This year's competition was FIRST Power Up: a retro game inspired tournament where two alliances of three would compete to earn points. The alliance with the most points got to rise up and defeat the boss. This year's game had an interesting new twist where points weren't determined by a number of game elements collected, but how long an alliance could maintain control of one. This was done by using cubes, collected by robots, to weigh on multiple balances throughout the field. Alliances earned 1 point per second the balance was tipped to their side. These balances were 2 "switches" and 1 "scale": one switch lower to the ground on the side of each alliance and a taller scale in the middle of the field. During the end game, robots would have to park on the scale platform or climb a certain distance off the ground for max points. Robots could hang onto a bar on top of the scale or hang on to other robots to get off the ground. An additional element outside of the field were this year's namesake, power ups. Power ups could be accessed and activated in the "vault" by the placement of cubes in the corresponding chambers with a max of 3 cubes in each power up slot. There were 3 types of power ups: Levitate, Force, and Boost. Levitate would give a robot a free climb which was a guaranteed 30 points and could only be activated with 3 cubes. Force and Boost could be played effectively once at different levels. Force could give ownership of the alliance's switch ( at one cube), the scale (at two cubes), or both ( at the max 3 cubes) regardless of which side it's tipped for 10 seconds; indicated by pulsing lights in the alliance's color. Force doubles the amount of points gained for the alliance on either their switch (at one cube), the scale (at two cubes), or both (at three cubes) for 10 seconds; indicated by running lights in the alliance's color. Playing these power ups at strategic timing spelt victory or defeat in some matches as force could effectively cut down at an opponent's lead or be useless when an alliance already has ownership and boost could stabilize an alliance's lead, or do nothing as the opponent is in control of that switch and/or scale. Alliances could also gain 1 point per cube in the vault and a single human player was allowed per team to manage these power ups.


In Steamworks, each three-team alliance prepares to take flight in three ways: 1. Build Steam Pressure. Robots collect fuel represented by green balls. They score it in high and low goals in their boiler. As fuel is scored steam pressure in the tank on the alliance’s airship builds – the high goal builds pressure faster than the low goal. 2. Start Rotors. Robots retrieve and deliver gears to pilots on their airship who then install them on the appropriate rotor. Once a gear train is complete the rotor can be started. 3. Prepare for Flight. Adventure clubs want their robots to climb aboard their airships so they can assist the pilots during the race. Autonomous Period: Robots operate independently from preprogrammed instructions for the first 15 seconds. Adventure clubs score points by: • Reaching their baseline • Delivering gears to the airship • Scoring fuel into the boilers Teleoperated Period: Operators take control for the final two minutes and fifteen seconds. Adventure Clubs continue to score points by: • Collecting and delivering gears to their airship • Scoring fuel in the boilers • Climbing the ropes on their airship to prepare for flight • Populating gear trains to start rotors • Defending against other Adventure Clubs The adventure club with the highest score at the end of the match is best prepared for the race and wins.


The game was played by two alliances of up to three teams each, and involves breaching the opponents’ defenses, known as outer work as well as capturing their tower by first firing "boulders" (small foam balls) at it, and then surrounding or scaling the tower using a singular rung on the tower wall. Points were scored by crossing elements of the tower's outer works, shooting boulders into the opposing tower's five goals in order to lower the tower strength, and by surrounding and scaling the tower.


Recycle Rush is played with 2 competing alliances of 3 robots each on a 27 by 54-foot field. During the 15 second autonomous period, the robot executes pre-programmed code to gain points. In the autonomous period, alliances could gain 8 points by bringing all 3 bins into the Auto Zone, 20 points to stack 3 totes inside the Auto Zone, however they could gain 6 points by bringing 3 totes into the Auto Zone without stacking them. During the tele-operated period of the match, drivers regained control of the robot again. During the tele-op period the human players could throw in litter (pool noodles) that the robot could move into the landfill zone to gain 1 point per piece while litter inside of bins were 6 points per bin. However, you could also score by placing totes on the raised scoring platform for 2 points. Also by putting bins with litter on top of stacks of totes, you could get 4 points per level of totes. Throughout the game the 2 alliances can work together to get “Coopertition Points”. They can get points if there are at least 4 yellow totes stacked on the step in the landfill zone. If they got a Coopertition set each alliance would get 20 points. If they got a Coopertition stack each alliance would be awarded 40 points each.


