MOB Champions Could Use Your Help Sending 'Killer' Robots To Houston

CROSS RIVER, NY — It came down to the final seconds, but the MOB’s against all odds victory at the New York Excelsior Regional Championship punched their ticket to take on the world at the 2023 FIRST Championship, held in Houston next month.

But getting delicate equipment to Texas won’t be an easy (or inexpensive) task.

“It’s kind of a tight window,” the robotics team’s spokesperson, John Jay senior Rachel Lewis, told Patch. “We have to send the equipment a week ahead to make sure it gets there on time. We’re looking into to getting a ‘Pelican’ case to protect it.”

Find out what's happening in Bedford-Katonahwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The team has started a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help cover those costs.

Lewis said the team has concerns beyond logistics. The M.O.B., or Mechanical Operations Bureau is also racing to complete an upgrade to their championship robot before shipping it to the competition.

Find out what's happening in Bedford-Katonahwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

“We’re trying to see if we can make it even better before boxing it up,” she explained. “There’s a real advantage for the teams closer to the event — they can work with their robots right up until the competition, but we will have to sort of let go until the team gets there.”


In addition to raising money to ship and protect the robots, the MOB is also hoping to put their best foot forward on the global stage. The culminating annual event for youth robotics will be attended by around 190 teams — state champions and international teams from countries including the Netherlands, France, England, Germany, Thailand and Romania, according to organizers. Assuming travel expenses are met, the MOB wants to make sure the team’s competition booth at the George R. Brown convention center wows the world of robotics.

The MOB will be facing stiff competition in the best-of-the best in the world, but there is every reason to believe in this plucky Hudson Valley team.

“They work tirelessly, often until late at night,” Peter explained. “Whether it’s troubleshooting or brainstorming innovative solutions, their creativity and ingenuity never cease to amaze me. They continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, and I’m honored to work with such an exceptional group.”

It was a trial by fire that proved this team deserves to be front and center amongst the very best.

The team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat just a few weeks ago, despite a catastrophic mechanical breakdown that seemed certain to put an early end to the MOB’s remarkable journey.

“The third and final match of the championship finals was going to determine it all,” Senior Lewis wrote in a report from the scene. “In the autonomous phase, for the first time the entire day, ALL cones placed. Off to an excellent start, MOB couldn’t help but feel confident from their significant autonomous point lead, UNTIL THEIR ALLIANCE PARTNER’S ROBOT STOPPED MOVING ENTIRELY.”

While this sudden turn of events seemed to spell doom for the team’s hopes, an unimaginable victory was soon within reach.

“In a 1 v 2 situation, in the final two minutes of the final match, with all odds against them, MOB drivers David Bond and Jack Shapiro pulled through,” Lewis reported. “In a seemingly miraculous win over the #2 seed BY ONE POINT, The MOB was crowned the winner of the NY-Excelsior Regional Championship and handed their tickets to the World Championship in Houston, Texas.”

Lewis said that in addition to the disadvantage of being a “visiting team,” there could be unexpected obstacles waiting in Houston.

“It really is an international event,” she said. “It’s hard for us to even wrap our head around how many teams will be there. We could be assaigned an alliance partner who might not speak English, and we might not speak their language. How will we communicate? We’re already thinking about how we can make it work.”

We can’t help the MOB find a way to overcome a potential language barrier in the heat of competition, but we can help the team to make us proud, win or lose, as the world watches.

You can support the GoFundMe “MOB TO WORLDS!! Houston, Texas, April 18th-22nd” fundraiser here.

GoFundMe is a Patch Partner.

The MOB built a robot with focus and creativity. (Albert Manes)

Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.

Click Here: striped gaa shirt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *