FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Future Control System RFP Released

Nov 10, 2023 Written by Collin Fultz, FIRST Robotics Competition Senior Director & Rachel Moore, FIRST Tech Challenge Senior Director




Back in September, FIRST® Robotics Competition announced that we would be publishing a public Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new robot controller for the program to use beginning in the 2027 season. First, a huge “thank you!” to all of the folks from our community that provided feedback on the proposal.

The Request for Proposal is now live on the FIRST® website.

If you read it, you’ll notice a change on the document. When this project was started, the focus was on a robot controller for FIRST Robotics Competition only. As we worked through the requirements, we found substantial overlap with the controller requirements for FIRST® Tech Challenge, which will need a new controller on a similar timeframe. So, the RFP has been updated to include both programs!

The benefits of a common controller for both programs include the ability for volunteers to support the system (both team mentors and event volunteers), student skill transfer between the two programs (in both directions) and reduced “switching cost” of teams moving between the two programs or participating in both at once. Additionally, the commonality will allow us to focus development efforts on software tools and features to improve the experience for all teams, rather than both programs spending effort developing in parallel.

We’re excited about the potential impact of a common controller on both programs!

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