What is FIRST?
FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and
Technology.” FIRST, founded by Dean Kamen, is commited to spreading
interest in science and technology, especially for the younger generations.
FIRST also promotes the values of gracious professionalism, teamwork, critical
thinking, and hard work. For more information on the message of FIRST, visit http://www.usfirst.org/.
Is this “Battle Bots?”
No. FIRST robotics is about cooperation, friendly competition, and gracious
professionalism. We are here to promote technological interest while having
fun. If your intent is to witness some “Transformers” kind of thing,
your skills will be best committed elsewhere.
What will this year’s challenge be?
Every year, the challenge for the season will be announced on the first Saturday of
January during the FIRST Robotics kickoff. Prior to that date, no team will
know the challenge. The next kickoff will be on January 7, 2012.
How often do you meet?
Before the kickoff, we meet once a week to train, prepare, organize, and perform other
important pre-season tasks. Once build season begins, we meet 4 days a week or
more for several hours at a time, so being on the team is a significant
When/Where is the competition?
Over past years, BEAST robotics has competed in the Wisconsin Regional at the US
Cellular Arena in Milwaukee. This year’s competition will run from March 22 to
March 24, 2012.
How does the robot get there?
At the end of the build season, the robot is packed into a specially constructed
crate. It is shipped via FedEx to a warehouse, and then it is sent to the
When do you finish?
The robot ships on February 21, 2012. Every robot has to be shipped before a certain
date and time to make sure that no team gets more time to design and construct
their robot. From there it is sent to the competition, which, for the upcoming
season, will start on March 22, 2012.
How do you get to Nationals?
In the qualifying rounds, the robots are teamed up randomly for each game. Each
team will have three robots competing in the arena for that game. After the
qualifying rounds, the 8 best teams will choose from the other robots to form
their 3-team alliance. In the elimination rounds, the robots will play off, and
the winning alliance of the elimination rounds go to the national competition.
Another way to get to nationals is to win the Chairman’s Award, given to the
team that best represents the goals of FIRST.
What will I do? What jobs are available?
There is always something that needs to be done. The mechanical sub-team is
responsible for creating a design plan, developing prototypes, testing ideas,
and constructing the robot. The electrical sub-team wires the motors, switches,
computers, and other devices on the robot. The programming team creates code
(C++) for the robot. Other jobs include promoting the team, finding sponsors,
updating the website, keeping records, taking pictures, etc.
I don’t want to build, are there other jobs I can do?
Yes. Besides design and construction, other jobs include programming, marketing,
photography, documenting, promotion, and website improvement. Regardless of
your interests, BEAST Robotics is likely to have a job for you.
Who can I talk to for more information on BEAST Robotics?
For information on who to contact, visit the “Contact Us” page. You can
contact Mr. Oakes, any of the other mentors, or any of the team members to
learn more about FIRST and the BEAST Robotics team.