FLANDERS, NJ - The Watchung Hills Regional High School robotics team, Team 41 RoboWarriors, made it to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs hosted by Mt. Olive High School this past weekend in their first competition of 2019. Team 41 had to overcome some technical glitches on the first day of qualification matches, but ended up with an 8-4 record going into the playoffs and an overall ranking of 9 out of the 37 teams competing. 


On the second day, they were moved up to captain the No. 7 alliance and selected teams from Mt. Olive MORT 11, and Roxbury, Robotix to join them in the playoffs. Though they performed well in the quarterfinal round in two exciting matches, it was not quite enough to defeat the No. 2 alliance, captained by Pingry Robotics, and including Bridgewater’s T.E.S.T. team, that ended up winning the Mt. Olive event. 


“I'm proud of the RoboWarrior's performance this past weekend,” said WHRHS advisor Peter Ponzio. “It seemed like we ran into every technical difficulty possible on Saturday, but the team worked together to make sure were able to compete as well as possible. We are very much looking forward to our week 5 event at Montgomery, where we hope to be even more successful and earn a spot at the Mid-Atlantic Robotics Championship.”

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Successful Robotics teams must: Know the science; work as a team; adapt, sometimes on the fly; recognize the best team and systems exhibited by partners, form an “alliance partnership” with them if they are willing, and develop and sharpen theoretical and applied problem-solving skills.


The competition season started on Saturday, Jan. 5 when FIRST, the national Robotics organization, announced this year’s task and specifications. This year’s challenge is Destination: Deep Space.


What is FIRST® Robotics? FIRST® — “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”

Teams have six weeks, this year until Tuesday, Feb. 19, to engineer their remotely controlled, computerized robotic vehicle, based on a strategy the team decides will enable them to score the most points on a playing field environment where robots controlled by competitors are also maneuvering, taking up space, and attempting to score points. The end goal is to reach the The Robotics World Championship which brings together more than 20,000 students and 600 teams, including teams from all over the United States and from countries as far as Brazil, China, and Turkey, and as close as Mexico and Canada.



For more on Team 41 click here.

Team 41 is supported by the WHEAT Foundation and needs your help. The WHEAT Foundation is an all-volunteer organization, comprised primarily of parents of members of the Robo-Warriors. The Foundation is dependent on the ongoing support of the community and welcomes new members to join and support the robotics team. Parents provide meals six days a week for the six weeks of build season for the team. The school provides funds for competition fees only. The team is responsible for everything else needed to build their competition robot.

Fundraising is used to purchase robotic parts, equipment, and machinery for the WHRHS Team 41 RoboWarriors. 


Your donation is fully tax-deductible.

To Donate online click here.

You can also donate by check. Deliver through the robotics team faculty advisers at Watchung Hills or via mail at: The WHEAT Foundation, PO Box 4177 Warren, NJ 07059


Or help by providing a meal for the team or by donating gift cards.


The next competition Team 41 is participating in is:

Montgomery District Event – Event Info & Live Stream

The Blue Alliance – Event info and Video

Want a match schedule and live mobile updates? Download the FRC Spyder App!



Last year, Team 41 won the Innovation in Control Award at Mt. Olive and Montgomery Competitions. The award is sponsored by Rockwell Automation. and “celebrates an innovative control system of control components - electrical, mechanical or software - to provide unique machine functions."  At the Lehigh Regional competition, Team 41  received the Judge’s Award, given when “the judge’s panel encounters a team whose unique efforts, performance or dynamics merit recognition yet do not fit into any of the existing award categories.” In presenting the award, the announcer noted that “our ability to succeed depends on the tools we put in our hands. These Warriors ensure their ease of operation immersive design.” He then said that the RoboWarriors won the award for their "immersive driving experience.”


But, as big as winning is to the Robotics team and their faculty advisors, the rules of the game suggest that an even bigger bonus for the participants is the team’s annual year-long exercise of the skill of problem solving. Robotics is nothing, if it is not the learning about and the application of theoretical science, engineering concepts, and team problem-solving needed to complete a task. 



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