Aerial Assist is played with 2 competing alliances of 3 robots each on a 27 by 54-foot field. During the 15 second autonomous period, robots can start with 1 exercise ball preloaded. If a robot moves to their side of the field, they get 5 points. In addition, they can also score in the low and high goals during autonomous. Also, during the autonomous period 1 goal is lit up and as a result if the robot shoots the ball in their they gain 10 points. During the tele-operated period, drivers take control of their robots. After a human player throws in a ball, robots can either score the goal or assist other robots with scoring. With 2 assists a goal is worth 20 points, while with 3 assists a goal is worth 30 points. In addition, if you catch a ball thrown over the truss you can gain 10 more points.


Ultimate Ascent is played with 2 competing alliances of 3 robots on a 27 by 54-foot field. During the 15 second autonomous period, the robot is preprogrammed to score Frisbees into 3 different goals. The robots are able to score up to 3 disks in either the low, middle, or high goals gaining 2, 4, or 6 points per goal respectively. During the tele-operated period, drivers take control of the robot and are able to continue to score disks in the goals to gain either 1, 2, or 3 points.  However, alliances are also able to score up to 6 disk’s of their own color on top of the pyramid goal for 5 points each during the tele-operated period. At the end of the match robots could attempt to climb the rungs of the pyramid. They could earn 10, 20, or 30 points depending on if they climbed to levels 1, 2, or 3 respectively.


Rebound Rumble is played by two competing alliances of three robots each on a 27 by 54 foot field. There
are four baskets for each alliance at three different heights. Scoring in the top basket is worth 3 points, the
two middle baskets are worth two points, and the lowest basket is worth one point. There is a 15 second
hybrid period, where robots are guided using Pre-programmed instructions, or with the assistance of a
Microsoft Kinect. Baskets scored in this period are worth double points. After this period, robots are
teleoperated (remote controlled) for the rest of the match. They try to score as many points for their alliance
as possible, or can play as a defensive robot. At the end of the match, robots try to balance on the three
seesaw-like bridges in the middle of the field. There is one bridge for each alliance, and a middle bridge
that is only worth ranking points if both alliances get at least one robot balanced on it together. Every robot
on a balanced bridge is worth 10 points. Bridges have to be balanced to an accuracy of +- 5 degrees.


LOGO MOTION™ is played by two competing alliances on a flat 27’ x 54’ foot field. Each alliance consists of three
robots. They compete to hang as many inflated plastic shapes (triangles, circles, and squares) on their grids as they
can during a 2 minute and 15 second match. The higher the teams hang their game pieces on their scoring grid, the
more points their alliance receives. 
The match begins with one 15-second Autonomous Period in which robots operate independently of driver inputs and
must hang Ubertubes to score extra points. For the rest of the match, drivers control robots and try to maximize their
alliance score by hanging as many logo pieces as possible. Any logo piece hung on the same peg as an Ubertube
receives double points. If teams assemble the logo pieces on their scoring grids to form the FIRST® logo (triangle, 
circle, square, in a horizontal row in that order), the points for the entire row are doubled. 
The match ends with robots deploying minibots, small electro-mechanical assemblies that are independent of the host
robot, onto vertical poles. The minibots race to the top of the pole to trigger a sensor and earn additional bonus points. 
(Description Credit: FIRST)


Breakaway is a game played on a 27 by 54 foot carpeted field. Two alliances, one red and one blue, compete in each two minute and fifteen second match. The object of Breakaway is to attain a higher score than your opponent by shooting soccer balls into your goal, climbing on your alliance tower or platform, or by lifting an alliance robot off the playing surface. The goals are located in the four corners of the field, are marked with colors to designate the corresponding alliance. The field includes two bumps that divide the field into three regions (the red zone, the midfield, and the blue zone.)


Lunacy is a game played on a field known as the crater.Two alliances, one red and one blue, composed of three FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams each, compete in each match. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent by placing the game pieces in the trailers hitched to the opposing alliance's robots.
Robots play Lunacy on a 27 by 54-foot rectangular field known as the crater. The crater is bordered by a set of guardrails and Alliance Station Walls. During the game matches, the robots are controlled from bases located outside the ends of the crater. These rectangular zones consist of three team Player Stations that provide connectivity between the controls used by the robot operators and the arena. Fueling stations are located outside the corners of the crater, behind the Alliance Station Wall and adjacent to the bases. Outposts are located at the centerline of the crater, immediately outside the guardrail. Each Fueling Station and Outpost is assigned to either the red or blue alliance.

