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.”

Robotics is the only high school sport where every kid can go pro.
  • Dean Kamen

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.


FIRST Scholarships

Scholarships to attend WPI are available to students who are active FIRST (FRC or FTC) team members. Learn more about available awards, deadlines, and other application requirements.



Get Involved

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.



Living Legends

Team 190, headquartered at WPI, is one of the original and sustaining FIRST Robotics Competition teams. It has participated in every FIRST championship event since 1992, and won’t be powering down any time soon. The team consists of students from Mass Academy and other local schools, all of whom are mentored by current WPI students. Visit the team’s website for more information, including how to join.

Interested in WPI?

Love robotics? Love FIRST? You might just love WPI too—visit the Undergraduate Admissions website to sign up for information, schedule a tour, connect with us, or start your application today.


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.


Automate Your Summer

Can’t get enough robotics? We hear you—check out WPI’s extensive selection of pre-collegiate summer opportunities for a range of ages—including Frontiers, Launch, Ignite, Spark, and the Girls Robotics Team—with robotics programs and tracks for even more ways for you to create the next big thing.