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Mt.Olive High/CCM FIRTS Robot Project

Mt.Olive/CCM FIRST Robot @ Rutgers


We did it!......Our eclectic Morris County-based team consisting of two schools (CCM and Mt. Olive High),four supportive local businesses (BASF, Rame-Hart,Rectus Corp and VIT) and a ton of volunteer parents and students, actually exceeded our planned goals. We had hoped to finish in the top twenty five per-cent in the state-wide event held at Rutgers (in the old gym). Of the forty six teams, we ended up forth on the individual score and third in the team score (where we were grouped with two other teams). By the way, two other NJ county colleges were involved, Somerset and Passaic. In the spirit of "gracious professionalism" (the FIRST credo), we won't tell you which county college ended up last (but OK........neither of them beat us). Next?....We go to Disney Florida for the nationwide FIRST Competition in April(FIRST is the biggest event of the year for Disney) fact, our robot is already in Florida (by contest rules, teams entering the Nationals must ship their robot directly from the state contest.....our robot took some pretty hard "bangs" during the competition......we're crossing our fingers that we find no serious damage when we get to Florida). Note: The Discovery ATT Digital channel is planning a special on NJ based FIRST teams.....if you have this service, check your local listings. Also, the CCM Engineering department has a one hour (unedited) video tape of the Rutgers competition.....we'll be happy to lend it to any interested parties.

N.McCabe,J.Iannuzzi,a group of Mt. Olive students and a CCM alum "strategize in the pits" before test runs on this point, the left side motor was running faster than the right side motor, causing the robot to turn right at full throttle....we had several software, to "adjust" the left side motor to run slower or replace the(possibly ailing) right side motor.


This is about half of the team. In the "madhouse" pit area, it was impossible to get everyone to stand still for any amount of time. Overall, the team included three CCM faculty, four CCM alumni, and four students presently attending CCM.

A rather casual Prof. McCabe with three CCM alums....A. Blinder (left) performed yeoman work in electronics troubleshooting .....M.Wood (second from right)is a three year team member, specializing in mechanical design......P.Wood (right)does prototype work for Rame-Hart Engineering (he built a number of major components on the robot)

The entire Klages family supported the team in one way or another.........Mt. Olive High student Andy Klages was one of the team's computer specialists. His talents came in handy on the last day; our robot crashed (physically) into an opponent, ruining our twin-motor "ball catcher"......Andy had to re-write software to drive a spare single motor "ball catcher" that we cobbled together.

The team gets ready to compete.... ..robot drivers set up their radio-control gear behind a clear Lexan safety all, the team uses five members during the contest; a driver, an arm controller, a spotter, a human player and a coach.

Safety is a big part of the contest; here a Safety Judge confers with Jason and Alex

Team members Gargan (robot driver), Vin and Vik (or is it Vik and Vin?)plus Prof Klages, await the announcment for the next "round". Our team got a lot of exposure during the announcments, because we had the longest name! ("THE MOUNT OLIVE HIGH-BASF-COUNTY COLLEGE OF MORRIS-MARAUDERS!!!!!")

CPP Coordinator Linda Lower and N.McCabe in the pit area prior to the FIRST "Teams Party" in the Rutgers Student Center. Despite the contest date (March 17)other members of the team refused to go along with Prof. McCabe's suggestion that the robot be painted green (they said it would add too much weight!).

Our team sits on the sidelines, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of other teams....most teams used a computerized spread sheet to assist in evaluating the other forty five teams (and most teams, including ours, used a "scout/analyst" member who wandered around the pits collecting data that could be tabulated)

We finally decided to switch the right side motor.....a difficult job, but a wise decision, since the original one was on the verge of burning out

The catalyst for the entire project, Mt.Olive High School teacher Bill McGowan (with N.McCabe)

Prof. Dom D'Stefan, CCM's Tech Prep Coordinator

CCM faculty members McCabe and D'Stefan (Prof. D'Stefan is a Rutgers Engineering Alum)

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Last updated March 2000 by N. McCabe / CCM Engineering Technology