Team History

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Team Info:

Team Name: Gus Robotics Team 228
Team Size: 20 Students, 8 Mentors
Schools: Platt High School, Maloney High School, Wilcox Tech High School
Competitions: New Jersey Regional, UTC New England Regional
Awards: Northeast Conference Autodesk Visualization Award Finalist

Behind the 'Bots

Behind every robot is a story. A story of late nights, endless programming, and a rush to get everything done in only six weeks. Learn more about the design, fabrication, and achievements of each of our robots from our rookie year's bot to our latest robot, Gus 9.

The Robot


The year 2003 saw the rebirth of Gus Robotics Team 228 in many ways. After coaching our team for the past four years, the Platt teacher and founded of the team John O'Keefe retired. For several months, there was strong concern about the future of the team, now that we were without a team coach. But we had not to fear, as Gordon Morrison, who was one of the existing team mentors, as well as a Physics teacher and a retired mechanical engineer, stepped up to the plate and became our new team coach. In addition to getting a new team coach, our team finally received the support of a full-time mechanical engineer. Ben "Bengineer" Piecuch was not new to FIRST when he came to our team. Having already been a mentor on Buzz Robotics (Team 175) and Bobcat Robotics (Team 177) for the prior few years, Ben now wanted to find a team to mentor. As soon as Ben Piecuch came to our team, we immediately began to see improvements in the quality of our robots. Out were the days of randomly trying to weld more quarter-inch aluminum together until something worked, and in were the days of actually engineering a robot.

Our 2003 robot was originally designed to be a mostly offensive robot, with the ability to stack up to seven totes high. However, as the 2003 game Stack Attack did not pan out to be an offensive game, the second stage of the arm was scrapped leaving only a one-stage arm. However, since stacking was so rare, what was left of the arm (which had now been christened the "stub") was taken off and turned onto wings on the side of the robot. Wings were added to the sides of the robot to push more totes over in autonomous.

In 1999, students and teachers from Wolcott High School came to Meriden to join Team 228 because there was not enough support available within their hometown to have their own FIRST team. But as year after year passed, the amount of students and mentors on Team 228 from Wolcott was never stopped growing. In 2003, there was enough students, mentors, and financial support to start their own team in their hometown. Hence, Team 1071 Max was born in 2003 out of Gus Robotics Team 228. Although Max and Gus are two separate teams, neither team has forgotten that we were once one team. To show their support of Team 228, Team 1071 decided upon a team name of "Max", which was derived from the original 1999 robot name of "Augustus Roboticus Maximus". To this day, relations between the two teams are generally friendly and open.

Games Competed In

Stack Attack (FRC)
Not all FRC games always play out as they were originally intended, and Stack Attack was a prime example of such a scenario. There were two main parts to the game: stacking boxes as high as possible a score multiplier, and a "king-of-the-hill" ramp at the center of the playing field for bonus points at the end of the match. As the game progressed, very little stacking of boxes occurred as the stacks were so easy to knock over, and the game generally degraded into a pushing match for the center ramp. One lasting impact of Stack Attack was the addition of the autonomous mode, an important part of every subsequent FRC and FVC competition game.