The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

FIRST Robotics Competition game for 2015 announced

Saturday was the kickoff for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for 2015. I’ve participated for the last 7 years, locating judges for the North Texas competition. This year, the Dallas FRC event will take place on February 25th – 28th at the Irving convention center. If you’re in town – be there. It’s a free and an exciting show.


FRC allows students to start from a standard kit of parts and some state of the art tools, received at the kickoff, and build a robot that attempts to meet specified objectives. At the end of the build period, the robots are packed up and the students do not see them again until the competition.


This video is an overview of this year’s challenge – Recycle Rush



I’ve found FRC to be an exciting and enlightening experience for the students and the volunteers. Every year I am surprised at the ingenuity and commitment demonstrated by those participating.


The main competition is judged by numerous factors beyond how the robots perform on the field, like:

  • Coopertition (helping others that you are competing against)
  • Project planning
  • Quality/safety
  • Technical achievement
  • Business plan and marketing


The on field performance is not judged, since it has its own rules… Referees determine the winners of that portion of the competition.


The goal of FIRST is to encourage the understanding and passion around STEM. It has a proven track record of results that is hard to argue with.


You can see some video from previous year’s Dallas FIRST competition, if you are interested.

FIRST Championship ‘14

FIRST.jpgThis week is the FIRST Robotics Championship in St. Louis. I am going to be a judge there again this year as part of team Archimedes. There will be 400 teams from across the globe in the FRC championship at the event.


FIRST is on a mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and have developed into a program with a proven track record of impact on student’s education and career choices.


I’ll try and post some pictures if I get a chance. If you'd like to watch it online, NASA will have a live webcast or it will even be on NASA TV on Thursday through Saturday.

Tags: FIRST| Robotics
Labels: FIRST| Robotics

Dallas FIRST regionals

This weekend is the Dallas FRC regional. There are a number of videos of the event on a Lockheed sponsored site. Yesterday, I saw one of the highest scoring games of the year across all the events.

Dallas 2014.png

I’ve been coordinating judging for the FIRST Robotics competition in Dallas. So naturally, there are a significant number of HP (current and retired) folks involved.


FRC allows students to start from a standard kit of parts and some state of the art tools, received at the kickoff, and build a robot attempting to meet specified objectives. This video is an overview of this year’s challenge – Arial Assist.


The goal of FIRST is to encourage the understanding and passion around STEM. It has a proven track record of results that is hard to argue with. Video of last year’s event is also available.

Labels: FIRST

Dallas FIRST FRC Regional Competition this weekend

This weekend is the FRC competition at the Irving convention center – it’s free to watch.


Earlier this year I mentioned that the FIRST Robotics Competition released their contest problem for 2013 and I judged the FRC competition in Lubbock. I’ll see if I can get some pictures today, since this is the only one I took yesterday worth sharing.




I had a chance to talk with the teams from Brazil, Mexico and a number of states across the US yesterday, as well as an HP sponsored team from the Houston area.


Once again this year they will be streaming the event live, if you can’t make it to Irving. You can also see some of the previous year’s competitions in the video archive.

Tags: FIRST| Robotics
Labels: FIRST| Robotics
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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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