New Additions to FIRST Robotics Competition

The FIRST Robotics Central Illinois Regional Competition will take place on March 17 and 18 at the Renaissance Coliseum.
March 13, 2017

Bradley University will host the FIRST Robotics Central Illinois Regional Competition on March 17 and 18 at the Renaissance Coliseum, located at 160 W. Main Street. The event is free and open to the public.

Dubbed a “varsity sport for the mind” the Central Illinois Regional (CIR) FIRSTRobotics Competition (FRC) is an event that showcases robots developed and operated by teams of high school students. The competing robots are the result of 6 1/2 weeks of high school students and professional engineering/science mentors teaming up to solve the engineering challenges presented in the Season Challenge/Robot Game.

Forty teams from five states will participate. The lineup of teams includes a Hall of Fame team, a member of the 2016 World Champion Alliance, numerous teams with regional wins and Championship Division finalists. Past winners of the Chairman’s Award and Engineering Inspiration Award winners also will return to the event.

For the first time in the history of the FIRST program, human players will be on the field during a match, interacting with field elements and scoring points for the alliance. The airship provides a visual barrier to the field to provide a challenge to pick up fuel and gears to the drivers. Some teams will use on-board cameras to help with this. The end game is unique as it involves climbing a rope that is a flexible element, unlike the fixed elements that teams climbed in previous games.

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from more than 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $20 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) for students in Grades 9 -12; FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO®League (FLL®) for Grades 4-8; and Junior FIRST®  LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for Grades K-3. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

To learn more about FIRST, go to