We’ve been asked: “Can a team participate in Judging Interviews, and be considered for Awards if they have not built a robot?”

The answer is, Yes! A team does not need to have a physical robot in order to take part in the Judging part of the FIRST® Tech Challenge program. This is not unlike what is allowed at a Traditional event. For example, if a robot does not pass hardware or software inspection, the team is still encouraged to participate in Judging Interviews and is eligible for consideration for Judged Awards.

  • Our Team Attribute Awards (Motivate and Connect) do not require a physical robot.
  • Our Machine, Creativity, and Innovation Awards (Design and Collins Aerospace Innovate) can be fairly judged through the design process, originality of concept, and aesthetics of the robot design submitted by the team.
  • Our Think Award is based on the above, and the clear, concise documentation of the above.
  • Our Inspire Award is based on all of the above.
  • The most difficult Award to consider this season, for a team without a robot is the Control Award, sponsored by Arm. While it is possible to make a selection based upon a theoretical control feature, it will be difficult.

Our goal in every season is to engage as many students as possible. One of the ways we can do that is to celebrate the accomplishments of teams, even if they are unable to meet and build.