Meet the LANDROIDS (video)

FIRST Tech Challenge team Landroids #4220 is a neighborhood science and robotics team from Livingston, NJ, in its 6th season competing in FIRST. The team was formed on August 1, 2007 with a group of kindergarten friends. Most members are currently in 11th grade.

Landroids started as a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team during the “Power Puzzle” season, successfully winning the State Champion’s Award consecutively and the highest honors at the 2009 FLL US Open. In 2010, the team moved up to FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), continued with its high level of excellence and performance in every aspect of the competitions. By 2012, Landroids was inducted to the FIRST Tech Challenge Hall of Fame.

As the founding team of the Livingston Robotics Club (LRC), our local communities went from 1 team of 7 members, to having 19 K-12 neighborhood teams with a hundred students throughout NJ.  Landroids has inspired many to participate in FIRST and make STEM an important part of their education focus.

Landroids is known for its innovations in robot designs and science research.  What set us apart besides the award winning robots, are our long term commitment in STEM, a diverse interest in different engineering and science fields, and the ability to apply a wide range of technical knowledge to develop real world solutions. The open-ended project based learning model has kept our group highly motivated, discovering different specialties and interests, while working well as a team to drawn on each other’s strength. The long term commitment and dedication has enable us to consistently build upon our experiences to win many top awards in various national and international science and robotics competitions in the last 5 years. The Landroids are also extremely active in community outreach and volunteering. We regularly host 10 to 12 robotics exhibitions and training workshops a year, fostering a long-term partnership with the local science center, and connecting with teams from around the world.

Being devoted in science, engineering and community outreach, has made our team a role model and the student ambassadors for many prominent organizations, such as FIRST, X PRIZE Foundation, Google Science Fair, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and Barnabas Health Medical Center.

Our members regularly meet 25 to 30 hours a week year-round, exploring different learning opportunities, and participate in multiple STEM related competitions, internships, and activities together throughout the year. Our training philosophy has been that the learning experience is more important than winning. We strive for the intent of the challenge, not the loopholes of the game. Everything is a science/engineering project, even our robots! We build upon the knowledge that each one of us has accumulated, and work on the projects that interested us to keep everyone motivated and challenged.

Our favorite fun things to do together are eating, drinking Mountain Dew, and go sailing together.

We believe that the harder we work, the more we learn, the higher chances we have in succeeding.

Landroids Current Members
Gage Farestad (PTC/Pro-E CAD Design, Robot Builder) Age: 17 (FIRST experience: 6 years)
My specialty in the team is CAD designs and renderings, which I am highly proficient in PTC Pro-Engineer/CREO and LEGO Digital Designer. I also like wood working and build with my hands. I love science, math, and interested in biomedical engineering. I am good with public speaking and making presentations. I have been learning Chinese, not that we speak Chinese on the team, but at least I understand it.  In my free time, l like to read a lot, and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and going to the beach. In the future, I hope to be an engineer or a scientist.
Brian Lee (Lead Programmer, Samantha, Sensors, Driver Coach, Researcher) Age: 17 (FIRST experience: 5 years)
I enjoy programming, and am fluent in RobotC, NXT-G, LabVIEW, and Java. On the team, I take care of the robot field control software, tele-op programming, sensors and algorithms, also knowing the rules and strategies.  I also do the embedded programming for the sensor and communication devices.  In my spare time, I play cello (having been on the NJ Youth Orchestra and NJ All State Intermediate Orchestra), read, play tennis, and go sailing. In the future, I would like to either be a computer or electrical engineer.
Vijay Menon (Robot Driver) Age: 17 (FIRST experience: 7 years)
I am the robot driver on the team for the competitions.  This is my 3rd season with Landroids since moving from Portland, OR to NJ in June, 2010.My hobbies include playing tennis, swimming, reading, playing the piano and clarinet, as well as playing video games.  I am currently interning with a robotic surgeon shadowing him in the surgical room as well as volunteering at the hospital, in order to expand my interests and experience in the medical and biomedical fields.
Karlin Yeh (Lead Robot Designer/Builder, Autonomous Programmer, Robot Driver, Innovative Designs) Age: 17 (FIRST experience: 7 years)
I am the main robot builder/designer and handle all the autonomous mode programming, solder the PCB boards, and design the 3-D printed specialty parts for the team. I am proficient in Robolab, NXT-G, RobotC, LabView, and basic Java, and regularly use Autodesk Inventor, Pro-E Creo and Solid Works for design. I am an innovative thinker and a hands-on tinkerer. By being proficient in building, programming, electronics and CAD, it has enabled me to design and rapidly prototype many ideas. For summer internships, I have been involved with graduate level biomedical, robotics surgical, and biophysics types of product development and research projects since 2011.My favorite sports are windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, fishing, downhill skiing and play ultimate Frisbee. I am also one of the very few students who bike to school daily (weather permits).  In my spare time, I like to breed dwarf cichlids and shrimp.  In the future, I would like to concentrate in mechanical engineering and robotics.
Ivana Chu (Lead Scouter, Graphics Design, Team Management, Fundraising) Age: 17 (FIRST experience: 5 years)
I am the lead scouter and also organize and manage all the working files for the team. I also prepare the Bill of Materials, do graphics design, and fundraising. During the competitions, I lead the scouting strategies and make alliance selection. I am very proficient in photography, Photoshop editing, Premiere Pro video making, programming in NXT-G. I’m also trained to operate power tools for robot building and field construction. Prior to joining the Landroids in 2010, I was on their sister FIRST LEGO League team, Landrias, as the lead robot builder for 2 years.

