FIRST Robotics Competition


If you are familiar with the FIRST organization, you know that its filled with great students, mentors and of course robots. I have infact read rumors of DIY drones working with FIRST to develop a quad competition (awesome!). Lots of events around the country are happening this weekend, and I will be attending the three day competition, in Davis, Ca, running from March 16-18th. The schedule is posted here and a description of the challenge is described here.

If you are up to it, you may still be able to volunteer, which is a great way to show off the skills and knowledge you have gained on this website and elsewhere and to network with professionals and industry. Parallax is always there in great force, given its headquarters arent far from the event.Hope to see you there!Shoot me a PM if you would like to meet on Friday.



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  • I know this is a little off topic, but it is DIY and it is robotic like drones.  And I know others are more qualified to answer than me, but here it goes. 

    I have done the robotics program twice, both times were a challange, in many different ways, it tends to push people to their limits, but it is also very rewarding.  It seems to me that there is always a tension between planning and doing.  Or designing and building.  You have to find a balance between those two things. You need both.

    I would strongly encourage you to build the very basic robot frame, use the standard already done program.  I have learned a huge amount of information by watching the animated video of the game that is released on kick-off day.  I have watched those video animation ten times and learned something new everytime.  Become familiar with the website.  And ask for help.  We have given and received help many times.  Last year we were still finishing the robot when we got to the competition.  I am sorry you missed it this year but good luck next year.



  • I was supposed to be in this, but our robot didn't get finished in time, for the first 4 weeks of build time our team spent most of its time running around trying to figure out what to do, if we are to participate in first next year we will need some tips, any suggestions?
  • The team I mentored is going to the Orlando competition. I wish them luck!!
  • That is cool that you are working with FIRST, Chris.  If our team does well at the regionals then I may see you at the Championships.

  • 3D Robotics
    I'm at the FIRST World Championships each year, speaking or supporting teams. We're working with FIRST on an official aerial robotics league. The first few years, we demoed autonomous blimps, but starting last year we switched to ArduCopter instead. Hoping to get official endorsement for ArduCopter next year.
  • Thanks for bringing up FIRST.  I am a mentor in the program and we have some wonderful college students helping our high school team.  A few of them are in the new competition this year for college students that involves coordinated tasks between an air vehicle and a ground vehicle.  For example the ground vehicle has to throw an object over a wall into a target that it cannot see but that the air vehicle can see. 

    They have told me that because it is a brand new program there are only about a dozen teams so far.  The University of Minnesota team is hoping to demo their progress at the local FIRST regional meeting March 31-April2 but the main event will be at the national FIRST competition in St Louis, MO April 27-30.

    I think the idea of coordinating tasks is very interesting.

  • Our school has been doing this for a few years now. Great in VoTechs to bring several shops to work together (like the real world). We have CompSci, Engineering, Drafting and Precision Machining students involved.

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