CyberKnights 195


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!











The CyberKnights marched in the annual Southington Apple Harvest Parade.  Mentor, Misty Sposato shows how excited the team is to win the “Best Youth Group” Award! Thank you Southington!!

Parade Video


Team 195 had a great weekend at Bash at the Beach! We won the competition, the “Top Qualifier” award, and “The Kiss Robot” award! Thank you Technoticks-Team236 for hosting such a fun event!14522886_1410970948920603_3316531111849882762_n

Introducing the New CyberKnights

We welcome new students to the 195 Family!!!


Betul Agirman
Mary Bilodeau
Asami Castellano
Kristen Gorham
Maxwell Heath
Josh Maccione
Matthew Maciejewski
Ryan Monte
Henry Roper
Madalin Verderame-Malachowski
Daniel Yu

The Cyber Knights, also known as FIRST Team 195, is a robotics team from Southington High School in Southington, CT. The team has actively participated in regional and championship competitions since their first season in 1998.


FIRST Robotics Team 195’s mission is to bring the celebration of science and technology to the forefront of our community. FIRST brings tremendous value to students from an experiential learning, college readiness and social perspective. This program provides a unique “varsity sport of the mind” designed to help high-school-aged young people discover how interesting and rewarding the life of engineers and scientists can be.

The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week time frame using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. Teams design, build, and program robots and enter them in a series of competitions designed by Dean Kamen, Dr. Woodie Flowers, and a committee of engineers and other professionals.

Our team brings a unique experience and different way of involving students. Rather than just playing with robots in an after school club, these students will be working in a true engineering and business environment alongside professionals. Our team is one of nearly 2000 FIRST robotics teams around the world. Our program is open to all students. Due to budgets being very slim, we rely exclusively on company and community sponsors to keep our program running.

Einstein semi-finalists

2016 World Championships – Galileo Champions

“To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.” – Dean Kamen, Founder

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST is a not-for-profit, public charity organization incorporated in the State of New Hampshire. A volunteer-driven organization, FIRST is built on partnerships with individuals as well as businesses, educational institutions, and government.

Some of the world’s most respected companies provide: funding, mentor-ship, time, talent, and equipment to make FIRST’s mission a reality. There are over 45,000 committed and effective volunteers who are vital to introducing 100,000 youths to the joy of problem solving through engineering. Since 1992, the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) has challenged high school students working with professional mentors to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. Not only is the program is a life-changing, career molding experience; it’s also a lot of fun! In 2006, the competition reached more than 28,000 students on 1,133 teams in 33 regional competitions and one Championship event. Not only are there hundreds of teams in the United States, there are also teams that come from Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Israel, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

FIRST provides high schools students with the ability to put their education to use in the real world. They apply their skills throughout each season to better themselves, minds, and life. FIRST offers over $14.8 million in scholarship funding that allows students such as from FIRST Team 195 to attend colleges such as Cornell University, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. FIRST not only inspires the teachings of science, engineering, and technology, but as well as essential life skills and values.

FIRST is prominent in expressing the thoughts and values of coopertition as well as Gracious Professionalism.  Coopertition is achieved by encouraging not only yourself, but other teams to work together for a greater cause. Coopertition emphasizes high-quality work while maintaining a strong relationship with others even when in the face of fierce competition. Teams should always treat others with the utmost respect, promote learning, and encourage great working relationships. Likewise, Gracious Professionalism emphatically enforces good sportsmanship. Teams should always be seeking a way to maintain their integrity through the use of Gracious Professionalism. This means not gloating over a victory, or an award, but representing your achievement as an effort for all of FIRST.

For more information, visit

St. Louis World Championship

Today the CyberKnights are leaving on a long bus ride to St. Louis Missouri for the FIRST Robotics World Championship event! 600 FIRST Robotics teams from around the world will compete for the title of World Champions. This event also has conferences, college fairs, and business exhibitions so it is an amazing experience for everyone who attends.

For the competition, the 600 teams are split into 8 “Subdivisions” which consist of about 75 teams each. These Subdivisions act the same as normal competitions where teams participate in Qualification rounds to determine rank then Elimination rounds to determine the Subdivision winners. The winners of each Subdivision then compete against each other on the field to determine the World Championship Winners! 

The CyberKnights will be in the Newton Subdivision and are ready to represent Southington, CT to the world and perform our very best!!

General Championship info can be found here: and we will post more info as competition match details are finalized. You can also follow our twitter for updates on our progress:


Why sponsor the CyberKnights?

