WATT NXT Robotics team 7350, advance to the New Jersey state championship. Pictured are Watt NXT Team Members: (front row, from left) Zach Acosta, William Carr, Parth Savla, Jack Ryan, Cassie Carr, Maya Pandurangan, and Anna Sivaraj; (back row, from left) Raj Malhotra, Samuel Carlos, Priyanka Dangi, Vishal Sriram, and Kunal Kanwar

Robotics team WATT NXT, Team 7350 advanced to the New Jersey state championship. The State Championship will be held at NJIT, Newark on March 8th 2015.

WATT NXT comprises of kids from sixth to tenth grade living in Middlesex county, NJ, who are passionate about Robotics and are motivated to solve the worldly problems through Robotics. Coached by Mr Jim Carr, Dr Greg Ryan and Ms Stella Carr, the Robotics teams competed in the qualification tournament held at the Liberty Science center on January 3rd 2015. The team won the Inspire Award, the highest award of achievement in FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC). The Inspire Award is given to the team that truly embodies the challenge of the FTC program. The team that receives this award is chosen by the judges as having best represented a ‘role-model’ FTC Team. 

WATT NXT also won the Captain of winning alliance which is an award given to the team who has the best performance on the field.  The team displayed their superior talent, spirit, strategy and motivation along with Gracious Professionalism throughout the competition.

The team also competed in the Pennsylvania Qualifying round on January 10th 2015. The team traveled to Robesonia, PA, where 24 teams competed in the Central Pennsylvania Regional Qualifying Tournament held at Conrad Weiser Middle School. During this tournament the WATT NXT team won the prestigious PTC design award. The PTC award is “presented to teams that incorporate industrial design elements into their solution. These design elements could simplify the robot’s appearance by giving it a clean look, be decorative in nature, or otherwise express the creativity of the team. The winning design should not compromise the practical operation of the robots but complement its purpose." Here is what the judges at the tournament had to say about the team “ This team carefully designed everything in CAD and reduced their carbon footprint. A colorful and flexible autonomous strategy kept this teams opponents guessing. On the field this team skillfully swerved its way to victory.” This team was also a top contender for all other judging categories and were nominated as finalist for the THINK award. 

Coach Jim Carr, Dr Ryan, and Stella Carr were proud of their team performance. As a tradition, team members wear the team T-shirt to school, following their win.

As part of their outreach this year the team decided to involve children with Muscular Dystrophy in the competition. The team believes that even children with disabilities who have difficulty participating in sports, can benefit by working with robotics.  The team reached out to kids with Muscular Dystrophy and even other kids having any type of disability. After performing several outreaches including attending a radio show, the team found a child with a disability who was intrigued by robotics and even added him on to the team. WATT NXT is extremely determined to make this outreach plan a reality and is already many steps into the process. Not only that but the team is getting involved with Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy which is a leading organization that raises money and helps children with muscular dystrophy. They cannot wait!

Team Captain Jack Ryan reflects on the season so far, "It was a happy moment to be recognized as the Inspire award winner. Each and every team member is highly motivated and is looking forward to the New Jersey State Championship." According to the team members this season has proved very successful for the team. They initiated tons of innovative designs and efficient scoring mechanisms, hoping for their robot to prove successful in the 2014-2015 FTC game, Cascade Effect!

Building team member Kunal Kanwar who worked countless hours on the Robot say “We decided on a light and durable material to make our base, so we used carbon-fiber. Our four swerve-drive mechanisms for the wheels are each encased in a heavy, solid metal structure that gives our robot a hard outer layer. We are proud of the a carbon-fiber scissor lift that could raise the balls four feet above our robot. 

Programming lead, Samuel Carlos says ‘We are proud of our color sensor programming technique .We are looking forward to a hopefully successful remainder of this year’s FTC robotics season!’

CAD designer and Outreach lead, Jack Ryan revealed that, “It was tough designing the parts of our robot as our team wanted our designs to be simple yet well performing. In the end our CAD effort paid off as our team had learned the importance of preplanning the design of the robot instead of building straight away. Strategy specialist Raj expressed  that, “ Our team members have built a powerful and strong robot. We learnt a lot during competitions and were motivated to keep improving the design and capabilities of the Robot’. Team Manager, Cassie Carr is delighted at the team’s performance and is proud of the wonderful team spirit of each WATT NXT team member.

WATT NXT Robotics thanks the following organizations for their donations: What’s the scoop, Nistica and PTC Therapeutics. Individuals and organizations wishing to learn more or to contribute to WATT NXT may contact the team at www.wattnxt.org or email the team at info@wattnxt.org.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology, and math. This organization consists of  more than 130,000 Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers from 80+ countries.