GD Robotics Team Gears Up for 2017 Season

Groton Dunstable Robotics Team Gears Up For 2017 Season
Ginger Vollmar, Publicity for the GDRHS Robotics Team

The Groton Dunstable High School Robotics team, fondly known as “The Robotomies”, is gearing up for the 2017 FIRST Robotics “FIRST Steamworks” competitions for 2017. The team has been meeting since September to get new members acclimated to the team culture and to work on a demo bot. For the demo bot, the team has decided to focus on building a quad-based suspension system, with the goal of being able to traverse any kind of terrain.

The team had a fantastic season last year as their robot performed well enough in the first two competitions that they were invited to the New England District Championship in Hartford! The team lost several seniors and several mentors and sponsors. Though quite a few new members have signed up for the team, we are in need of new mentors and additional sponsors to provide funding for the fees that FIRST requires of all teams competing in FIRST Robotics. We would really appreciate your help so that our team can continue to grow and accumulate experience.

The kickoff date for this year’s competition is Jan. 7th, 2017. At this time, the team will be given the details of the challenge for this year and their kit of parts (the same challenge is given to 3000 other high schools internationally who participate in the FIRST Robotics tournaments). The team then has 6 weeks to build, program and test the robot. The Stop Build Day is Feb. 21st, 2017.

The first competition will be held at WPI on March 8th – 10th. The 2nd competition will be held at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI on March 24th – 26th. The competitions are very exciting events and we hope to get more spectators to come out and cheer on the team this year. More details will be provided as the time gets closer. You can visit our web site at for more information about the Robotomies or like us on Facebook at “GD Team 1277”.

The Robotics team depends on team mentors who are volunteers from the community and Mr. Mark Rocheleau, the Engineering and Technology teacher at the High School. The team is always looking for more mentors who have experience in machining, engineering, programming, marketing or project management.

All funding for the Robotics team is privately raised as no money from the school budget is allocated for this team. The Robotomies would like to thank our current sponsors who provide funding for the entrance fees for the FIRST competitions and for materials. Thank you to: Justin J. Maynard Memorial STEM Innovation Scholarship; Raytheon; Ted & Connie Lapres Fund; Mercury Systems; IBM Northeast Community Grant Program; GE Oil & Gas; Solidworks; MJR Engineering Co; Hollingsworth and Vose Company; Groton Dunstable Education Foundation; the Hughson Family; and the Adams Family. Additional sponsorships are always welcomed and appreciated.

If you have questions or would like to help support the Robotics team, please contact Mr. Mark Rocheleau at