Exit 5A Robotics – Race the Police Robots @ Livingston Police Department’s National Night Out

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Our new Exit 5A Robotics team ran their first robot demonstration at Livingston’s National Night Out, sponsored by the LPD (Livingston Police Department).  Amidst the National Guard displays, armored vehicles exhibits, law enforcement demonstrations, helicopter landings, and emergency services outposts, the 5th and 6th graders of our newly minted Exit 5A team programmed their 5 robots ahead of time to navigate the race course.  The robots operated autonomously and were decorated with LPD stickers.  Over the course of three hours the team ran over a hundred races for participants.  Participants had their choice of operating either a remote controlled robot or a remote controlled toy police car.  It was a lot of fun for us to share experiences and preparations for competing in FIRST Lego League robotics competitions.  We had chances to share the fun of STEM, teach basic EV3 programming, and show some of the challenges of building robots.  We even were interviewed by LTV (Livingston TV)!

Exit 5 Robotics Wins Award at 2014 North American Open Championship


Exit 5 Robotics recently concluded their 2013/2014 FLL robotics competition season with the FLL NJ State Finals in March and the FLL NAOC (North American Open Championship) in May.  The NJ State Finals this year hosted a record 72 teams.  Against this tough field, the team walked out with two shiny pieces of hardware, a well deserved Champion’s Award (3rd Place) and a well earned Robot Performance Award (2nd Place).  The finish was enough to qualify them for the NAOC in LegoLand / Carlsbad, California, their third consecutive international finals competition.

The NAOC this year hosted 76 of the top teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and specially invited teams from South Korea.  In three days of intense but friendly competition, they tweaked their robot, practiced their project presentation and admittedly had some fun around LegoLand.  Against this stacked field of competitors, the Exit 5 Robotics team ended up being one of only thirteen teams with two or more judging callbacks.  As the last day of the competition closed, the results for all the teams were in.  Exit 5 Robotics received a piece of shiny hardware in the form of a Gracious Professionalism Award (2nd Place), an Honorable Mention – Research Project, Honorable Mention – Core Values, and placement in the top 40% of robot scores.  Congratulations to the Pithons from Scarsdale, CA and the Moovers from Kildeer, IL for their fantastic Champion’s Award 1st Place and Champion’s Award 2nd Place respectively.

Good Luck, Landroids!


LRC’ founding team, Landroids, has retired in June 2014 after 7 years! The team has captured many top national and international awards since 2007 by participate in various robotics and science competitions including FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST Robotics Competition, eCYBERMISSION, MoonBots, Google Science Fair,  and Lemlson-MIT Invent team. This group of neighborhood kids started in 6th grade and now are off to colleges! Good Luck, Landroids!

Over the years, the Landroids members included:

Karlin Yeh (2007 – 2014) – Cooper Union – Mechanical Engineering
Gage Farestad (2007 – 2014) – Virginia Tech – Mechanical Engineering
Brian Lee (2009 – 2014) – CalTech – Computer Science
Ivana Chu (2010 – 2014) – Rutgers Engineering – Packaging Engineering
Stanley Cheung (2007 – 2013) – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – Computer Science
Karina Yeh (2011 – 2014) – Columbia School of Engineering – Biomedical Engineering
Vijay Menon (2010 – 2013) – University of Leeds (UK) – Pre-Med
Sam Yang (2010 – 2011) – Rutgers Engineering – Mechanical Engineering
Jeffrey Dong (2007 – 2010) Bucknell – Business Management
Gregory Voung (2007 – 2009) Duke – Business
Zach Katz (2007 – 2008) Beijing International Studies University
Jonathan Cheng (2007) Rutgers

Young Roboticists Took an Excursion to Boston Area


On June 24, 2014, Livingston Robotics Club (LRC) organized a post-expo activity in Boston area as a follow up to the LRC Jr.FLL Expo  in Livingston which took place back in May.

This excursion was led by Spongebots, a FIRST LEGO League team of LRC. The participants were from The Electrons and Robotic Ninjas, Jr. FIRST LEGO League teams of LRC, and joined by Smartbots and Ultimate Tsunami, participating teams in the LRC Jr.FLL Expo.

The participants were 6-9 year olds who worked on science projects related natural disasters and built LEGO models with mechanical or robotic parts to demonstrate their findings as part of the Junior LEGO League  “Disaster Blaster” challenge.

In this excursion, the children were introduced to the actual workplaces to get hands on experiences on what happen before, during and after a natural disaster strikes in order to help them to connect their science projects to real-life examples.

Great Season for Alpha Force Mark VI!

Alpha Force Mark VI marking the 6th season with a Programming Award at the State

“Our programming award honors a team that utilizes outstanding programming principles including clear, concise and reusable code that allows the robot to perform challenge missions autonomously and consistently.

