Robot Stolen in Seattle -- Team 1778

I got this distressing email from Kevin Crader - mentor for team 1778

I am sorry to report that our robot Chilly was stolen yesterday out out of the back of our teachers van. He has filed a police report, and we have involved King5 and Komo4 news. This is a tragic event, a huge loss to all of us in Mountlake Terrace Robotics, but we will hopefully come out ahead. It’s not useful to anyone else. We are reaching out to whoever took it to just return it to a fire station, no questions asked. And if we can get a plug in that if you are interested in getting involved in FIRST Robotics or supporting our team. This is the project that my son Brandon, myself, 25 other high school kids and mentors worked on last year.

If anyone has any information about this please let me know and I will relay the information to the Mountlake Terrace team…

I also think considering how devastating this is to their team they were still thinking of ways to promote FIRST in general.… This says a great deal about their team.

Our team has already offered to loan our robot if they need it for a demo.

Please just be aware… if anything shows up on anyone’s Craiglists or Ebay please let us know…

thanks for the thoughts


That sucks. I’ll keep my eyes peeled and ask some folks to keep a look out as well. I can’t imagine what use there’d be in stealing a robot. Sure, the electronics and things are valuable, but only if you know what you’re looking at. Aluminum scrap isn’t worth enough to bother, either.

I can’t even imagine what sort of person takes a robot. People are so stupid.

I am speachless…

Ill keep an eye out… on the east coast… keep us updated

Good luck on finding Chilly. I hope the robot makes it back with the team where it belongs.

I’m way out here on the other coast, but you never know, I’ll keep my eyes out for it.

That stinks… I couldn’t imagine how I would be if one of our robots was stolen. They are all like little kids to me, every one has its own personal characteristic that makes it special. I hope Team 1778 finds their robot intact and working. I can’t imagine what the people were thinking when they stole the robot. Outside of FIRST, our robots are basically useless for everyday tasks. As soon as they find out how expensive and specialized our parts are, then they’ll find out that it will be hard to sell, and hopefully just return the robot to its rightful owners. (but you always have to wonder if the robot has a mind of its own and was not stolen, but actually escaped the van and is living a life of its own…)

I must say, this one puzzles me. I have no idea why anyone would want to steal a robot. It’s not like FIRST robots are particularly easy to steal, most that I have seen would require at least three people to carry any distance and would not fit on a handtruck. They also aren’t that useful to the average person. I mean, the aluminium has already been machined into the desired shape and would probably be not ideal for use as scrap material, and the control system is also quite specialized. The only thing I can think of a thief wanting is the copper wire, but there really isn’t a lot of that in a robot.

hmmm… Were they at school when the robot was stolen? This could be the work of some losers pulling a practical joke. If so, make sure to contact the school administration. From there it shouldn’t be too hard to get a list of the likely suspects.

Stealing a 120 lb. robot isn’t easy. You’d need multiple people and a fairly large vehicle. That might help narrow the list.

Hope you find Chilly soon. People can be soo stupid sometimes.:mad::frowning:

Wow… that is really really strange.

Hopefully whomever stole it will quickly realize it is of no value to them (unless there are familiar with FIRST/possibly combat robots [knows the value of victors]… and I can’t imagine anyone of us doing it).

thats crazy… i mean… who would want it? and how could they have gotten away with a 120 lb robot without people noticing? o.O

The theft actually took place at a car repair shop in Redmond, Washington. So this does not appear to be a prank… unfortunately…

Pranks, scrap metal, pawning it, who knows what the motives could be. Point is, this is a huge loss, and I couldn’t imagine someone stealing a robot that we put so much hard work, time, and effort into making. I’m also across the country but will keep an eye out electronically and physical.

I only wish this was an '80’s sci-fi flick where the robot developed AI and went into hiding until people learned to love it as a real, living being.

Until Chilly phones home we’ll keep an eye out. Sorry to hear of the loss.


That is so terrible…I can’t believe someone would do that, why would you steal stuff from a robotics team, even batteries…

that really sucks… I bet it was probably just some kids pulling a prank. I cant imagine why anyone else would want it. I hope it gets returned.

A robot kidnapping! That’s crazy…I wonder if the punishment for that is the same as for kidnapping a human…it should be.

I’m just trying to find some kind of situation that could make any sense on stealing a robot… If they thought it was a chair, they’d realize it’s not one of your regular chairs once they’ve looked at the robot and try to lift that 120lb robot…:mad:
Don’t know what to say. I wish you and your team will have your Chilly brought back in tact and that we will not hear any of these nonsense kidnappings. :mad:

“Robot missing! Please help us find our dear Chilly. It’s a robot with an arm that can grab inner tubes. Finders will be rewarded”


This certainly does provide a wonderful opportunity for the community to rally around FRC 1778 and learn about FIRST, robotics, and value(s). I agree with you Mr. Steele, it is amazing that the team is thinking as to how they can help promote FIRST and robotics while dealing with these circumstances. That commitment is ingrained in them. It speaks volumes for FRC 1778 and for the FIRST program in general.

It does stink, I’ll give you that.

I bet if you plaster posters on all the power poles, etc. around the area someone will have seen something and come forward. A FIRST robot is such an odd thing that if there was one where is isn’t supposed to be someone will know it. Plaster posters everywhere with a photo just like a lost dog. I bet it will be so odd to see these “Lost Robot” posters everywhere that it will get people talking and looking. Who knows, this could actually turn out to be a good thing in the long run. You never know what new sponsor might see a poster and call the number to find out what the heck it is all about. Just make sure it is clear that it is real and not a joke. If you put up enough posters it will surely be all over the radio and TV because it is just not something you see everyday. News folks would love a story about a robot stolen from a bunch of students. What is the world coming to these days. Good grief!

Keep us posted if anything turns up and best of luck!

Yep, after all, when life gives you lemons, make a robot to pit and squeeze them, purchase sugar, cups, water, and ice and make lemonade!!


Umm…not much to say except that really, REALLY sucks. I can’t do much in the way of physical searching out here on the east coast, but I’ll do what I can. As disheartening as this is, I’m really happy that some good may come of this (and that students are being semi-positive about it), even if the robot doesn’t turn up.