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July 12, 2012



Freeholder Leonard Luciano and Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold of Livingston (1st and 2nd from left) joined the members and coaches of the Livingston Landroids Robotics Team for a demonstration of their world champion robot during the Freeholder Board’s meeting at the Hall of Records on Wednesday, July 11th.  Pictured above with the freeholders are: (right to left) Vijay Menon, Karlin Yeh, Gage Farestad, John Yeh (co-founder and Vice President of Livingston Robotics Club), Brian Lee, Pearl Hwang (co-founder and President of Livingston Robotics Club), Ivana Chu and Stanley Cheung.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

(Newark, NJ) – During its Wednesday, July 11th, meeting held at the Hall of Records, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored the members of the Livingston Landroids Robotics Team for having won the 1st Place “Inspire Award” at the 2012 FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship held at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 28, 2012.

The Landroids is the founding team of the Livingston Robotics Club, a 5th-year private neighborhood science and robotics team in Livingston, New Jersey, that began with a group of friends that have now completed their sophomore years in high school.  The team, which meets year-round, 25-30 hours per week outside of school, competes in various robotics and science competitions and has won multiple 1st place national and international awards.  The members are:  Stanley Cheung, Gage Farestad, Brian Lee, Karlin Yeh and Ivana Chu of Livingston High School, and Vijay Menon of Ridge High School.  John Yeh is the FLL/FTC Robotics Coach, Co-Founder and Vice President of the Livingston Robotics Club and Director of its FTC Division, and Pearl Hwang is the FLL/FTC Judging and Project Coach, Co-Founder and President of the Livingston Robotics Club and Director of its FLL Division.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization that designs accessible and innovative robotics and science competitions to inspire young people to pursue science, technology and engineering.  The 2012 annual FIRST Challenge event was held from April 25-28, 2012, when 30,000 participants, fans, families, educators, celebrities and industry leaders gathered to celebrate students’ engineering prowess.  More than 640 teams from 32 countries participated in the four different levels of competition: Junior FIRST LEGO League, FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition.  The Landroids competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) against 128 teams from 13 countries that were selected from 2,100 teams around the world.

The team first won the New Jersey State “Inspire Award”, thereby earning its invitation to the World Championship in St. Louis, where they competed in the “Bowled Over” Challenge for which they had to design and build a robot using a given kit plus other permitted parts; the robot was to be operated in both autonomous and tele-operated modes within 2.5 minutes, while pairing-up with different alliances and opponents.  The robot had to be robust enough to push a bowling ball, pick out magnetic balls, place racquetballs into crates, and then stack and/or lift the crates as high as possible to score points.  The Landroids was the only undefeated team for two days through the preliminary rounds and was the only team to address all aspects of the design challenges with a robot that was a consistent performer and versatile enough to complete all tasks, but fell just short in the final round, finishing second.

For its outstanding performance, the team was presented the “Inspire Award”, the highest honor in FTC that is given to a team that embodies the challenge of the FTC program, best represents itself as a role model, is a top contender for all judging categories, and is a strong competitor in the field.  As such, Landroids #4220 was inducted into the FTC Hall of Fame.  The team also won the “World Championship Finalist Alliance Captain Award” (2nd place in overall robot performance), the “Franklin Division Winning Alliance Captain Award”, and was nominated for both the “Rockwell Collins Innovate Award” and the “Think Award”.

The Board’s Commendation honoring the Landroids was co-sponsored and presented to the team members by Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold of Livingston and Freeholder Leonard Luciano of West Caldwell.  Following the presentation, the team wowed the freeholders and meeting attendees with a demonstration of the robot which performed many of the tasks required in the “Bowled Over” Challenge.

“I’ve followed your accomplishments in the newspapers for years, and I think this is just wonderful”, said Freeholder Vice President Sebold.  “As a former school teacher, I am just so pleased to have an opportunity to meet you, to congratulate you, and to witness first-hand the product of your hard work, intelligence and ingenuity.  It truly is amazing, and I am very, very impressed, to say the least!”


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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders



Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695