FRC 2010 Registration fees reduced

Check out Bill’s Blog entry from this morning. New fee structure for the 2010 games:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Hot News

Good Morning Teams,

I am very excited to announce that, thanks to cost cutting, the reuse of key items in the control system, a generous donation from Dean Kamen and careful planning on the part of everyone involved with FRC, the 2010 registration fee will be REDUCED this year to $5000 for Veteran teams and $5500 for Rookie teams.

Here’s how it works. Veteran teams will receive a kit of parts and reuse some of the elements from the 2009 control system. Rookie teams will receive a kit of parts containing everything in a Veteran kit of parts plus the reusable elements Veteran teams already have on hand. The official cost to Rookie teams will be $6500; however, Dean Kamen has generously offered to make a $1000 donation to FIRST for each Rookie team joining in 2010. That money will be applied to the Rookie team’s registration fee reducing the real cost to the team to $5500.

All kits of parts will include a Classmate PC for use in the driver’s station and teams will have the option to purchase additional reusable components after kickoff.

The registration fee for teams to attend additional FRC events and the FIRST Championship will remain the same as last year.

157 days until the 2010 Kickoff
See you there!
Posted by Bill at 10:10 AM

Hmm this could be interesting. Certianly a step in the right direction.

Info on the classmate PC can be found here

Sweet action, here’s what a Classmate PC looks like. This should be interesting if it is the Drivers Station, but from what I understand of reading this, it’ll be used with the drivers station.

$1500 in “reuseable components”? That’s pretty close to the non-discounted price of the FRC cRIO. I wonder what else we’ll be expected to salvage from the 2009 robot.

I don’t remember, are the sidecars going to be in the KOP for 2010, or are they considered reusable components?

That might be part of the $1500.

Also, I think NI subsidized the cRIO last year, maybe that subsidy is not available this year.

Definitely a step in the right direction. Kudos to FIRST for listening.

This is great news for the teams which are looking to reuse their control system components from year to year. For the teams looking to keep older robots intact and operational, here’s the math:

If the new Classmate PC is replacing the driver station, and if teams are looking to basically swap their CRIOs but otherwise keep the rest of the control system intact on older robots, then a PD Board ($189), Sidecar ($82), Analog & Solenoid Boards ($24 each), and WGA ($72) come out to $391, with a net savings of $609. (I didn’t include the Linksys Router, since that is not needed for competitions).

But if “reusing the control system” also includes the main breaker ($26), 1 Victor ($115), 4 Jaguars (4x $73), 2 Joysticks (2x $20) and Ethernet Camera ($188), this totals out at $661, plus the $391 from above, comes out to $1052, a net increase of $52. This is basically every control system component from the 2009 KoP minus the cRIO.

Not too bad, and certainly a lot better than buying another control system on top of a $6000 registration.

If swapping a cRIO is too difficult, then the price of one additional cRIO + modules per year is $750, which means a net increase in costs of $802. This means if you want to reuse your entire control system, your costs could be as low as $5000, but if you want to have a practice robot or keep an older robot operational, your price will be up to $6802. This is a LOT better than the 2009 season, where purchasing a second control system for a practice robot cost $2000+ on top of the $6000 registration.

Either way, this is a better than what it was during this season.

That’s a first gen Classmate, they’re up to the third generation now. Wonder which one we will get.

Classmate website


I’m switching to a team this year that had last year as their first year. They have no older systems to test or work from- so having to reuse the cRio is unacceptable.

More details are going to be needed ASAP because if I have to purchase another cRio I’ve got to find money… somehow.

I’m told there will be a press release later today… so I will hold of speculating further.

i think you should be able to get the rookie kit if you want to pay the 6500. That way you can get an extra crio…

I hope we get the convertible (tablet) one. Does anyone know cost difference?

Last year, I really wanted to use video feedback and touch buttons for the operator to control the secondary functions of the robot, but that functionality was not really open. With a tablet pc as the DS this should be much easier to do.

This seems to me like some crafty wordsmithing. The way I read this, the costs may have actually increased. And, this only says that Dean is covering the cost of the increase for rookies for 2010 (no mention of 2011 and beyond). Presumably the $6500-$5000 = $1500 difference between the two kits is FIRST’s cost of the components that veterans will need to reuse. In the past we got new components each year so we were able to keep old robots running (which is very important for Chairman’s outreach etc). It’s a reasonable assumption that, in order to keep our 2009 robot running, we might have to spend at least $1500 (maybe more, since we might not get the same discounts as FIRST) to buy new versions of the components to put on our 2010 robot.

FIRST may have decreased the dollar amount we have to write on the check, but they also reduced the value of what we’re getting for that check. The difference between the dollar amounts of those two items is what will really determine if the fees were actually reduced or not.

Who knew smaller trophies and lighter medals would make such a difference:rolleyes:

Just kidding, but this is awesome.

I’ll be pretty upset if we’re expected to pull more than just the cRIO

So here’s my thoughts now that this has sunk in.

From the start, I was always under the impression that we would be required to reuse every part of the control system each year (cRio, PD board, bumpers/sidecars, basically everything but the speed controllers). On top of this, I had not expected FIRST to lower the registration fee at all. Seeing this announcement, then, makes me quite happy indeed.

