FIRST Robotics Competition

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FIRST Robotics Competition
Most recent season or competition:
FIRST POWER UP
FRC Logo.svg
Sport Robotics-related games
Founded Dean Kamen
Woodie Flowers
Inaugural season 1992
Commissioner Frank Merrick[1]
Motto "More Than Robots"
No. of teams Total Registered: 6,771[2]
Countries
Most recent
champion(s)


2017 Champions:
Houston Chairman's Award Winner:
Australia 3132: "Thunder Down Under"
St. Louis Chairman's Award Winner:
United States 2614: "Mountaineer Area Robotics"[4]
Houston Champion Teams:
United States 973: "Greybots"
United States 1011: "CRUSH"
United States 2928: "Viking Robotics"
United States 5499: "The Bay Orangutans"

St. Louis Champion Teams:
United States 2767: "Stryke Force"
United States 254: "The Cheesy Poofs"
United States 862: "Lightning Robotics"
United States 1676: "The Pascack PI-oneers"[5]

Festival of Champions Winners:
United States 2767: "Stryke Force"
United States 254: "The Cheesy Poofs"
United States 862: "Lightning Robotics"
United States 1676: "The Pascack PI-oneers"
Most titles World Champions:
United States71: Team Hammond (4 titles)
Blue Banners:
United States254: Cheesy Poofs (48 banners)
Regional & District Wins:
United States 254: The Cheesy Poofs (33 titles)
Regional & District Chairman's Award:
United States503: Frog Force (10 awards)
Longest Win Streak :
Canada 2056: OP Robotics (23 titles)
Greatest Combination in History :
Canada 2056: OP Robotics and 1114: Simbotics (18 Regional wins together)[6]
TV partner(s) NBCUniversal
NASA TV
Related
competitions
FIRST Tech Challenge
FIRST Lego League
FIRST Lego League Jr.
Official website www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc

FIRST Robotics Competition is an international high school robotics competition. Each year, teams of high school students, coaches, and mentors work during a six-week period to build game-playing robots that weigh up to 120 pounds (54 kg).[7] Robots complete tasks such as scoring balls into goals, flying discs into goals, inner tubes onto racks, hanging on bars, and balancing robots on balance beams. The game changes yearly, keeping the excitement fresh and giving each team a more level playing field. While teams are given a standard set of parts, they are also allowed a budget and are encouraged to buy or make specialized parts. The FIRST Robotics Competition is one of four robotics competition programs organized by FIRST, the other three being FIRST LEGO League Jr., FIRST LEGO League, and the FIRST Tech Challenge.

FIRST Robotics Competition has a unique culture, built around two values. Gracious Professionalism embraces the competition inherent in the program, but rejects trash talk and chest-thumping, instead embracing empathy and respect for other teams. Cooperation emphasizes that teams can cooperate and compete at the same time.[8] The goal of the program is to inspire students to be science and technology leaders.

In 2016, the 25th year of competition, 3128 teams with roughly 75,000 students and 19,000 mentors from 24 countries built robots. They competed in 53 Regional Competitions, 65 District Qualifying Competitions, and 8 District Championships.[3] 600 teams won slots to attend the FIRST Championship, where they competed in a tournament. In addition to on-field competition, teams and team members competed for awards recognizing entrepreneurship, creativity, engineering, industrial design, safety, controls, media, quality, and exemplifying the core values of the program.

Most teams reside in the United States, with Canada, Israel, Australia, and Mexico contributing significant numbers of teams.[3]

History[edit]

FIRST was founded in 1989 by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen, with inspiration and assistance from physicist and MIT professor emeritus Woodie Flowers. Kamen was disappointed with the number of kids—particularly women and minorities—who considered science and technology careers, and decided to do something about it. As an inventor, he looked for activities that captured the enthusiasm of students, and decided that combining the excitement of sports competition with science and technology had potential.

Distilling what sports had done right into a recipe for engaging young people, Kamen says, turned out to be relatively straightforward. "It's after school, not in school. It's aspirational, not required," he explained to me.

"You don't get quizzes and tests, you go into competitions and get trophies and letters. You don't have teachers, you have coaches. You nurture, you don't judge. You create teamwork between all the participants. We justify sports for teamwork but why, when we do it in the classroom, do we call it cheating?"

