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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, 09/25/2013 - 10:39

Please see the update below on the Kit of Parts Drive System Option from Kate and Collin, the Kit of Parts team:

For the 2013 FRC season, veteran teams had the option to opt out of receiving the Kit of Parts Drive System and instead receive a $450 Product Donation Voucher to AndyMark. Nearly 700 teams took advantage of this option. In the 2013 KOP Survey, 83% of teams who knew that it was an option said it improved the KOP experience. (Unfortunately, 10% of teams said they didn’t know it was an option. We need to work on that!)

Given the positive reception last season...

Posted On:
Mon, 09/23/2013 - 11:37

I hear you.  The change I announced Friday allowing only Sophomores/10th Graders and Juniors/11th Graders to apply for the FIRST Dean’s List Award excluded Seniors/12th Graders whose teams rightly expected they would be able to be nominated in the 2014 season.  It was not my intention to suddenly exclude this segment of planned nominees.  This was my mistake, and I apologize.

So, for the...

Posted On:
Fri, 09/20/2013 - 20:39

Today’s good question comes from George Chisholm, from FRC Team 1334, The Red Devils, in Oakville, Ontario, Canada:

Question:

Hi Frank,

My question concerns the NASA $5000 award to winners of Engineering Inspiration at US events.  How is this fair to the winners of the five (now seven) events in Canada and the one in Israel (plus the new one in Mexico)?  To truly demonstrate Gracious Professionalism, FIRST should either turn down the...

Posted On:
Fri, 09/20/2013 - 13:37

We’ve got some important changes to the FIRST Dean’s List process for the 2014 Season.

It’s important that students being selected for FIRST Dean’s List be able to take full advantage of their selection.   We want these students to be able to list their selection for this prestigious award on their college applications, and we want their selection to motivate them to even greater accomplishments with their teams through the following seasons.  For these reasons, while in the past, teams could nominate any high school student on their teams for...

Posted On:
Tue, 09/17/2013 - 13:12

New FRC Job Posted

If you check out the employment area of the FIRST website - http://www.usfirst.org/aboutus/employment - and click on the ‘search’ button, you’ll see ‘Program Manager for FRC’ as one of the jobs listed.  This position is essentially the replacement for my prior position as FRC Deputy Director, with some tweaks.  This is a senior management position within FRC.  The individual selected for this position will be assisting me with critical tasks within FRC, and will have significant influence on the...

Posted On:
Mon, 09/16/2013 - 15:03

In our continuing effort to ‘think outside the box’ in FRC, we’re answering a Frank Answers Fridays question on Monday.  How’s that for creativity?  (Are you guys buying this?)

In any case, today’s good question is from Navid Shafa, of Team 1983, Skunkworks Robotics, in Des Moines, Washington State.

Question:

What is FIRST's plan for International expansion and what regions are due for new events?

...

Posted On:
Fri, 09/13/2013 - 12:56

Kate Pilotte, the FRC Kit of Parts Manager, is leading the development of the 2015 Control System.  She has this update on Alpha Testing:

Hopefully by now you’re aware of the transition to a new control system for the 2015 season. There’s much preparation that goes in to releasing a new system, and we want to make it as safe, robust, simple, cost effective, and powerful as possible. One of the ways we’ll do this is through early “Alpha Testing,” and I’d like to use this post to help you understand more about what that means…

The goals of the Alpha Test...

Posted On:
Thu, 09/12/2013 - 16:38

Chairman’s Award is the one FRC team award for which teams must select a single event at which to compete.  This leads to some potentially negative consequences.  It reduces the pool of competing teams at a given Regional or District, if some teams are present that decided to submit for Chairman’s Award at another event.  It also strongly encourages teams to ‘event shop’, as they are forced to put all their eggs in one basket with regard to this award, and they naturally – if they have the resources and inclination to travel – may give some consideration to attending...

Posted On:
Wed, 09/04/2013 - 15:46

Video

Check out this great video from the Michigan Engineering Zone (MEZ) in the University of Michigan’s Detroit Center:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=461865103895347&set=vb.127114000703794&type=3&theater

I understand a version of this video was shown at least three times on the Big 10 Network during the first University of Michigan football game of the season last Saturday!  That’s a Win!

Beta Testing...

Posted On:
Fri, 08/30/2013 - 09:27

Today’s question is from Andrew Palardy, from Team 33, in Pontiac, MI.  I asked one of our great FRC staffers, Matt Pilotte, to respond to this one directly.  Matt is our Electrical Engineering Manager, and manages all FRC Engineering work on the control system and FMS, including software.  He also monitors, along with other staffers, event activity as official FRC competitions are taking place.  If you’re at an official event anywhere in the world, Matt is likely keeping track of what the FMS is doing and watching the webcast if there’s one available.*

...
Posted On:
Thu, 08/29/2013 - 09:47

In case you missed the email blast, we are looking for beta test teams for the 2014 season.  See details here: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/email-blast-08-22-13.

That deadline for applications is coming up soon!  Be sure to get your application in if you want to be considered.

 

I’ll blog again soon.

Frank

Posted On:
Fri, 08/23/2013 - 11:43

There will be no Frank Answers Fridays feature today, but we'll pick it up again next week. We're always seeking submissions, so if you have a question, please send it with your name, team number and where you're from, to goodfrcquestion@usfirst.org.

Have a great weekend!

Posted On:
Tue, 08/20/2013 - 13:51

Volunteers are the lifeblood of FRC. The program simply would not exist without them. And as our program continues to grow, the need for top-notch, experienced, dedicated volunteers grows with it.

Many of you are probably aware that we have several ‘Chief’ volunteer positions in FRC. Chief volunteers have significant responsibility in their area of assignment.  In many situations, we rely on them so heavily that they are essentially extensions of the FRC staff. Our current Chief volunteers are:

  • Chief Inspector:  Al Skierkiewicz
  • ...
Posted On:
Fri, 08/16/2013 - 15:42

Today’s good question comes from Carl Springli, from Team 20, in Clifton Park, NY:

***
Question:

Dear Frank,

Based on research performed by Jim Zondag and presented here:
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1273768&postcount=204

It seems as though the 45 day (6.5 week) build season and robot access period rules that are currently in place in FRC are an archaic...

Posted On:
Fri, 08/16/2013 - 13:13

If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out:  http://www.usfirst.org/aboutus/first-3m-nascar!

NASCAR_Biffle_hood

The FIRST logo on the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, driven by Greg Biffle, this Sunday, August 18th during the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Race.

How cool is that?*

Thank you...

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