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FedEx Innovation Challenge

April 24, 2018

The FedEx Innovation Challenge is a social media-based competition for FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge teams at 2018 FIRST Championship in Houston and Detroit.

Your Team Can Win Big!

This contest is open to all FRC and FTC teams, from the U.S. and abroad, present and competing at the 2018 FIRST World Championship. Your team can compete to win a grant for your future FIRST initiatives. FYI returning teams – the challenge format has changed this year!

More than $20,000 USD
Grants Awarded from FedEx

$10,000 grant – Thursday, April 26
$10,000 grant – Friday, April 27
$2,500 Spirit Award grant also presented!

To be eligible for the prizes, teams are required to participate by completing the daily challenges on Thursday, April 26 and/or Friday, April 27. Challenge winners from each day will be announced the following morning.


Challenges, rules, and more below:

Detroit Winners and Challenges

CONGRATULATIONS to FRC5422 Stormgears for winning Challenge 2!


Challenge 2:  Swing Time

Widely considered the Father of Modern Science, Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) helped launch the scientific revolution. Among his many contributions to science, was the discovery of isochronism in pendulums.

Isochronism is the reason pendulums proved to be so useful for timekeeping. Today, the pendulum clock is still relevant and is used as an accurate (relatively speaking) method of keeping time.


You may have already guessed, but this challenge relates to the magic of the pendulum!

Submit a VIDEO (:15 max.), that describes and creatively demonstrates isochronism in pendulums.

We had some absolutely amazing entries for Challenge 1. Judging went into the late hours of the night, but our judges finally settled on a winner for day 1….CONGRATULATIONS to FRC1640 Sa-BOT-age for winning Challenge 1!

Challenge 1:  Max the Space

When loading FedEx trailers, efficiency is key! It’s critical to ensure that trailer space is maximized. As the FedEx operations planner, you need to determine the number of 53′ trailers to be sent to a shipper location, where they’ll be loaded with spare robot parts and scheduled for pickup.

Additionally, your boss needs to know the load factor of each trailer. (Note: the load factor of a trailer relates to how full it is, and is calculated as a percentage.)


– 7,500 total packages need to be loaded
– Package Dimensions: 20” x 12” x 16”
– Interior Trailer Dimensions: 53’L x 5’H x 8’W
– The weight of each package is a non-factor for this shipment
– Load factor should be rounded to nearest hundredth (e.g. 50.25%)
– Each trailer must be filled as close to capacity as possible before moving to the next trailer
– Note: Be sure to consider the package dimensions in your calculations, not just the volume


How many trailers are required and what is the load factor of each trailer?

Be creative and upload your answer as an IMAGE (photo/collage/graphic) that shows your answer and how you got it.

ANSWER:  Challenge 1

– Five (5) trailers
Load factor for each trailer: 98.03, 98.03, 98.03, 98.03, and 70.28

CONGRATULATIONS to FRC2708 Lake Effect Robotics for winning the $2,500 Spirit Award!

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Comments on FedEx Innovation Challenge

    Erkan Bayar says:

    Thank you very much for supporting the teams.

    Matt Davies says:

    Our team loves doing these challenges! Thank you for the opportunity and for helping some teams with their funding.

    Mani Pabba says:

    Thank you for this opportunity to win funding. This challenge seems really fun.

    Sheevankit Gupta says:

    Matrix Mechanix (Team #12481)

    Our twitter account got restricted for some reason. We are trying to get it back up. Please take this into consideration.

    Jack Wagner says:

    We had trouble posting it so if it still counts: https://photos.app.goo.gl/vKwU3ByKEhmNYCon6 Here is Wave Robotics submission for the FedEx Innovation Challenge! We were originally going to create a simple pendulum to illustrate the isochronism discovered in pendulums, but we wanted to turn it into a science experiment. We changed out the mass on a pendulum to another pendulum to see if the isochronism would hold true. As depicted in the video, our results concluded that the predictability of the system became exponentially more complex. This describes that while one pendulum is predictable by complicating the system the predictability is lost. Relating back to experiences in FIRST, the more simple solutions by teams are often the most effective. By complicating systems it’s much harder to predict its behavior and preemptively find any problems

    Lewis Smith says:

    Team 5090 had a blast completing day 2 of the FedEx Contest! Thanks for bringing your support to FIRST in such a creative and engaging way! Our entire team was able to get in on the process and think creatively! They had a blast in Detroit.

    Kevin Nakano says:

    On behalf of FRC Team 1197, I would like to thank FedEx for picking us for the 2018 Innovation Challenge at Houston Champs. Our entire team had an amazing time there seeing everybody and winning this award made it even better. Please let me know how I can get in touch with FedEx as we would like to send them something from our team.

    Thank you!

    Kevin Nakano
    Engineering Mentor

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