Most of all, it was a nonjudgmental space, where in contrast science and math in traditional educational settings had been soured with embarrassment and uncertainty.[9]

Kamen has stated that FIRST is the invention he feels most proud of, and predicts that participants will be responsible for significant technological advances in years to come.[10] The first FIRST Robotics Competition season was in 1992 and had one event at a high school gymnasium in New Hampshire.[11] That first competition was relatively small-scale, similar in size to today's FIRST Tech Challenge and Vex Robotics Competition games. Robots relied on a wired connection to receive data from drivers; in the following year, it quickly transitioned to a wireless system.[12][13]

Teams[edit]

A New York City FIRST Robotics Team at a Greater DC Regional with their robot (Hunter College High School-3419)

Countries currently represented (in decreasing order of number of teams, as of 2016)[3]

Competition[edit]

The 2011-2017 FIRST Championship will be held at The Dome at America's Center.
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2011 FRC events in the United States and Canada; excludes the competitions held in Hawaii and Israel, and the since founded events in Australia and Mexico. Regional events have also previously been held in Brazil.

FIRST Championship[edit]

The FIRST Championship is the culmination of the FIRST Robotics Competition competition season, and occurs in late April each year. Roughly 600 teams participated in 2015. On May 5, 2016, FIRST announced that from the 2017 season and onward, there would be two FIRST Championships. One for the Northeast taking place in St. Louis MO, and one for the Southwest taking place in Houston TX. However, after the 2017 Game, the Northeast Championship location will shift to be in Detroit MI, and the Southwest will continue in Houston TX.[14] The Championships for the 2018 season are scheduled to be April 18-23, 2018 for Houston TX, and April 25-28, 2018 for Detroit MI.[15]

Media exposure[edit]

From 1996 to 1998, the FIRST Championship was covered by ESPN.[16] Live coverage is currently provided by NASA TV, which can be viewed on the internet, TVRO, DirecTV, and Dish Network; the sophistication of the broadcast of each event is dependent on the organizers of that event, and range from professionally called with color commentary, such as the 2011 Michigan State Championship, to single-camera setups with no commentary other than the on-field play caller.

The PBS documentary "Gearing Up" followed four teams through the 2008 season.[17]

In the television series Dean of Invention, Dean Kamen made appeals promoting FIRST prior to commercial breaks.[18]

During the 2010 FIRST Robotics Competition season, FIRST team 3132, Thunder Down Under, was followed by a Macquarie University student film crew to document the first year of FIRST Robotics Competition in Australia. The crew produced a documentary film called I, Wombot.[19][20] The film premiered during the 2011 Dungog Film Festival.[21][22]

A book called The New Cool was written by Neal Bascomb about the story of Team 1717 from Goleta, California as they competed in the 2009 game season. A movie adaptation directed by Michael Bacall is being produced.[23]

The CNN documentary "Don't Fail Me: Education in America", which aired on May 15, 2011, followed three FIRST Robotics Competition teams during the 2011 season. The documentary profiled one student from each team, covering different geographic and socioeconomic levels: Shaan Patel from Team 1403 Cougar Robotics, Maria Castro from Team 842 Falcon Robotics, and Brian Whited from Team 3675 Eagletrons.[24]

On August 14, 2011, ABC aired a special on FIRST called "i.am FIRST: Science is Rock and Roll"[25] that featured many famous musical artists such as The Black Eyed Peas and Willow Smith. will.i.am himself was the executive producer of the special. The program placed a special focus on the FIRST Robotics competition, even though it included segments on the FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST LEGO League, and FIRST LEGO League Jr..[citation needed]

For the 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, five FIRST Robotics Competition teams and their robots led the parade, with one robot cutting the ribbon and the others shooting confetti.[26][27]

In the 2014 movie Transformers: Age of Extinction, a FIRST Robotics Competition Robot built by Team 2468, Team Appreciate, for the 2012 Season was featured in Cade Yeager's garage shooting the foam basketball game pieces from Rebound Rumble.[28]

The 2015 Kickoff was, for the first time, broadcast by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast, and was available via OnDemand for the month of January 2015.[29]

The fourth season of The Fosters (2013 TV series) had several episodes featuring characters competing in a regional FIRST Robotics Competition competition, most notably episode 8 "Girl Code".[30]

Notable people[edit]

Employees and volunteers[edit]

  • Marc Hodosh, entrepreneur, chairman of the Boston FIRST Robotics Competition competition[31]
  • Mark Leon, NASA researcher and Master of Ceremonies for several FIRST Robotics Competition events[32]

Mentors[edit]

Games[edit]

Gallery[edit]

FIRST Robotics Competition
Intermission during Aim High in Los Angeles, encouraging teams to socialize 
The 2006 Triplets of 1114, 1503, and 1680. 1114 and 1503 won 3 regionals each, while 1680 won a silver finalist medal and was a quarterfinalist twice. 
Competition at the 2008 Hawaii regionals. 
"Barrage", Team 254's 2014 World Champion FRC robot 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Merrick, Frank. "Title Change". usfirst.org. US FIRST. Archived from the original on April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ "FIRST Robotics FRC Team List". TBA. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d "2016 Season Facts" (PDF). FIRST. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 22, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Einstein Field (St. Louis) 2017". The Blue Alliance. Archived from the original on January 5, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Einstein Field (Houston) 2017". The Blue Alliance. Archived from the original on April 24, 2017. Retrieved May 1, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Insights Overview". thebluealliance.com. The Blue Alliance. Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved April 26, 2015. 
  7. ^ "FRC 2015 Game Manual" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 1, 2015. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition". FIRST. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Robot Love: Inside Dean Kamen's FIRST Championship 2014". SlashGear. Archived from the original on January 30, 2015. 
  10. ^ Harris, Mark (June 10, 2010). "Brain scan: Mr Segway's difficult path". The Economist. Archived from the original on June 14, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  11. ^ "History - FIRST". 
  12. ^ 1992 FIRST Robotics final match. October 6, 2008. Archived from the original on April 9, 2016 – via YouTube. 
  13. ^ 1993 US FIRST Robotics "Rug Rage" match. October 8, 2008. Archived from the original on April 9, 2016 – via YouTube. 
  14. ^ "2017 & 2018 FIRST Championships Information Update". FIRST. Archived from the original on December 8, 2016. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  15. ^ "2017 & 2018 FIRST Championship Information Update". April 25, 2016. Archived from the original on May 16, 2017. 
  16. ^ 1996 FIRST Championships ESPN part1. October 8, 2008. Archived from the original on May 16, 2016 – via YouTube. 
  17. ^ "What Is Gearing Up?". KETC. Archived from the original on September 17, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Behind the Scenes With Dean Kamen on Dean of Invention". Popular Mechanics. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Home - FIRST Team 3132 - FIRST Team 3132". FIRST Team 3132. Archived from the original on June 27, 2013. 
  20. ^ "I, Wombot (2011)". IMDb. October 1, 2011. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. 
  21. ^ I, Wombot Archived May 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ "Newsroom - Macquarie University". www.mq.edu.au. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. 
  23. ^ McCarthy, Erin (April 28, 2012). "Director Michael Bacall on FIRST Robotics Movie The New Cool". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Don't Fail Me: Education in America airs Sunday". CNN. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  25. ^ "THE BLACK EYED PEAS FRONT MAN WILL.I.AM AND INVENTOR/FIRST® FOUNDER DEAN KAMEN TEAM UP FOR A GROUNDBREAKING, ONE-HOUR SPECIAL CELEBRATING EDUCATION, ROBOTICS AND SCIENCE, SUNDAY, AUGUST 14 ON ABC" (PDF). FIRST. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 18, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  26. ^ Canessa, Kevin (November 28, 2013). "Martin County student robotics team kick off Macy's Thanksgiving Parade". WPTV. Archived from the original on November 28, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Robots Come FIRST® at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®". FIRST. Archived from the original on November 28, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2013. 
  28. ^ Stenglein, Jack (July 16, 2014). "Chap Robotics makes appearance in new Transformers movie". Austin American-Statesman. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015. 
  29. ^ "2015 FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) Kickoff!". Comcast. Archived from the original on January 18, 2015. Retrieved January 12, 2015. 
  30. ^ Merrick, Frank. "FIRST on The Fosters". FIRST inspires: FRC blog. Archived from the original on September 5, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Subset of famous TED event may settle in Newport - Boston Business Journal". Boston Business Journal. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Spaceward Bound - Mark Leon". quest.nasa.gov. Archived from the original on May 20, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2016. 

Sources[edit]

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