Robot Transportation May. 18 2017| 334.17 KB

Content Type: FIRST Robotics Competition
Tags: Events, Game/Challenge, Team

Teams Shipping to FIRST Championship

Shipping Your Robot Using Your Own Funds

Teams Shipping Internationally

Robot Transportation Exemptions

Approved Robot Transportation Exemptions

Denied Robot Transportation Exemptions


Shipping Crate Construction

Sample Bill of Materials for International Shipping Documentation

New this year! There will be batteries available in the Spare Parts cases at Pit Administration. These batteries will be available to all teams, not specifically for International Teams. Teams are encouraged to bring their own Robot batteries. Please see the Shipping Crate Construction above for detailed instructions about how to ship Robot batteries in your crate. Remember to check the regulations for shipping other types of batteries, specifically the new regulations about Lithium Ion batteries.

Non-Spillable Battery Sign for Robot Crates

Important Information

  • All Robot Transportation Exemption approved teams and all teams attending FIRST Championship MUST build a crate in which to ship their robot.
    • Robot shipments in crates must abide by standard freight shipping processes.
    • Carriers will not pick up a robot that is not in a crate.
  • See the Shipping Crate Construction document for more details. As a reminder these minimum guidelines must be followed:
    • Keep your FILLED crate weight below 400 pounds (181 kg). Teams are expected to use their crate to ship their robot and to minimize any additional components, in order to keep the crate weight below 400 pounds (181 kg).
    • Any teams exceeding 400 pounds (181 kg) or not abiding by the size of the crate construction will NOT be considered for a Robot Transportation Exemption the following season.
    • DO NOT include any tools, luggage, or additional materials.
    • Clearly mark your crate with your team number for identification purposes.
    • Attention International Teams: The Robot Transportation Exemption is only intended for transporting your robot.
      • Items packed in the crate on Export MUST also be included upon Import back into your home country. The entire shipment is a Temporary Export. Please work with your Customs broker to ensure proper filing.
      • Do NOT ship laptops inside the crate. Carry these with you as you travel.
      • Do NOT include anything other than the robot and spare parts in the crate (no tools, pit display, t-shirts, etc).
      • FIRST is not responsible for any items that are not declared or are confiscated by Customs.
      • To properly declare the value of your robot, reference the Bill of Materials process (document to come). If there are any questions, please contact for more information.
  • Teams can ship additional crates with tools, pit displays and other event materials. However, Teams are responsible for abiding by international regulations, paperwork, drayage, and any other costs associated with this shipment.
  • Affix sheets of clear plastic or a sturdy sheet protector securely to the outside of your crate for a place to put the shipping documents before shipment. Failure to do this may result in lost or delayed robots due to missing or ripped shipping documents. We recommend purchasing a Job Ticket Holder, model number S-2761 from ULINE.
  • Carriers require prior notice for pickups, especially if your location does not have a loading dock.
    • If you have been granted a Robot Transportation Exemption and/or are attending FIRST Championship, you must call the shipping carrier after your have received your shipping documents to schedule your pick up AND indicate if there are any special instructions for pick up (i.e., lift gate needed or shipment is located at a school).
  • Please keep in mind that there could be a delay in a carrier's availability to pick up your crate due to a proper truck being available. Therefore, DO NOT wait until the last minute. Failure to have your crate picked up on the date we assign you could result in the pick up being denied and your Robot Transportation Exemption being revoked.
    • Please make sure you contact the appropriate division of the carrier based upon the instructions provided to you on your shipping document (i.e., air, international, express, freight, etc.).
  • If you find that your robot crate has been damaged on the journey to your event, you MUST notify Pit Administration at your event on the first day of the event.

Teams Shipping to FIRST Championship

  • If your team qualifies for the FIRST Championship, you will be emailed one (1) FedEx electronic shipping document after the qualifying event to ship your robot to the FIRST Championship. Note: Robot Transportation Exemption granted teams see below.
  • Your team’s Lead Coach/Mentor 1 and 2 will receive an email advising them to complete a document with the shipping information to ship your robot to the FIRST Championship. They will then need to promptly reply back with this information. Failure to provide this information in a timely fashion could result in your robot not making it to the FIRST Championship in time.
  • ALL teams attending the FIRST Championship MUST have a crate to ship their robot in and MUST ship their robot to the FIRST Championship.
  • Robots competing at the FIRST Championship must be shipped as soon as you have secured your spot, completed payment and received your shipping documents, and no later than the deadline provided to your team with your shipping documents.
    • FIRST will not be responsible for any robots not shipped by teams per instructions. Failure to ship robots in a timely fashion could result in robots arriving late to the FIRST Championship with the potential to miss matches.
    • Non-Exemption Granted Teams
      • After you have completed at another event, you must ensure your robot is bagged and tagged at the conclusion of that event per the instructions in the Robot Rules Section of the Game & Season Manual. Once a Team has returned with their robot from all pre-Championship events, crate the robot and prepare for shipment to FIRST Championship.  Follow the instructions as outlined in the Shipping Crate Instructions.
      • Robot Transportation Exemption Granted Teams 
        • After you have competed at your final event, you must ensure your robot is bagged and tagged at the conclusion of that event per the instructions in in the Robot Rules Section of the Game & Season Manual. Your robot and robot crate will be transported back to the drayage location of your final event.
          • Have you used both of your FedEx shipping documents?
            • If yes, your team is responsible for coordinating transportation and paying shipping costs for the robot crate to the FIRST Championship. You MUST provide the carrier and tracking information in an email to
            • If no, you may use your second FedEx shipping document to ship your robot directly to the FIRST Championship drayage location.
  • All teams attending the FIRST Championship will receive (1) one shipment home for their robot under the FedEx donation. The FedEx shipping document for this shipment will be distributed at FIRST Championship at Check Out.
    • This shipping document will be pre-printed with the shipping information that you provided before Championship.
  • If the team would like to take their robot home as they leave FIRST Championship, they MUST email to have their request approved by the Friday before the Championship Event you are attending (Houston: April 14, 2017 and St. Louis: April 21, 2017).  

Shipping your Robot using your own Funds

Teams may ship their robot to any event at their own cost without receiving an approved Robot Transportation Exemption from FIRST. DO NOT ship directly to the venue. However, unless a team has received a robot transport exemption approval, the final leg of the robot’s journey, arrival at the venue and delivery to the team pit, must be done by the team. For more information, see the section below: Denied Robot Transport Exemption Requests.

Teams Shipping Internationally

Please fill out the Team Shipping Documents for Teams that have received Robot Transportation Exemptions.

How to Value Your Robot

Robot Transportation Exemptions

Not all FIRST Robotics Competition teams have the ability to transport their robots to events. While it is our goal to assist as many teams as possible that have demonstrated hardships, due to the increasing number of FIRST Robotics Competition teams and two FIRST Championships, we will be taking a much closer look at robot transport exemption requests. To be eligible for a robot transport exemption, a FIRST Robotics Competition team must provide detailed information to establish that a substantial hardship exists:

 1. The team is unable to physically transport the robot to the event themselves

  • The team’s home location is a great distance from the event the team will attend and the team does not have the means to transport the robot


2. The team is unable to pay to transport the robot to the event themselves

  • The team faces significant challenges that prevent the team from paying to transport the robot to the event the team will attend

Terms and Conditions for Robot Transportation Exemptions:

  • Robot Transportation Exemptions are for Regional Events only.

    • Robot Transport Exemptions to District Events (this includes In-District and Inter-District Events) will NOT be permitted.

  • Robot Transportation Exemption requests for teams to attend consecutive weekly events will NOT be granted.

  • Robot Transportation Exemption requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Not every request will be granted.

  • Robot Transportation Exemption requests MUST explain in detail why the team is facing financial hardship for this season and a summary of what the team will be doing in the future (i.e., fundraisers, finding sponsors, etc.) to ensure the team will be able to afford travel/shipping costs in the future.

  • Your team may request a Robot Transport Exemption to the Regionals in Australia, however your team will not be able to participate in Regional events on the following weeks: 1, 2, 4, or 5.  No exceptions will be made.

  • If your team is competing at the Shenzhen Regional, you will not be able to participate in Regional events on weeks 1, 3, or 4. No exceptions will be made.

  • Exemptions must be submitted by Tuesday, November 29, 2016 by 5:00pm Eastern Time.

