash talk doesn’t help an area grow.

I wanted to express some sincere thanks to team 195 for being an incredible role model team in New England, especially for me this past season. The reason I made this thread is because I was honestly surprised to learn this team did not earn an Engineering Inspiration or Chairman’s banner this season, and hasn’t since 2015. Not to disparage the efforts of other area teams, but these guys have done a lot for CT teams and don’t always get the recognition off the field that I think they deserve. As an outsider from MAR and NY, I had heard quite a lot of negative comments about this team, and I honestly hate that people spread rude remarks about a successful program without getting to know the mentors and students of said program.

Not only do their mentors Gino and Sandy keep an open door policy at their facility and practice field in Southington, but the kids are always down to help fabricate parts for area teams, or share scouting data at events. I have yet to visit their shop and not seen at least 3 other teams there at once either working with Rob on software, Gino giving advice on how to run a team and find sponsors, Damiaen talking strategy, or one of the kids helping run the practice field or parts for us on their machines. The teams in this state would not be as competitive as they are without the support of 195 and their willingness to share their knowledge and resources. I just wanted to say thank you and that your efforts do not go unrecognized or unappreciated.

Other point of this post - to other area teams - its very easy to talk trash about those around you, but try getting to know those teams and mentors and really learn about who they are and take their help. Stop trying to spread trash talk, it stunts growth in areas because teams are less likely to seek help from those who can help them the most. Don’t forget that this hurts the kids on those same teams. They work their butts off to help others, not to hear rumors and negative comments about their team from others.

A highlight from the Hartford District event this year - 6812 showed up with barely a kitbot assembled. Within one day, teams including us, 195, 558, and 7153 were putting together a nice little robot with an intake with their students with 558 and 195 students and mentors leading the charge. 195 lead with teaching 6812’s kids on software and even getting an auto ready, 558 and us worked to get an intake going with 195 and 558 helping to iterate throughout the weekend, we helped get them wired up and get passable bumpers, and 195’s kids were constantly making sure the morale of the students on 6812 was always high. Things like that day prove who those kids and those teams are. It made me happy to be a mentor in FRC.

Anyway, that’s my little rant, I just felt something like this had to be shared.



195 is truly a great team, their kids are all very knowledgeable about their robot, and their mentors are tons of fun to work with. They’ll answer any question you have about their team or robot in great detail, and even in the heart of build season, very promptly.

We’ve been fortunate enough to have played with them a few times in the past, and can’t wait to again in the future.


I’m glad that someone posted about this. On each of my three years involved on 20, we had the chance to play with them in eliminations. They build stellar robots. But like Akash pointed out, that’s only the beginning. They’ve also only been a quick message away any time I had a question as I was starting 6844. You might be interested to know that they have a unique (and effective) organizational structure that formed the basis for 6844. Sandra also helped us brainstorm fundraisers so that we could get to Houston. Her help was instrumental.

But that’s only the beginning too. Not only are they helpful to other teams, but they exude graciousness and kindness. I think the students and mentors of 195 are some of the best human beings that have graced this planet - it has been awesome to get to know them on a personal level. For instance, I was spectating IRI last July and was completely welcomed into their team. It felt like I was part of their family.

So, 195, thanks for inspiring people like me. I’m stoked to stop by your pit at Detroit. Thanks for being gracious and kind and for being 195.

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Very cool to hear stories like this about teams from across the country. I think it would be really cool for Chief Delphi to do a weekly/monthly team spotlight in a similar format to the “Unsung FIRST Heroes” that Tyler and FUN are looking to bring back. Something that gives people some insight into a team that maybe isn’t known to teams outside their region.

There are probably a lot of good ways to do it, but I think it would be cool to recognize teams on this forum that do great things but aren’t recognized across the world for the awesome things they do. It would need to be implemented in a way that distinguishes from the Chairman’s Award and Chairman’s Essays… maybe that’s too similar to what I’m going for here… but not every team submits for the Chairman’s Award for one reason or another, and it would be really cool to a lot of teams to be recognized on this forum. I think it would also be really powerful to hear an outside perspective talk about the impact a team has had on their own team and their region.

Didn’t mean to derail the thread if that happens, if anything more people will see 195’s impact in New England.

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195 is awesome, one of the worst parts of NE going to districts is that 694 could no longer attend the Hartford Regional and visit 195’s shop. They have a special program.

+1. Glad to count 195 as a friend. They certainly inspire us all.

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The only time we’ve had a chance to play with 195 was at IRI 2016, but nothing but great things to say about them. Class-act team who continues to inspire us (especially this year–top 3 team in the world right now, maybe even #1).

Thank you to everyone for your kind words to our team.

We have a motto we live by “Be Gracious, Be Kind, Be 195”

Although not always perfect (who is?), we do our best to collaborate with others, offer help and support anywhere we can.

Your kind words today meant so much.



The Cyberknights are an inspiration on-and-off the field. I’ve had the pleasure of playing with 195 multiple times, and I’ve watched them grow from a regional player into a powerhouse on the world stage.

Playing with 195 in 2012 is a big reason that I became more involved in FIRST. It’s when I started to “get it”. And it’s part of why 20 improved from unpicked at BAE 2012 to 1st alliance captain at CT 2013.

Thank you 195.

Sounds like a good incentive to go to districts in NY so that we can compete with all the awesome folks up north again :smiley: (I’m sorry I didn’t mean to make this a districts thread).

I remember the first time I saw a 195 robot in person at the NYC Regional in 2012, and I remember being blown away. It was my sophomore year and I’m pretty sure I had never seen a swerve-drive robot before, and 195’s was just dope. 195, keep being awesome.

Gotta say, not only is watching your robots amazing (they are gosh diggity darn awesome!) but also interacting with any person with the team is an absolute joy. It’s amazing as well to see how 195 is helping grow FRC in our area and make all the teams more competitive. I know I always strive to be like 195. :slight_smile:

Last Year my team attended the Where is Wolcott Invitational offseason event (WIWI).

This was the second time we were at this event and did not have a good day of competition we kept struggling to place gears during Quals, our drivetrain was bugging, and we were also testing out new drivers.

In the middle of the day our climber’s, Versa Planetary blew out and we would not climb after our second match. A mentor from 195 came over to us to see what’s up. Two team members came over and went to work replacing the gearbox but, we had not brought any extra supplies to fix it with. So instead of 195 being unable to help us, they donated a gearbox to us and assembled it so we were ready to climb.

We placed 24/24 at the event and 195 happened to be the 1# seed so with open arm’s they selected us and welcomed us to the Alliance. We played with them and won the event. The members on the team were a joy to work with and talk to and we are excited to see them at hopefully two events this year Battle Cry and WIWI!

Becuase of 195, we have spent lots of extra time working on learning the versa planetary gearbox and this year we were able to help out a team at our regional that had gearbox issues.

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I too stand to salute 195.

Seeing you guys at the NE CMP was really eye-opening. Not just how your robot performed (it was amazing FWIW) but so many other aspects of your team.

I want to be 195 when I grow up.

After we packed up our pits, I was able to spend some time taking a closer look at the 195 machine this year. It is so clever on so many levels. Really clever.

For example, their entire buddy climber system makes me wish I was a better engineer. So light (maybe 12lbs including the motors and gearboxes). It uses 2 775Pro+Versaplanetaries to drive a winch drum and those are the only two powered actuators they need. All the actions they need to perform are driven by those two motor/gearboxes (which are really just one actuator because they are ganged to the winch, they are not independently moving). They release & lock the buddy forks, release, raise & unfold their hook, then winch themselves (and a buddy) up for a climb. All in a package that fit under the scale.

If you get to Detroit, spend some time rubbernecking around the 195 pit. You’ll be glad you did.

Dr. Joe J.

