FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Virtual Field

Oct 10, 2019 Written by Kate Pilotte, Kit of Parts Manager, FIRST Robotics Competition.




Last year, a team of FIRST supporters worked together to assemble a suite of ways that teams could virtually experience Planet Primus. I’m happy to announce that the team is back, and excited about making a virtual 2020 field accessible too.

The suite of assets included videos, mobile tools, VR headset applications, desktop content (digital and literal – there was a 3D printable field too!), and simulations. You can peruse all the details on the Playing Field webpage, but the list below will give you a general sense of these goodies:

  • Autodesk
    • Synthesis, a robotics simulator built for FRC teams

The developers strongly encourage you to spend some time getting acquainted with the different hardware and platforms (depending on what’s accessible to you) this fall so that come Kickoff, all you need to do is update the content and you’re off and running safely walking around the INFINITE RECHARGESM field.

Last and certainly not least, a great big thank you to the developer team. This wouldn’t happen without your help. 

Enjoy the show!

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Last year, the simplified models (for integration into other systems/VR) weren't released until midway through the season. Could they also be part of the package? Thank you!

Apologies, I’m not sure to what you’re referring. Do you have a supplier, link, or screenshot you can share to help get my head straight?

You can get a simplified model from the web viewer. Here's quick links. Below explain how to discover them.

- OBJ Model:
- OBJ Material:

Go to View the page source (F12 or Ctrl-U in Chrome) and search the code for the asset path. Luckily they use OBJ, so search for ".obj", no quotes of course. You'll find a line like this: objLoader.load( 'assets/fe-2020.obj',...

Change the url to paths for the OBJ and MTL files. Since it's 'assets/fe-2020.obj, that means its in the same directory, so the page is, the file is in a folder called assets, so it's Also, OBJ files reference an MTL file, which is the same name but with ".mtl" extension, hence the link. It is also referenced in the code, but can depend on the OBJ loader.

If you are doing something with Unity, let me know and I can share the improvements I make to the models.



We purchased an Oculus Quest for our team and would love to see VR assets available for this platform. No CORDS to get tangled up and much safer for students and mentors. Thanks for making these resources available - it is very helpful for teams to better visualize the field and plan robot design and game strategy.

Thanks for your comment, and glad you're enjoying your new VR platform! If you know of any developers that can support an effort like that, please invite them to let us know at 

Using the VRidge app from Riftcat allows Oculus Quest owners to utilize SteamVR on their systems. This experience should run well on a Quest. Here is the link to the developer's page: . Good luck!

Autodesk Synthesis seems like it comes with tight integration with Fusion 360, but there isn't any mention that a license for Fusion 360 is included.  With recent licensing changes to Fusion 360 free for personal use its too restrictive for 3D modeling design so it would be beneficial if Autodesk provided licensing for Fusion 360 along with Synthesis.

If Autodesk Fusion 360 cannot be provided should we be using another 3D modeling application?

Yes, all 2020 FIRST Robotics Competition teams have access to Fusion360 as part of their Virtual Kit and thanks to the generosity of Autodesk. You can learn more from Autodesk’s dedicated FIRST webpage.

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