CyberKnights 195


CyberKnights Win VEX Competition at University of New Haven

The CyberKnights sent four teams to the University of New Haven VEX Robotics event on Sunday, February 19th.  Congrats to all four teams for their strong performances and earning a place in the elimination rounds.  Team 195A earned the #1 seed with an undefeated record in qualifications.  Teamed with 5150J and 5150G, the alliance only lost one match cruising to the championship!  Congrats on a well-earned and well-played victory by all team members.

Stanley Black and Decker Donates to the CyberKnights

Thank you Stanley Black and Decker for your generous donation to FIRST Robotics Team 195!!!


Team 195 served Military Appreciation Dinner at Southington Elks Lodge #1669.

The CyberKnights honored those that served first with volunteer efforts for the Military Appreciation Dinner.

CyberKnights Compete at North Andover, MA VEX Competition

The CyberKnights sent four teams to the VEX competition in North Andover, MA on January 28, 2017.  This was a large, well-run event with 55 teams from the northeast competing.  Three of our Four teams made the elimination rounds which included 24 teams in total.  Competing out of the 6, 7 and 8 seeds was a challenge and although none advanced, they all performed well.

Congratulations to Team 195B on winning the Design award for their hard work and innovative design!

CyberKnights donate to the Veterans Oasis at Tunxis College

The CyberKnights family collected items for our troops and veterans, donating to the Veterans Oasis as Tunxis College

Team 195 – Always a CyberKnight

Team 195 – Always a CyberKnight

Teamwork. Goals. Success. And the ethos of a CyberKnight.

Thank you to Sandra and Gino Brino for their ongoing effort, support and inspiration.


FIRST® STEAMWORKS, the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition game, invites two adventurers’ clubs, in an era where steam power reigns, to prepare their airships for a long distance race. Each three-team alliance prepares in three ways:

  1. Build steam pressure. Robots collect fuel (balls) and score it in their boiler via high and low efficiency goals. Boilers turn fuel into steam pressure which is stored in the steam tank on their airship – but it takes more fuel in the low efficiency goal to build steam than the high efficiency goal.
  2. Start rotors. Robots deliver gears to pilots on their airship for installation. Once the gear train is complete, they turn the crank to start the rotor.
  3. Prepare for flight. Robots must latch on to their airship before launch (the end of the match) by ascending their ropes to signal that they’re ready for takeoff.

Figure 2-1: FIRST STEAMWORKS playing area

Each match begins with a 15-second autonomous period in which robots operate only on preprogrammed instructions. During this period, robots work to support the three efforts listed above and also get points for crossing their baseline.


Table 2-1: Auto Point Values

During the remaining 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the match, the teleoperated period, student drivers control robots. Teams on an alliance work together to build as much pressure and start as many rotors as possible – but they have to be sure they leave enough time to latch on to their airship before the end of the match. Points for these efforts are awarded as shown in Table 2-2.


Table 2-2: Teleop  Point Values

Alliances are seeded in the Qualification tournament using ranking points which are awarded based on a combination of their Win-Loss-Tie record (2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie), the number of times they reach a 40 kiloPascal (kPa) pressure threshold (1 point), and the number of times they start all rotors (1 point).

Connecticut Veterans Parade in Hartford

FIRST Robotics Team 195 in support of SGU soldiers marched at Connecticut Veterans Parade in Hartford. 

Team 195 is taking part in a multi-year project to help the town of Bristol Veterans Council build a national monument for the Special Guerrilla Unit (SGU), a “secret army” of multi-ethnic Laotian freedom fighters 




NY Tech Valley Robot Rumble

Congrats to Team 195 for winning the NY Tech Valley Robot Rumble competition and the Creativity award!  24 teams competed in Ballston Spa, New York where the CyberKnights were 10-2 in qualification matches.  They teamed up with Team 2791 – ShRobots to the Rescue Community Food Driveaker Robotics and Team 6463 – Ulster BOCES to go undefeated in the playoffs, culminating with a tournament high score in the finals.  Thanks to all the volunteers who put on an awesome event and contributed to the food drive.



Connecticut Science Center

Team 195 went to the Connecticut Science Center to mentor VEX IQ students.  The team helped with the planning, prototyping, and programming of the robots built by the kids.  We had a great time helping younger students enjoy robotics and will continue to support them.

SGU Presents to the CyberKnights


Our honored visitors with some Team 195 students and mentors

Team 195 knows there’s more to FIRST than just building great robots, which is why we are continuing our veteran outreach by participating in the Bristol Veterans project to build a national monument for Laos/Hmong soldiers of the Special Guerrilla Unit (SGU). Most Americans know of the Vietnam War, but not everyone realizes the impact SGU soldiers had on it. In fact, many of these brave soldiers lost their own lives while saving American soldiers. On October 12, 2016, the CyberKnights were honored to meet and hear stories from Brigadier General Sar Phouthasack of SGU and Colonel Carl Venditto of United Marine Corps Reserve Retired. The two talked to us about their personal experiences as well as the importance of recognizing all that veterans have done for our country. It was, of course, very moving to hear about their experiences, as well as those of one of our team’s mentors who saw firsthand what the country was going through.

speakingLaos, a country in between Thailand and Vietnam that was home to less than 3 million people at the time, is still facing dangers 30 years after the war. For nine years during the war, Laos was bombed every eight minutes, making it the most heavily bombed country in history. One citizen stated that the “bombs fell like rain.” Not only did over 30,000 soldiers give up their lives to aid the US, but innocent civilians were victims as well. With all these bombs being dropped, there were bound to be several that did not immediately detonate. Today, there are still people, mostly children, who are losing limbs or dying when they come across one of these bombs. In addition to the constant bombings, many Laotians were either driven from their homes or had to flee. But without the Laotian soldiers, the list of over 58,000 Americans on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial would be much, much longer. As a country, we owe these veterans recognition and respect.

speechFortunately, these brave allies are finally receiving the recognition they deserve. This fall, President Obama, the first American President to visit Laos, delivered a speech to the people of Laos. More locally, in New Britain, Connecticut, over 200 people came together at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 511 for speeches and ceremonies to commemorate the veterans of the “secret war.” And of course, Team 195 is working towards a national monument to be built in honor of the Laotian soldiers.

nickOnce again, we thank Brigadier General Sar Phouthasack and Colonel Carl Venditto for coming to speak to us. We appreciate all they’ve done!