  • If you request a Robot Transportation Exemption and are approved, but discover later your team does not have a need for it, you MUST notify FIRST HQ that you no longer require a Robot Transportation Exemption. This can be done by emailing

How to Request a Robot Transportation Exemption:

  • To request a Robot Transportation Exemption, you must fill out the following document: 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition Robot Transportation Exemption Request.

  • Exemption requests must be submitted by Tuesday, November 29, 2016 by 5:00pm Eastern Time.

  • FIRST HQ will review your request and respond via email with either “approved” or “denied”.

    • Teams will be denied a Robot Transportation Exemption if it does not appear that the team will experience a substantial hardship from transporting the robot to a Regional event.

    • Teams will be denied if they fail to comply with the Terms and Conditions for Robot Transportation Exemptions.

    • FIRST Robotics Competition District Teams are NOT eligible for Robot Transportation Exemptions to District Events (this includes In-District and Inter-District Events).

    • FIRST Robotics Competition Regional teams attending more than one Regional event, and District teams attending Regional events, will NOT get priority for Robot Transportation Exemption requests. These teams should be prepared for their Robot Transportation Exemption request to be denied.

Approved Robot Transport Exemption Requests:

If your team has been approved for a Robot Transportation Exemption, you will receive electronic shipping documents and instructions on shipping your robot to the Regional event a few weeks before your event.

  • Robot crates must be under 400 lbs (181 kg) and no more than 48"x48"x70" for domestic and 48"x48"x60" for international.
  • FIRST HQ will establish a robot storage/drayage location near the event site. This is where the robot crate will be shipped.
  • Only teams that have requested and been granted a Robot Transportation Exemption will be able to make use of the drayage location for the Regional event. 
  • DO NOT SHIP ROBOTS DIRECTLY TO THE SITE!  All Robot Transportation Exemptions must use the Drayage service that is provided by FIRST.
  • IMPORTANT: When granted a Robot Transportation Exemption, your team will receive a total of two (2) shipping documents to be used for the current FIRST Robotics Competition Season. This includes FIRST Championship. Your team may use the FedEx shipping document to:
    • Ship robot crate to a Regional Event; or
    • Ship robot crate home from a Regional Event; or
    • Ship robot crate to a FIRST Championship
    • Please note: If your team uses both shipping documents to ship the robot crate to and home from a Regional event, your team has exhausted the shipping exemption for the current FIRST Robotics Competition Season and should you qualify for FIRST Championship, your team will be responsible for paying for and transporting your robot/crate to FIRST Championship. Your team will still receive a shipping document at a FIRST Championship for use to ship your robot/crate home.

NOTE:  Robots with Robot Transportation Exemptions and ALL those attending FIRST Championship must be bagged and tagged with the robot shipped in a shipping crate. Teams may not open the bag until an onsite robot inspector has approved your team to do so.

Denied Robot Transport Exemption Requests:

After reviewing the Robot Transportation Exemption request, the determination was made that your team will not experience a substantial hardship from transporting the robot to a Regional event.

  • FIRST will NOT set up robot storage/drayage for your robot and will not provide shipping documents.

  • Your team is solely responsible for ALL shipping and robot storage/drayage costs.

  • Your team is solely responsible for locating and coordinating with a local team or business to receive and return your robot crate before and after the Regional event.

  • Your team is responsible for tracking the robot shipment to ensure it arrives on time for the Regional event.

  • DO NOT CONTACT THE VENUE. Robot crates are not allowed to be shipped directly to the venue.

If your team still needs to ship your robot to an event, here are some helpful tips.

  • Determine a ship-to address (Drayage Location) for your crate(s) pre-event. Remember do NOT ship your robot to the venue. Find a local Drayage Location near the venue.
  • Contact a shipping carrier in your area and request a quote.
  • Establish a relationship with a Customs Broker (if you are shipping internationally) to help with the Export transaction and all paperwork.
  • Pack and ship your crate(s) to allow enough transit time. Your crate(s) should arrive 2 to 5 days prior to Load-In.
  • Be sure to plan for the return of your crate(s) to your home location.
  • If your team qualifies for FIRST Championship and this is your final qualifying event, you MUST contact Pit Administration for further instructions.