FRC Blog

Stay Connected to FRC:

Find us on Facebook Follow our Tweets Subscribe to our RSS Feed

The FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) community can come here for (at least) weekly musings on the FRC program, news, community highlights, science and technology shout-outs, and more directly from FIRST Headquarters! Comments are welcome, but they must embody the FIRST values of Gracious Professionalism® and will be moderated prior to posting. Thank you for helping to keep the conversations civil and productive.

Posted On:
Mon, 10/12/2015 - 16:45

Hello Teams,

The most prestigious team award in FIRST is, and I believe always will be, the Chairman’s Award. For a team to earn this award, they must be able to describe, among other accomplishments, their initiatives in supporting other teams. In doing so, teams often use phrases like “we started x FLL teams” or “we mentored y FRC teams”. As teams may have different definitions of what terms like ‘started’ or ‘mentored’ mean in this context, it can be difficult for Chairman’s Award Judges to compare accomplishments between teams.

To help solve this problem,...

Posted On:
Mon, 10/12/2015 - 10:22

In this blog, I said we were looking for a volunteer from the community to help us plan what geographic areas would be assigned to which FIRST Championship in 2017, and help us find a potential way in which teams may volunteer for and be selected to attend their non-home Championship.

We received some wonderful applications. Thanks to all who applied! It was not an easy selection, but we have picked Brandon Holley, mentor for FRC Team 125,...

Posted On:
Fri, 10/09/2015 - 14:00

Hello Teams!

As I said in this blog, this year's game hint will be not so much a hint as a teaser for the 2016 season. While our game hints in the past have been things some in our community enjoy, and others, understandably, don't care to invest time in, I honestly believe the great majority of people in our community are going to want to see this. It's that big a deal. I am not saying that if you miss this premiere you’ll probably regret it, but…wait a minute, no, actually I am...

Posted On:
Thu, 10/08/2015 - 13:30

Today’s blog comes from Kate Pilotte, Kit of Parts Manager for FRC.

I’m excited to announce that we’ve selected a new robot radio for the 2016 season. We will be switching to Open Mesh’s OM5P-AN dual band access point. 

2016 Radio with Pear

Pear for Size ...

Posted On:
Tue, 10/06/2015 - 16:46

FRC is pleased to announce we have once again partnered with our friends at GameSense to present Behind The Lines, a series of informative webcasts for the FRC Community.

The first episode will be broadcast at 9PM EST on Wednesday, October 7th. The topic is Fundraising and Marketing Your Team and the expert guests will be Joyce Walters and Elise Cronin-Hurley from Team 1902: Exploding Bacon. They will be covering such items as:

  •  The FIRST Fundraising toolkit
  •  Creating a business plan
  •  Branding your identity
  • ...
Posted On:
Fri, 10/02/2015 - 17:46

There are probably a few good answers to this question, including:

1. When it’s not preceded by words equivalent to “This is a game hint”

2. When it’s a video teaser for the season

Answer number one I think many of you are familiar with, as we’ve said something along those lines several times in this blog.

Answer number two is probably new to you.

We’re trying something very new for the 2016 season, something many folks at FIRST HQ are excited about. Game hints have a long history in FRC and are enjoyed by many. However, while...

Posted On:
Wed, 09/30/2015 - 10:43

Please see the update below on the Kit of Parts Drive System Option from the Kit of Parts team:

The 2016 Kickoff Kit will again include a drive base kit, kind of. As we’ve done in recent history, Veteran teams can choose to receive a Product Donation Voucher (PDV) from AndyMark instead of the KOP Drive System at Kickoff. Rookie teams will automatically receive the KOP Drive System.

The PDV will again be worth $450 and can be used on AndyMark parts. To accommodate orders and lead times, the option to opt out of the KOP Drive System for the PDV will be available...

Posted On:
Tue, 09/29/2015 - 09:34

We hope the teams who have registered so far for the 2016 season have had a smooth experience. From the FIRST HQ side, the initial rush seemed to go pretty well, and we haven’t had many calls or emails about system issues. But, what’s important is your experience, not ours. If you have any feedback on your registration experience, please send your comments to, or give our friendly team support...

Posted On:
Thu, 09/24/2015 - 10:35

Hello Teams! Today’s the day for initial event registration. I hope everyone’s as excited as I am!

I also wanted to tell you about a new waitlist feature we’re trying out. In prior years, if an event had no open capacity, while teams would be given the opportunity to sign up for the waitlist, they were not given any indication as to how full the waitlist already was. This could lead to teams signing up for events for which there was little chance they would eventually be able to attend.

We’d like to give the teams more information to help them make better informed...

Posted On:
Wed, 09/23/2015 - 17:28

Today's blog comes from Kari Karwedsky, Senior Program Manager of Global K12 Academic Programs, PTC.

Hello FIRST Teams!

We'd like to announce the start of Robotalk for the 2015/2016 FIRST season! Robotalk is a series of weekly webinars with PTC Experts who lead attendees through discussions on both technical topics, like CAD and IoT (Internet of Things), and non-technical FIRST topics, like fundraising and community outreach.  This year, the weekly webinar will again be hosted by David Price, the voice of...

Posted On:
Wed, 09/23/2015 - 10:22

Hello Teams! We need your help!

As you know, we are moving to two FIRST Championships in 2017. FIRST HQ is forming a committee, to be made up of volunteers and FIRST staff, which will be tasked with making recommendations to Senior FIRST Management regarding these elements for the 2017 Championship:

  • What geographic regions will be assigned to which FIRST Championship as FRC teams’ ‘home’ Championships, including the way in which teams outside the United States would be included
  • A potential way in which teams...
Posted On:
Tue, 09/22/2015 - 11:00

Today's blog comes from Jamee Luce, FRC Team Advocate.

Do you see yourself as an innovator? The truth is, every robot that gets created in an FRC build season is a unique innovation, so if you have built an FRC robot, then YOU ARE AN INNOVATOR!

The way we think about the solutions to each year’s game is exactly the same way that professional engineers, designers, and scientists think about the products and inventions that they develop. By thinking about a solution to an FRC game, you are thinking just like Newton, Tesla, Carson, and even Dean himself!


Posted On:
Mon, 09/21/2015 - 11:05

Initial registration opens in just a few days, this Thursday, 9/24, at Noon EST! Are you ready? Are you MORE THAN ready? Are the folks on the other teams you know also ready? How about dropping them a friendly note to ask? Friends don’t let friends be unprepared for registration. Remember, if the main and alternate contacts for a team haven’t both been through the YPP process when initial registration opens, that team won’t be able to register, and the YPP process takes a few days. See the details on getting ready...

Posted On:
Fri, 09/18/2015 - 09:49

Frank Answers Friday Logo

Today’s good question comes from Billfred (not his real name, but we’re rolling with it) Leverette, a mentor on FRC Team 4901, Garnet Squadron, from Columbia, South Carolina, USA:


Should we buy pool noodles this fall?

--Billfred Leverette
Head Bot Coach and Eternal Optimist
FRC 4901 (Garnet Squadron)


Hi Billfred,

Yes, you should buy...

Posted On:
Wed, 09/16/2015 - 16:01

Initial event registration is just over one week away! FIRST HQ is buzzing with activity in preparation, and the excitement is building. We want to make sure the teams, also, are ‘green to go’ for the big day!

When you first log into TIMS, if you have not yet logged in for the season, you will be asked to accept Terms and Conditions before you can proceed. Also, if you were not screened under the Youth Protection Policy (YPP) last year, you will be taken through the...