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Franklin - Local Town Pages

Franklin Robotics Team Wins at State, Advances to Worlds

Shown is the Sense and Sound Robotics team, which meets in Franklin. The FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team won the State Championship March 9th and will advance to the World Championship in Houston next month.


Sense and Sound Robotics, a community-based FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team, won the Massachusetts State Championship on March 9th, and is advancing to the World Championship in Houston next month to represent the Commonwealth. The team is made up of 8th through 12th graders from surrounding communities who compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge, a robotics competition where students learn to think like engineers. Teams design, build, and code robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. Robots are built from a reusable platform, powered by Android technology, and can be coded using Java. A new challenge is presented annually, requiring a new robot build and hours of testing and problem solving. Team members build 2-3 times per week in a lab in Franklin, Mass., where they are mentored by local engineers. The students are responsible for all aspects of the robot build and coding, including tracking their efforts in an engineering design notebook. Older students also mentor younger students in physics, math, computer programming, and engineering to create a successful design. 


Each match is three minutes in length and includes a 30 second autonomous period where the robot must be preprogrammed to complete certain tasks, followed by a two and half minute driver-controlled period. In this year’s challenge, robots had to pick up and stack different colored multi-sided pixels in various patterns on a backboard. During the last 30 seconds of the match, the robot had to launch a paper airplane into a landing zone and then suspend themselves from rigging on the playing field.
As a community-based team, the Sense and Sound Robotics does not receive any funding from the school or town, and so they have launched a fundraising campaign to raise the $33,000 necessary to compete at Worlds. Expenses include team registration, travel for the team, transport for the robot and supplies, and additional robot parts needed to compete. Both corporate sponsorship and individual donations are welcome. Sense and Sound Robotics is a 501c3 organization. You can donate to the team or learn more about sponsorship at You can read more about FIRST Tech Challenge at