Quadrumaniacs FLL Robotics Team Wins Innovative Project Award

Quadrumaniacs team members Zane Kretz and Timothy Rousculp pose with Coaches Susannah Rousculp and Matt Kretz in their crazy monkey masks. Courtesy photo

Bananananananabot showing off it’s pull-up. Courtesy photo

Timothy Rousculp and Zane Kretz, of FLL Team 146, the Quadrumaniacs, horse around at a local bus stop. Courtesy photo


FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams had a rocky year like most groups during COVID shutdown.  Fewer teams participated due to limitations on in-person meetings — how would teams imagine and build a robot?  Only one team from Los Alamos entered the state competition this season.  Coached by Susannah Rousculp and Matt Kretz, the Quadrumaniacs met, masked and outdoors, in a coach’s driveway in the fall to work on their robot and programming to solve “missions” on their competition field.  

This year’s theme was “RePlay” which challenged teams to have their robots interact with LEGO models that emphasized exercise.  Team members Zane Kretz and Timothy Rousculp wanted above all to have their robot do a pull up on the pull-up bar to lift their robot off the mat — and they were successful!  Teams were also tasked with envisioning and researching an innovative project around the exercising theme.  The Quadrumaniacs looked into creating a QR code that linked smartphones to a website encouraging quick spurts of exercise, and the team started investigating adding that  possibility to our local bus stops.  

The NMFLL State Competition was held virtually over Zoom on Saturday, May 8.  Fortunately, teams were able to “meet” each other in a break-out room to chat and see how each others’ seasons were handled.  The Los Alamos Quadrumaniacs won the Innovative Project Award and were second overall, with their exemplary attention to project research, robotics and crazy-fun Core Values.  In the 2019 FLL competition “City Shaper” the Quadrumaniacs also finished 2nd place, securing a spot to compete in LEGOLand, but that competition was canceled due to COVID.

The Quadrumaniacs would like to thank ASME, Northern New Mexico, once again for their generous support (this time for a new robot, the LEGO “Spike Prime”).  Nick Muller from Anytime Fitness, and Ryn Herrmann from the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce met with the team and helped them brainstorm ways to make their innovative project even better.  Thanks, Los Alamos, for your continued support of these great STEM activities and programs.