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FIRST Robotics Competition

Who Is 1640?

Paul Sabatino, a physics teacher at Downingtown East High School, formed FRC Team 1640 with 12 students in 2005. Mr. Sabatino coached FRC Team 104 in the West Chester School District before joining the Downingtown East faculty. Sab-BOT-age is the team’s tag, which honors Paul Sabatino’s important contributions.

The team had to leave the Downingtown Area School District’s umbrella in 2011 and form Downingtown Area Robotics, Inc. (DAR). The FRC 1640 team currently consists of 35 students from across Chester County, as well as more than a dozen mentors.

Though DAR has grown to include a FIRST Tech Challenge team and holds two FIRST LEGO League events each year, FRC 1640 remains the foundation of the organization. The FIRST Mid-Atlantic (previously Mid-Atlantic Robotics) District is where FRC 1640 competes at 260 Exton Square Pkwy, Exton, PA 19341.


FIRST Robotics Competition

The FIRST® Robotics Competition blends the thrill of competition with the challenges of science and technology. Students compete for awards by designing, building, and programming industrial-size robots while also developing a team identity, raising funds, honing teamwork skills, and promoting STEM respect and appreciation in the community.

Trained mentors donate their time and experience to help each team. It’s the nearest a student can come to real-world engineering. In addition, high school students have access to limited-time scholarship opportunities from colleges, universities, and technical schools.

$ 0 M
In Scholarships for Colleges, Universities, and Technical Programs
Express Interest in Attending College
FRC Students 92%
Develop An Increase In Teamwork Skills
FRC Students 99%

1640 is achieving its mission goals of increasing the number of young people involved in STEM – and that their enthusiasm extends beyond their involvement in the program to their educational and career choices.

In addition to improving their STEM skills, FIRST participants learn teamwork, problem-solving, and communication skills, which will help them succeed in school and in the future workforce.

Interested? Why Join?

1640 is not an FRC team affiliated with a school. We welcome students from all over Chester County, PA.

We are a mixed-gender team that does mixed-gender jobs. Girls and boys have always shared leadership positions within the squad. The team’s mentor group is no exception. Merit and drive/commitment are used to assess progression.

Technology – 1640 spent eight years creating swerve control, which enables all four robot drive wheels to be driven and steered independently. Technically demanding, this provides us with unrivaled agility as well as excellent traction.

Students 14-18

CAD/CAM – Computer aided design (via SolidWorks) and Computer aided manufacturing.

Welding – Aluminum via MIG & steel by stick & MIG. Our last nine robot chassis have been student welded (aluminum).

Composite Materials – Our last seven robots have utilized carbon fiber and E-glass based composites. All made in-house.


Polymer molding

Polymer forming – via heat table and vacuum-forming.

3-D Printing






Our Mentors

  • Clem McKown – Design
  • Gary Deaver – Mechanical, Design, Scoring Team Adviser, Assembly               Lead Mentor
  • Larry Dodds – Lead Mentor
  • Scott Featherman – Electrical Lead Mentor, Control Team
  • Faith McKown – Logistics Lead Mentor, Field Construction, Flex Team           Adviser
  • John Weissman – Media Adviser, Drive Training
  • Paul Klufas – Media And Programming
  • Sanjai Bashyam – Design and Mechanical
  • Bryan Schwenk – Scouting and Media
2019 FRC Volunteer Tags
Clem McKown Scientific Contribution Certificate

Our Robots


DEWBOT XV 2019 - Destination: DEEP SPACE

DEWBOT XIV 2018 - FIRST Power Up

DEWBOT XIII 2017 - FIRST SteamWorks

DEWBOT XII 2016 - FIRST Stronghold

DEWBOT XI 2015 - Recycle Rush

DEWBOT X 2014 - Aerial Assist

DEWBOT IX 2013 - Ultimate Ascent

DEWBOT VIII 2012 - Rebound Rumble

DEWBOT VII 2011 - Logomotion

DEWBOT VI 2010 - Breakaway

DEWBOT V 2009 - Lunacy

DEWBOT IV 2008 - Overdrive

DEWBOT III 2007 - Rack 'n Roll

DEWBOT II 2006 - Aim High

DEWBOT I 2005 - Triple Play


2019 Deep Space –

2018 Power Up –

2017 Steamworks – 

2016 FIRST Stronghold – 


2015 Recycle Rush – 

2014 Aerial Assist –

2013 Ultimate Ascent

2012 Rebound Rumble – 

2011 LogoMotion – 

2010 Breakaway – 

2009 Lunacy –

2008 Overdrive –