Falcon robotics returns to RPI for regional contest
N.Y. (March 7, 2017) --
High School robotics team will use 21st-century technology to meet a
19th-century challenge at the 2017 New York Tech Valley Regional FIRST
Robotics Team competition.
The event will be held March 17-18 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
FIRST robotics competitions are held throughout the region, state,
country and world. Each year, teams of high school students are
presented with the challenge of building a robot that can complete a
specific task. Every team has the same task, which changes from year to
This year, students assume the roles of members of 19th
century adventure club that is preparing a blimp-style airship for a
long-distance race. Their charge? To design and build a robot that will
build steam pressure, gather material to start the airship’s rotors and
eventually board the airship.
The Falcon team has spent the past six weeks building, programing and
tinkering with its 2017 creation, which is made primarily of aluminum.
The Falcon robot, named “Beta,” has eight drive wheels and four
When tricked out with bumper and battery, Beta weighs about 140 pounds.
It’s emblazoned with “Team 1493,” the moniker of the robotics club made
in the Albany High machining shop.
Get a sneak peek
of Beta on this YouTube video.
Besides the Falcon team, competitors in this year’s contest come from as
far away as India and Turkey and as nearby as Colonie.
The Tech Valley Regional Robotics competition is free and open to the
public. It will be held at RPI’s East Campus Athletic Village, located
on Peoples Drive in Troy.
for a schedule of each day’s events.
The Albany High robotics team consists of advisors Rich Kissane, Brent
Cady, Andre Castagna and Kyle Syck. Kissane is a retired Albany High
teacher; the other three still teach there.
The team is assisted by mentors from RPI – Larry Ruff and Paul Schoch –
and National Grid – Jake Ennis. Albany High and robotics club alums
Annemarie and Christopher Kissane also mentor the team.
The mission of the City School District of
Albany is to educate and prepare all students for
college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our
diverse community. The district serves
more than 9,600
students in 17
elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood
schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as
well as other innovative academic opportunities for students,
including four themed academies at Albany High