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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, 10/02/2015 - 17:46

There are probably a few good answers to this question, including:

1. When it’s not preceded by words equivalent to “This is a game hint”

2. When it’s a video teaser for the season

Answer number one I think many of you are familiar with, as we’ve said something along those lines several times in this blog.

Answer number two is probably new to you.

We’re trying something very new for the 2016 season, something many folks at FIRST HQ are excited about. Game hints have a long history in FRC and are enjoyed by many. However, while...

Posted On:
Wed, 09/30/2015 - 10:43

Please see the update below on the Kit of Parts Drive System Option from the Kit of Parts team:

The 2016 Kickoff Kit will again include a drive base kit, kind of. As we’ve done in recent history, Veteran teams can choose to receive a Product Donation Voucher (PDV) from AndyMark instead of the KOP Drive System at Kickoff. Rookie teams will automatically receive the KOP Drive System.

The PDV will again be worth $450 and can be used on AndyMark parts. To accommodate orders and lead times, the option to opt out of the KOP Drive System for the PDV will be available...

Posted On:
Tue, 09/29/2015 - 09:34

We hope the teams who have registered so far for the 2016 season have had a smooth experience. From the FIRST HQ side, the initial rush seemed to go pretty well, and we haven’t had many calls or emails about system issues. But, what’s important is your experience, not ours. If you have any feedback on your registration experience, please send your comments to, or give our friendly team support...

Posted On:
Thu, 09/24/2015 - 10:35

Hello Teams! Today’s the day for initial event registration. I hope everyone’s as excited as I am!

I also wanted to tell you about a new waitlist feature we’re trying out. In prior years, if an event had no open capacity, while teams would be given the opportunity to sign up for the waitlist, they were not given any indication as to how full the waitlist already was. This could lead to teams signing up for events for which there was little chance they would eventually be able to attend.

We’d like to give the teams more information to help them make better informed...

Posted On:
Wed, 09/23/2015 - 17:28

Today's blog comes from Kari Karwedsky, Senior Program Manager of Global K12 Academic Programs, PTC.

Hello FIRST Teams!

We'd like to announce the start of Robotalk for the 2015/2016 FIRST season! Robotalk is a series of weekly webinars with PTC Experts who lead attendees through discussions on both technical topics, like CAD and IoT (Internet of Things), and non-technical FIRST topics, like fundraising and community outreach.  This year, the weekly webinar will again be hosted by David Price, the voice of...

Posted On:
Wed, 09/23/2015 - 10:22

Hello Teams! We need your help!

As you know, we are moving to two FIRST Championships in 2017. FIRST HQ is forming a committee, to be made up of volunteers and FIRST staff, which will be tasked with making recommendations to Senior FIRST Management regarding these elements for the 2017 Championship:

  • What geographic regions will be assigned to which FIRST Championship as FRC teams’ ‘home’ Championships, including the way in which teams outside the United States would be included
  • A potential way in which teams...
Posted On:
Tue, 09/22/2015 - 11:00

Today's blog comes from Jamee Luce, FRC Team Advocate.

Do you see yourself as an innovator? The truth is, every robot that gets created in an FRC build season is a unique innovation, so if you have built an FRC robot, then YOU ARE AN INNOVATOR!

The way we think about the solutions to each year’s game is exactly the same way that professional engineers, designers, and scientists think about the products and inventions that they develop. By thinking about a solution to an FRC game, you are thinking just like Newton, Tesla, Carson, and even Dean himself!


Posted On:
Mon, 09/21/2015 - 11:05

Initial registration opens in just a few days, this Thursday, 9/24, at Noon EST! Are you ready? Are you MORE THAN ready? Are the folks on the other teams you know also ready? How about dropping them a friendly note to ask? Friends don’t let friends be unprepared for registration. Remember, if the main and alternate contacts for a team haven’t both been through the YPP process when initial registration opens, that team won’t be able to register, and the YPP process takes a few days. See the details on getting ready...

Posted On:
Fri, 09/18/2015 - 09:49

Frank Answers Friday Logo

Today’s good question comes from Billfred (not his real name, but we’re rolling with it) Leverette, a mentor on FRC Team 4901, Garnet Squadron, from Columbia, South Carolina, USA:


Should we buy pool noodles this fall?

--Billfred Leverette
Head Bot Coach and Eternal Optimist
FRC 4901 (Garnet Squadron)


Hi Billfred,

Yes, you should buy...

Posted On:
Wed, 09/16/2015 - 16:01

Initial event registration is just over one week away! FIRST HQ is buzzing with activity in preparation, and the excitement is building. We want to make sure the teams, also, are ‘green to go’ for the big day!

When you first log into TIMS, if you have not yet logged in for the season, you will be asked to accept Terms and Conditions before you can proceed. Also, if you were not screened under the Youth Protection Policy (YPP) last year, you will be taken through the...

Posted On:
Thu, 09/10/2015 - 15:45

Today's blog comes from Miriam Somero, FRC District Manager.

A cross-functional task force, which included volunteers from all eight FRC Districts, met to evaluate the 2015 inter-district play experience and propose a plan for inter-district play for 2016.

In the 2015 season, Districts collaborated with FIRST HQ to fill any “open” district event spots with teams from other districts. An “open district spot” is defined as a spot that remains open after all teams in a district have had the opportunity to sign up for their two events plus any additional plays...

Posted On:
Tue, 09/08/2015 - 16:16

Today's blog comes from Jamee Luce, FRC Team Advocate.

The FRC Community is an incredible one! With our core values of Coopertition and Gracious Professionalism, we serve as a role model for the way the world could operate. But how do you recognize the almost 3,000 teams for doing work that is often above and beyond what is expected? That would be a long Awards Ceremony! 

This is where YOU come in! We know there are awards out there that are sponsored for FRC Teams, and we invite you to provide us with the information about those awards so we can recognize them...

Posted On:
Thu, 09/03/2015 - 15:45

Duck Vine

One squeaky duck toy = a squeaky duck toy

Dozens of squeaky duck toys = the Visigoths descending on Rome

Posted On:
Tue, 09/01/2015 - 13:37

Today's blog comes from Kevin O'Connor, FRC Robotics Engineer.

Windows 10 and FRC 2016

We've been getting a lot of questions lately about whether the FRC 2016 software will be compatible with Windows 10. The short answer is that we will do our best to make sure it is. The long answer is a little more complicated.

LabVIEW 2015, which will be used for FRC 2016, does not officially claim support for Windows 10 at this time. That doesn't mean it won't work, but it does mean that...

Posted On:
Fri, 08/28/2015 - 16:37

Today’s good question comes from Jon Stratis, a mentor on FRC Team 2177, The Robettes, from Mendota, Minnesota, USA:


Frank -

With the way championship...