Here’s what the judges have to say about this team:

When responding to nature’s fury, it is imperative that the challenge rescue vehicle keeps track of its location. This team is able to account for the different speeds of its motors and based on wheel circumference, adjusts motor speed to keep moving straight as it chases the storm. The second place programming award goes to team #3070 Alpha Force Mark VI!”

They were such sweet words for a team that’s marking their 6th year in FLL.

This happy bunch of 5th and 9th graders really worked harder this year and they are so glad that they won an award at the State level this time! Their robot, Storm Chaser, is the product of a proud collaboration of teen master builders, pre-teen and teenage programmers, observant testers and the kid’s great pool of ideas.

Their rubric score sheets showed “accomplished” to “exemplary” ratings for all the categories, reflecting all the diligence they put in, mixed with the intense drive to play. The judges’ comments noted the Alpha Force team’s great energy, team spirit, nice way of working together and that the kids were having way too much fun solving the teamwork puzzle even when time was running out. Their Robot Design score sheet in particular showed the highest possible ratings in all the criteria (mechanical design, programming, strategy and innovation), noting the robot’s mature mechanical design and the member’s understanding of the programming control process.

New Jersey FIRST LEGO League State Championship Award List, 3/8/2014

Awards Team # Team Name City
Champion’s Award #1 10296 CyberHawks River Vale
Champion’s Award #2 4182 Panther Power New Providence
Champion’s Award #3 3013 Exit 5 Robotics Livingston (LRC)
Robot Mechanical Design #1 8116 ibot Builders Holmdel
Robot Mechanical Design #2 5642 George Washington STEM Club Ridgewood
Robot Programming #1 12352 Wizards Jersey City
Robot Programming #2 3070 Alpha Force Mark VI Livingston (LRC)
Robot Strategy & Innovation #1 4815 The Flaming Tornadoes Netcong
Robot Strategy & Innovation #2 11683 Terra Bots Parsippany
Robot Performance #1 (491 pts) 12852 Robo Warriors Edison
Robot Performance #2 (483 pts) 3013 Exit 5 Robotics Livingston (LRC)
Project Research #1 8527 COLAbots Flanders
Project Research #2 1669 BF Brickheads Ridgewood
Project Innovative Solution #1 3530 Montclair Clankers Montclair
Project Innovative Solution #2 12852 Robo Warriors Edison
Project Presentation #1 6411 Cobots Montclair
Project Presentation #2 12115 NanoGurus Morris Plains
Core Values Inspiration #1 17328 Purple Sabotage Westfield
Core Values Inspiration #2 12380 AEPEES Jersey City
Core Values Teamwork #1 4137 Top Brick Plainsboro
Core Values Teamwork #2 10840 Knight Robotics Kendall Park
CV Gracious Professionalism #1 3347 IDEAmaze Plainsboro
CV Gracious Professionalism #2 4869 Technomes Livingston (LRC)
Judges Award 7474 Fury Fighting Robots Lambertville
Judges Award 5494 The Fury Tamers Plainsboro
Judges Award 4021 Technotrons Wayne
Outstanding Volunteer Award Tim Leicht
Outstanding Volunteer Award John Giardina

Get ready for the 2014 LRC Jr.FLL Expo

Disaster Blaster Logo

Join us in our outdoor Jr.FLL event in Livingston, NJ. The “Disaster Blaster” Expo will be held on Saturday, May 24, 2014. 

See http://www.LivingstonRobotics.org/expo/ for more details.


NJ FIRST LEGO League Qualifier Results (updated)

New Jersey FIRST LEGO League “Nature’s Fury” competition results from 9 regional qualifiers:

The FLL Lifehacks


Hello FLL Teams,

We, the Spongebots, just graduated from Jr.FLL last year and this is our first year for FLL.

This year, we found a lot of problems and we needed to come up with some solutions. At some point we decided that maybe we should have a dedicated webpage to show all the lifehacks that many FLL teams may come up with. As a starter, we show what we did with our trouble plane’s departure tower. We now have the (un)official FLL Lifehacks page on the Livingston Robotics Club site. Take a look what we have and perhaps you can contribute your stories. Click here to get to the page and enjoy your upcoming tournaments.

LRC FLL Nature’s Fury Expert Lectures

On September 11, 2013, LRC FIRST LEGO Leagues (FLL) teams attended a Skype lecture with System Engineer, Ryan Kelly from Virginia, to learn about snow storm accumulation prediction on the highway system, and the impact of earthquake on the east coast.

This is the first of a series of expert lectures that LRC offers to our teams each FLL season, in order for our members to gain insights about the FLL project challenge.

Upcoming LRC lectures includes:

September 27, 2013 with an Army Corp of Engineer, Dr. Roy Messaros, who is also a hydrology professor at Stevens Institute of Technology, to learn about the causes, impact and remediation of flooding.

October 2, 2013 with Livingston Town Manager, Michele Meade, to learn about township emergency preparation and responses during natural disasters.

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