Team #73 was started in 1993 as the Ediaks with Eastman Kodak Company as the sponsor. In 1995, Harris Corporation took over as sponsor. Students from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) special interest dormitory Engineering House, supported by staff from the College of Engineering joined the team in 1996.
The team name was changed to Tigerbolt to represent Harris’ focus on electronics, Edison’s logo (the thunderbolt) and RIT’s mascot (the tiger). The RIT students assisted this unique partnership by helping to bridge the gap between the high school students and the technical professionals. Additionally, the college students could directly show the relevance between the high school classes and college coursework.
Team Tigerbolt won the national championship in 1996 and was voted most photogenic in the mid-Atlantic regional and national competitions in 1997. Unfortunately business conditions forced the team’s sponsor to discontinue their support and the team was dissolved.
In the fall of 2000, a group of RIT Engineering honors freshmen, also veterans of FIRST, set out to rejuvenate the team. In the true spirit or partnership, funds were raised from Alstom Transportation, Alstom Employees Foundation, Fibertech Networks, New York State Department of Education Science and Technology Entry Program, RIT College of Engineering, RIT Department of Enrollment Management, and the Rochester City School District. This team competed in the mid- Atlantic regionals and nationals in 2001 and won a Judges award at the regional.
Due to more financial difficulties, Team #73 didn’t compete in 2002.
The Visioneers 2002-2012
In the spring of 2002, Bausch & Lomb (B&L) agreed to be the corporate sponsor for Team #73. During the summer and fall of 2002, staff from B&L, Edison and RIT met to plan for team operations. The team name was changed to the Visioneers to acknowledge B&L’s leadership position in vision products.
This team has made significant progress on one of the goals of FIRST, the involvement of underrepresented student groups. In 2002-03, a partnership was established with the RIT North Star Center to create a research project for a Packaging Science student to build the shipping crate for the robot. Technical support was provided by a faculty member in the packaging science department and supported by funds from the New York State Department of Education Collegiate Science and Technology Program (CSTEP).
2004 is the team’s second year with Bausch & Lomb (B&L) and the team consists of some 50 persons from B&L, Edison and RIT. This breaks down to three Edison teachers, about 25 Edison students, 13 B&L staff, 10 RIT students and 2 RIT staff.In 2011 M/E Engineering P.C. joins as sponsor.