Founded in 1989 by WPI alumnus Dean Kamen '73, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is the premier robotics competition for high school, middle school, and elementary school students. Every year, student teams are challenged to use a kit of parts to design and build a robot capable of completing complicated tasks.
Each challenge has a different theme (past themes range from steampunk to video game 8-bit) and teams go all in—not only do they build robots, they raise funds, design a team brand and perform community outreach, all while gaining access to $80 million in college scholarships.
Don’t know the difference between R2D2 and WARNER? Doesn’t matter—all skill levels are welcomed and needed on FIRST teams. Robotics skills aren’t the only things teams are judged on—there are awards honoring design excellence, problem-solving ability, team spirit, and “Gracious Professionalism.”
Yes, that WPILib
Everyone involved with FIRST knows about WPILib, the robotics software library used by all FIRST robotics competition teams every year. WPI created, and continues to help design, the invaluable software that’s used around the world to develop the programs behind their robots’ control systems. Read more about WPILib on the FIRST blog.
Whether you’re interested in volunteering for a robotics event or in being a spectator at the next competition, there’s no shortage of ways to get involved with robotics on campus. Email the Robotics Resource Center for more information.
Let's Hear Your Battle Cry
Called “the best off-season event in FIRST,” BattleCry@WPI is an annual competitive robotics event that began in 2000 and has since grown to hosting 60 teams that compete in matches, enjoy social events, and vie for awards with some of the most elite robots in the game.