Before I even say anything, watch this video, because this is me all day today.



It’s that time again. Thousands of students and teachers and mentors alike have gathered today to watch the live stream reveal of the 2016 FRC game and FINALLY answer the question “what the heck is our robot supposed to do this year!?” We’ll also collectively sign away our free time for the next two months. (Personally, I’ve been eyeing this sweatshirt that says “Don’t even ask, I can’t. It’s build season. Normal life resumes on February 24th” because it’s so unbelievably relevant.)

I’m on my way right now to the kick-off event in Hillsborough, NC with Team 2655, anxious to find out this year's game during the livestream that begins at 10:30AM EST. I'll be live-blogging throughout the kickoff event with updates and links to the stream.

So far we have a couple of clues. We know it’s medieval themed (complete with the option to create fancy team banners which include space for medals and pins for each event you compete and win at!) and we know that it will again involve pool noodles. You can watch the game preview video here:



So far the theories I’ve heard include archery, jousting, and a relay race. In any case, it sounds like an exciting game!

9:25AM: The whole team is here and we're anxiously awaiting the video stream to start! You can watch the stream at once it starts at 10:30AM ET! The energy is HIGH in this auditorium!

10:13AM: The room is filling quickly and with 15 minutes until the broadcast begins (and as cheesy as it sounds) the excitement is growing even faster. The #omgrobots hashtag is going nuts on social media. Everyone is taking photos and videos and discussing the possibilities with their friends. It's hard to not feel at home when you're in a room full of people just as crazy about FIRST as you are. This is one of the reasons I volunteer - the energy can't be beat! It's comparable to any large sporting event. The videos before the stream have begun! Yep, it's build season!

10:30AM: THE STREAM IS LIVE GUYS! Who else is excited??? I don't think I can say it enough, the excitement in this room is EXTREMELY strong! Strong like STRONGHOLD? I'm sorry, I'll stop. Watch the stream on the Comcast website link above. It's going to be good!!!

You'll also notice that Analog Devices is a Diamond Supplier for FIRST Robotics. We'll find out more why later after the kit of parts list becomes public. We have some big surprises!!!

11:05AM: Here comes the game reveal and Kit of Parts preview! Stay tuned, I'll be posting a summary of the game once it's revealed!

11:15AM: All I have to say is...WOW! This game is one of the most complex I've ever seen in my years of doing FIRST Robotics. It's essentially a game of capture/defend the castle. The broadcast is about to begin a full field tour. Updates and a summary of the field PLUS the game summary video coming soon! ADI is providing new parts to help with this year's game, and after seeing the game reveal, you're going to want to make use of our sensor!

1:29PM: We're back in Greensboro formulating strategies and reading the rules. Lot's of studying to do for this year's complex game. It's going to be CRAZY!

First, check out the game video below:

WOW! This is probably the most complex game I've ever seen. Audience input, changing field elements, there's a TON for teams to keep in mind this year. Hillsborough had an entire field set up so we could take a look at a live field to begin coming up with strategies.

Analog Devices has donated two new sensor boards for teams to take advantage of this year, and after months of preparation of these boards we can finally share them with you!

FRC Gyro & Accelerometer Board

This board is designed to give teams single-axis sensor feedback for use in field-oriented driving and complex autonomous routines. FIRST has provided teams with Java, C++ and LabVIEW libraries to help you get started. This sensor will be included in all FIRST Choice orders automatically at no charge. For more information check out and the AndyMark FIRST Choice website
, as well as our landing page here on The Engineering Mind.

ADIS16448 IMU MXP Breakout Board

Analog Devices is proud to introduce the ADIS16448 10 degree-of-freedom IMU to FIRST Robotics. This sensor is designed to provide robots with high precision motion feedback for advanced robotics tasks.

The ADIS16448 is a complete inertial system, integrating a triaxial gyroscope, a triaxial accelerometer, a triaxial magnetometer, and pressure sensors in a calibrated, compact, robust package. For FIRST Robotics, ADI has also designed an MXP breakout board to easily integrate this sensor on your team’s robot. This sensor is available on the FIRST Choice website for purchase. Check out for more information and the AndyMark FIRST Choice website for links to tutorials and software. You can also take a look at the landing page here on The Engineering Mind.

Throughout build season I'll be featuring 5 of the teams that ADI mentors and supports and sharing their stories and the stories of their students and alumni.

I'd like to wish every team best of luck this season and above all, BE SAFE and HAVE FUN! I'm off to go read the rules. Good bye free time after work, I'm inspiring the next generation of engineers!

This blog post is part of a series about FIRST robotics and the impact that ADI has on teams of students across the country and the world. Stay tuned for more posts during the FRC build season and competition season, culminating with coverage of the FIRST World Championships in St Louis in April 2016! Follow the conversation about FIRST with the hashtags omgrobots and morethanrobots on all social media platforms.