The FIRST Robotics Competition – commonly known as FRC – gives high school students and their adult mentors the opportunity to work and create together to solve a common problem. Problems take the form of games involving the use of robots to carry out specified tasks. These take place on a field 52 feet x 26 feet and played with 3 teams on each side. Robots can weigh up to 140 pounds.
From the first Saturday in January when the game for the year is announced, teams have 6 weeks to design, build, program and test a robot to play the game.
Regional competition season follows. We normally participate in 2 of those, including the Wisconsin Regional in Milwaukee. The other is usually in Lacrosse and involves overnight stays.
The competitions are Thursday through Saturday and if you want to really find out what FRC is about, attendance at one of these is the only way. Thursday is setup and practice and Friday and Saturday are days of competition. Saturday afternoon sees the final elimination rounds. 24 teams go into these and the winning 3 go forward to the World Finals in Houston TX in April.