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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:
Tue, 01/08/2013 - 15:08


Safety is an integral part of our culture at FIRST.  We’re working hard to put the finishing touches on the 2013 Safety Manual.  Not much is changing from the 2012 Safety Manual, so that document is still a great guide to staying safe.  We’ll be announcing the availability of the new Safety Manual soon, along with the winner of the...

Posted On:
Sat, 01/05/2013 - 08:47

Hope everyone had a great Kickoff!  In case you missed it, here’s the password to the encrypted files: sAucersFlyRobotsClimb!

Recommended update for LabVIEW 2012

National Instruments has...

Posted On:
Fri, 01/04/2013 - 11:43

One Day to Go!

I hope everyone is as excited as we are here at FIRST HQ for Kickoff tomorrow.  I actually had a little trouble sleeping last night, and I already know what the game is!  (Hey – maybe I had trouble sleeping because the game is so great I can’t wait for us to reveal it!)

FIRST Choice Maintenance and Game Piece Availability

I wanted to make you aware of a planned outage of the FIRST Choice system on Saturday, 1/5/13, from approximately 10am to 4pm Eastern. The outage will accommodate the...

Posted On:
Thu, 01/03/2013 - 09:58

My blog yesterday contained an error.  Sorry about that.  The 2013 Driver Station Application is needed by all teams, not just those programming their robots using LabVIEW.  We have corrected the earlier post.


I’ll blog again soon.


Posted On:
Wed, 01/02/2013 - 16:58

With Kickoff only a few days away, we’re going post a good deal of information and documentation to help you hit the ground running. We recommend you download everything you need ahead of time to 1) beat the rush and help us even out the load on servers and 2) have what you need ready to go on Saturday when/where you may not have internet access.

Below is a quick summary of what will be available, when it will be available, where you can get it, and how it will be shared.

Available Now

Posted On:
Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:25

Want to make sure you will be able to decrypt the 2013 FRC Game Manual at the appropriate time?

Follow the instructions here:

The encrypted 2013 FRC Game Manual itself will be posted Wednesday, January 2nd.


I’ll blog again soon.


Posted On:
Fri, 12/28/2012 - 09:14


I hope everyone is as excited as we are here at FIRST HQ for Kickoff – only about a week away!  We’re looking forward to a great season.

Spoiler:  Nothing in this blog, including this sentence, is intended to be a game hint.

Transition from ‘Kickoff Workshops’ to ‘Season Workshops’

If you saw the most recent email blast to FRC teams, you know that the 2013 FRC Season Workshop videos have been posted here:  http://...

Posted On:
Fri, 12/21/2012 - 09:01

Kit of Parts

For those of you interested, the KOP Website has been updated to include more information about the sizes and weights of the various parts of the Kickoff Kit.


Game Hint #3

31 88274153, 622341415326

412383975388 9788533197

31 262383835388, 332341415326

93276426238397 995323979397


I’ll blog again soon.


Posted On:
Thu, 12/20/2012 - 10:32

Last night FIRST had its annual holiday celebration.  It was a rare chance for us to get together as a group, have some dinner, and have a little fun.  Dean was there, and spoke briefly about the importance of our mission, and our part in making it happen.  It was a wonderful evening, all the way around.

On my way home – after my normal bedtime, by the way – I was thinking about the FRC Staff.  You probably don’t know most of them.  Here are their names, in no particular order:

Monica Cyr

Posted On:
Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:36

Einstein Update

Even though we haven’t mentioned it for some time, the FRC staff has been hard at work on the ‘Next Actions’ listed on the Einstein Investigation Report released in July.  You can find an update on our progress...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/17/2012 - 13:35

Today’s post is a guest blog from Kate Pilotte, FRC’s Kit of Parts Manager:

Last week I asked Frank if I could borrow his platform to talk about the opening of FIRST Choice, the issues we experienced when it opened, and what’s happened since.

Bottom line, there were two unexpected issues that caused problems for a few hundred Teams when they tried to log in and place orders. The first problem was that Teams with numbers under 1000 couldn’t log in for approximately the first 15 minutes. The second issue was a software bug exposed by the high...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:04

FIRST Choice Issue, Part II

I apologize once again to teams that experienced issues with FIRST Choice today. 

Teams with team numbers less than 1000 experienced issues logging on to the system when it opened.  This was corrected fairly quickly, but AndyMark later discovered an issue with their inventory management system that made it appear as if certain items were in stock when the stock had actually been depleted.  The system was tested before being put in use, but the tests did not include team numbers under 1000 or placing orders at the rate...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:14

FIRST Choice Issue

I apologize for the problems teams experienced using FIRST Choice today.  The FIRST Choice site will remain down until we have corrected the issues we have found.  We are working to correct those issues, and will have an update shortly.



Posted On:
Mon, 12/10/2012 - 09:21

FIRST Choice Opening

We’re very excited that FIRST Choice and select PDV’s open for ordering today at noon - check October 25th’s blog ( for the original announcement. FIRST Choice password and Voucher codes will be in TIMS for all registered and paid teams at that time.

Special and extra thanks to the team at AndyMark for continuing to host FIRST Choice for free as an in-kind donation to FIRST, no...

Posted On:
Fri, 12/07/2012 - 11:44

Excellence in Design Award

As many have noticed from looking at the 2013 FRC Administrative Manual, the Excellence in Design Award, sponsored by Autodesk, will not be part of our 2013 season.  I had intended to give more advance notice of this change, but things did not go as I had expected, and I’m sorry about that.  While a relatively small number of teams – less than 50 – submitted for this award last year, I recognize that for the teams that did submit, this represented a significant portion of the effort they put forth for the season.  Autodesk...