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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:
Fri, 12/19/2014 - 08:57

This is a blog about a game hint. It’s not a game hint itself.

Our friends at FRC Top 25 contacted us a few weeks ago and said how cool it would be if they could build a show around a game hint. We thought it would be cool too. After some back and forth about how we could get it to work, here’s the deal:

FRC Top 25 will be premiering a game hint on a special episode of their webcast at 9PM eastern on Monday, 12/22. They will have a pre-show before a hint is revealed, starting at 8:30PM...

Posted On:
Tue, 12/16/2014 - 13:52

As mentioned in this blog, we said we’d notify the community before Kickoff if the Victor SP and Talon SRX motor controllers from VEX Robotics and Cross the Road Electronics will be legal for 2015. After review by the 2015 Control System Development Team and the 2015 Beta Teams, we’ve determined that these controllers will be legal for 2015. 

Posted On:
Mon, 12/15/2014 - 14:04


We’ve got some updates on the SlingShot film fundraiser, which I talked about here and here

Team 144, The R.O.C.K., from Mason, Ohio, USA, has successfully sold 77 tickets at $10 each for their fundraiser, and gathered an additional $490 in donations as of today, with three days left before ticket sales close. Subtracting screening...

Posted On:
Fri, 12/12/2014 - 15:24

We want to tell you about some software downloads that are available to you right now that can help you be ready for Kickoff.

First, in an effort to help you get up and running after Kickoff as quickly as possible, here are instructions to on how to download and install the programming environments for 2015 in LabVIEW [updated 12/17/2014] and...

Posted On:
Thu, 12/11/2014 - 14:49

We have determined FIRST Championship allocations for Districts as noted in this blog

The relevant portion of the blog is this –

Districts will be getting the number of available Championship slots (total Championship capacity less the number of pre-qualified teams) proportional to their percentage representation in all FRC. As an example, if a District has 10% of the teams in FRC, they will be ...

Posted On:
Wed, 12/10/2014 - 08:56

A message from our Kit of Parts team:

We’re in full swing preparing for Kickoff, not sure if you heard, but its 24 days away.

Kickoff Kits start leaving the warehouse in New Hampshire today! We want to make sure you have the information you need to get your Kickoff Kit home safely. The Kit of Parts homepage has been updated with sizes and weights of various components of the Kickoff Kit that you can expect to have to pack up and...

Posted On:
Tue, 12/09/2014 - 10:00

Please see below for a note from the Kit of Parts Team:

On November 4, we released some information about the software tools available as part of the Virtual Kit. Today, we’re excited to announce that a few more vouchers will be going live at noon eastern. Check out your team’s TIMS account for details on vouchers from:

    • ...
Posted On:
Mon, 12/08/2014 - 13:04

Please see the note below from our Kit of Parts Team:

I’d like to tell you a story about Coopertition, Gracious Professionalism, and a group of our Suppliers working together to improve the team experience, even if it might cost them some business.

Earlier this year, Innovation First International agreed to donate half of the CIM motors we needed for each team. That batch was received with no problem and was packed into Kickoff Kits. However, due to shipping issues, the other half of the CIM motors we needed were...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/08/2014 - 10:20

Today’s Mentor Monday blog post comes to us from Elizabeth Davis, an alumnus of FIRST Lego League Team "Central Spacelab One" and FRC Team 45, the TechnoKats.

We’d like you to write a blog post about your journey to the current point in your career. What were the most important steps that you took? Were there influential people or events along the way?

My experiences with FIRST started when I was in 6th grade, on the FLL team at my middle school, Central SpaceLab One. I found that the research project was...

Posted On:
Fri, 12/05/2014 - 09:19

Today’s good question comes from Chris Picone, from FRC Team 2791, Shaker Robotics, from Latham, New York, USA:


Hi Frank,

I'm Chris Picone, currently a mentor for FIRST FRC Team 2791, Shaker Robotics, from Latham, NY. My question today is about when practice matches are scheduled at regional events.

The scheduling of events on Practice Day at regionals has always bothered me. Using the...

Posted On:
Tue, 12/02/2014 - 12:06

We wanted to remind teams that your Priority Lists for FIRST Choice are due tomorrow, Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at noon eastern. As a reminder, in order to have access to your FIRST Choice log-in information, your team needs to have registered and secured payment with a Purchase Order, Payment, or Letter of Commitment from a Sponsor. At this point, almost 350 teams have submitted Priority Lists.

Each Team has 600 credits available, though none show up in...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/01/2014 - 13:54

Today’s Mentor Monday blog post comes to us from Ellen McIsaac, an alumnus of and current mentor of FRC Team 1124.

We’d like you to write a blog post about your journey to the current point in your career. What were the most important steps that you took? Were there influential people or events along the way?

Ten years ago, as a freshman in high school, I heard on the morning announcements that the school’s robotics team had won something called “Bash at the Beach”.  I didn’t know the school had a robotics team until that moment,...

Posted On:
Tue, 11/25/2014 - 14:59

This is a reminder that FIRST Choice opened for window shopping at 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern Time (this FRC blog described the soft opening in detail in October). Your team’s login information will be available on your Team Summary page in TIMS, and your team is now able to start constructing...

Posted On:
Thu, 11/13/2014 - 14:58

New Behind the Lines Episode:  Effective Team Communication

Wednesday, November 19 at 8:00 PM (ET)

Featured experts for this episode are Andy Baker (FRC Team 3940) and Mike Corsetto (FRC Team 1678). They will be discussing the principles of effective team communication - including team building, communication expectations, conflict management, and Drive Coach communication. As always, the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions. See you there!

Visit the...

Posted On:
Wed, 11/12/2014 - 18:37

As I said a few weeks ago, we have launched an exciting new fundraising opportunity for teams. Teams can arrange to show the documentary SlingShot, about Dean Kamen and his work, for a reasonable screening fee while selling tickets to raise the money they need for the season. Please see all the details in the previous blog. Already 56 FIRST teams – including FRC, FTC, and even an FLL team - from 22 states in the US have signed up! The very first screenings are just a few...