FIRST Robotics Competition

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FIRST Robotics Competition
Most recent season or competition:
FIRST Stronghold
FRC Logo.svg
Sport Robotics-related games
Founded Dean Kamen
Woodie Flowers
Inaugural season 1992
Commissioner Frank Merrick[1]
Motto The varsity sport for the mind
No. of teams 3,128[2]
Countries
Most recent
champion(s)
Chairman's Award Winner:
United States 987: "HIGHROLLERS"[3]
Champion Teams:
United States 330: "The Beach Bots"
United States 2481: "Roboteers"
United States 120: "Cleveland's Team"
United States 1086: "Blue Cheese" [3]
Most titles World Champions:
United States 71: Team Hammond (4 titles)
Blue Banners:
United States 254: The Cheesy Poofs (41 Banners)
Regional & District Wins:
United States 254: The Cheesy Poofs (31 titles)
Regional & District Chairman's Award:
United States 503: Frog Force (10 awards)
Longest Win Streak :
Canada 2056: OP Robotics (23 titles)
Greatest Combination in History :
Canada 2056: OP Robotics and 1114: Simbotics (17 Regional wins together)[4]
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 (FRC) is an international high school robotics competition. Each year, teams of high school students and mentors work during a six-week period to build game-playing robots that weigh up to 120 pounds (54 kg).[5] 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 encouraged to buy or make specialized parts. FRC is one of four robotics competition programs organized by FIRST.

FRC 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. Coopertition emphasizes that teams can cooperate and compete at the same time.[6] 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. 600 teams will win slots to attend the FIRST Championship, where they will competed in a tournament. In addition to on-field competition, teams and team members compete 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, and Mexico contributing significant numbers of teams.[2]

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.[7]

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.[8] The first FRC season was in 1992 and had one event at a high school gymnasium in New Hampshire.[9] 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.[10][11]

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)[2]

  • United States of America (2,682)
  • Canada (206)
  • Israel (62)
  • Mexico (53)
  • Australia (39)
  • China (36)
  • Turkey (20)
  • Brazil (6)
  • Netherlands (3)
  • Taiwan (3)
  • United Kingdom (3)
  • Chile (2)
  • Dominican Republic (2)
  • Japan (2)
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina (1)
  • Colombia (1)
  • Czech Republic (1)
  • Denmark (1)
  • Ecuador (1)
  • France (1)
  • Germany (1)
  • India (1)
  • Poland (1)
  • Singapore (1)
  • United Arab Emirates (1)

Competition[edit]

The 2011-2017 FIRST Championship will be held at the 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]

Main article: FIRST Championship

The FIRST Championship is the culmination of the FRC competition season, and occurs in late April each year. Roughly 600 teams participated in 2015.

Media exposure[edit]

From 1996 to 1998, the FIRST Championship was covered by ESPN.[12] 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.[13]

In the television series Dean of Invention, Dean Kamen made appeals promoting FIRST prior to commercial breaks.[14]

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 FRC in Australia. The crew produced a documentary film called I, Wombot.[15][16] The film premiered during the 2011 Dungog Film Festival.[17][18]

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.[19]

The CNN documentary "Don't Fail Me: Education in America", which aired on 15 May 2011, followed three FRC 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.[20]

On 14 August 2011, ABC aired a special on FIRST called "i.am FIRST: Science is Rock and Roll"[21] 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 Junior FIRST Lego League.[citation needed]

The movie 'Drive Like A Girl' followed the Bronx High School of Science's all girls robot team the Fe Maidens

For the 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, five FRC teams and their robots led the parade, with one robot cutting the ribbon and the others shooting confetti.[22][23]

In the 2014 movie Transformers: Age of Extinction, a FRC 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.[24]

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.[25]

Notable people[edit]

Employees and volunteers[edit]

  • Marc Hodosh, entrepreneur, chairman of the Boston FRC competition[26]
  • Mark Leon, NASA researcher and Master of Ceremonies for several FRC events[27]

Mentors[edit]

Games[edit]

Gallery[edit]

FIRST Robotics Competition
Older logo from website (until 2015) 
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. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "2016 Season Facts" (PDF). FIRST. Retrieved 28 February 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "2016 Einstein Field". The Blue Alliance. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "Insights Overview". thebluealliance.com. The Blue Alliance. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "FRC 2015 Game Manual" (PDF). Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition". FIRST. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Robot Love: Inside Dean Kamen's FIRST Championship 2014". SlashGear. 
  8. ^ Harris, Mark (10 June 2010). "Brain scan: Mr Segway's difficult path". The Economist. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  9. ^ "History - FIRST". 
  10. ^ 1992 FIRST Robotics final match. 6 October 2008 – via YouTube. 
  11. ^ 1993 US FIRST Robotics "Rug Rage" match. 8 October 2008 – via YouTube. 
  12. ^ 1996 FIRST Championships ESPN part1. 8 October 2008 – via YouTube. 
  13. ^ "What Is Gearing Up?". KETC. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Behind the Scenes With Dean Kamen on Dean of Invention". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  15. ^ "Home - FIRST Team 3132 - FIRST Team 3132". FIRST Team 3132. 
  16. ^ "I, Wombot (2011)". IMDb. 1 October 2011. 
  17. ^ I, Wombot
  18. ^ Newsroom - Macquarie University
  19. ^ McCarthy, Erin (28 April 2012). "Director Michael Bacall on FIRST Robotics Movie The New Cool". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  20. ^ "Don't Fail Me: Education in America airs Sunday". CNN. Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  21. ^ "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. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  22. ^ Canessa, Kevin (28 November 2013). "Martin County student robotics team kick off Macy's Thanksgiving Parade". WPTV. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "Robots Come FIRST® at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®". FIRST. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  24. ^ Stenglein, Jack (16 July 2014). "Chap Robotics makes appearance in new Transformers movie". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "2015 FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) Kickoff!". Comcast. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  26. ^ "Subset of famous TED event may settle in Newport - Boston Business Journal". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-05-23. 
  27. ^ "Spaceward Bound - Mark Leon". quest.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2016-05-23. 
  28. ^ "Welcome to FIRST STRONGHOLD". FIRST. Archived from the original on 14 October 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 

Sources[edit]

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