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All comments should embody the FIRST values of Gracious Professionalism® and will be moderated prior to posting. Thank you for helping to keep the conversation civil and productive.

Posted On:
Mon, 01/21/2013 - 11:46

The FIRST Forums, which we’ve used in the past for technical questions, is currently only accepting new users manually. Although all posts are viewable without logging in, new users will need to submit a request to and request an account. This restriction is temporary, but necessary to remedy larger issues. The resolution for this issue isn’t immediate so, at least for this season, we’re going to transition technical questions from the FIRST Forums to the Q&A...

Posted On:
Fri, 01/18/2013 - 13:43

2013 Safety Animation Award Winner

We’d like to congratulate Team 245, the AdamBots, from Rochester Hills, Michigan, for winning the 2013 Safety Animation Award, sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories! Great work, team!

Team 2607, the Robovikings, from Warminster, Pennsylvania, is the runner-up for the award. Nice work!


Posted On:
Thu, 01/17/2013 - 14:51

I wanted to make you aware that we had to revise four answers to submitted questions to the Q&A (Q97, Q98, Q107 & Q150). The questions dealt with one robot lifting another in an attempt to earn climb points.  After further internal discussions, we realized that the original answers were not consistent with the...

Posted On:
Wed, 01/16/2013 - 15:55

Yesterday’s Team Update, which modified G23 and added G23-1, generated some controversy. Obviously it was not articulated as clearly as we had intended. I want to explain a little bit about the ‘whys’ and ‘whats’ behind the changes, but first, I apologize on behalf of FRC for the confusion and frustration. We try very hard not to change rules after Kickoff, and only do so when we believe that rule changes are the lesser of all alternative evils. The alternative evils in this case were either many robots that unwittingly violate...

Posted On:
Mon, 01/14/2013 - 17:58

FRC Competition Field for Autodesk Inventor

The Autodesk Inventor field models posted by Autodesk after Kickoff had an error in the way the Pyramid was constructed. Autodesk has fixed the error and posted a new zip file for Autodesk Inventor 2013 and a STEP version on their Student Community page. The updated files can be accessed at (NOTE: You must be logged into your Autodesk account to access the Parts Library)

To filter for the 2013 field models only...

Posted On:
Mon, 01/14/2013 - 17:05

We were alerted over the weekend to an issue with some of the battery connectors supplied in the Kickoff Kit and FIRST Choice. The wires and connectors were improperly assembled, creating the opportunity for a team to mis-wire the battery to the Power Distribution Board. Figure 1 shows properly and improperly assembled connectors, where the black cable goes into the positive position on the Anderson Power Products connector.


Posted On:
Fri, 01/11/2013 - 17:12

Team Updates

Team Updates will be available every Tuesday and Friday through February 14, then every Tuesday through Championship.


Classmate Images

Classmate Images are now available for download from the Intel site.  You can find the ...

Posted On:
Wed, 01/09/2013 - 16:26


Last Saturday, a record 83 FRC Kickoffs took place simultaneously around the world.  A big thanks to our Kickoff Coordinators and all the other volunteers who made them happen!  You are fine examples of one of the greatest strengths in FIRST – our volunteers.

Robot in 3 Days

Have you seen this?  A robot built in 3 days capable of playing ULTIMATE ASCENT:

Posted On:
Tue, 01/08/2013 - 15:08


Safety is an integral part of our culture at FIRST.  We’re working hard to put the finishing touches on the 2013 Safety Manual.  Not much is changing from the 2012 Safety Manual, so that document is still a great guide to staying safe.  We’ll be announcing the availability of the new Safety Manual soon, along with the winner of the...

Posted On:
Sat, 01/05/2013 - 08:47

Hope everyone had a great Kickoff!  In case you missed it, here’s the password to the encrypted files: sAucersFlyRobotsClimb!

Recommended update for LabVIEW 2012

National Instruments has...

Posted On:
Fri, 01/04/2013 - 11:43

One Day to Go!

I hope everyone is as excited as we are here at FIRST HQ for Kickoff tomorrow.  I actually had a little trouble sleeping last night, and I already know what the game is!  (Hey – maybe I had trouble sleeping because the game is so great I can’t wait for us to reveal it!)

FIRST Choice Maintenance and Game Piece Availability

I wanted to make you aware of a planned outage of the FIRST Choice system on Saturday, 1/5/13, from approximately 10am to 4pm Eastern. The outage will accommodate the...

Posted On:
Thu, 01/03/2013 - 09:58

My blog yesterday contained an error.  Sorry about that.  The 2013 Driver Station Application is needed by all teams, not just those programming their robots using LabVIEW.  We have corrected the earlier post.


I’ll blog again soon.


Posted On:
Wed, 01/02/2013 - 16:58

With Kickoff only a few days away, we’re going post a good deal of information and documentation to help you hit the ground running. We recommend you download everything you need ahead of time to 1) beat the rush and help us even out the load on servers and 2) have what you need ready to go on Saturday when/where you may not have internet access.

Below is a quick summary of what will be available, when it will be available, where you can get it, and how it will be shared.

Available Now

Posted On:
Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:25

Want to make sure you will be able to decrypt the 2013 FRC Game Manual at the appropriate time?

Follow the instructions here:

The encrypted 2013 FRC Game Manual itself will be posted Wednesday, January 2nd.


I’ll blog again soon.


Posted On:
Fri, 12/28/2012 - 09:14


I hope everyone is as excited as we are here at FIRST HQ for Kickoff – only about a week away!  We’re looking forward to a great season.

Spoiler:  Nothing in this blog, including this sentence, is intended to be a game hint.

Transition from ‘Kickoff Workshops’ to ‘Season Workshops’

If you saw the most recent email blast to FRC teams, you know that the 2013 FRC Season Workshop videos have been posted here: