FRC Blog - Australia Regional Event Logistics

If you go to the Australia Regional listing here, click the link, then click ‘Site Info’, you will find this document with updated details regarding logistics. If you are from outside of the country and thinking about traveling to this exciting new event, please read carefully!

We’re looking forward to a great first event registration day tomorrow! We’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of jelly babies, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it!


The jist of the document is that teams outside Australia that are going to attend the Australia Regional most likely won’t be able to attend any other events from Week 1 - Week 5 (except maybe Hawaii).

[spoiler]Updated September 24, 2014

We are pleased to announce the new 2015 FRC Australia Regional! This is a great new opportunity and we are excited about this event.

As this is the first official FRC event in Australia, there are new opportunities and challenges, particularly for robot transportation from some areas. For planning purposes from our experience, robot
transportation transit time is between 7 to 11 calendar days not including additional time needed for international customs clearance and inspection. For teams investing in taking their team to Sydney we
really want to make sure your robot arrives in time for event participation. Therefore FRC teams outside of Australia will need to ship their robot crates prior to Week 1. Teams also will not be able to attend a
Week 2 or Week 4 event. Teams will also need to allow additional time for the robot crate to return after the event therefore we do not suggest teams plan to attend a Week 5 event except for teams
participating at the Hawaii Regional. It could be possible for a team to attend a Week 6 event.

This might sound totally insane but I wonder if teams who want to go to this and build a duplicate robot could get exempted.

Almost definitely not, but I wonder if there would be any thought put into a response to a request like that.

We were planning to sign up for a Week 1 event tomorrow at IE.
I think we still will, and try and get more info on whether or not we are able to go to Australia.
Our team is already hyped about going to Australia AND doing 3 events.

FedEx International Economy Freight can get you there in 5 business days for $6000 or 3 business days for $10000, so Monday March 2 to Thursday March 5 or Monday March 2 to Monday March 9 (practice matches start on the 12th). Then there’s customs, but they say that providing the right documentation means it’ll go through right away (they say). So it sounds like it’s totally doable, but there are a few different pieces to get in place. Like anything else, I’m sure talking to everyone at all points in the process will help them help you make your schedule.

Similarly for getting back to Hawaii for Week 5. Good luck :]

Gee, only $6000 one way? Hey it’s only money right?

Well Australia is famous for those Money Growing Trees; so the trip pays for itself. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ok so I saw the mockery coming a mile away. No, its not cheap. But remember FIRST does have the support of Fedex, who already supplies 1 or 2 thousand to each CMP team every year (and used to do a heck of a lot more!). I think $6000 market value is not a totally unreasonable number for FedEx, FIRST, and 359 to work out between themselves, when FedEx donates millions in robot shipping annually, and FIRST and 359 are no strangers to shipping robot crates overseas.

But I’m a member of none of these parties, so I’ll stop talking.

Would it be cheaper to charter a private boat, and transport the robot and students all in one shot?

That’s pretty brilliant. I don’t see a reason to not allow that in this circumstance.

To be fair, he was responding to a team who’s looking forward to competing at three regionals on two continents and an island chain thousands of miles from either of them.

I have no experience in chartering ships, but knowing the fuel costs of naval vessels I’m going to rule that one out.

That;s a long trip at 15-20 knots. Figure a month on either side. You might go to Australia, win, and then not make it to St Louis in time. The students get a semester at sea?

The multiple robot thing would take some real close inspection of the rules. Bag & tag two, one for competition in North America, and another for the Antipodes?

Don’t get me wrong, going to Australia is a 3853 dream from our early days. And I almost got our lead Teacher fired up about this one…

That semester at sea thing is starting to sound like fun. I have posited for a long time that a useful curriculum could be built around FIRST. Take it to sea and the biology, language and visual arts fall in with no effort.


I’m glad someone’s taking me seriously…

Note that airfare for one team member is also in the ballpark of a few thousand dollars.

It’s probably guarded by a poisonous man eating Koala Bear.

I think it’s great that we’re finally starting to see some major competition growth outside of North America…and it’s going to be pretty cool to see some of the larger teams make it to Australia…

The cheaper solution is to register two teams. One for Australia could only cost $5000 (as a vet team).
Better yet, order the parts delivered to Australia and do that build there as a robot-in-one-day on Thursday of competition.
Then you don’t have to rush back.
You could even scrap it after salvaging valuable parts or donate the resulting robot for next year’s pre-rookie use instead of bringing it back.

Is the FedEx shipping voucher teams get not valid for this? We used our voucher for Alamo this year and paid to get the robot shipped to St Louis this year since it would be more expensive to send it to Texas.

The rules, as they were written last year, wouldn’t allow this. Per R1 “Each registered FRC team may enter only one (1) ROBOT (or ‘Robot’, which to a reasonably astute observer, is a Robot built for FRC) into the 2014 FRC.” That’s not to say the rules can’t change, and personally I think it’s a great solution to a complicated problem. It would require some serious discussion with FIRST to get the rule changed, and I bet there would be additional caveats in place as well - you can’t just build two robots, they have to be built identical, you can only do it if you get exemption from FIRST ahead of time (to prevent teams from building two just to go to two different near-by regionals and trying to get some gain from that), etc.

This… could very well be 100% legal. It doesn’t violate any robot rules (each “team” is only entering one robot), and we already have precedence for teams splitting into two, schools hosting multiple teams, and teams working together to produce nearly identical robots.

Of course, it gets extremely interesting if you consider both “teams” earning a spot at champs - do they both compete? Could we possibly see them in different divisions and facing off against each other on Einstein? And since we’re talking about a Hall Of Fame team… does the “new team” get to go after Chairman’s, potentially resulting in a “double HoF”?

That’s actually a great idea.

The chances of this happening are practically nil. Winning RCA requires showing sustained culture change. This is especially hard for a new team to do. You COULD see them winning EI as that lacks the requirement of sustained culture change.

There is also already a double HoF (191 if I recall, won in 1992 and 1994). And it’s possible again (HoF teams can compete 5 years or more after their induction).

Edit: The new team wouldn’t be eligible for rookie awards either as they would likely not meet FIRST’s definition of rookie.

Worth noting that if you follow the guidelines posted by FIRST, it would be impossible for a district team to compete in Australia, as it only leaves one weekend left to compete back home (week 6).

Whilst likely undesirable, you could choose to only participate in one district event.