famous question about FIRST

Sorry if this was already posted. I searched and didn’t see it though.

There is one question that I always get asked when telling someone about FIRST or my team. Someone asked me this the other day so I was wondering if other people from others teams get this question and how they answer it.

When telling someone about FIRST or my team, they always ask “is that some type of battlebots competition?”

All. The. Time.

I use it as a frame of reference, personally–think a middleweight, but swap an arm out for the weapon. (Depending on time, I’ll explain the six weeks, tetras, and other such things. And yes, I know arms are a generalization. But hey, it works.)

I get the question all the time and here is how I response…

… No, Its not a competition where you beat the crap out of each other. Its a game where you have a mission to accomplish. Each year the game is different (and then I tell them about few games).

and then they are like … “ooooooooooo thats interesting.”

after all that, I invite them to come see one of the events.

haha, i get that too arefin

Interpretation: " Oh OK. I really lost interest now. Get away from me." :rolleyes:
Fight the good fight my fellow FIRSTers. Resistance is futile!http://www.atforumz.com/images/smilies/robosmile.gif

I always tell them that it’s main goal is not to be destructive, but to foster cooperation between the teams so they can accomplish different goals.

I just say:
“Ya, kinda… only this competition is waaaay harder. Talk about a challenge!”

That gets their attention at which point I can explain more.
Or… it provides me a small moral victory as I get the “ooooo, that’s interesting” and they walk away. :wink:

I’ve never been asked on the street but I have been asked by friends/ people at demos. When the now infamous “ooooooooooo thats interesting.” comes up after they fail to see the light, show them an action packed competition video. In my experience the infamous “ooooooooooo thats interesting.” line changes to “How do I join a team?”

I get that question at about every demo my team does.

I just tell them it is a version of battle bots but a lot more civil, but it can get pretty crazy when we are playing defence. :slight_smile:

The way I answer it is how one of our mentors, Warren, said to. He said “just say that our competition is much more sophisticated then Battlebots, it involves more strategy, teamwork, and we have autonomous mode”.

I usually get the “ooooooooooo thats interesting.” when they ask what autonomous mode is.

Yeah, we get that question alot. I always answer it by saying, FIRST is way cooler than Battlebots. Can you see a battle bot lifting itself on a bar or stacking tetras. But I do mention that the robots also sometimes take a heavy beating.

i think our entire county people ask that…any where you go…robotics huh…what…S.P.A.M. huh…what’s that…

there eyes though light up always and jaws sorta drop and they are like wow…kids are actually doing good things…you always here about the bad not the good…there is hope for the US and the world…

I get that so much I have to keep myself from answering them before they even ask.

But really, what I do is I tell them it’s the safe and much more fun version of Battle Bots, but I make it extremely clear it’s not related to it at all. I explain the values of FIRST, the competitions, a game or two, what the build season is like…and they seem a lot more intrigued about that rather than Battle Bots. Some of them come to competition and they are so in awe that I already know they love it a lot more than Battle Bots. It’s so great.

ah… that dreaded question…

i get asked all the time. >.< usually, my response is something to the extent of “NO. We do not maliciously destroy 6 weeks of hard work, but if that happens while we are trying to achieve the objective of The Game…” :wink: i’m kidding about that last part. But really, i explain that the entire Purpose of FIRST is not to hate your opponent to the point of wishing to destroy all of their hard work and labor, but unfalteringly help them in every single aspect of the FIRST robotics competition, whether it has to do with the robot or not. then i briefly explain the layers of competition and such, ask them if their interested, and if they are, get excited because surely if they at least know what Battle Bots is then they may have hope to spawn a love for creating robots, not just destroying them. :slight_smile:

For those of you who were not at Battlecry, there were 3 Babson students who came to get a sense of FIRST before they do a project on it in the fall. When I first met them 2 years ago, I got the same reaction out of them: “You do Battlebots? That’s cool”. After giving the explanation, (which is a lot like Fin’s explanation above) they did the smile and nod thing just like was also mentioned above.

So what did they say after about an hour of actually watching matches?

“This is the coolest thing ever! I mean, we’ve watched the webcast before over your shoulder and it seemed kindof silly, but this is really awesome!”

So the moral of the story is: keep a good response for the Battlebots question in the back of your mind, and the best way to hook people on FIRST is to get them to competition.

Another usable sidenote: FIRST was televised on ESPN2 long before the US version of Battlebots came out (I’m not too sure about the timing of the UK series, which spawned the US version).