The FIRST 2017 robotics season is now over for the high school teams from around the world. The two winning alliances from the two part championships held in Houston, Texas and St Louis, Missouri the past two weeks will meet again at the FIRST Festival of Champions, a new event scheduled for July 28–29 in New Hampshire.
Congratulations to all the teams this year as well as the many sponsors, volunteers, schools, teachers, mentors, parents, fans, and the inspired younger kids that will now want to get involved in future seasons.
The 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition season went out with a bang! This year, the FIRST Championship was so large that two separate venues were required. More than 800 high school robotics teams came to the Championship to compete, learn, and interact with inspiring leaders in the STEM community.
On April 19–22, the FIRST Championship launched in Houston. Following hundreds of qualifying matches on six subdivision fields, the best alliances faced off on a stage constructed over the baseball diamond in Minute Maid Park.
12,000 fans cheered on the winners of the deciding match:
Team 973 Greybots from Atascadero, CA
Team 1011 CRUSH from Tucson, AZ
Team 2928 Viking Robotics from Seattle, WA
Team 5499 Bay Orangutans from Berkeley, CA
On April 26–29, the FIRST Championship landed in St. Louis. As before, qualification matches took place simultaneously in six subdivisions, with the two best alliances competing under the bright lights of the Einstein Field.
15,000 screaming students went nuts for the winners:
Team 2767 Stryke Force from Kalamazoo, MI
Team 254 The Cheesy Poofs from San Jose, CA
Team 862 Lightning Robotics from Canton, MI
Team 1676 The Pascack PI-oneers from Montvale, NJ
Several Autodesk employees volunteered this year as team mentors, judges, referees, and more. In addition to Autodesk support in FRC teams and events, we had participation with FTC teams including Team 8176 Steelhead of Hood River, Oregon who did awesome! I can attest to the amazing experience having been a mentor for the past 2 seasons here in Portland and hope more readers and colleagues get involved in one of the FIRST robotics leagues. The team I mentored was Team 1540 Flaming Chickens of Catlin Gabel. The Flaming Chickens designed their robot Hen Solo completely digitally in Autodesk Inventor and Fusion 360 before cutting a part and won 3 Chairmen's awards, 1 Innovation in Controls award, and the Engineering Inspiration award at the World Championships in Houston for the Hopper-Turing division. Team 1540 are an amazing group of inspiring young humans to work with.