Frequently Asked Questions
What is FIRST?
FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” FIRST, founded by Dean Kamen, is committed to spreading interest in science and technology, especially among students. 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.firstinspires.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 – no robots will be destroyed in our competitions!
What will this year’s challenge be?
Each year, the challenge for the season is announced on the first Saturday of January during the FIRST Robotics kickoff. Prior to that date, no team knows the challenge. Our team has a kick off party and watching the live feed to learn about the year’s challenge. Then we have six weeks to build a robot to meet that challenge.
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 use an A/B schedule, with half of the team meeting on Monday nights and Saturday afternoons and the other half meeting on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings.
How long is the build season?
The build season lasts for six weeks, beginning in early January and lasting until our competitions (which happen in March). During this time, we build the entirety of our robot.
When/Where is the competition?
We usually try to compete in two Regionals. We almost always compete in the Wisconsin Regional at the UWM Panther’s Arena in Milwaukee. We select a second Regional within driving distance. In the past, we have competed in the Miami Valley Regional in Dayton, the Lake Superior Regional in Duluth, the Minnesota 10,000 Lakes Regional in Minneapolis, and the St Louis Regional. If we win a regional event, we advance to the championship. The FIRST Championship is held in Houston, Texas, at the end of April.
How does the robot get there?
We have a trailer for our robot, and dedicated mentors who drive the robot to the competition. We take a van and/or bus to the event, along with the rest of our competition materials. The robot is inspected once we arrive at competition to make it meets all requirements for the competition.
How do you get to the Championship?
At the Regional, there are qualifying rounds. During the qualifying rounds, our robot is teamed up with two other robots to form an alliance. We compete against another alliance of three robots. Qualification matches allow us to earn Ranking Points to determine our seeding position. The top eight seeded teams advance to the Regional playoffs. The top-seeded teams select two other robots to be on their alliances (so if you aren’t in the top eight, you can still advance to the playoffs if a top-seeded team selects you for their alliance). The winning robots on the alliance advance to the Championship.
In addition to winning a Regional competition, FIRST Impact Award Winners and Engineering Inspiration Award Winners qualify for the Championship. Our business team is responsible for creating our application for the FIRST Impact Award. The business team is just as important and valued as the technical teams.
What will I do? What jobs are available?
There is always something that needs to be done on one of our many sub-teams. 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 (Java) for the robot. But it’s not only building the robot itself! Other jobs include writing a business plan, running our social media accounts, preparing for awards, updating the website, keeping records, and more. See our “About Us” tab for more information! Regardless of your interests, BEAST Robotics will have a place for you!
I have more questions! Who can I ask?
For information on who to contact, visit the “Contact Us” page. You can also send a message to to learn more about FIRST and 2202 BEAST Robotics.