My favorite activities are fishing, kayaking, rock-climbing, and boogie boarding. In the future, I hope to major in engineering.

Karina Yeh (Scouter, Video Editing, Prototyping, 3-D printing Design, Solderer) Age: 15 (FIRST experience: 5 years)
I am a scouter and I prepare concept designs using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Pro-E, and Solidworks. I am good at soldering, graphic designing in Photoshop, and making 3-D printed objects. I also do video editing in Adobe Premiere CS5. Prior to joining the Landroids in 2012, I was the main robot builder and lead programmer on their sister FIRST LEGO League team, the Landrias, for 3 years. I enjoy drawing, reading, windsurfing, and designing and creating 3D-printed jewelry. I hope to open my own online jewelry store to showcase my skills and designs.
Age as of August, 2013
John Yeh (FLL/FTC Robotics Coach, Co-Founder and VP of Livingston Robotics Club, Director of LRC FTC Division)
Probably the biggest kid in the bunch….I am a computer engineer specialized in logic analyzer and hardware design, but more like the jack of all trades with any kind of mechanical, electrical, electronics and plumbing or carpentry work.  I have been a FIRST coach for 7 years (4 years in FLL, 3 years in FTC, 1 year in FRC).
Pearl Hwang, PE, LEED AP (FLL/FTC Judging & Project Coach, Co-Founder and President of Livingston Robotics Club, Director of LRC FLL Division)
I am a site/civil engineer and a project manager by trade. I oversee the team’s judging preparation, research projects, team management, strategical and logistical planning, public relationship, marketing, coaches training, and develop robotics curriculum for team start-up. I have been a FIRST coach for 7 years (6 years in FLL, 3 years in FTC and 1 year in FRC).
Landroids’ Alumni
Stanley Cheung(8/07 – 5/13) Age: 16 (FIRST experience: 6 years)
My main role on the team is to layout the electronic prototype board and design custom sensors, and know the rules.  I can program in NXT-G, RobotC and LabVIEW and Java, designing the protoboard, do embedding programming and  specialized in developing Androids Apps. I love to figure out how things work. I also like to play violin, soccer, run for the high school cross country and track team. My slogan is “Innovation is created by limitation”.
Sam Yang (8/10 – 8/11) (FTC Robot Driver, Builder, Scouting Analysis)
I spent the first year of FTC with team Lancer #3415 and my 2nd season with the Landroids, 3rd season back to team Lancer. My main task on the Landroids was robot building, drive the robot and oversee the scouting results. I play multiple instruments including the guitar and piano. I also play tennis competitively, very active in Boy Scout, and enjoy playing ultimate frisbee. My favorite subject is science, and I am also on the high school Science Olympiad team.
Jeffrey Dong (8/07 – 9/10) (FLL Robot Handler, Documentation, Video Essay)
My specialty in the team was documenting the team progress and compiling the video essay. I like watching sports such as baseball and keeping active. At school, my favorite subjects are English and History. Outside of school, I enjoy listening to music and socializing with friends, play with my Xbox 360, and play basketball. Athletically, I play tennis and swim competitively.  I have also been playing violin and piano for 6 ½ years.  After 3 seasons of FLL with the Landroids, in September, 2010, I transfered to a private school and have to devote more time to school work, swimming, lacrosse and drama.
Gregory Vuong (8/07 – 12/09) (FLL Lead Writer and Presenter)
I have been playing with LEGO since pre-school but somehow always get frustrated by how hard it is sometimes to put pieces together the way I envision them. I spent a summer learning RoboLab and it has helped me in programming in NXT-G as well. In school, I am in the band and play basketball. For the Smart Move season, I have learned to use LabView for data analysis.  After 3 seasons with this team, I have decided to devote more time in my school work.  I have since took on fencing as a competitive sports and is currently on the school debate team.
Zachary Katz (8/07 – 3/09) (FLL Robot Designer and Handler, Programmer, Lead Researcher)
I was in another FLL team in 2006 before joining this very competitive team in 2007 for 2 years. I love competitive swimming, tennis, soccer, skiing and also play piano. I have an extremely busy school and activity schedule, so in 2009, I decided to concentrate on swimming Zone.  I still hang out with the team whenever I can during the summers, but starting in 2011-12, I am attending an out-of-state boarding school, much harder to meet up with the team. In the future, I would like to be an architect or an engineer because I like designing and building rockets, robots, houses, bridges, and amusement parks.
Jonathan Chen (8/07 – 12/08) (FLL Presentation Board Designer)
My interest was in building and working with my hands, especially working with LEGO. I enjoy making PowerPoint and building robots. For fun, I like to read, ski, play violin, piano, ripstick, golf, scooter, bike, strategy games and video games. My favorite animals are seals, koalas, dogs, and platypuses. In the future, I would like to be a business person, dentist, or an architect.