Madison Robotics kicks off 2015-16 Season with New Coach

Madison is starting the season with new coach Madison high school technology teacher Michael Tollin. Mr. Tollin is experienced in First Robotics, having been a member of FRC Teams.


Madison Robotics Finishes 2013-14 at State Tournament

Mad Science performed well at NJIT winning 3 out of 5 matches and placing them in 10th place. The on field driving and gunning was strong but unfortunately they were not selected for an alliance to continue in the playoff rounds.

The season however may have been their most successful ever, with more students and a repeat victory as Championship captain in the Bayonne meet.

The team finished the season with an on field 23-10 record in matches for a near 70% win percentage.

With no students graduating the team expects an ever stronger performance next year.

Mad Science Qualifies for State Tournament

With two strong performances in the last month of competition Mad Science qualified for the New Jersey State Championship to be held at NJIT on March 2nd, 2014 at NJIT.



Mad Science Finishes as Finalist Captain at Wayne Hills JDroids Last Chance Meet

Wayne Hills, NJ, 26 Jan 2014- Madison High School’s “Mad Science” robotics team was an Alliance Captain and finished second in a field of 24 teams winning 4 out of 5 preliminary matches and edging them closer to qualifying for the New Jersey State tournament and winning the FTC Motivate award.

In one match Mad Science had to defeat two robots on their own because their alliance partner’s robot was being repaired.  The autonomous mode was working well all day and driver Jackson Rambusch with gunner Chris Spelker were led by field coach Simon Bird. In several matches they performed both the flag lift and the hang successfully. 

 Ranking second after the early rounds Madison picked team 5996 Hyper Nike and 7675 High Point Regional High School (HPHRS). After winning the first playoff round handily 2 matches to none, the team knew they had a challenge in a best two-out-of-three match against the Landroids of Livingston who edged them out.

Madison is hoping that they will be one of the 12 non-qualified teams to advance to the state championships.

Madison Robots Repeats as Bayonne Meet Champions

BAYONNE, NJ, 3 Nov 2013- Madison High School’s “Mad Science” robotics team defended their championship title at the Bayonne High School and captained the winning alliance to wrest victory from the Westport Ct. Wreckers who were the 2011 World Champions.

In a field of twenty teams Madison was in third place after five rounds of competition, which qualified to lead a three team alliance for the elimination rounds.

The team drivers and field coach were having success all day and the robot was running well, scoring cubes in in one of four crates randomly marked by an infrared beacon, and the robot navigated itself onto a ramp for additional points. In driver-controlled mode the team was able to score more cubes, crank a handle to lift a flag 7 ft high, and have the robot lift and hang itself off the ground by an iron pipe some 3 feet off the playing field.

Madison picked the Westfield Robotics team 5968 and the Cresskill Cougars team 6983 as partners for the playoffs. After winning the first playoff round handily 2 matches to none, the team knew they had a challenge in a best two-out-of-three match against a former world champion Westport in the finals.The Wreckers of Westport picked Westfield Robotics 2, and Mechanical Mayhem of Jersey City.

After two matches the teams were tied 1-1 with Madison still scoring its cube above the infrared beacon and Westport doing the same. In match three Madison’s partner’s robot stop moving and it looked like they would fail to lift the flag. Defeat seemed inevitable. Madison’s Robot still hung on the bar scoring valuable points, but they would not be enough. A review by the head referee revealed a gap between the foam tiles and the wall where Westfield’s wheel was stuck. As this was a field setup error the match was voided and ‘do over’ called. Match four was equally exciting with the cheering crowd unsure of the outcome. The final result was a 176-176 tie. An incredibly rare result in high scoring matches! The teams would go again.

The last match could also have gone either way as both teams scored easily and the score was very close. A penalty assessed to Westport for interfering with Madison’s crate pendulum put the match beyond all doubt.

