**FIRST EMAIL**/First Annual FIRST Robotics Conference, April 16 April 18, 2004 for t

Greetings Championship Teams:

FIRST is proud to present the first annual FIRST Robotics Conference to be held this year at the FIRST Robotics Competition Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. The FIRST Robotics Conference is a series of workshop sessions held over a two and one half day period. These sessions are designed to further enhance the quality educational experience that students, educators, and engineers expect from FIRST. Our mission for hosting the FIRST Robotics Conference is two-fold: 1) to legitimize and increase the educational values of participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition for educators and engineers and, 2) to provide additional instructional materials and training to increase the success of teams and provide them with a positive experience.

A group of highly successful and knowledgeable veteran and award-winning FIRST educators, engineers and college mentors have organized this conference in order to assist all teams and its members with how to increase robot performance, strategies for team success, and simply because they can’t get enough of FIRST themselves! These workshops highlight topics ranging from technical components of engineering and robotics technology, group dynamics, to business and marketing strategies for building a successful and sustainable team.

Location of the FIRST Robotics Conference: Georgia World Congress Center (located within the Georgia Dome complex), Hall B, Room 409

Dates and Time: The Conference will start Thursday, April 16, 2004 starting at 1:00 pm and run through until noon on Saturday, April 18, 2004.

Please see the Schedule of Workshops located at http://www.usfirst.org/robotics/2004/ChampionshipConferenceSchedule.pdf for the times and dates of the sessions you are interested in attending.

Note: Sessions and times may be added and/or change due to Competition schedules of presenters

Who Can Come: Workshop sessions are open to all students, educators, and engineers.

Cost: $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for college and high school students per workshop session. All proceeds will go to support the hosting of future FIRST Robotics Conferences, as well as the continued development of educational materials and additional training sessions to be held throughout the year. Registered participants may pay at the door at the beginning of each session.

How to Register: Registration will begin on Thursday, March 25, 2004. Please send an email to roboticsconference@usfirst.org. Please give the following information:

Participant Name (If there are more than one participant from your team you may list all who will attend)
Indicate Adult or College/High school Student
Team Number
Workshops Each Member Listed Would Like to Attend

FIRST Robotics Conference Workshop Descriptions and Presenters
Overall Robot Design presented by Bill Beatty (Team 71) and Andy Baker (Team 45)
See how two successful FIRST teams tackle the problem of “what do we build to win this game?” Andy and Bill will highlight the phases of the engineering design process from brainstorm to concept. Both will present good plans, but with decidedly different processes.

Mechanical Drive Base Design presented by Ken Patton (Team 65) and Paul Copioli (Team 217)
These two mechanical engineers describe the requirements and technical considerations that govern drive system design. They will cover the fundamentals, so the concepts can be applied to any drive system design.

Mechanical Appendage Design presented by Dr. Joe Johnson (Team 47) and Raul Olivera (Team 111)
These two experts have created many ingenious mechanisms on their FIRST robots. They will show their expertise with regard to designing arms, lifts, latches, grippers, ball collectors, and other devices to play the FIRST Robotics game. Be sure to check them out.

Motors and Transmissions presented by James Jones (Team 180) and Mark Jones (Team 343)
Join the “Jones boys” as they share their expertise on FIRST motors and drive transmissions. Do you want to shift gears? Do you want to learn how to size a motor? These guys will show you how.

Scouting, Strategizing, and Winning a FIRST Match presented by Kenny Ardizzone (Team 108) and Steve Kyramarios (Team 254)
Learn from the best in this workshop. Steve’s team has won numerous FIRST Robotics Competitions under his guidance as coach while Kenny’s team is the FIRST leader in video scouting.

Hosting a FIRST Off-Season Competition presented by Dave Kelso (Team 131) and Libby Ritchie (Team 393)
Dave leads the effort to host River Rage (held in Manchester, NH) while Libby is the backbone behind the success of IRI (Indiana Robotics Invitational). These competitions are both annual successes while still being different in their own way. Dave and Libby will give you advice on how to run your off-season competition.

FIRST Competition History presented by Andy Baker (Team 45), Andy Grady (Teams 126, 42, 131) and Steve Shade (Teams 7, 1111)
Andy and Steve will show videos of numerous FIRST games, going all the way back to 1992. Design milestones will be highlighted as well as dynamic changes in the game. What was FIRST like before alliances came along in 1999? Come here to find out.

Engineering Curriculums presented by Don Griffith (Team 281) and Nyco Fuentes (Clemson University)
Don will highlight selected pre-engineering curriculums educators can for high school students that specifically support FIRST Robotics. Recommended for educators interested in trying to incorporate a pre-engineering curriculum in their own schools.

Team Communication and Leadership Skills presented by Dr. Frankie Keels Williams of Clemson University
The presentation will focus on effective organizational structures and management styles that promote teamwork and group initiatives.

FIRST LEGO League Mentoring presented by Amanda Blankenship and Grundy FIRST Robotics (Team 388)
The presentation will describe effective strategies being utilized by FIRST Robotics teams to engage their team members as mentors of middle school students participating on FIRST LEGO League teams.

Team Organization Forum presented by Cathy Beck (Team 108), Andy Baker (Team 45), Erin Rapacki, and Tonya Scott
The 6-week FIRST Robotics Competition build period is intense and requires many people and teams doing many things quickly. This panel of presenters will highlight strategies their teams use to overcome problems, communicate effectively and organize themselves into a well-oiled working team.

FIRST Animation presented by Ted Boardman
Our Autodesk 3D Studio Max guru will present some 3D Max fundamentals including modeling, materials and lighting, and animation. If your team participates in the FIRST Autodesk Animation then you will want to check this session out.

Programming a FIRST Robot in C presented by Mark Lambert of Innovation First
Mark, the lead programmer at Innovation First, will review how Basic C programming concepts will be applied to the Default Code available for the Robot Controller.

FIRST Pneumatics presented by Fred Hord of Hydraulic & Pneumatic Engineering Company, Inc. in Deerfield Beach, Florida
Fred will highlight innovative pneumatic designs used in this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition. He will also take questions on the use of pneumatics and its application to the FIRST robot.

FIRST Chairman’s Award Forum presented by Cathy Beck (Team 103), Dave Beck (Team 103), and Wendy Wooten (Team 22)
The FIRST Chairman’s Award embodies gracious professionalism, community involvement and making FIRST a way of life. It is the most prestigious award of the FIRST Robotics Competition. This panel will present what this award means to their team and strategies for creating a compelling entry.

Succeeding as a FIRST Student in College presented by Erin Rapacki, Steve Shade and others
This panel of over-achieving college students will discuss the benefits of continuing to be a part of the FIRST culture (e.g., internships, college scholarships and full-time employment) and time management strategies of balancing college life and participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition.

We look forward to seeing you there!

The FIRST Robotics Conference (FRC Conference) is perfect proof that good ideas, submitted on the CheifDelphi forums, are indeed considered and carried-out by FIRST.

You may remember this thread from last fall:


Well Tonya Scott, Andy Baker, Ken Patton, Don Griffith, Steve Shade, Ken Leung, and myself teamed up with Cindy Abrams from FIRST to make this a reality. We aspire to let this grow more & more every year.

Enjoy! :smiley:

We are looking for volunteers for the FRC Conference at the Championship to help with checking in registered participants… and other such things. If you are able to help for a few hours, please email me at:


-FIRST experience (so I may get to know you better :slight_smile: )
-times available to work



Does anyone know if these meetings are going to be taped and posted online. There are a few I would want to attend but the times don’t work out.

Some on the schedule are not listed in the email. Does that mean they don’t exist?

Robot Chicks Union Meeting
Public Relations and Marketing
electrical design
fundraising and finance

Those workshops exist… but at the time of the ‘FIRST Email Blast,’ we didn’t yet secure a presenter for that specific workshop. We felt that it might be rude to tell thousands of people that a certain person would be presenting when we haven’t recieved final confirmation from them yet :smiley: .

Sorry we’re slow to realize we want to go, and to register. We’ve got signups we’re finalizing, and I’ll try and email registration for our team tonight.