Co-captain, Builder, CAD Designer, Outreach, Fundraising
Phoebe Spear is a Senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. This is her third year competing in FTC. She had an amazing last two years and is excited to continue working on her machining, design, and leadership skills this year with i²robotics. During the 2015-2016 season she won the Dean’s List Award. In addition to the engineering side of the team, she wishes to contribute her experience in outreach, as she has started a charity, Phoebe’s Phriends, to raise money for pediatric cancer research. She also enjoys playing on the school’s golf team.
Co-captain, Builder, Programmer, Outreach, Fundraising, Strategy
Luke Sauer is a Junior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. This is his third year competing in FTC as part of i²robotics and eighth year in the FIRST program. Luke was part of FLL team SNAP from 2009-13. Within FIRST, Luke welcomes the opportunity to refine his building, design, and programming skills. He also enjoys collaborating with students from other teams locally and globally and giving back to the community through outreach activities. Outside of robotics, Luke enjoys reading, singing with the Staples High School Orphenians, and volunteering at the Westport Library’s MakerSpace teaching others how to use 3D printers.
Builder, CAD Designer, Outreach, Fundraising, Pit Crew
Ben Davis is a Senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. He joined i²robotics two years ago where he developed and honed his skills in engineering and communication. He is a three year veteran of FIRST LEGO League team SNAP, and is now undertaking his third year competing in FTC. Ben is excited to continue as part of the build team and ready to attend to robot emergencies in the pit. He enjoys history, playing the flute and blacksmithing in his free time.
Head of Business and Strategy, Photographer/Videographer, Outreach, Fundraising
Gregory Preiser is a Senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. This is his second year on i²robotics and his third competing in FTC. Greg’s areas of focus for the team include leading the scouting and strategy efforts, acting as Photographer/Videographer, preparing the team’s business plan and overseeing the team's fundraising efforts in support of CT FTC. His interests include photography/videography, golf, basketball, business and finance, and most importantly, giving back to society. Greg participated in Builders Beyond Borders and started his own stock market club at Staples (the ABCs of the Stock Market Club), which also successfully raises money for the local ABC (A Better Chance) House.
Builder, CAD Designer, Outreach, Fundraising, Strategy
Will is a senior at Staples High School in Westport, CT. This is his first year on i²robotics and his third year in FTC. For the past two years, Will has been on W-Prime Robotics 8391. He is excited to further his skills as a builder and CAD designer. Last year, Will was a Semi-Finalist for Dean’s List. Besides robotics, Will enjoys playing the mandolin.
Programmer, Web Master, Outreach, Fundraising, Strategy
Nathanael Metke is a Junior at Staples High School in Westport, CT. This is his first year competing with i²robotics and third year in FIRST robotics. He was on the FLL team SNAP from 2011-2013. Nathanael is excited to expand on his programming skills and welcomes the challenges that the robotics program will bring him. In his free time, he enjoys road biking, working with electronics, website design, and working at the Westport Library Makerspace where he teaches people programming and how to use 3D printers.
Writer, Public Relations, Outreach, Fundraising
Megan is a Junior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. This is her first year competing with FTC, and she is excited to join such a vibrant team. In addition to writing for i²robotics, Megan is an editor for the school newspaper and an avid ballet dancer.
Marketing and Graphic Design, Builder, Outreach, Fundraising, Strategy
Molly Loughney is a Junior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. This is her first year competing on i²robotics and her third year with FIRST, having been on team 1797 Phoenix FRC for the last two years at her previous school. Molly is excited to do the graphic design for the team, and help with outreach and building. She also enjoys theatre and music.
Electronics, CAD and Graphic Designer, Outreach, Fundraising
Neal Soni is currently a Junior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. This is his first year competing with i²robotics. Prior, he was a co-founder of W-Prime Robotics and member for two years. This is his third year competing in FTC, and his fifth season in FIRST Robotics. Neal is excited to continue to develop his skills in engineering, design, and programing through the FIRST program and enjoys the opportunity to connect with team members from around the world. He is also a member of his town’s Taekwondo national demo team.
