Control System Advisor Aug. 2 2021| 0 KB

Content Type: FIRST Robotics Competition, Volunteer
Program: FIRST Robotics Competition
Tags: Technical, Training, Volunteer

The Control System Advisor (CSA) for FIRST Robotics Competition is a key volunteer position. The CSA assists teams with Robot Control System-related issues. Works in collaboration with the FIRST Technical Advisor and/or Robot Inspectors, who may direct teams experiencing issues on the field or in the pits to the CSA for assistance. This position requires a high level of technical knowledge and interpersonal skills and can affect the quality of the event.


  • Assist teams in correcting Robot Control System Issues such as those related to the roboRIO, support boards such as the Pneumatics Control Module, wiring, programming, sensors, driver station, and laptop-roboRIO interface
  • Assist teams with obtaining additional support as required
  • Be aware of problems that arise and be ready to take steps to quickly diagnose and correct, with the goal of getting teams' robots running and on the field
  • Obtain a radio from event management office to keep aware of event information and issues, return it to office at end of day
  • Participate in training opportunities offered by FIRST and other parties

Experience and Skills Needed

  • Recent hands-on experience with the FIRST Robotics Competition Control System and diagnostic tools required
    • Team mentors or alumni strongly encouraged
  • Must be post-high school or equivalent (minimum age of 19 at time of service)
    • Exceptions may be granted by event Volunteer Coordinators after review and approval by FIRST HQ
  • Understanding of basic Control System wiring guidelines and rules
  • Proficiency in at least one of the FIRST Robotics Competition software languages (LabVIEW, C++, or Java)
  • FIRST Robotics Competition team mentoring experience desired, but individual must be available full time at event as a resource for all teams present
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Strong time management and prioritization skills
  • Strong interpersonal/communication skills in a high stress environment
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time and move about the pit area
  • Knowledge of the competition game and robot rules

Volunteer Time Commitment

  • Pre-event Training calls
  • Minimum 2 full day commitment (Districts)
  • Minimum 3 full day commitment (Regionals)

Note: Event schedules vary. Please check the event schedule and talk to your Volunteer Coordinator for detailed information on when you are expected to arrive. Volunteers should arrive on site 15-20 minutes prior to the start of every shift to allow time to check in at the Volunteer Registration table.


CSA Trainer: Kevin O’Connor

Training Schedule: CSA’s should plan to attend all webinars and review all training materials provided on the 2020 FRC CSA Training Schoology page.

Training Sessions - Introductory Training Materials provided within Schoology by Feb. 18, 2020

Follow up Sessions - Follow up webinars will be held on: 3/2, 3/9, 3/16 and 3/23 from 8:00pm-9:00pm ET using GoToWebinar. To access these, please find the link in Schoology. 

Joining Schoology

Note: All CSA communication and trainings occur through Schoology. This requires CSA’s to create an account on Schoology and then join the 2020 FRC CSA Training Course.

Creating A Schoology Account:

  1.  “Sign Up” for a FREE “INSTRUCTOR” account on Schoology (
  •         NOTE: DO NOT sign up as a “STUDENT”

Joining the 2020 FRC CSA Training Course:

  1. Log into Schoology using your Schoology Account.
  2. In the top menu, select the COURSES menu item, which drops down a window shade containing a list of groups you are a member of (if you’re not yet a member of any groups, this will be noted within the window shade).
  3. Click the “My Courses” link in the upper-right of the COURSES window shade.
  4. In the new page, click the “Join Course” button in the right-hand pane of the “My Courses” tab.
  5. In the new pop-up window, use the Access code VXS9-JRG7-K28KF and click the “Join” button.
    • Please note that if you get errors about an incorrect or invalid access code, be sure to use the COURSES menu drop-down and NOT the GROUPS drop-down.

Reporting Relationships and Supervision

  • Supervision: FIRST Technical Advisor (FTA) provides support and advice during the event
  • On-Site Guidance: Volunteer Coordinator


* Must read and comply with the FIRST Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities