FIRST Robotics Competition 2017 Crown Supplier Seal2017 FIRST Robotics Competition Crown Suppliers Enable Young Innovators

For the 2017 FIRST STEAMWORKS℠ game, the FIRST Robotics Competition Crown Suppliers helped put the WORKS in STEAMWORKS. Crown, the highest level of Supplier, designates an in-kind contribution of more than $250,000 worth of goods and services used for the FIRST Robotics Competition Kit of Parts and/or the playing field. The Kit of Parts acts as a starting point for building the robot – sans instructions. FIRST asked Crown Suppliers to share why they support FIRST.


3M3M is proud to support FIRST because science and math are at the heart of who we are as a company. Being a Crown Supplier allows us to put our technology in the hands of FIRST teams, so they can operate as we do every day – by working together to create something new and solve problems. FIRST also provides an opportunity for 3Mers around the world to volunteer as part of our long history of being good community citizens in STEM, which is a core focus of our 3Mgives organization.

AndyMark Inc.

AndyMark Inc.As a Crown Supplier since 2008, AndyMark has the pleasure of seeing many of our parts and products help teams compete successfully at FIRST events around the world. We take pride in being an  online retailer for both FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition teams to purchase hardware and parts to build their robots. AndyMark is proud to assist FIRST and the FIRST community in creating enjoyable game elements as well as providing key Volunteers to run events successfully. AndyMark strives to develop innovative products and outstanding service while inspiring our customers. 


AutodeskAutodesk makes software for people who make things – like you! If you’ve watched a robot simplify a task, admired a skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a film, chances are you’ve experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software. Autodesk has been a proud Crown Supplier for nearly a decade providing free access to Autodesk software for students and Mentors, helping to sharpen skills for FIRST competitions. Autodesk offers FIRST Robotics Competition teams Autodesk® Fusion 360TM, which combines industrial and mechanical design in a single, intuitive cloud-based solution. Download the free Autodesk Kit of Parts to accelerate your design process at


Bimba Manufacturing provides pneumatic, hydraulic, and electric motion solutions for engineering challenges. The company, a supporter of the FIRST Robotics Competition for 15 years, gives each team the opportunity to order up to two free cylinders for those that use pneumatics on their robots.

CTR Electronics

CTR ElectronicsCTR Electronics has been expanding the frontier of FIRST Robotics Competition robotics since 2006, by continually introducing new features and products. At FIRST STEAMWORKS competitions, teams mentioned how our control system boards (the Power Distribution Panel, Pneumatic Control Module, and Voltage Regulator Module) allowed them to meet the packaging needs of their robots. They’ve also benefited from the Pigeon IMU and new Talon SRX features such as “Motion Magic,” which teams used to improve their autonomous drive routines. Several students exclaimed how “Motion Magic” helped smooth their shooter/gear-pickup movements, and how current-limit features prevented critical breakers from tripping. CTRE will continue to innovate to meet the pace of these impressive robots.


DASSAULT SYSTEMES SOLIDWORKSFor the past 13 years, DASSAULT SYSTEMES SOLIDWORKS has supported FIRST Robotics Competition teams. As a Crown Supplier for three years, SOLIDWORKS provides SOLIDWORKS software to thousands of teams. In the past nine months, we surpassed our record to support 1,235 FIRST teams. Our employees, SOLIDWORKS resellers, partners, and customers, mentor and sustain FIRST teams all over the world. With FIRST students learning SOLIDWORKS, they bring job-ready skill sets to the SOLIDWORKS professional community and prepare to advance their education in engineering design and manufacturing. FIRST Robotics Competition teams outreach to younger students in their communities. To help with that outreach, SOLIDWORKS is announcing SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids for all FIRST teams to support the youngest designers, ages 4-14, to create, revise, and express their ideas and dreams.


EnerSysEnerSys®, a global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, has been a supporter of FIRST since 2012. Over the past six years, thousands of batteries and engineering support have been provided to youth participating in FIRST competitions. EnerSys® is pleased to provide the product to power the robots used in competition and educate participants on how batteries are constructed, and proud to be part of an organization that has such a positive impact on today’s youth in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.


FedExFedEx has proudly supported FIRST since 2002. We see the value that STEM education has on our business – the business of connecting people and possibilities around the world. Our original support provided in-kind shipping for the FIRST Robotics Competition Kit of Parts and the qualifying robots to/from FIRST Championship. That support has grown to include cash contributions, Mentor support, and the FedEx Innovation Challenge social media competition as well. We are constantly inspired by FIRST students and the work they do, and hope that our support encourages FIRST students to consider FedEx as a part of their future.