In an average year: the robots, materials, equipment, competition entry fees, travel expenses, and more will amount to thousands of dollars. Without some form of funding, it would be impossible to sustain an FRC team. Team 195 relies exclusively on donations and grants from local businesses and organizations to sustain our program. Without our sponsors generosity and support, our team simply would not exist.

How can you sponsor the CyberKnights?

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or learning more about FIRST or Team 195, you can contact us here. Additionally, you can print out this form and mail it in. We are a non-profit organization and accept donations of any amount. All donations are tax deductible. We are hoping you will consider supporting this awesome program while promoting your business. Additionally, we will be happy to come to your place of business, make a presentation, and tell you all about our team along with one of our robots.


Sponsorship Levels Donation Amount Sponsor Benefits
Platinum Plus $5000 and up  

•      Company name announced as part of our team name at competitions

•      Company name or logo on robot

•      Company name on team shirts

•      Year book documenting the season in pictures

•      Deluxe Sponsor plaque




$2000 and up  

•      Company name or logo on robot

•      Company name on team shirts

•      Year book documenting the season in pictures

•      Wood Sponsor plaque to hang at your business site


Gold $1000-1999  

•      Company name on team shirts

•      Year book documenting the season in pictures

•      Wood Sponsor plaque to hang at your business site


Silver $500-999  

•      Wood Sponsor plaque to hang at your business site

•      Year book documenting the season in pictures


Bronze $100-499  

•      Wood Sponsor plaque to hang at your business site


·         Along with the above benefits sponsors are able to establish strong relationships with their future workforce.

·         Many of our sponsors have added to their workforce by hiring 195 Alumni as interns and long-term employees.

Online Donations

If you wish to donate online, click here to donate to Team 195

To receive a copy of the sponsorship form, click here.

2016 – Knight Furyknight-fury-3

Knight Fury is the robot for the CyberKnight’s 2016 FRC season. Breaking down defenses all the way to the Einstein Field itself, Knight Fury features a CAN bus system for reliable connections to all motor controllers, a two speed Andymark sonic shifter gearbox, rhino treads, and auto-alignment systems.

This all translates to a robot with a two ball autonomous, a fast and reliable climber, a consistent catapult and the capability of crossing almost any defense. Knight Fury was designed to shoot from virtually anywhere inside the opponent’s tower zone, whether it be from the far corner or at the tower itself. Four CIM motors, each attached with a sensor, provided the robot with unprecedented speed, agility, as well as self-adjustment.




2015 – OSCAR2015

OSCAR is Team 195’s robot for the 2015 FRC Game, “Recycle Rush”. It features an Andymark kit swerve drive with Banebot 775
drive motors and am-700 encoder steer motors. We designed OSCAR to have a stacker that is capable of lifting 6 totes with two degrees of freedom. These totes are stood in place by a pneumatic clamp and pneumatic stabilizer that apply a force of about 200 pounds. The robot also features a tethered ramp for ease of standing.

2014 – The F-195 KnightHawk2014

The F-195 KnightHawk is Team 195’s robot for the 2014 FRC Game “Aerial Assist”. This robot features a 6-CIM motor drivetrain that powers 4 of the 6 wheels. We use 4” Hi-Grip wheels in the middle and rear with 4” Omni-wheels in the front for additional turning speed. The F-195 KnightHawk has a unique intake considering it can quickly grab a ball that is in front of the robot or to either side. Additionally, the intake can move up and down, allowing the robot to grab balls that are bouncing across the field by clamping on them. We use surgical tubing mounted on PVC pipes to grip the ball and center it in front of the launching mechanism. Our launching system consists of an aluminum plunger on a steel box-channel that is propelled into the ball by surgical tubing. We are able to retract the plunger to different spots to allow for variability in the force from the plunger on the ball. To give our robot variable shooting angles, the entire body can move to pre-defined heights. The body moves on a rack which is assisted by surgical tubing. Finally, the F-195 KnightHawk features vision processing. We can track hot-goals in autonomous with a wide-angle camera and two led panels mounted on an angle to reach both goals simultaneously.

2013 – Oddjob2013

With a 12 inch polyurethane and aluminum shooter wheel, full-court and close range accurate shooting capabilities, 4 wheel drive, an elevating shooter table and a quick-load system, the Cyber Knights’ 2013 robot, OddJob, can make it rain. Controlled by an extremely stable PID loop and carried by the momentum of its gargantuan size, our wheel and shooter assembly can fire frisbees full court with precision. Most teams choose pneumatic wheels or small rollers to shoot their frisbees. However, with the momentum and power generated by our wheel it can fire up to 4 frisbees within 2-3 seconds while losing only 100-200 rpm. This powerful shooter not only maintains consistency, but allows for OddJob to fire frisbees over 30 yards. The “Whale Tale” frisbee loading system allows for quick access, loading, and easy alignment to the feeder station. This gives OddJob the ability to rain frisbees across the field at an extremely fast rate. Combined with a camera for vision targeting, a powerful shooter assembly, and easy-loading system, OddJob can outscore the competition. Our climber is quick and efficient. Locking into place on the 10 point tier, OddJob doesn’t need to climb any higher to exceed scores of over 150. When the volunteers empty the overflowing 3-point goal, frisbees rain down onto the floor. Oddjob made it rain in the competition in Connecticut and did the same in St. Louis all the way to the semi-finals of the Newton Division.

2012 – The Screaming Knight2012robot

Featuring four independently controlled swerve modules, a simple and efficient intake and collection assembly, a three-stage “Linear Accelerator” shooter and a bi-directional bridge actuation arm, the Cyber Knights’ 2012 robot, the Screaming Knight, has proven to be a fierce competitor. Our drivetrain consists of four independently controlled swerve modules, each of which is controlled by two PID control loops. The first control loop uses feedback from our drive encoders (one on each module) to ensure that all four wheels are spinning at exactly the same rate. The second control loop uses feedback from our potentiometers (one on each module) to ensure that all four swerve modules have been set to the correct angle. In one drive mode (standard Arcade drive) the modules are all set to different angles so that the robot will turn on a radius. In another drive mode the wheels are all angled in the direction the joystick points in, allowing the robot to translate in any direction. In yet another drive mode, the wheels are all turned perpendicular to the center of the robot, allowing the robot to precisely rotate about its central axis. This incredible control over our drive system, combined with four skid plates for crossing the central barrier, allows the robot to compete with an unparalleled level of speed, maneuverability, and flexibility. Our intake and collection system has proven to be simple yet effective. Its width ensures that our robot can pick up balls quickly and with ease, delivering the balls to the shooter in about a second. Additionally, an infared sensor mounted at the top of the intake system is used to control the flow of balls into the shooter during the Hybrid period of the game. The three-stage “Linear Accelerator” shooter is the primary feature on this year’s robot. While most teams have elected to use a single wheel or roller to accelerate the balls, our robot uses three separate rollers arranged on an angle to gradually accelerate the game piece through the robot. The lowest roller spins slower than the middle roller, which itself spins slower than the final roller. This gradual acceleration greatly increases consistency and helps mitigate ball density issues. Our bridge actuation arm has proven to be consistent and reliable, able to effectively tip the bridge to the floor both from the front and back of our robot. This affords our drivers a great deal of flexibility both in aqcuiring balls from the bridge and positioning themselves for the end-game. The Screaming Knight has proven to be very successful, finishing in the finals at the 2012 NYC regional and winning the 2012 CT regional after seeding 4th. It also received the Industrial Design Award (NYC) and the Excellence in Engineering Award (CT).

2011 – Knightmare 2k112011robot

The Knightmare 2k11 is the robot that the Cyber Knights designed for the 2011 FRC game LogoMotion. Its primary features are a two-part elevator and a pivoting gripper that grabs tubes from the inside. Fully extended, the robot can reach just under 130 inches. The elevator can move from the floor to its maximum height in about 1.5 seconds. As a result, it is able to score quickly on any scoring peg. The gripper and pivot can pick up a tube from the floor in just under a second, and likewise can place a tube on a scoring peg in around a second. The drive system affords a great deal of speed and maneuverability. It features two treaded wheels in the center driven directly by the transmissions, and then four omni wheels, two on each end of the robot, allow the robot to turn more easily. The center treaded wheels have been dropped a fraction of an inch in order to increase the amount of weight resting on those wheels and, subsequently, increase their traction. This gives the robot greater control ability and power while maintaining speed and stability. In addition, advanced programming has greatly increased our robot’s efficiency. Picking up and scoring a tube requires only one button to be pressed, and the elevator moves automatically to one of the pre-programmed peg heights with the press of a button. These pre-programmed actions are carried out more quickly and efficiently than any human could, allowing the robot to score more tubes in a match than most other competitors. On that note, our autonomous program operates with unparalleled efficiency and consistency – at the CT regional it successfully hung the ubertube in every single match (16 out of 16 times!) However, that is only one robot. The mini-bot is able to climb the pole in about 1.1 seconds. The mini-bot deployment system features a pivoting arm that drops down from the back of the robot. The arm hovers a few inches above the base of the tower. At exactly 10 seconds remaining the arm is dropped all the way down so that a mechanical latch releases the mini-bot. The mini-bot travels along this arm and hits the pole in a fraction of a second, at which point it begins climbing the pole.

