Exit 6 Robotics – Innovative Robot Design Award at the FLL Challenge Virtual Open Invitational

After an unusually long FIRST Lego League (FLL) Challenge season spanning 12 months, the Exit 6 Robotics (#2228) team concluded their competition season at the June 12-19, 2021 Virtual Open Invitational (VOI), sponsored by Amazon. In awarding the team the Innovative Robot Design Award, judges cited their novel omniwheel drivetrain that enabled forward and sideways motion. As best they could find, omniwheels had never been previously been implemented in FLL competitions. The team quickly learned why this was the case when they encountered dozens of problems with omniwheel drives.

With FIRST canceling all Open and World Festival events, VOI remained as the only competition venue for top teams from around the world. Ultimately, the best performing teams from 25 countries and 35 states were given invitations to participate. On the basis of their recent North NJ results (Champions Award 2019/2020, Engineering Excellence Award 2020/2021) Exit 6 Robotics was selected as one of three North New Jersey teams offered a spot at VOI.

For the 2021/2022 season, the team has not yet decided whether to compete in FTC, VRC, RCJ, or WRO. The team is also looking for new team members 9th, 10th, or 11th graders to join for the upcoming season. No prior robotics experience required. Candidates can be from any towns nearby Livingston. The only other requirements are a healthy tolerance for failure, a healthy appetite for learning, and a healthy heaping of enthusiasm. Please contact exit6robotics AT gmail.com.

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