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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, 09/26/2012 - 09:52

Registration Opening

Initial Event Registration opens tomorrow, that’s Thursday, September 27th, At Noon EST.  Still time to lube up those internet connections to get ready!


Bag and Tag

For the 2013 season, all FRC events (including District Events) in the USA and Canada are once again “Bag and Tag”, except Championship.

“Bag and Tag” means teams bring their robots to event venues themselves, rolling them in through the venue doors, sealed in a large bag with a security tag attached.  Bags and tags...

Posted On:
Mon, 09/24/2012 - 14:57

Wild Card Slots II

My post Friday generated a relatively large number of comments.  Rather than answer them individually, let me provide a little more insight here.

The purpose of the new system is to provide broader distribution of merit-based slots in situations where single teams win more than one Championship qualifying award over the course of several Regionals. 

With the limited number of slots we have for Championship, we had to make some difficult decisions regarding how many specific situations we could cover while still notifying teams...

Posted On:
Fri, 09/21/2012 - 12:30

I think this is an exciting one.

We have many veteran teams in FRC who work extraordinarily hard year round to put themselves in a position of being able to attend several Regionals each season.  These teams sometimes also do well when it comes to awards, occasionally earning Championship qualifying awards at more than one Regional.   These teams absolutely deserve all the accolades they receive, and are rightly looked up to and respected.  However, when a single team wins more than one Championship qualifying award over the course of several regionals, it does...

Posted On:
Thu, 09/20/2012 - 08:07

The 2013 Beta Test teams have been selected.  Congratulations to the teams below!  These teams will be helping the FRC Control System team review the software libraries and build new code to share with all teams.  Thank you to the 159 FRC teams and 1 FTC team who offered to help with this project.  All FRC teams will be able to communicate with the Beta Test teams on the forums.

Interested in seeing a map locating all these teams?  Check it out here: ...

Posted On:
Tue, 09/18/2012 - 10:27
pool noodle

Blog Info

Lately we’ve been releasing some important season information via this blog.  Some folks have expressed concern about knowing when key season information gets released. 

Any important season-related information will get shared in summary form on the regular team email blasts we send out.  We limit these email blasts to one – or at most two – per week to reduce the chance of email overload, but team Main and Alternate Contacts and any Adult Mentors registered in TIMS who opt-in to receiving email blasts should be receiving them.  If you...

Posted On:
Fri, 09/14/2012 - 10:46

Hello Teams,

Here is the 2013 FRC Season Schedule. 

Week One

February 28 – March 2

BAE Systems Granite State Regional - Manchester, NH

Central Valley Regional - Madera, CA

Finger Lakes Regional - Rochester, NY

Lubbock Regional – Lubbock, TX

Palmetto Regional – Myrtle Beach, SC

March 2-3

Hatboro-Horsham FIRST Robotics District Competition – Horsham, PA

Kettering University FIRST Robotics District Competition – Flint, MI

Traverse City FIRST Robotics District Competition – Traverse...

Posted On:
Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:06

New FRC Calendar

If you haven’t seen them yet, check out the new FRC Calendars, available in both ‘Month’ and ‘List’ views:


Kit of Parts Evolution

As FRC continues to grow, we continue to try to find ways to better serve our teams’ needs.  Today, we have an exciting announcement regarding the Kit of...

Posted On:
Thu, 09/06/2012 - 09:59

2013 FIRST Championship Registration

FRC Teams may register for Championship in St Louis as shown below.  

Registration for Pre-Qualifying Teams opens on 10/11/12 at noon.  Pre-Qualifying teams are as follows:

•             Hall of Fame teams

•             Original and Sustaining teams

•             2012 Championship Engineering Inspiration Award...

Posted On:
Tue, 09/04/2012 - 15:44

Hello Teams,

My Responses

You may have noticed I’m occasionally responding to comments that are made on the FRC Blog.  I won’t be responding to every comment – I just don’t have time – and I am more likely to respond to comments if I think the response will help clarify an issue important to the broader community.  Asking a well-considered question also makes me more likely to respond.  I don’t mind tough questions – I get them every day -  but a well-considered question indicates to me the commenter has thought about the different sides...

Posted On:
Thu, 08/30/2012 - 09:48

Hello Teams,

OK, fourth blog this week – a possible record.  I had been holding off on this one until we had a quiet week, but that may be never, so here goes.

It took a mountain of information to put together the Einstein report.  The digital folder we are using to store all this information ‘weighs in’ at over 800 MB.  This includes everything from team reports and code, to expert feedback, to data logs, and more.  It also includes what I think is an interesting report on the lightning we had near the venue while the matches were going on.   ...

Posted On:
Wed, 08/29/2012 - 15:51

Hello Teams,

What a busy week for the blog!  A few more things to share:

2015 Control System Request for Proposal

We have recently opened the search for a partner or partners to provide a control system solution for the 2015 – 2019 FRC seasons.  This is not in response to the Einstein issue – we started preliminary work on this project in 2011.  Also, this does not mean we are dissatisfied with National Instruments!  They continue to be a wonderfully supportive partner to FRC, and we wouldn’t be what we are now without their...

Posted On:
Tue, 08/28/2012 - 13:31

Hello Teams,

As promised in the Einstein Investigation Report, FRC Engineering has created a white paper to help you understand how the Field Management System (FMS) works.  You can download the document here.

Also, what do Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and iPhones have in common?  Each was invented after the Website Award – recognizing excellence in student designed, built, and...

Posted On:
Mon, 08/27/2012 - 11:46
moon footprint

We’re sad to hear that Neil Armstrong, first person to set foot on the moon, has passed.  The legacy of his accomplishment, and the accomplishment of the many thousands of individuals on NASA’s Apollo Program team, will certainly stand the test of time.   It’s hard for many of us to imagine the limitations of the technology available to Neil and the team at the time – the Apollo Guidance Computers on-board the Command Module and Lunar Excursion Module each had 2kB (yes, that’s a ‘k’) of RAM, and weighed 70 pounds.  In 1969, of course, this was cutting edge, but even so...

Posted On:
Mon, 08/20/2012 - 09:38

Hello Teams,

Team 548 contacted me recently and asked if I would be willing to publish a statement from them regarding the events on Einstein on the FRC Blog.  You can find their statement here.  This statement represents, in part, their Steering Committee’s understanding of events that took place during the Einstein matches. To be clear, there are some differences between this...

Posted On:
Thu, 08/16/2012 - 10:53

Hello Teams,

It’s beta test time again! As FRC prepares for the 2013 season we are seeking a limited number of teams to assist us with beta testing new software.  A limited number of teams will also be asked to test hardware elements of the control system. Interested teams should complete the Beta Test Application available here by Friday, September 7, 2012 at noon ET. 

Beta testing will run from September 2012 through the end of December 2012.

Beta Test Goals