FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Manchester Kickoff and a Second Regional in Turkey

Nov 02, 2018 Written by Frank Merrick.



Manchester Kickoff

Some in the community have asked if there will still be a full competition field at the Manchester Kickoff, even though, with the end of our Field Builder Program, no other Kickoff will have physical fields of any kind.


The short answer is yes; there will still be a full competition field in Manchester. It will be used during the Kickoff broadcast to help all teams watching get a sense for what the field is like. The longer answer is there will be a field, but unlike in prior years, teams attending the Manchester Kickoff will no longer be allowed on the field. Teams at the event will be allowed to view the field from the perimeter but will not be allowed on the carpet or to interact with field elements. We are instituting this change to make the situation as fair as possible for teams too far from Manchester to be there in person.


We recognize this means some teams may have second thoughts about attending the Manchester Kickoff, or may not send as many team members as they have in the past. We hope we will still have a good-sized crowd. As well as still being the only place to see a real field (even if you can’t touch it), it’s the only place to see (and interact with) the real Dean and Woodie, as well as participate in all the excitement that is the Manchester Kickoff.


As with any other significant change we make, we expect to learn from experience and modify our approach as necessary in the coming years.


Second Regional in Turkey

Turkey is growing FIRST Robotics Competition teams very quickly! As of today, they have the third greatest number of teams of any country in the world, behind only the USA and Canada. They have so many teams that they proposed, and FIRST HQ is supporting, the addition of a second Regional, back to back with the first, in Istanbul for the 2019 season. A huge congratulations to the Fikret Yüksel Foundation for their amazing success in spreading the FIRST message and a huge thank you for their generous sponsorship of these Regionals!


A big welcome to the second Regional in Turkey, the Bosphorus Regional, March 5 to March 7, 2019!



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Really interesting to know. 

Please Frank-- Allow the Manchester attendees on the field. We rely on the detailed videos and descriptions of the teams that provide that service for all. Scale is so much easier with people to compare. Also, teams bring another perspective to the walk thru. In fact, I would consider going the other way and recruit a few of those well know ream commentators to take the fiend and mike and give us a walk thru from a team perspective. Make it part of the NASA broadcast. This will give us fresh/first impressions not the practiced and thought over comments of the staff that has been living with the game and field for dome time.



I understand the situation and in fairness to all teams, it would be very helpful to create a video using real people that can interact with the game pieces and field elements to show actual size relationships relative to a typical sized FRC robot, student, and/or by using a tape measure to show the actual size and shape. Show important interface relationships between each game piece or field element that teams would have measured, while observing during the time they had access to them.

Post the video for all to view, and view again - after the kickoff.


While videos and documents do detail with reasonable precision the field elements dimensions etc....At the events can practice field elements model closer to on field elements.  Can they have reflective tape like the real field....Can photos of elements be taken at Manchester with a measuring tape to show greater precision of how field elements are expected to be setup so that teams can mimic these elements at their robotics locations during build season???

A suggestion for FIRST is to share a 360 degree walkthru video of the field, similar to a "street view" that drives along the field, passing by the various game specific elements, as well as some basic piece interactions (e.g. move the ball, gear, etc).  At this point, teams can walk the field virtually on their screen of choice, using a mouse or other VR devices to investigate all around the field.  (perhaps a shout-out to <insert major tech company here> to demonstrate their camera and VR products. 

My team was interested in sending representatives this year but are unsure of the details. Is there a sign-up or invite to attend, and is there a page with more information such as location and directions. 

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