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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, 05/15/2013 - 14:31

 

Self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

FIRST community favorite, Dave Lavery, and his Mars Science Laboratory team recently picked up two prestigious accolades.

The...

Posted On:
Wed, 05/15/2013 - 10:04

Many people are aware there was a scoring error on the Einstein field, but not everyone knows the details.  I’d like to explain what happened and our plans to minimize the chance of this happening again. 

We knew that the automated scoring system in use had a design limitation which could result in disc count errors, so a manual count verification process was put in place at the start of the season to double check counts before scores were finalized. The goals over the driver stations had hinged bottoms to allow easy removal of discs. On Einstein, a field reset...

Posted On:
Fri, 05/10/2013 - 13:35

2013 Championship Pits

I have so much to talk about regarding Championship!  I’m going to break this in to two sections – pros and cons.  These aren’t comprehensive lists, but are more along the lines of what I consider to be highlights.

...

Posted On:
Thu, 05/02/2013 - 09:11

Championship

There is so much to say about Championship but I only have the energy right now to cover a few items. The week after Championship is one of the few quiet weeks we have at FIRST, so many of us are taking a couple days off to catch up on our rest. After a very full Championship schedule, this break is something all of us – teams, volunteers, and staff – really need! 

My sense is that overall, we had a great Championship, but we’ll be sending out a detailed survey to everyone who attended so we can better understand what went well, and where we...

Posted On:
Thu, 04/25/2013 - 12:38

 

The first full day of Championship is going great! Matches have started smoothly, teams are flowing through inspection, and you can feel the energy in the air. Since all 400 teams are here, we did not need to change the schedule from the preliminary versions released Monday.

Championship 2013 Pits

 
I recognize the disappointment teams have expressed with only getting...

Posted On:
Mon, 04/22/2013 - 13:02

We’re seeing lots of activity on the forums over our release of the Practice Field policy for Championship.  I’m going to try to clarify some things, and let you know about changes we’re making.

Our primary concern with the practice fields is safety. With this year’s game, we feel that the only safe way to run the Formal Practice Fields, where robots may be driving and shooting over long distances and at high velocities, is with no humans on the field. The match play timing structure and use of FMS were a result of the desire to make sure that all robots are enabled and...

Posted On:
Mon, 04/22/2013 - 09:47


Share Your FIRST Story at Championship!

One of the best parts of our jobs is the opportunity to see how someone’s life may have been positively impacted by participating in a FIRST program. We love to receive letters, meet people at events and read about our alumni in the news. This year, we’re going to take this one step further and capture some of these testimonials on video. In St. Louis, you might encounter a video crew interviewing folks for personal stories about the FIRST experience. Some will be planned, some will be more impromptu. In the...

Posted On:
Thu, 04/18/2013 - 10:51

Wireless at Championship

There’s no question that all eyes will be on Einstein next week to make sure we don’t have a repeat of the communications issues we had last year.  We’re working hard to make sure things run smoothly.  We have several changes already in place and a few more steps we’re taking that I wanted to mention today.

First, all Divisional Winners will be brought out to Einstein at least one hour in advance of the big show to allow the teams to calibrate their cameras and run a practice match.  This will give us a chance to catch...

Posted On:
Tue, 04/16/2013 - 08:30

The thoughts of the FRC Staff are with the Boston bombing victims and their families and friends. 

I encourage anyone having sentiments they would like to express to add them to the comments section below.

Frank

Posted On:
Fri, 04/12/2013 - 14:33

SpaceX Internships

I hope the students on our FRC teams are thinking about college and careers in science and technology. I recently blogged about the internship opportunity that SpaceX is offering FRC and FTC students.

If you are a High School Senior, you should seriously consider putting in an application. Participating in an internship is a great way to stand out in a competitive job market. And how cool would it be to tell your friends and family that you are interning at SpaceX?...

Posted On:
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 11:39

Community Awards

Do you ever think to yourself “FRC should have an award for….(fill in the blank)”?  We sometimes get suggestions for new awards here at FIRST Headquarters.  It’s hard for us to accommodate these, as our current awards slate is very full, and fitting in and judging the awards we currently have is already a challenge.  However, this doesn’t mean those suggested awards don’t have merit!

Next season, our intention is to try a new ‘Community Awards’ concept.  Community Awards would be created, judged, and presented...

Posted On:
Wed, 04/03/2013 - 18:24

SpaceX Internships

Did you see the last email blast? SpaceX is offering exclusive internship opportunities to students in FIRST!  If you are a senior this year, and participating in FRC or FTC, you can apply for an internship that would likely take place after you complete your sophomore year in college.  It took us some time to put this together, and we want to select winners by Championship, so the clock is ticking! The application...

Posted On:
Tue, 03/26/2013 - 13:06

Over the weekend I attended the Central Washington Regional at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.   My experience up until the final round was wonderful.  Folks were having fun, the volunteers were great, matches for the most part were running smoothly, I saw some terrific robots, and, I think, I made some new friends.  Things did not go as expected in the final round, though, and it caused some significant pain for many present.  I’d like to talk about this.

The final rounds were between two very closely matched alliances.  The blue...

Posted On:
Fri, 03/15/2013 - 13:50

The Action

Stuck at home this weekend but still want to catch some FRC action?  Check out the links below for live broadcasts.

Note:  These sites are independently run.  FIRST is responsible for...

Posted On:
Mon, 03/11/2013 - 17:27

I had the pleasure of visiting the double event in Duluth, MN over the weekend. The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center hosted two simultaneous Regionals under one roof – Lake Superior & Northern Lights Regionals – and it was fantastic.  These events were exactly what folks like to see – exciting gameplay, passionate, friendly and hard-working teams, committed volunteers and engaged sponsors, with everything running on schedule.  Also, having had the honor of shaking hands and high-fiving awards winners on the field at...

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