Programmer, Outreach, Fundraising, Strategy
Theo Davis is a Sophomore at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. This is his second year competing in FTC and his seventh in FIRST Programs. Theo was a member of FLL Team SNAP from 2010 - 2015. In 2015, as part of Team SNAP, Theo qualified for and attended the World Festival in St. Louis. He is a programmer for i²robotics, and he focuses on automation. In addition, Theo assists in strategy and scouting. Over the summer he attended an engineering course at the Putney School in Putney, Vermont where he worked on electrical and mechanical engineering. In his free time, he enjoys programming, and building computers, as well as playing games with friends.
Mentor, Team Coordinator
With experience as a self employed acupuncturist and creative director in advertising, Reina encourages the team to develop business and creative skills. She is excited to help members reach their full potential creatively and as young entrepreneurs. This is her seventh year in FIRST and fourth as an FTC mentor. She’s thrilled to watch and participate in the team’s enthusiasm as they help and connect with others from around the world.
Terry Sauer has worked in new product development throughout his career. He has been an aspiring inventor since he read his grandparents' collection of Tom Swift books over forty years ago. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to share his enthusiasm for science and technology with this group of teenagers. He coached FIRST Lego League Team SNAP for five years, and is in his fifth year of coaching FTC Team 6081.
Peter Sauer is a Senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. He co-founded i²robotics in 2012 with Alex Davis. This is his 4th season competing in FTC, and his 7th season in FIRST Robotics. He was a member of FIRST LEGO League Team SNAP in Westport from 2009-2011. Peter was a Dean’s List Finalist during the 2014-15 season. Peter is excited to continue to develop his skills in engineering, business, and leadership through the FIRST program and enjoys the opportunity to connect with team members from around the world. He is also a member of his school’s water polo, swim and sailing teams.
Julia Schorr is a Senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. This is her 2nd season competing in FTC. She had an amazing experience last year and is excited for another great season. She holds many interests including videography, playing squash, drawing, and her true passion of graphic design. Having started her own graphic design company at the end of her freshman year, Julia hopes to continue contributing her keen eye for design. She also hopes to grow the team’s social media presence and overall visibility in the community. As she wants to pursue a career in marketing, she is ecstatic to explore the business side of robotics as well.
Joe Montuoro is a Senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. This is his 4th and final year of FTC. He has been part of team 7488 for the past three years and is excited to be joining team 6081 for his final year. He is pleased to be part of a team that values outreach and thrilled to pursue his interest in manufacturing and machining as part of the FIRST program. Joe has been part of his previous school’s stage crew program for seven productions and plans to continue at Staples. He also plays hockey in local leagues in his spare time.
Annie Gao is a Senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. This is her 1st season competing in FTC. With minimal previous experience, Annie is excited to write for the team, help with outreach, and explore building and the other opportunities that i²robotics provides. Her hobbies and interests include soccer, track, violin, piano, culinary arts and drawing.
Alex Davis is a senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. He co-founded the team two years
ago with Peter Sauer. This is his 4th season in FTC, and his 7th season in FIRST
Robotics. He was a member of FLL Team SNAP in Westport from 2009-2011, which won the CT State Championship 1st
place Programming Award in 2011, along with a special award for Outstanding Robot Design from the
Connecticut Chapter of the IEEE.
Alex is a Life Scout at Boy Scout Troop 36 where he serves as Webmaster. Alex also enjoys playing the piano, programming, and working on his science research project.
Julian Garrison is a senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. He joined the team soon after its creation for the 2012 season and has been involved in robotics for three years. He particularly enjoys delving in the strategic component of the challenge and also serves as a writer for the team. His other interests include reading manga, drawing, playing chess, and learning about the natural world.
