FedEx Blog

FedEx Blog

#OMGRobots! FIRST® and the FedEx Innovation Challenge

February 4, 2016

FIRST RoboticsIf you hear unusual buzzing and whirring coming from a nearby school or garage in the next few months, open the door and you just might find yourself face to face with a robot.

Teams all over the world are building robots right now for the FIRST® Robotics Competition. From the Pi-Rho Maniacs in Austin to Ice Cubed in Ontario – students are donning their creative and mechanical hats in efforts to build some of the coolest machines you’ve ever seen.

Founded by famed inventor Dean Kamen, the mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills. These 400,000 students from more than 80 countries around the globe are aiming for victory. But they also know that it’s about more than robots; this year there are over $25 million in scholarship opportunities for team members.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) motivates students at robotics competitions through focusing on values like Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® – a word invented by FIRST, referring to the concept that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even in the face of fierce competition.

FIRST is a real sport for the mind, and in fact schools in three states currently offer the ability to earn a traditional letter jacket for robotics.

FedEx proudly donates shipping of all the FIRST Robotics Competition’s Kits of Parts to every team in the world, as well as hardship grants, rookie grants and cash support. FedEx also provides free shipping of completed robots to and from FIRST Championship, taking place April 27-30 at the Edward Jones Dome in St Louis. If you want to see the excitement for yourself, all FIRST events (including the annual Championship) are free and open to the public.

Creative FIRST teams in the US are also participating in the FedEx Innovation Challenge, a unique social media contest that is part problem solving, part creative challenge that showcases team’s innovative spirit.

The winning teams are awarded up to $5,000 grant money, robo-prizes donated by Dell and National Instruments, and one lucky team will win a special Innovation Ambassadors VIP trip to St Louis for FIRST Championship.

*Speaking of competitions, anyone can vote for our FIRST video in the Boston College Film Festival. We’re in the ‘Large Company’ category – vote now!

Check out some of this year’s Innovation Challenge entries below:


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