Jon Dudas Letter to Teams re: Einstein report

Dear FRC Teams,

Here is the link to the Einstein Investigation Report.  This report has been a collective effort by the FRC staff, subject matter experts, key volunteers, and perhaps most critically, the 12 teams who participated on the Championship Einstein field.  It has also benefitted from all of you.   FIRST has already received numerous e-mails to enhance our investigation with your experiences, expertise and theories.   FIRST is extremely fortunate to have a highly engaged community of technologists.  We are eager to get your reaction to the report and encourage you to send your further thoughts.

This report details the planning, testing, and re-creation of the final Championship Einstein matches.  The Report’s findings detail that some robots failed to respond to some drive commands for a variety of reasons, but there was no single point of failure that accounted for all incidents. 

Additionally, Einstein match play suffered from an intentional act of interference.  The person who engaged in this interference was associated with an FRC team, but not with any team on the winning alliance.  For personal reasons, this individual opted to resign.  In addition, FIRST has prohibited the individual from participating in any future FIRST event as a coach, mentor, volunteer or in any other capacity.  This is the penalty associated with an intentional act of interference. 

With the benefit of the analysis and this report, I believe the Einstein field staff made the correct on-the-spot decisions with the information available at the time, and the Einstein match results will stand.  The 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Champions are Teams 16, 25, 180.  We do not intend to reopen other results from Divisional play or prior FRC events. 

We fully understand and are deeply troubled our Einstein teams were not able to compete in an environment without interference.  While it is not possible to re-create a perfected 2012 Championship, we are guaranteeing each of the 12 Einstein teams will receive a berth at the 2013 Championship.  In addition, in recognition of the Einstein teams’ contribution of time and effort throughout the investigation, FIRST has waived their 2013 FRC season first-play registration fee.

There is a list of detailed next steps near the end of the report.  FRC already has taken several temporary steps to eliminate this intentional interference vulnerability at upcoming off-season events, and is also are working on longer-term solutions.  There is much work ahead to improve the 2013 season systems, and I assure you this is a top priority.

Once again, we want your feedback.  FIRST is a community that gets stronger as we work together to solve problems.  We are particularly interested in your thoughts on the “Next Steps” section of the report.  Your comments and ideas can be sent to 2012frcfeedback@usfirst.org .  While we may not be able to respond directly to every e-mail, I guarantee that each will be read and fully considered.

Sincerely,

Jon Dudas