This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies.

Robotics Steps up to Challenge

Our Robotics Team was hard at work preparing for the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) before Winter Break. FTC is a judged competition open to students in grades 7-12 all around the world with state, regional, and world level competitions. FTC was developed by Dean Kamen the inventor of the Segway PT and Hoover Medal recipient in order to advance students’ abilities in designing, building, and programming robots. The event is intended to instill a love for STEM-related fields, which has certainly been the case here at Tabor. Many of our students who chose Robotics as their Winter Team activity have enjoyed our electrical or mechanical engineering courses and/or our computer science courses where they have been introduced to the engineering design process with Dr. Kistler or programming in our computer science classes. Recent graduates who participated in the program are now studying engineering and computer science at Northwestern University (Poom Sombotboom ‘18), Carnegie Mellon University (Gary Qin ‘19), Tufts University (Harper McKerrow ‘19), and Peking University, Beijing (Kevin Zhang ‘19)

A new FTC design challenge is released every September, which is when most of the more than ten-thousand teams around the world begin. As a winter co-curricular, Tabor Academy’s two teams do not start until late November. The late start adds to the difficulty of the design process but heightens the need for effective design, positive leadership, and dedicated collaboration. The team was frustrated in their first competition last year as they made late changes to the design that forced them to be less proficient in operating the robot at speed during the competition. The team underestimated how important it is for the driver to have enough time to practice the maneuvers in advance of the challenge so they would be familiar with all the controls and the movement of the robot. Learning from the lessons of last year, the group settled early on the design and have been very efficient with the build-out. 

With the first iteration of the robot fully constructed, the students were finalizing all the programming of controls in Java and completing the wiring, and configuring the motors, sensors, and servers the robot will use before Winter Break. Each task is recorded in an engineering notebook that documents the team’s ideas, trials, errors, and successes. With a functional robot, the team can now focus on perfecting the tasks required in advance of the competition, which is just a week away.

This year’s challenge requires the robot to autonomously detect a LEGO-like block with an image on it, pick it up, and place it on a building plate, move the plate, and then park somewhere else in less than 30 seconds. After this, the robot is driven by two operators to collect more of these blocks in order to build a tower on the building plate, it then must be able to move the building plate without toppling the tower!

The first of two qualifying competitions will be held at Andover High School and the two teams of fifteen students will make the trek with advisors Mr. Meleo and Mr. Voci. There they will work with and compete against twenty other teams from around the state. 

Jose Sulaiman ’20 is the team captain and shared, “Our most important lesson, in engineering and life in general, is that when having a task at hand, we must do it right, and we must do it right the first time. We work with an incredibly tight schedule, and we have no opportunity to redo things that were hastily put together.”

This is the third season for Tabor Robotics and we couldn’t be more impressed with their progress.

Community News

Tabor Tweets

Tabor on Facebook

Campus Events

List of 3 events.

  • International Dinner

    Come discover the flavors and culture of a new region/country every Wednesday through February. Brought to you by our international students and Tabor's Dining Services!
  • Black Box Show "Love and Hate"

    Don't miss the original vignettes written and performed by our student actors as they explore the many facets of love and hate in our lives through personal statements, two and three character, and company scenes. 

    Reserve your seat in the Black Box through the switchboard: 508-748-2000
    Will Parker Black Box in Hoyt Hall
  • Applied Music Recital

    Enjoy a special night of music with our Applied Music Students. These students have been practicing a piece for performance all winter. The students represent a range of learners from novice to expert at their instruments. Join us in Lyndon South.
    Academic Center - LYNDON SOUTH - LS
View All Events

Upcoming Alumni & Community Events

List of 3 events.

  • Sarasota, FL Reception

    Please join John Quirk, Head of School
    and hosts
    Mr. and Mrs. Lee Pokoik '63 GP '23
    for a cruising reception aboard the
    Marina Jack II
    2 Marina Plaza
    2:00pm. - 4:00pm
    (boarding promptly at 1:45pm) 
    Read More
  • #Tabor Time2020: Tabor Academy's 3rd annual Day of Giving!

    Tabor Academy’s 3rd annual Day of Giving!
    Starting on February 25, 2020 alumni, parents and friends have 1876 minutes to reach our goal of 1000 donors.

    To be 1 in 1000:
    • Make your best gift
    • Follow and post to #TaborTime2020 on social media
    • Challenge your peers to join you
    • Celebrate all facets of Tabor
    • Have an immediate impact on Tabor's students and faculty
  • Bermuda Reception

    Join us for a reception at 
    Gosling's Wine Cellar
    5:30pm - 7:30pm
    hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gosling P '06
    9 Dundonald Street

    The Tabor sailing team is headed to Bermuda for spring training! Coach Robert Hurd and members of Tabor’s sailing team will be on hand to  provide a brief update on the program.

    We are delighted to say that retired faculty member Merry Conway will be attending, as well!
View All Events


Admissions Office: 226 Front Street, Marion MA 02738 | Mail: 66 Spring Street, Marion MA 02738 | 508.748.2000 |