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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:
Wed, 09/04/2013 - 15:46

Video

Check out this great video from the Michigan Engineering Zone (MEZ) in the University of Michigan’s Detroit Center:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=461865103895347&set=vb.127114000703794&type=3&theater

I understand a version of this video was shown at least three times on the Big 10 Network during the first University of Michigan football game of the season last Saturday!  That’s a Win!

Beta Testing...

Posted On:
Fri, 08/30/2013 - 09:27

Today’s question is from Andrew Palardy, from Team 33, in Pontiac, MI.  I asked one of our great FRC staffers, Matt Pilotte, to respond to this one directly.  Matt is our Electrical Engineering Manager, and manages all FRC Engineering work on the control system and FMS, including software.  He also monitors, along with other staffers, event activity as official FRC competitions are taking place.  If you’re at an official event anywhere in the world, Matt is likely keeping track of what the FMS is doing and watching the webcast if there’s one available.*

...
Posted On:
Thu, 08/29/2013 - 09:47

In case you missed the email blast, we are looking for beta test teams for the 2014 season.  See details here: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/email-blast-08-22-13.

That deadline for applications is coming up soon!  Be sure to get your application in if you want to be considered.

 

I’ll blog again soon.

Frank

Posted On:
Fri, 08/23/2013 - 11:43

There will be no Frank Answers Fridays feature today, but we'll pick it up again next week. We're always seeking submissions, so if you have a question, please send it with your name, team number and where you're from, to goodfrcquestion@usfirst.org.

Have a great weekend!

Posted On:
Tue, 08/20/2013 - 13:51

Volunteers are the lifeblood of FRC. The program simply would not exist without them. And as our program continues to grow, the need for top-notch, experienced, dedicated volunteers grows with it.

Many of you are probably aware that we have several ‘Chief’ volunteer positions in FRC. Chief volunteers have significant responsibility in their area of assignment.  In many situations, we rely on them so heavily that they are essentially extensions of the FRC staff. Our current Chief volunteers are:

  • Chief Inspector:  Al Skierkiewicz
  • ...
Posted On:
Fri, 08/16/2013 - 15:42

Today’s good question comes from Carl Springli, from Team 20, in Clifton Park, NY:

***
Question:

Dear Frank,

Based on research performed by Jim Zondag and presented here:
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1273768&postcount=204

It seems as though the 45 day (6.5 week) build season and robot access period rules that are currently in place in FRC are an archaic...

Posted On:
Fri, 08/16/2013 - 13:13

If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out:  http://www.usfirst.org/aboutus/first-3m-nascar!

NASCAR_Biffle_hood

The FIRST logo on the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, driven by Greg Biffle, this Sunday, August 18th during the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Race.

How cool is that?*

Thank you...

Posted On:
Thu, 08/15/2013 - 15:13

With the release of our preliminary schedules yesterday, everyone can see we’re officially adding two new Districts to FRC.  Everyone is very excited about getting these new Districts up and running!

The New England District will include all teams in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  If your FRC team is in one of these states, you will automatically be included in this...

Posted On:
Wed, 08/14/2013 - 17:26

Traditionally, FRC has released all event date and location information after Labor Day in September.  By that point, we usually, but not always, have all event dates and locations locked down.  The downside to this approach is that many teams would like to know these dates much earlier, because of the numerous advantages to be able to start planning event attendance before September.  I’ve seen attempts to predict the FRC schedule from bits of data culled from here and there.  This tells me there is enough interest for us to make a change.

So, starting...

Posted On:
Mon, 08/12/2013 - 12:00

As you may know, AndyMark has been executing FIRST Choice on behalf of FIRST since its inception in 2011. Since then, very small volumes of excess inventory have accumulated. The nature and volume of the selected items are too small to put in Kickoff Kits, distribute via FIRST Choice in 2014, or ship in Spare Parts cases.

Instead of scrapping these materials, we're going to make them available to FRC teams, for free.

Please understand that there isn't...

Posted On:
Fri, 08/09/2013 - 11:34

NI Week

I want to thank our friends and partners National Instruments for being such wonderful hosts to Don Bossi, Kate Pilotte, Kim Weirman and me at NI Week. They are unbelievably wonderful partners and truly ‘get’ FIRST in every corner of the organization. Thank you!

...

Posted On:
Mon, 08/05/2013 - 10:35

NI_Week_Athena_Controller_Reveal

Controller Release at NI Week: ‘Athena’ Showcase

Back in June, I posted about the new...

Posted On:
Fri, 08/02/2013 - 16:20

Today’s good question comes from Billfred Leverette of Team 2815, Los Pollos Locos, from Columbia, SC

Question:

Why did we not get to see The Holy Cows' Chairman’s video at Championship?

Answer:

Thanks for the question, Billfred.

Though I was not part of the decision making process, my understanding is the video was not shown because it was not a good fit with...

Posted On:
Fri, 08/02/2013 - 11:19

Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts on the Invite to Decline strategy. Reading through them has helped clarify my thinking, and the sheer volume of comments we received shows this was an important topic.

For anyone who may have been concerned my request for feedback was going to lead to a change in the rules, you can relax. I may occasionally ask for feedback on this blog just to stimulate discussion, and to help my understanding of...

Posted On:
Fri, 07/26/2013 - 17:08

On yesterday's FRC Blog entry discussing our alliance selection procedure, a negative comment was posted that was directed to two specific teams.  Negative comments about specific teams or individuals are not in the intended spirit of this blog, and we should not have allowed them to be posted. I sincerely apologize for that. The comment, and follow-on response, have been deleted.

I want to see honest, vigorous discussion on this blog, but I...

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