Indeed, you are going to get less value for your kit, but from my perspective, it seems that we are going to end up on top. If you recall Bill’s post from last year, we knew that we were not getting a new “cRIO, modules, bumpers, digital side car, power distribution board, drivers station and a number of other items” (direct quote from Bill). The fact that they are lowering the registration price leads me to believe that someone at FIRST is thinking about more than the bottom line.

I am quite excited about the prospect for a new driver’s station. Now I don’t have to walk around zapping myself before I touch the current DS.

With these new developments however, I am now waiting for even more information.

I’m not quite understanding this.
Isn’t the 2009 season better as your comparison is for 2 control systems vs. 1? For 6802, its just 1 control system vs 6000 in 2009.

The economy and the cost of materials dont lie. It will cost everyone more to do the status quo as in the past. Under the old IFI system, you could have easily done the same, without the official FIRST memo…IF you wanted two robots (1 practice and 1 competition version).:smiley:

Maybe I should have clarified it as 2010 being cheaper than expected. We were expecting to have to buy another control system for the 2010 competition robot on top of the $6000 registration fee. But last season we had to spend $2200 on top of the $6000 to purchase an additional system for a practice robot, whereas this year it’ll cost $802 on top of the [originally expected] $6000 for another control system (which would allow us to keep 2009 operational, along with both practice and competition robots for 2010).

Although absolute wise, yes, it is more expensive this year, as it’ll cost $6802 to get everything that was in the 2009 KoP for $6000. However it was hinted at quite often that we’d only be getting a single control system, so an increase in price was to be expected if you wanted new control systems.

Don’t get me wrong, I kind of prefer the inexpensive nature of the IFI control system over the expensive NI control system. Yes, we do have a lot more cool features on the NI system, but I think there could have been better specs per price ratio from other systems, like the Vex Qwerk (between 1/2 and 1/4 of the specs of the NI system for 1/10 the price, while still being a vast improvement over the previous IFI controllers).

Greetings FRC Teams:

FIRST® announces pricing for upcoming 2010 FRC season

Lower cost for FRC Veteran teams due to 2009 kit component recycle; and
FIRST Founder, Dean Kamen, provides $1,000.00 grant to each new FRC Rookie team to be used towards the 2010 registration fee.

Reaffirming its commitment to bring robotics to all young people to increase their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, FIRST®, the leader in after school robotics competitions for K-12, today announced a price reduction of $1,000.00 for Veteran teams in its high-school program, the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). This represents a 17 percent reduction in the initial registration cost for the upcoming 2010 season for Veteran teams compared to last year.

The new FRC prices are effective immediately.

In 2009 FIRST created a technology roadmap for FRC which included the use of certain technically advanced parts from one year to the next. In 2010, the organization is able to deliver on this technology roadmap promise by reducing the cost of Veteran team registration fees to a level that represents the re-use of certain Kit of Parts (KoP) components while delivering new components including an upgraded Driver’s Station with a classmate PC.

With this price reduction – a fee rollback equal to the 2000-2004 season’s’ pricing-- the organization has also made significant strides in cost controls for the new season which allows FIRST to pass cost reductions on to the Veteran teams.

Highlights of the new fee structure include:

· The registration fee for FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Veteran teams will be $5000.00 for the 2010 season. This represents a reduction of $1000.00 from the price during each of the past five seasons, and is due in large part to the design and reuse of the new control system introduced this past year;

· The FRC registration fee for Rookie teams will be increased to $6500.00. This represents the cost differential of $1,500.00 for key items from the 2009 KoP – including the cRio - which all Rookie teams will receive;

· All FRC Rookie teams will receive a $1,000.00 grant for the 2010 season. This grant is to be applied to the overall registration fee, so that the effective cost for Rookie teams is $5500.00, a $500.00 decrease from the actual 2009 season price of $6,000.00 which had applied to all FRC teams at that time;

· All Veteran FRC teams are able to reuse several key components from last year’s Kit of Parts, including the cRio control system developed by National Instruments (NI) and other specific control system components, thus enabling FIRST to reduce the cost for participation in the upcoming season for Veteran teams; and

· All FRC teams registered for the 2010 season will receive a new Kit of Parts with hundreds of components including a new classmate PC. Each FRC team will also have the ability to purchase additional “re-usable” components from the 2009 KoP if they wish. Information on how and where to purchase additional parts will be provided to teams in the near future.

In these difficult times, FIRST is foremost dedicated to its mission to expose students to hands-on science, engineering and technology. FIRST Founder, Dean Kamen’s continued commitment to this mission is evidenced again this year with a donation of grant monies to assist FRC Rookie Teams with the registration fee. Mr. Kamen will make the $1000.00 donation to FIRST for each new Rookie team that joins the FRC program this season.

Prices for the current season for all other FIRST robotics programs will remain the same as last year and pricing for additional FIRST FRC “plays” and the FIRST Championship remain the same as last year.

Initial Event Registration opens on October 1, 2009.

Some teams - those who got a second system last year - will benefit, as will rookie teams (this year at least). Teams with one cRio who want a second one won’t benefit, but are not terribly hurt, either. That’s not a majority of teams - greatest good for greatest number.

Assuming you know the financials of the situation, what would you do differently?

Different challenge: Let’s recruit enough rookie teams so Dean has to part with a cool million - I honestly think he’d be thrilled!