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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:
Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:49

I’ve got some good news. A cross-functional task force, which included volunteers from all five FRC Districts, has developed a way to allow district teams to participate in district events other than their own.

In the 2015 season, FIRST In Michigan, IndianaFIRST, Mid-Atlantic Robotics, NEFIRST, and Pacific Northwest FIRST will collaborate 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...

Posted On:
Wed, 09/17/2014 - 09:41

This is Hannah, FRC Program Coordinator, taking over the FRC Blog with some important news!

FIRST Robotics Competition and FRC GameSense are excited to announce that they are working together on a web broadcast:  Behind the Lines. If you were familiar with the Ask an Expert calls, this is the newest version. The purpose of this series is to make key knowledge and resources available to the community through an engaging hour-long show. The first half will be a...

Posted On:
Tue, 09/16/2014 - 17:02

As some of you have noticed, all FRC events have not yet been posted to the event schedule. I apologize for that. As I noted in this blog we typically wait until we have signed contracts in hand before posting events to ensure all parties are in agreement on the details. Contracts have been slower to get signed this year for several reasons. We’ll be working to address those issues for...

Posted On:
Wed, 09/10/2014 - 14:01

We still have many FRC teams that have that have not completed the Youth Protection Program (YPP) screening required for them to register for events.  As we’ve noted before in this blog, and blasted several times in emails, both your Main (Lead Mentor 1) and Alternate (Lead Mentor 2) Contacts must pass YPP screening before you will be able to register for your first event starting at Noon Eastern Time on Thursday, September 25th.  Only two weeks away!

Don’t be "That Guy or That Girl" that doesn’t get this done in time.  And don’t let your friends from other teams be "...

Posted On:
Tue, 09/09/2014 - 08:38

Taking over the blog today is Hannah Foust, FRC Program Coordinator.  Hannah is responsible for working with UL in setting up the Safety Animation Award, and handles a number of other important tasks too numerous to list.  Please see Hannah's note below.


2015 Safety Animation Award Theme

Here’s that moment you’ve all been waiting for!  [Drumroll]

The 2015 UL Safety Animation Award theme is…  Safety Superheroes! 
We want to see 40 second animations that showcase FIRST inspired safety...

Posted On:
Fri, 09/05/2014 - 14:13

Turns out we are. Organizers are predicting about 150,000 attendees. Several FRC teams from the area will be putting on a demonstration event.

Check it out:

Getting ready for the weekend

A smiling Richard Anderson, FIRST Regional...

Posted On:
Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:12

Youth Protection Program

Has your team started the Youth Protection Program clearance process yet? If not, now would be a good time! As a reminder, you will not be able to register for your first event on September 25th unless both your Main (Lead Mentor 1) and Alternate (Lead Mentor 2) have passed YPP screening. Don’t be left behind! While the screening process normally only...

Posted On:
Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:43

I want to thank the FIRST Marketing folks for helping me remove the spray paint and bumper stickers from the Frank Answers Fridays logo used last time. I’ll just say this – the vandals will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of my imagination.

The first question I answer below was pretty easy, so I decided to do two this week.

Today’s first good question come from Kevin Pardus, a mentor from FRC Team 2890, The Hawk Collective, from Chesapeake, VA, USA:


Posted On:
Wed, 08/27/2014 - 14:59

Please see the note below from the FRC Engineering Team:

There are so many community developed tools that FRC teams and fans use throughout the season to keep tabs on their favorite teams and events, way too many to list. Until now, developers of those tools have been forced to scrape webpages or Twitter feeds for the data. This is not the best way for us to make the needed data available to those developers, and we want to change it.

Developing an API to allow developers access to event data is one of our key...

Posted On:
Fri, 08/22/2014 - 11:18

As I said in an earlier blog, we have had a task force working on Championship eligibility for FRC.  The members of this task force are as follows, in no particular order:

  • Jamee Luce – Districts Representative
  • Dennis Hughes – Mentor for Team RUSH, 2014 Chairman’s Award Winner
  • Lane Matheson – 2014 Woodie Flowers Award Winner
  • Naomi Mancuso – ...
Posted On:
Wed, 08/20/2014 - 08:50

Please see the note below from FRC Kit of Parts Manager, Kate Pilotte, regarding motor controllers for 2015. 

Hi all,

The Motor Controller landscape for the 2015 FRC season is going to be changing, and we’d like to share a few details in advance of Kickoff to give you a heads up. We normally only provide advance information on the upcoming season when necessary, but we think these details fall into that category.

Victor, Talon, and Jaguar Motor Controllers will be legal for the...

Posted On:
Fri, 08/15/2014 - 12:01

Frank is on vacation this week. You may be able to tell this from the artistic additions some folks made to the traditional graphic above while he was otherwise occupied. 

Before he left, he asked Lee Doucette, Youth Protection Program Manager here at FIRST, to answer a question he received.

This question is from Nate Laverdure, a mentor from FRC Team 2363, Triple Helix, from Newport News, Virginia, USA:



Posted On:
Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:13

We are happy to announce that “FMS Lite”, the stripped-down version of the Field Management System that many off-season events use, is now available for download via the Off-Season Events Page. Some highlights of the 2014 version:

    • Includes the Event Wizard, which makes it possible to step through the entire tournament.
    • Can generate practice/qualification/elimination schedules using the MatchMaker algorithm, just like official FRC events
    • Includes 'Reports' functionality to print...
Posted On:
Fri, 08/08/2014 - 14:12

Today’s good question comes from Aaron Schmitz, an alumnus from FRC Team 2502, Talon Robotics, from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA:


Hello Frank & co.,

Allow me to introduce myself by saying I’m alumni of FRC 2502 who works for a well-known Fortune 50 software company. Acting as de facto liaison/volunteer wrangler between this company and FIRST’s regional partner, I can say with confidence that there are many outstanding developers here...

Posted On:
Thu, 08/07/2014 - 16:36

Actually, we did this some time ago, when we started allowing teams, if they wished, to load-in at Regionals the day before practice day. Teams are only present for a short time during these load-in days, but this is an officially scheduled team activity, so we’ve started including this date on our event schedules here. It’s not a full day, but you should be...