FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

2017 Einsteins and more!

Aug 26, 2016 Written by Frank Merrick.



I’ve seen a few questions about whether both FIRST Championships will have Einstein fields. Yes, they will. All subdivision winning alliances at both Championships will rightly be able to say they made it to Einstein.


Stop Build Day (Time)

A concern has been raised to me that, since Kickoff happens simultaneously around the world, yet the Stop Build Day deadline is midnight on a Tuesday wherever a team happens to be, teams in different parts of the world actually have different amounts of time to work on their competition robots. While the differences between many teams would be trivial, teams in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA actually get 20 more hours to work on their competition robot than teams in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia under this approach. This difference is nothing to sneeze at and seems unfair. So, for 2017, all teams will be required to stop building no later than whatever local time is the equivalent of midnight, Tuesday (meaning the midnight that falls between Tuesday and Wednesday, I recognize the term can be ambiguous) in the Eastern Time Zone. I know this can add some confusion, and may mean some teams will try to push themselves into the wee hours or later, but it does bring this in line with how we deal with award submission deadlines, and also eliminates an unfairness in the system that will only grow as we continue to grow worldwide. Please check what time this is for you to get ready! 


I’m getting pumped for another great season! Can’t wait to reveal this year’s game!


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Thanks for the needed revision!  

Why not use midnight GMT as the Stop Build Day (Time)? That way everybody would stop simultaneously.

With everyone stopping their local equivalent of midnight EST, everyone will still be stopping simultaneously.  We may still convert this to GMT to make it easier,  However, midnight GMT would be 5PM to 8PM for the great majority of our teams, limiting the ability to work evenings/nights for most of them.  With teams outside the time zones in the North American continent, this is still a challenge with the midnight EST equivalent deadline, but at least all teams will have the same number of hours to work.  


Now we will have to get up at 3 am on kickoff day to have the same amount of build time as mainlanders. Oh, well, I guess we still don't have to worry about snow days, which seem a bit more common than tsunami warnings. And we can have a "stop build party" after our 6 pm deadline, instead of wandering home bleary-eyed.  Aloha!

Having everyone start and stop at the same moment sounds fair,  but only if they are in the same time zone. For argument sake let's deal with a east coast vs. west coast team in the USA.  Time to work on the robot is limited to schedules in the local time zone not GMT.  School lets out at 3pm local giving 9 hrs before midnight east coast. On the west coast that is reduced to 6 hr of time on bag day do to time zone.  by the time you reach japan, they have lost a day of work.  if you are so focused on time and being equal on time, no team starts work until 8am local time the day after kickoff.  you can not make everything perfect,  are you going to require teams of equal size, equal money or every team builds the same robot? once again available work time is based on local time zone because of local schedules. I know of several teams that work around the clock on weekends,  but most teams do not have that option, are you going to stop these few team from doing it to make it fair?  there are teams of 60 and team of 6. it is not equal but in my mind midnight local time is the fairest.  Yes, I am with a west coast team.  a team that get's up 4:30 to drive to a kickoff event then drives back, 4+ hr. 

The proper term is no longer "Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)". It's "Universal Coordinated Time (UTC)". Also known as ZULU to us ham radio operators... 73s, KD7GQC.

is there a location the bagged robot has to be taken or does it just sit bagged at our shop?


Hi Daniel.

Your team is encouraged to bag and tag your robot at the location that makes the most sense. Please be careful about moving your robot while it is bagged. Although the bag material is quite robust, sharp corners can still create holes that make the inspection process longer at the event.


Jamee Luce

Team Advocate, FIRST Robotics Competition

why do we do bag day

Are we suppose to take a picture of the robot bagged and tagged?  Who do we send this picture to?


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