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In 2016 my dad died at the end of January & I was having a tough year. 195 reached out to me & offered a free trip to STL. No strings attached, no request to pay back. I arranged vacation days & gladly took the trip. From the moment I arrived at the airport I was welcomed in as family. They are family to each other all the time. From the beginning of the day, breakfast, the arena & dinner I witnessed 1st-hand what they mean to each other. The stories of the students & how they ended up on the team was inspiring. More teams should follow their matrix as a team. During the Hartford event I witnessed 195 reach out & help 6812. Being the Field Super I was already aware that 6812 had shown up Saturday morning with parts, not a robot. Next thing I know is 6812 entering the field to compete. When that robot moved I saw the glee & happiness all over their faces. I saw the laughter & the hugging when the match ended, all because of 195, 558 & a few others. I can’t fathom someone bad-mouthing 195. I suppose they might be jealous.
I usually make my predictions at the Suffield Scrimmage & am usually pretty much on par. For the past 4 years I have watched 195 turn into a great team & produce a great robot. Due to the Scrimmage getting cancelled this year & different schedules I didn’t get to see 195 until Hartford, but did check on TBA for Fairfield. I knew they would be top dog & are. We shall see next week in Detroit if they can team up with others like them & dominate the Worlds. Oh & by the way I do have a team (176) & love to be associated with them & am proud of them.

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My opinion on Team 195 has changed a lot over a short amount of time. Most of last year, I would envy 195 for their amazing robot and their success. Recently, I thought why envy them when you can aspire to be them. Team 195 is truly the definition of a team you should look up to in the New England district. They are excellent roll models for other teams and one that many teams should model. Their gracious professionalism sometimes goes unnoticed but I sure noticed them helping a heap of other teams at the Hartford District event. They are an excellent candidate for Chairmans and EI and defiantly have a shot at it next year. Thank you Team 195 for being an inspiration to other teams around you. Your team is one many other teams should look up to and aspire to be.

195 has always welcomed us with open arms (along with anyone else who would come) to their amazing practice space, never hesitating to offer advice or assistance. They’ve offered us machining capabilities we wouldn’t otherwise have and their students, mentors, and alumni consistently go out of their way to help any team in need. I know 195 alumni are scattered everywhere in FIRST offering their expertise to other teams and I’ve had the pleasure of working directly with quite a few of them.

As a CSA throughout New England I’ve seen 195 help team after team after team (not to say they’re alone in that in New England - shout out to 230 and 125) and I know that they’re a team that can be turned to for issues of -any- variety and complexity.

Their kids and mentors treat my kids and my whole team like gold, and I know my students know they can turn to them for advice too.

Love you guys,

New England strong


Gino, Sandra, Rob, Sir Lance a lot, (and all the other mentors) you have built a team that always strives to be the best. Sandra said it best earlier, “Although not always perfect (who is?), we do our best to collaborate with others, offer help and support anywhere we can.”

As Chief LRI for NE FIRST, we have had our conversations in the pits. (Gino went out and bought a borescope so I could see their PDP clearly last year!) But at the end of the day, at the end of the competition, the Cyber Knights are one of the best. It’s the attention to detail that sets you apart. I know of no other team that uses Lemon Pledge on their bumpers to make them slipperier!

See you in Detroit!

Back in 2016 I was having a tough year as my father had died weeks before the Suffield Scrimmage. There were other issues, but a call from a mentor on 195 who asked me if I wanted to go to the Champs in St Louis. I said to her I couldn’t afford it. To my astonishment she offered the trip free of charge! I had the time of my life, got to cheer for all my NE teams. I stayed with them, ate with them & celebrated with them. They really are a family & all the students were always polite, cheerful. The stories from the students was incredible & at times tear-jerking. They are a #1 team in my book.


You’re always part of the family Marc!

While I’ve never had the opportunity to talk to anyone from 195, their Gracious Professionalism of the highest order can certainly be seen through this thread. I hope more and more people start threads thanking those who provide and provide and provide for the FRC community. It’s threads like this that make me so proud to be a part of FIRST, so thank you.