Led by physics teacher Matthew Blackman, Madison’s team is bigger than ever before with 17 students Helen A., Suji B., Simon B., Andrew C., Gabe H., Jeffrey H., Yeongeun K., Allie M., Dante M., Logan P., Jackson R., Tim R., Geoff S., Christopher S., Anthony V., Ben W., and Monica Y, who all design, build, program, troubleshoot the robot and create game strategies.

Madison’s next match will be a qualifier for the State Tournament, hosted by Livingston HS on Dec 14th.

Madison High School’s “Mad Science” robotics team Web site at

Mad Science To Appear at Bottle Hill Day

Bottle Hill Day is on Oct 5th in Madison NJ and the Robotics team will be making its annual appearance. The booth will be located on Central Ave across from FireHouse Pizza.

Mad Science Robotics Starts Season with Near Perfect Victory at Bayonne!

Mad Science Robotics Starts Season with Near Perfect Victory!

Bayonne High School, 20 Oct  –  Madison High School’s “Mad Science” robotics team started the season in near perfect form, winning New Jersey’s first meet handily at a eleven team meet hosted by Bayonne’s Hive Voltage teams.

This year’s competition requires robots to grab donut sized rings from dispensers, and place them on a vertical tic-tac-toe style goals to score. Each scored ring counts and additional points are scored for rings placed three in a row. Madison’s current design allows their robot to grab two rings simultaneously using independent claws. A twist in this year’s rules allows one robot to ‘lift’ another robot during the 30 second end game.

During the early matches teams alliance partners and opponents are randomly selected and Madison swept the round with five consecutive victories. The team knew they had a successful design when they not only scored, but shutout their second opponent 75-0, scoring the first three in a row of the year. Not only was the Mad Science design dominant but the driving was a well. While other teams struggled with control, Madison’s drivers Jesse K and Kyle L consistently grabbed rings and scored them.

Madison was the top seed going into the elimination round, where each of the top four teams selected a partner. Madison chose Hive Voltage 2.0 because their design allowed for another robot to drive up a ramp to its top.

The finals were in a best two out of three format and the early victories were no guarantee of success. While Madison could score easily their opponents employed a defensive strategy to block them from acquiring rings and placing them on the posts. The Mad Science/Hive 2.0 alliance won as a single ring landed on the surface below the goals. That one ring was valued as a single point and they eked out a 1-0 victory. The victory came with a price. Damage to the robot and a failing ‘brick’ controller almost spelled disaster. Madison was forced to call an official timeout to give time for repairs.

In the next match Mad Science planned to drive to the top of the Hive 2.0 robot but their opponents interfered and incurred a major penalty. Victory seemed certain except Mad Science had also touched the Red Alliance’s ring dispenser incurring their own penalty resulting in a 0-0 score.

In the final match a change in tactics was called for. Hive Voltage 2.0’s robot performed like an offensive lineman, shielding the Mad Science Robot as it zipped from dispenser to goal.

But not all the bugs are worked out yet. In autonomous mode the robot seeks out an infrared beacon that is placed randomly on the goal. Rings scored on the column with the infrared beacon are worth bonus points. While it worked in school testing the robot failed to find the beacon, at the event. This is something the team will work on in upcoming weeks as well as allowing the robot to reach the higher scoring pegs.






Mad Science attends Bottle Hill Day Saturday, October 6th 2012

After a very successful year Mad Science kicked off the 2012-13 season with a booth at Bottle Hill Day!

More than a hundred kids (and adults) were able to drive one of our robots, search for a ping pong ball containing a magnet and place it in a goal for prizes!



FTC announces “Ring It Up” as the Game for 2012-13

The 2012-13 Game is “Ring it Up” and involves teams placing torus shaped rings about the size of a donut onto pegs and lifting the alliance team’s robot!


Check out the full game details here at First Robotics

Fear the Gear to host Wild West/Steampunk inspired scrimmage at Chatham HS May 12th

Fear the Gear is hosting a flashback scrimmage that will feature elements from past games including 3″ PVC rings, wiffle balls, racket balls and crates to move and lift.

The event will be a Chatham HS from 9-3 on May 12th.