Gates Corporation

GatesGates Corporation is a global manufacturer of power transmission belts and fluid power products. Their highly engineered products are critical components used in diverse industrial and automotive applications. Supporting FIRST for nearly a decade, the company donated drive train belts to the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition. Gates believes today’s FIRST students are tomorrow’s engineers. That’s why each year Gates selects one outstanding student for a $16,000 scholarship. For more details please visit


igusigus® has been sponsoring students and their Mentors via the YES (Young Engineer’s Support) Program since 2005. The YES Program was developed to help foster the mechanical design ideas of those with a passion for engineering, whether you are an individual, team, student, teacher, or Mentor. At every FIRST event igus® is lucky enough to attend, we are overwhelmed with the intelligence, teamwork, and passion of each and every team, and hope to continue our partnership as a Crown Supplier for years to come!

Innovation First

Innovation FirstIn 1999, Innovation First launched our first product: the revolutionary Victor motor controller, designed specifically for the FIRST Robotics Competition community. Since then, we’ve proudly grown to develop a comprehensive product line designed for all FIRST Robotics Competition teams. We are proud to support FIRST for over 20 years now, and try to give back to the program and community in any way possible. We sponsor 10 FIRST Robotics Competition teams from three countries, and over 50 percent of our employees are FIRST Alumni. We see firsthand the program’s ability to produce the critical thinkers and innovative problem solvers our society so desperately needs.

National Instruments

National InstrumentsNational Instruments has been a proud supporter of FIRST for more than a decade. The rock-solid NI roboRIO controller, powered by NI LabVIEW graphical software, accelerates student discovery and innovation through ease of use, reliability, and versatility. This is the same RIO technology and LabVIEW software used in industry by SpaceX, NASA, Tesla, and MIT, to name a few! At FIRST Robotics Competition events, NI Control System Advisors (CSAs) problem-solve and innovate side-by-side with students, providing in-person technical support in the pits and on the field. NI is honored to continue partnering with FIRST to inspire and empower the next generation of technology leaders.


OnshapeOnshape is very excited to be a FIRST Crown Supplier for the first year ever. We have a strong connection with FIRST, as a number of our employees originally began their engineering career tracks by participating in FIRST in high school. We have heard from many teams that our cloud-based collaborative CAD system has enabled them to work together to design better robots, faster. We are proud to support all of you and are encouraged by the positive feedback we have received so far. This is just the beginning of Onshape’s dedication to all of you!


PTCPTC is a global provider of technology platforms and solutions that transform how companies worldwide create, operate, and service the “things” in the Internet of Things (IoT). A Crown Supplier to the FIRST Robotics Competition for nine years, this year PTC has donated CAD, augmented reality, and project management software to all FIRST Robotics Competition teams, as well as FIRST Tech Challenge teams. In addition, PTC provides the CAD modeled competition elements for both programs’ games. PTC is also the Official IoT, CAD, and Collaboration Software Sponsor of FIRST Tech Challenge.

REV Robotics

REV RoboticsREV Robotics is proud to support FIRST because we know from personal experience the huge impact the program delivers. Founded by FIRST Alumni and longtime team Mentors, REV Robotics has a passion for growing the program while keeping FIRST technology current and affordable. REV works tirelessly to introduce innovative new products tailored to FIRST teams and continues to increase our contributions as a company each year. We work hard each day to develop winning products for FIRST. We work just as hard after-hours to support our own local teams and inspire the next generation of problem solvers and engineers.

Rockwell Automation

Rockwell AutomationRockwell Automation, a global company dedicated to industrial automation and information, makes its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. A Strategic Partner of FIRST, the company has supported FIRST since 2004 with a variety of products, this year donating the products that automate the field management and scoring systems along with the robot signal lights in the Kit of Parts and various sensors on FIRST Choice. Rockwell Automation is also a Global Sponsor of FIRST LEGO League.


ULUL is helping transform the young lives of our future innovators in many ways. That’s why UL serves as the strategic safety advisor for FIRST and its robotics program for high school students. For the 2017 season, UL contributions include 235 employees logging an estimated 9,400 volunteer hours at more than 140 events across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Our event sponsorship includes the Safety Animation Award, as well as the UL Safety Award at Regional, District, District Championships, and FIRST Championships. UL is helping FIRST create a world where science and technology come together safely, securely, and sustainably, and where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes.

Back to May 2017 Newsletter