Friday, February 27, 2015


Today, Palisades High School students had the opportunity to watch the film Slingshot, an inspiring film about Dean Camen, founder of FIRST, and his innovative ways. Cybersonics hosted the event, and the entire team, as well as many technology, science and art students students attended the showing. The film helped connect Team 103 with their roots in industry and better informed the team of FIRST’s beginnings and inspiration. Cybersonics relies on the support it gets from FIRST and the community.

This showing was a wonderful way to connect Cybersonics with the local community, and connect Palisades High School’s students with the team. This showed students what FIRST was and its role in technology. The movie also provided encouraging words for the students and spread the Dean’s message to work hard and never give up.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


With build season finished, Cybersonics has allowed itself to slow down a little bit, but students are still working as hard as ever. The schedule has been changed, as the teams, efforts have become less demanding, and the team is finished with this year’s largest projects.

Cybersonics is looking forward to its first competition tomorrow, which will only include the drive team scouting other teams. Next week Cybersonics will be competing at Mt. Olive High School in NJ, and this week our drive team is visiting MAR District Competition at Hatboro Horsham High school. This excursion will allow the drive team to get a sense of what competition will be like this season and start scouting other teams before they have to simultaneously compete.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Build Season Lookback: PR & Marketing

From the business plan, to the website, Cybersonics’ PR & Marketing department rebranded the team style to be more trendy while maintaining our signature elements. This took much of PR & Marketing department’s time and required its members to work as hard as ever to complete all of its projects in time to include them in award submissions. This pressed the department with demanding time constraints, especially with the limits of the winter’s weather. Because of these deadlines, the team accumulated valuable time management skills in the process.

Among the hardest challenges of 2015, Cybersonics had to train an abundance of new members with its dwindling supply of upperclassmen. This proved to be difficult, yet the seniors rose to the challenge, developing important leadership skills, and the new members cultivated their self-teaching skills to ease the burden on the seniors. The 2015 build season’s challenges were crucial learning experiences and Team 103 has grown from all of them.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Build Season Lookback: Manufacturing

The 2015 build season in Manufacturing proved to be challenging, yet valuable for Cybersonics’ Manufacturing members. 2015 came with a change in leadership in the Manufacturing department, the members gladly welcoming Mr. Reckner. Members say that his vast experience helped them learn new concepts and processes this build season, and the department adopted a number of new approaches to the build process. Manufacturing held a number of off-season training sessions and implemented a different drive train.

This year, Manufacturing was much more student led than it had been in the past, and members were happy to have more independence as a department. Manufacturing focused more on prototyping and research, and held more frequent team discussions. 2015 came with a number of improvements for the manufacturing department. The changes made this year will stay with Cybersonics for ages to come.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The End of Build Season

The robot has been officially bagged and tagged since yesterday and Cybersonics’ focus has officially shifted away from the robot and towards other endeavors. Manufacturing is finishing the practice robot and cleaning up the remnants of build season projects. The PR & Marketing department is ensuring all travel arrangements are final and competitions go as smoothly as possible. Cybersonics’ website has been completely remodeled, yet it is a continuously evolving entity and will be constantly updated and improved. Cybersonics’ programmers will be additionally responsible for programming Cybersonics’ tablets for scouting and maintaining Cybersonics’ social networking accounts and other digital media.

The 2015 build season was an extremely progressive one for Cybersonics and engendered many developments within the team. Ultimately the build season, though often challenging, was a valuable experience for the team and its mentors. During the build seasons, students could refine their skills while simultaneously bonding with their teammates and strengthening their team-building skills.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Media Revamp

Media has entered the forefront of Cybersonics’ attention, and the Web department has completely revamped Cybersonics’ online media. Last Saturday, Cybersonics officially launched its new website and is proud to call the project a success. Numerous programmers have joined the Cybersonics and have directed their efforts toward redesigning and reprogramming the website. This feat requires the entire public relations branch to contribute and encourages departments to work together. Although the Web department is responsible for the programming, the new website incorporates the work of the Marketing, Graphic Design, and Digital Media departments. The Web department additionally has commissioned the help of former Cybersonics member and current college mentor, Aaron Willey, who constructed much of the previous website.

Cybersonics is also directing a significant amount of its effort towards social media and is working to augment its online presence. Among its newer additions is Cybersonics’ mascot who now has his own Instagram (@Cybear103) and Twitter (@beartholomew103) and makes frequent appearances on Cybersonics own social media. This year Cybersonics has made significant advances in its communication and is confident that its efforts will make outreach to both the local and global community easier.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Looking Forward to Florida

Cybersonics’ Travel department has finished the travel packets and itinerary for Cybersonics’ Florida Competition. Cybersonics is especially excited to attend this competition because it will also get the chance to visit the legendary Disney World, and team members may enjoy the parks in addition to the FIRST robotics competition at the University of Central Florida. At Disney, Cybersonics members will have the opportunity to experience much of the Disney parks including Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and the Epcot center.

