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 Falcon robotics team seeks to defend title

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 7, 2019) -- Albany High School is looking to hold onto its championship title when it competes Friday and Saturday in the 2019 New York Tech Valley FIRST Regional Robotics Competition at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

 

Their defense? A sleek 95-pound machine named Larry that Albany High Robotics Team 1493 built from scratch in six weeks.

 

Albany High’s team is one of 35 from the Capital Region and beyond at the RPI competition, which is free and open to the public. You can cheer on the Falcons both days at RPI’s East Campus Athletic Village, located on Peoples Drive in Troy.

 

Find their competition schedule here. Can’t make it to Troy? Watch live at https://www.twitch.tv/firstinspires3.

 

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. They have six weeks to complete the project. Every team has the same task, which changes from year to year.

 

This year’s challenge, “Destination Deep Space,” is set in outer space and involves two alliances competing to place hatch covers and rubber balls on cargo ships. They have two minutes and thirty seconds to complete their task.

 

In 2018, the Falcon team won the regional championship with their robot “Mark Cube-N” and went on to compete in national championships in Detroit. Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban got wind of his robot namesake and urged them via email to “keep it going.”

 

The 2019 Albany High robotics team consists of about 40 students and advisors Rich Kissane, Brent Cady, Andre Castagna and Alan Landman. Kissane is a retired Albany High teacher; the other three still teach there.

 

Larry, this year’s robot, is named in honor of Larry Ruff, the team’s longtime mentor from RPI who is retiring after this year. The team also is assisted by Jake Ennis, an electrical engineer from National Grid, and former Falcons Christopher Kissane, Henry Thomas and Max Thomas.

 

Click here to see a Facebook photo album of photos taken Thursday at practice for this weekend's competition. You don’t need a Facebook account to view the pictures. A window may display the text, “To see more from Albany Schools on Facebook, log in or create an account,” but you can dismiss the message by clicking “not now.”

 

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 approximately 9,500 students in 18 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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