Robot Transportation Feb. 5 2018| 0 KB

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

General Robot Transportation Information

Additional Information-International Teams

Teams Shipping to FIRST Championship-Coming Soon

Shipping Your Robot Using Your Own Funds-Coming Soon

Robot Transportation Exemptions

Approved Robot Transportation Exemption Application Requests

Denied Robot Transport Exemption Application Requests

General Robot Transportation Information

  • All Robot Transportation Exemption approved teams must build and use a crate to ship their robot. 
  • All teams attending FIRST Championship must build and use a crate 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. 
  • Batteries
    • 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
  • Teams may ship additional crates with tools, pit displays and other event materials at their own expense. However, teams are responsible for abiding by all regulations, paperwork, drayage and any other costs associated with this shipment. 
  • Carriers require prior notice for pickups, especially if your location does not have a loading dock. 
  • 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. 

Additional Information-International Teams

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. See 
  • Shipping Crate Construction document for detailed information. 
  • 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 competed 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 Regional 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 this 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 crate 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 13, 2018 and Detroit: April 20, 2018).  

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, however, teams MAY NOT ship their crate directly to the venue. You must make other arrangements to get your robot to the event. See the above section "Denied Robot Transportation Exemption Requests" for suggestions. 

Robot Transportation Exemptions (RTE)

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 application 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. Both conditions below must be met:

 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

  • 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

How to Apply for a Robot Transportation Exemption:

  • To apply for a Robot Transportation Exemption, you must fill out the following document: 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition Robot Transportation Exemption Application Request.

  • The deadline to fill out this form will be Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 3:00pm EST. No late submissions will be considered, so prepare to be on time by being early. 

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

Important Information About Robot Transportation Exemptions:

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

  • You may only apply for a Robot Transport Exemption for Regional events. Application requests to attend District Events (this includes In-District and Inter-District Events) will not be considered for approval. 

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

  • Robot Transportation Exemption application 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.

  • Teams applying for RTEs to international events may have additional restrictions based on travel times between events.

  • If your team is registered to compete in a Week 1 or Week 2 Regional Event, you MAY be asked to ship your robot BEFORE Stop Build Day. This is sometimes necessary to ensure that your robot will arrive at your event in time for the competition. 

  • The Robot Transportation Exemption is only intended for transporting your robot crate.

    • 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).

  • For International Teams:

    • All international teams must designate a Customs Broker in their country 2-4 weeks in advance of any shipment to avoid possible customs clearance and/or shipping delays.

    • 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.

    • FIRST is not responsible for any items that are not declared or are confiscated by Customs.

    • Your team must properly declare the value of your robot. Please reference the Bill of Materials process (document to come). If there are any questions, please contact for more information.
  • If granted an RTE, you must abide by all the instructions provided by FIRST, including the crate construction guidelines and weight limitations.  If your team does not comply, your RTE may be revoked, you may not be eligible for a RTE next year, and/or your crate may be denied pickup.

  • If granted an RTE, you will be granted (2) one way transportation legs ONLY per season. That means if your team uses the (2) one way transportation exemptions during the season, and qualifies for Championship, you will be responsible for all shipping costs to Championship.

  • If you apply for 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

  • 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 application requests. These teams should be prepared for their Robot Transportation Exemption request to be denied.

  • Exemptions must be submitted by Tuesday, November 28, 2017 by 3:00pm Eastern Time.

Approved Robot Transport Exemption Application Requests:

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

  • Robot crates information coming soon. 
  • Only teams that have applied for 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 and must use the provided shipping documents. 
  • 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 documents to:
    • Ship robot crate to a Regional Event; AND
    • 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. Should you then decide to attend FIRST Championship and your robot crate has already returned home, 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.
  • If granted a RTE, you must abide by all the instructions provided by FIRST, including the crate construction guidelines and weight limitations.  If your team does not comply, your RTE may be revoked, you may not be eligible for a RTE next year, and/or your crate may be denied pickup. 

Denied Robot Transport Exemption Application Requests:

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

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

  • 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.

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.