2017 CyberKnight Events

Week 1 – Waterbury, CT (March 4-5)

The CyberKnights debut their new robot in week one of FIRST STEAMWORKSS, the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition game.

Week 3 – Tech Valley, CT (March 16-18)

New York’s Tech Valley region will once again be home to premier a FRC event, located on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus in the state-of-the-art East Campus Athletic Village Arena (ECAV). 36 teams, including competitors from Québec, Turkey, India, Connecticut, New York and South Carolina will gather to compete in another exciting year of high-tech competition!

Week 5 – Hartford, CT (April 1-2)

The CyberKnights continue their 2017 season  in Hartford.

New England District Championship – Durham, NH (April 5-8)

The CyberKnights compete against the best in New England at the University of New Hampshire.

World Championship – St. Louis, MO (April 26-29)

The CyberKnights hope to qualify for the world championship in Saint Louis.

Team 195’s Community Involvement Team 195’s personal mission statement is “to bring the celebration of science and technology to the forefront of our community.” Chasing this goal, we ride a FIRST Robotics float in our annual Apple Harvest Parade and hosted our own District Event in 2014, where people from all walks of life came to experience the brilliance of engineering. In 2014, the CyberKnights found out that our county’s SWAT robot was broken. Of course, the CyberKnights were proud to help our boys in blue- we machined new mounting brackets, installed AV equipment, and fixed their programming, successfully putting their robot back in action.


The CyberKnights latest mission is to “serve those who served first,” our veterans. Without the freedoms that our veterans blessed us with, we could not chase our dreams. To express our appreciation for their sacrifice, we write hundreds of Christmas letters to service members, visit over 90 elderly veterans in several care facilities, serve as waiters at an annual veteran’s appreciation dinner, and participated in a veterans clothing drive. In 2014, we raised over $250 for support of the Wounded Warrior project and collaborated with the Fisher House to raise more funds for wounded veterans. We have also sent care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan, collected bottles for an Eagle Scout to build a veteran’s memorial garden, and maintained veteran’s gravestones in our community. Most recently, we have embarked on our most ambitious veteran’s project yet: building a national monument recognizing the Laotian soldiers who sacrificed their lives to save Americans during the Vietnam War.

Southington High School’s robotics team, the Cyber Knights (also known as team 195), competed locally this past weekend, March 27-28, at the Hartford District Event, held at Hartford Public High School. 40 teams from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire gathered to compete at this event, and, following an inherently successful weekend in Troy, New York last week, the Knights were seeking yet another win.

Powering through their 12 qualification matches, wherein 2 alliances consisting of 3 teams each strive towards higher and higher scores against one another, Southington secured the #1 seed with an astounding average score of 127.33. Compared to their commendable performance in Troy last weekend, which saw the Knights at rank 3 and an average score of 102.75, Southington was eager to show everybody what they were capable of in the playoff rounds.DSC_9704-X3

After selecting teams 230, the Gaelhawks from Shelton, CT, and team 2064, the Panther Project from Southbury, CT to join their alliance, the Cyber Knights and their partners were prepared to battle for the win. All 3 teams on the alliance performed their roles flawlessly, which helped advance themselves through the quarter and semifinals with ease. In a stellar effort to outdo their performance last weekend, Southington was able to break the high score in New England (186 prior to Hartford) not once, not twice, but five times over after the completion of their matches.

With 2 of these high scores coming from the 2 final matches of the competition, in which Southington’s alliance amassed 204 and 210 points respectively, the tremendous trio of an alliance took home the win. In addition to this sought after accomplishment, the Cyber Knights were also awarded the Quality Award for “machine robustness and reliability.” Southington’s partners, team 230, also went on to win the event’s Chairman’s Award, which is the most prestigious award given out during the competition season.

With the qualifying season now over, the Cyber Knights next two competitions are invite-only events; teams must qualify to enter and compete. Southington will be competing at the New England District Championship, held in Worcester, Massachusetts on April 8-11, and the FIRST Robotics World Championship, held at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri on April 22-25.