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Falcon robotics returns to RPI for regional contest

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 7, 2017) -- The Albany 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 year.

 

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 drive motors.

 

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. Click here 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 School.

         
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