Two FHS Teams going to Worlds 23!

On March 11 and 12, the Framingham High School Robotics Club hosted the Southern New England Regional High School Championship. Eighty of the best teams from Massachusetts and Connecticut attended the two-day competition at Walsh Middle School. These teams competed in the 22-23 and participated in 200 matches to determine the top 16 alliances that would go into the eliminations round.

Team 9421R – Roboty McRobotface – entered the elimination rounds in 4th place with 8 wins and 1 loss. They made it to the semifinals, and this qualified them for the World Championship. The team is made up of 12th graders CJ Crocker, Ryan McLoughlin, Brady Levensohn, Zach Dustin and Tyler Garofalo. These five students attended the Middle School World Championship in 2019 where they received the Inspire Award in their Division.

Team 9421H – Hot Sauce – was 6-3 and entered eliminations in 17th place. While they lost in the first round of eliminations, they were able to qualify for the World Championship based on their performance in the Robot Skills category. The team is made up of 10th graders: Hartej Anand, Liam Hebert, Liam Parker, Joshua Peace, Kanwardeep Randhawa, Nick Swan and Ben Zislin. This will be the first Worlds Championship for them all.

Teams from FHS Robotics have participated in the VEX Robotics World Championship in

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Framingham High School Robotics was started in 2013 by a group of six students who saw a flyer for the club and thought it might be fun. This was the same year the Walshbots started at Walsh Middle School. This year, Framingham Robotics (FHS Robotics and Walshbot)  hosted more than 300 robotics teams who participated in nine different robotics competitions, including the Middle and High School Regional Championships.

Southern New England Regional High School Championship  Awards:

(* indicates that the award qualifies the team for the VEX Robotics World Championship)

Excellence Award*

Team 48425A – ROBOSheen – ROBOSheen Robotics – Lexington, MA

Tournament Champions*
Team 5150Z – Mad Hatters – Team Zirconium – Danbury High School – Danbury, CT
Team 63857D – Out of Stock – Mashpee High School – Mashpee, MA

Tournament Finalists*
Team 5150H – Mad Hatters – Team Havoc – Danbury High School – Danbury, CT
Team 5150D – Mad Hatters – Danbury High School – Danbury, CT

Tournament Semifinalists*
Team 9421R – Roboty McRobotface – Framingham High School – Framingham, MA
Team 48425A – ROBOSheen – ROBOSheen Robotics – Lexington, MA
Team 25600H – Latin H – The Roxbury Latin School – West Roxbury, MA
Team 63857E – The Aviators – Mashpee High School – Mashpee, MA

Design Award*
Team 2602B – Hopkinetics Bionic – Hopkinton High School – Hopkinton, MA

Robot Skills Champion*
Team 48425A – ROBOSheen – ROBOSheen Robotics – Lexington, MA

Judges Award
Team 78889M – Killingly Robotics – Killingly High School – Killingly, CT

Innovate Award*
Team 2602H Hopkinetics Heavy Metal – H Hopkinton High School – Hopkinton, MA

Think Award*
Team 5150H – Mad Hatters – Team Havoc – Danbury High School – Danbury, CT

Amaze Award*
Team 5150Z – Mad Hatters – Team Zirconium – Danbury High School – Danbury, CT

Build Award*
Team 5150D – Mad Hatters – Danbury High School SCHOOL – Danbury, CT

Create Award*
Team 2602E – Hopkinetics Elite – Hopkinton High School – Hopkinton, MA

Sportsmanship Award
Team 9909W – Walter – Middletown High School – Middletown, CT

Energy Award
Team 17814W – Organized Chaos – Weston High School – Weston, CT

Inspire Award
Team 9228C – Mecha Eagles – St. John’s Preparatory School – Danvers, MA

Southern New England Volunteer of the Year
Glen Berger

Southern New England Partner of the Year
Pascal Chesnais

Inexpensive Graphics Tablet


Note: click on links will generate funds for the FHS Robotics Club. It will cost you nothing.

I have been using the Huion 2020 Kamvas 13 since we went remote and it has been great! I initially had some connection issues until I realized I need to plug it in, run the Huion Tablet driver then turn it on. In that order. Every time.

It does have this proprietary cable  (you can see it in the upper right) that plus into upper of the two USB-C ports on the tablet and then splits into two USB-A and one HDMI plug. One USB-A  plug (the red one) provides power.

Kamvas Cable


I found an HDMI to USB-C adapter (this one) that works well. It uses a lot of ports (and assumes you have them all).

If you look at the picture below in the lower left, it looks like you can just run a cable from the lower of the two USB-C ports to a USB-C port on your computer.  Maybe you can, but I haven’t been able to do that. The hole in the tablet for the USB-C plug is very deep and narrow and most regular plugs don’t fit in there.

Huion Cabling options

I found one USB-C extender that let me use a regular USB-C cable, but the power was flaky, it stuck out really far and it was a lot more awkward to use than the 3 in 1 cable. And, frankly, the 3-in-1 works fine, but I like the elegance of using a single USB-C cable.

I do have a document camera (the Ipevo VZ-R HDMI/USB Dual Mode 8MP Document Camera), but I rarely use it now that I have the tablet. I will use it once we are back in the building, but for remote teaching, the Huion 2020 Kamvas 13 is working great (and it’s half the price of the Ipevo VZ-R HDMI/USB Dual Mode 8MP Document Camera).