Alex Somlo is a senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. He joined i²robotics for the 2012 season. He developed an interest in robotics at a young age while attending the Eli Whitney Museum camp, and has since participated in many more engineering related endeavors. His other interests include gaming, biking, programming, cars, and more. He strives to be a positive influence on the team and contribute his own unique skills.
Ken is a senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. This is his second year competing in the First Tech Challenge but his first on i²robotics. He is involved in several aspects of the team including building and designing the robot, producing videos, and fundraising. In his spare time, Ken enjoys gaming, drawing, film making, and animating.
Kiran Nandagopal is a freshman at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. He joined the team this year but has been part of FLL for 3 years. Kiran is a sports fanatic and plays soccer, swimming, water polo and golf. In his free time he plays the computer. He used to play the piano and still plays the violin.
Jun Pritsker is a senior at Weston High School. This is his second year being involved in the FTC team. He is interested in science and mathematics in school and wants to study computer science / engineering in school. In his free time he likes to work at his job, tinker, and learn programming. He likes to help build the robot as well as program and design the robot.
Elaine Hong is a senior at Weston High School in Weston, Connecticut. She harbors a variety of interests and passions: airplane modeling, architecture, interior design, PC gaming, photography, haute couture, the list goes on-- but she has always been intrigued the most by robotics. The thriving industry has been on a dynamic growth trend for years, and a promising future lies ahead. Elaine hopes to learn more about robotic engineering, explore a possible career field she may pursue, and participate in a competitive challenge alongside other passionate students.
Jordan Darefsky is a sophomore at Staples High School and joined the team in spring of 2013. Having completed AP Calculus and Statistic, Jordan is looking forward to participating in the PUMaC (Princeton University Mathematics Competition), HMMT (Harvard–MIT Mathematics Tournament), and the USAMO (United States of America Mathematical Olympiad). Jordan also is vested in science; he is self-studying to take the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad and the Physics Olympiad. Jordan is learning several programming languages, including Ruby, C, Objective-C, and RobotC. He enjoys playing jazz piano in his free time.
Sathya is a senior at Staples High School. Besides robotics, he enjoys art, photography, skiing and violin. His drawing and photography were exhibited at Fairfield University last spring. During the summer he built a computer, and also taught violin at a high school near Bangalore, India. For three years Sathya has been a member of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra. His goal is to become an engineer.
The following is an excerpt from the 'What is FIRST' brochure, available here.
FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Founded more than 20 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, the 2011-2012 FIRST season attracted more than 280,000 youth and more than 100,000 Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers from more than 60 countries. The annual programs culminate in an international robotics competition and celebration where teams win recognition, gain self confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path.
FIRST Tech Challenge is designed for students who want to compete head to head using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete on a 12 X 12’ field in an Alliance format against other teams. Robots are built from a reusable, modular platform and teams can choose from two programming languages. Teams, including Coaches, Mentors, and Volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.
- Design, build, and program robots
- Apply real-world math and science concepts
- Develop strategic problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills
- Compete and cooperate in Alliances at tournaments
- Earn a place in the World Championship
- Qualify for close to $10 million in college scholarships
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team 6081, i²robotics, was founded for the 2012-13 FTC Season and is based in Westport, Connecticut. Our team started with two dedicated, FIRST Lego League (FLL) Team SNAP graduates who wanted to continue their robotics experience into high school. Since then we have grown tremendously and today we are made up of 9 Westport high school students who all share a similar interest in robotics.