This is an amazing chance for Cybersonics members to enjoy themselves after a long day of competition and to strengthen unity through enjoyment. This competition has been a long continued tradition, and to the disdain of many, Cybersonics was unable to continue it in the last couple of seasons. This year, Cybersonics is excited to announce that it will again attend this revered event, and is prepared for rigorous competition.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Throughout the build season, the Cybersonics’ Inventor department has been occupied with the task of designing the robot and creating comprehensive blueprints detailing its layout. In addition to creating a 3D computer model with the Autodesk Inventor program, the department is also entrusted to print 2D blueprints including specific measurements. For every part included on the robot, the Inventor department must create both 3D and 2D models, along with an assembly drawing for the entire robot. The Inventor department is responsible for a vital part of our design process, which then communicates to the manufacturing department. The Inventor department is currently designing a new cart for the robot that will cater to the robot’s tall stature. The cart features a scissor lift that will allow for the drivers to lower it to fit through the door, yet lift it to ease the process of making technical adjustments. Elsewhere in the Manufacturing department, Cybersonics continues to make last minute adjustments to the robot awaiting Stop Build day, and the drive team has begun practicing for competition. Cybersonics’ expects a rewarding competition season and its members are as prepared and enterprising as ever.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


The last week of build season marks the transition of focus from the robot to travel. Cybersonics’ Travel department is preparing for rigorous competition. The Travel department handles communications pertaining to flights, buses, and hotels. This year, Cybersonics is traveling to both St. Louis, Missouri and Orlando Florida. This means that the Travel department must organize two round trip flights, as well as additional hotel stays and meal plans. For every day, the Travel department must assemble a schedule that ensures the team can enjoy competition, but also activities, after the event is finished. These multiple day competitions are some of the most enjoyable for the team and allow Cybersonics to forge relationships with teams from diverse locations, yet they require the most preparation.

This year in Cybersonics is Bella Angel’s last and as head of the Travel department. She must now prepare two newcomers to assume her role as she continues to college. Both of these newcomers, Bronwyn Sayre and Megan McGroarty have been adjusting well to their position of the Cybersonics team and actively engage in all team functions. Together, the Travel department works with fervor to ensure that Cybersonics’ adventures are gratifying.

Organizing schedules for Florida competition.                .

Friday, February 6, 2015

Beartholomew's First Google Hangout

Among the newest members to Cybersonics is Beartholomew, a dedicated member of the team who works with every department. His ventures are inspiring to fellow team members and he is an affable character, always supporting others. Beartholomew previously did not have much exposure to technology, but through Cybersonics, he has learned numerous computer skills that have helped him both in school and in the workplace.

Today was Bartholomew’s first Google Hangout, and he learned how video calls help connect people and personalize interactions. Google Hangouts play a vital role linking FRC teams and their supporters. Today, this Google Hangout facilitated the transfer of information between the Web department and the school IT director, while simultaneously integrating video. Video chats allow Cybersonics to better communicate information, not only through voice but also through visuals.

Left to Right: Beartholomew, Aaron Lerch, Connor Twomey, Earl Kennedy

Thursday, February 5, 2015


FIRST Robotics teams across the Northeast have lost numerous hours to snow and the current weather forecast suggests more snow is likely to come. Safety is a value of FIRST and the community upholds this by refraining from calling in their students during dangerous driving conditions. Unfortunately, teams must make up for time lost by working harder and adding hours on holidays or days that would otherwise be spent with friends and family. 

Cybersonics has already lost twenty-eight hours, but team members manage to survive, impervious to setback. Cybersonics steadfast determination has gotten it through many years of unfavorable weather and the team is already recovering from this year’s winter. The Manufacturing department is ahead of schedule on the robot and the Public Relations & Marketing division continues to work with great ardor. Cybersonics is stronger for the constraints it has overcome yet still hopes for pleasant weather and more time to work this weekend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Meanwhile in Manufacturing…

Last night, Cybersonics’ robot was driven for the first time. This build season, Cybersonics has lost many priceless hours to adverse weather, but the Manufacturing Department has managed to overcome this determent. Although Cybersonics has lost over twenty-eight hours to snow, this year’s robot is almost complete, and the manufacturers predict that the robot will be programmed by the end of tonight.

This year the Cybersonics is constructing a second robot. Following bag and tag day, the manufacturing department can continue to make developments on the second robot, and the Drive Team can use this robot to adapt to the rhythm of the game. The second robot is being built and already has both a lifting mechanism and a drive train. As Cybersonics finishes building, its members look forward to a rewarding competition season and a well-rounded robot.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


As many of Cybersonics supporters are likely to notice, at competitions and events, Cybersonics distributes buttons sporting the Cybersonics logo and the logo of the given year’s game. Every year Cybersonics’ graphic design team creates an appealing design and the entire team assists in its production. Cybersonics graphic design department is continuously developing and buttons are an excellent showcase of Cybersonics graphic designers’ talents.

Buttons are a branding tool that many FIRST Robotics Teams use and can be enjoyable memorabilia collected at competitions and fundraising events. Handing out tokens shows the way FIRST promotes friendships between teams and relationships between teams reach further than the competition. Buttons are a wonderful way for teams to connect and Cybersonics is proud to partake in the tradition this year in the approaching competition season.