Click on any of the links of buy them here:

How to keep an axle from flexing

From: Jason Brett:

So with axle flex you’re usually dealing with some form of three-point beam bending. The deflection of the shaft is — as you’ve pointed out — affected by both length and thickness. The thickness comes into play as the “moment of inertia” of the beam… for a square shaft the formula is proportional to the fourth power of thickness. Doubling the thickness will result in a 2^4 increase in resistance to bending, and therefore deflection should be reduced by a factor of 16.

Length, however is a cubic factor. Reducing the unsupported length (from bearing to bearing) by a factor of two will result in an 8 fold reduction in deflection. It might actually be a bit higher than that because these formulas assume a point load and a uniform beam… your beam is thicker where the wheels are and the load is distributed across that width. But the general concept applies…. shorter is better, and cubic factors make a huge difference! Simply reducing your unsupported span from 7″ down to 5″ will give you (5/7)^3 of your current deflection… about 36%. Reduce it to 4″ and you’ll be down to 18%.

Do BOTH… reducing your unsupported shaft length to 4″ AND doubling the shaft thickness and you’ll be at 1-2% of your current deflection… assuming, of course that load remains constant. If you aren’t able to compress either the tread on the wheels, the balls, or move the support on the other side of the balls, then you’re still going to have the same amount of deflection… because something has to give somewhere! This brings up the third factor in deflection… the load. Perhaps a little less “squeeze” will be sufficient to reduce your shaft flex. Keep in mind, however, that load is only linearly proportional to deflection… you’d have to reduce the load by 50% to cut deflection in half.

UNO’s Fundraiser on December 13th!

Visit UNO Pizzeria & Grill in Framingham for lunch, dinner or take-out and support FHS Robotics!

On December 13, just bring this flyer and up to 20% of your check will be donated to them!

Catering, take out and lounge purchases included. Call ahead for parties of 6 or more, 508-620-1816. Uno’s deliver locally for orders over $100.

Visit to view their menu.


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Clean out your closets and help FHS Robotics June 17th

As you already know, for a small fee, the FHS Robotics Club will take anything with a cord and recycle it. But starting this year, we will also take your gently used clothing and other household items for free!

We are teaming up with Savers and they will make a contribution to FHS Robotics for every pound of clothing we deliver to them. We’ll accept gently used clothing, shoes, bedding, towels, hats, mittens, scarves, ties, socks, purses, wallets, backpacks, bags, belts, jewelry.

On Saturday June 17th from 9 am – 3 pm we will in the main parking accepting both electronics and clothing. But you can save a trip and drop off items Wednesday June 12th through Friday June 16th from 11 am-3 pm.  Please bring clothing in a standard 13 gallon kitchen trash bag.

The fees for dropping off electronics are:

$1 Portable Items – Cell phones,MP3 players, telephones smoke detectors, calculators, routers, modems, speakers less than 12” tall, or USB hubs

$3  Small Items – External hard drives, external CD/DVD drives, or speakers 12-15” tall

$5 Medium-sized Items – Inkjet printers, VCRs, scanners, DVD Players, radios, stereo components, boom boxes, toaster ovens,  game console, or speakers 15-22” tall

$10 Medium-Large Items – Laptops, fax machines, laser printers, or speakers 22-34” tall

$15 Larger items – Computers, microwaves, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, all-in-one printers

$20 Large Items – All computer monitors or TVs 27” diagonal and under and speakers over 34” tall,

$25 Very Large Items – TVs over 27” diagonal, air conditioner (home wall/window units)

$35 Wood console/ projection TVs

Ridiculously Large Items – Office copiers, large AC units, refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc.  are priced by size (H+W+D) in inches:

Size < 70” – $15
70”-80” – $25
80”-90” – $35
90”-100” – $45
100”-110” – $55
110”-120” – $65
120”-130” –$75

Things we take:

  • Plastic TVs, Wood TVs, Laptops, computer monitors, computers, CPU boxes, all computer parts and accessories, keyboards, mice, cell phones, speakers, video games and systems, camera/video/audio equipment, fax/copy machines, printers, wires, plugs, drives, cards, servers.
  • Household Appliances, including all white goods including refrigerators, freezers, water heaters stoves, dishwashers, washers and dryers. Household appliances including toasters, irons, hair dryers, and microwaves.
  • Metal Items (less than 8 ft long)
  • Metal poles, metal desks, barbeque grills (no propane tanks), pots

Things we won’t/can’t take:

  • Automobile parts  (Tires, mufflers, fenders, etc.)
  • Beds & bedding parts (Hide-a-beds, bunk beds, mattresses, box springs, waterbeds, coil springs, etc.)
  • Construction materials (Lumber, pipes, floors, tubs, cabinets, carpet, doors, windows, etc.)
  • Damaged furniture (Torn, soiled or in need of repair)
  • Flammable products (Any items that operate on or contain fuel including: gas cans, propane cylinders, lawn mowers, weed trimmers, camp stoves, tiki torches, etc. )
  • Hazardous materials (Batteries, paints, chemicals, cleaning products, poisons, any liquids, etc.)
  • Infant products (Car seats, cribs and related products)
    Marine vessels (Boats, canoes, kayaks, etc.)
  • Weapons (Firearms, explosives, ammunition, flares, etc.)
  • Other items (Swing sets, food, animals)