We began our robotics experience as
Minuteman Robotics–named after the symbol of Westport—with the
2012-13 FTC Ring It Up! Challenge. We participated in the CT State Competition—that year, there was no Qualifier
or Super Regional level of competition—and only one other scrimmage. As a rookie team, we didn’t appreciate the
value of attending an assortment of scrimmages and competitions. From robot-building and programming skills to
outreach and judging, we learned many lessons that first year that we would ultimately carry with us into the
The following year, we entered into the 2013-14 FTC Block Party! Challenge. Using the knowledge we gained from
our last season, we were more prepared for the challenges ahead. We wanted to go farther and accomplish more
than we had in our first season. The first order of business was a name change. We sought a name that better
captured our unique identity as a team, one that stood for all that we wanted to accomplish. Thus, we became the
i²robotics we are today, whose origin, pronunciation, and significance can be found on
the Name tab above. In addition, we started meeting more frequently for longer hours we attended more
competitions, and we more thoroughly documented our progress in the engineering notebook. Most importantly, we
always strived to improve ourselves after every event, whether it be scrimmage or Super Regional. It was a
tremendous amount of time, effort, and work that we put in. However, our efforts paid off, and we were honored
to be selected as one of 25 teams to represent the FTC East Region at the 2014 FTC World Championship in St.
Louis, MO. This was an incredible experience that let us connect and compete with outstanding teams from around
the world. We learned a great deal through our interactions with these teams, both on the field and off, and we
plan to apply these lessons to our next season.
Last year, The 2014-15 Cascade Effect game proved to be our most successful season yet. Some highlights included raising $2,000 for FLL in Haiti, holding a scrimmage that helped rookie teams from Connecticut, creating a Mars Rover simulator for the Bridgeport Discovery Museum, winning the Connecticut State Inspire Award, and setting a world record for the highest non-penalty score in a match. Last season we also greatly increased our presence among other teams by networking more with teams at events and increasing our social media and Youtube activity. Along the way we learned many valuable lessons including to never give up! We persevered through a difficult competition at the East Super-Regionals to get a spot at the World Championships in St. Louis, MO as the only team representing Connecticut. The relationships we had nurtured throughout the season worked in the team’s favor, and we ended up being the second pick of a semifinalist alliance. In addition, at the Worlds Award Ceremony, our robot was a finalist in two categories: the PTC Design Award and the Rockwell-Collins Innovate Award. Our lessons learned went way beyond the technical issues of how to build a robot last year. We were able to help other students here in Connecticut and as far away as Haiti. We re-connected with some old friends, and we created new relationships, which will help us for a long time to come.
After reflecting on the past three years, making preparations, and expanding the team over the summer, we’re ready for and looking forward to this year’s challenge, “Res-Q.”
Many people have been wondering what "i²robotics" is-- How do you say it? What does it mean? Where did it come from?
In electrical engineering and electronics, power is calculated with the formula P=I²R.
P is power, I is current, and R is resistance.
Power has many different meanings, but these specific ones spoke out to us:
We found these definitions fully applied to our purpose and goals as an FTC team—this is how i²robotics was created.
The i²r in our logos is bolded to place emphasis on the formula for power. Thus, when read aloud, it is "i squared r robotics".
I hope this helps those curious about our team.
Greetings FTC Teams,
Please join i²robotics, FTC 6081, at noon on Saturday September 12 at the Westport Public Library for the FTC 2015-2016 Game Reveal and Kickoff. We’ll be on the main floor of the library, just outside the MakerSpace. We expect to have a set of game elements and a demonstration robot running with the new control system. We’ll project the kickoff streamed from FIRST Headquarters in New Hampshire. i²r will also be collecting NXT kits and parts to support FIRST LEGO League in Haiti. i²r is working with FRC Team Sparky to help revitalize the FLL program in Haiti after 2010’s devastating earthquake. In January of this year, 200 middle school students were able to participate in Haiti’s first FLL competition since 2010. The Haiti FLL organizers want to accommodate more students this year, but need more NXT sets to do so. If you have any NXTs you’re retiring to replace with Android systems, please consider donating them to support this worthwhile cause. The teams in Haiti need any parts which originally came with NXT sets, including bricks, motors, sensors, beams, batteries, chargers, and even the tub and organizer the kits came in. If you have spare sets or parts, please bring them to the kickoff so we can get them delivered to Haiti. The FLL season has already started! This kickoff event is open to all, with no admission charge. If you expect to come, please let me know approximately how many will attend so we can be prepared with enough seats and/or space!