FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization that inspires kids in grades K-12 to develop science, technology, engineering, and math skills while applying them to a practical use. Founded by Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has four robotics programs for different age ranges. In FIRST Lego League (FLL) and Lego League Jr., teams elementary and middle school students build and program Lego Mindstorms robots to complete a series of missions while also researching and developing solutions to problems related to that year's theme. In FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), teams of students in grades 7-12 design and build robots using a kit to complete floor games with an alliance of other robots. We compete in the highest level, the FIRST Robotics Competition.
FIRST Robotics Competition
The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), the ultimate Sport for the Mind, is a high school robotics competition with over 3000 active teams from more than 30 countries. In January the season's game is announced and the build season starts. Teams have just six weeks to design, build, and program their competition robot with the help of adult mentors. At regional competitions, teams compete on alliances with two other teams in matches with both an autonomous and driver controlled period.
So is it like BattleBots?
Not really. In BattleBots, robots compete 1-on-1 to try to destroy their competitor. The challenge is the same every year, so over time some designs prove to be more effective than others (such as horizontal spinners). In FIRST Robotics, there is a new game every single year, so teams have to design a new robot each season. Matches are played between alliances of three teams each which means that teams have to learn to work together and build robots that complement the skills of their alliance partners. Finally, FIRST cultivates an environment of Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition. Teams help each other both during build season and in the pits by lending tools and parts, helping with robot code, and treating other teams with respect.
In our rookie season, Kendrick LowBAR crossed the outer works defenses to score low goals in the tower...