The playing field for Lunacy is a 27-foot by 54-foot carpeted area, bounded by two Alliance Station Walls and a Guardrail System. This field is known as the “crater.” The majority of the crater is covered by a 24-foot by 50-foot surface known as the “regolith.” The regolith is made of “Glasliner FRPtm” gel-coated, fiberglass-reinforced, polymer material. This forms a tough, rigid surface that has been specifically selected to have a low coefficient of friction with the acetal-treaded rover wheels that are used by the robots.


FIRST Overdrive is played on a 54 foot × 27 foot (16 m × 8 m) track divided lengthwise by a lane divider which divides the field into a Red side and a Blue side. The lane divider is crossed by a 6 1/2 foot tall overpass marking the red and blue finish lines. Two three-team alliances race around the track in a counter clockwise direction manipulating their alliance's Trackballs.

The game is made up of two scoring periods. The first 15 seconds of play is the Hybrid period in which robots are autonomous, and may also respond to digital signals sent by team RoboCoaches stationed at the corners of the track.

The next two minutes of play is the Teleoperated period. At this time, robots are radio controlled by team operators standing at either end of the field.

During the Hybrid period, robots traveling in a counter clockwise direction score:

* 8 points for each of their Trackballs knocked off of the overpass
* 8 points for each of their Trackballs passed over the overpass
* 4 points whenever their robot crosses a lane marker
* 4 points whenever their robot crosses their opponent's finish line
* 4 points whenever their robot crosses their finish line
* 2 points whenever their trackball crosses their finish line

During the Teleoperated period, robots traveling in a counter clockwise direction score:

* 2 points whenever their robot crosses their finish line
* 2 points whenever their Trackball crosses its finish line by itself
* 8 points whenever their Trackball hurdles its overpass

Alliances score an additional 12 points for each of their Trackballs that are positioned anywhere on the overpass at the end of the match.

Hybrid period

Hybrid period is a new addition to an FRC game. Rather than the pre-game autonomous modes of previous years where robots were prohibited from receiving input from humans, robots may receive signals via an infrared (IR) remote control from a designated Robocoach during the Hybrid period. The number of different IR signals the IR board is physically able to receive is 4. The number of distinct commands that are allowed to be sent is also 4, thus ruling out multi-signal combinations.


Rack ‘n’ Roll is played by two three-team alliances on a large field with a center structure (Rack) containing 24 “spider legs.” To score, teams use three different types of tubes called “Keepers,” “Ringers,” and “Spoilers.”

The game is made up of two scoring periods. In autonomous mode, which lasts 15 seconds, robots try to place a 'Keeper' on one of the spider legs of the Rack using a color vision tracking system to find one of the four target lights at the top of the rack. Once placed, a 'Keeper' tube may not be removed or “Spoiled.”

During the teleoperated period (2 minutes), the robots are driver controlled. In this period the teams will attempt to score more points by using the robots to add “Ringers” onto the spider legs or by “Spoiling” the opposing teams score by placing a black tube over the “Ringer.” Points are earned and scored exponentially by the number of consecutive Ringers and Keepers in a column or row. Only the tube on the front of the spider leg will count toward the overall score.

Number tubes in row or column:
1 - 2 points
2 - 4 points
3 - 8 points
4 - 16 points
5 - 32 points
6 - 64 points
7 - 128 points
8 - 256 points

Teams now have a Weight Class. Basically, the lower your weight, the higher your potential Starting Configuration:
4 feet=120 pounds
5 feet=110 pounds
6 feet=100 pounds


Aim High is played by two alliances, red and blue, each consisting of three robots. During a 10 second autonomous mode, robots will be programmed to score into any of the three goals: one raised center goal marked by a green vision target and two corner goals at floor level. At the end of the autonomous period, the alliance with the most points will gain a 10 point bonus and will be placed on defense for round two. Rounds two, three, and four, which are each 40 seconds long, are human-controlled rounds. Between rounds two and three, the alliances will switch from offense to defense, or from defense to offense accordingly. At the start of round 4, any alliance can score into their corresponding goals. At the end of the match, an alliance can receive bonus points by placing its three robots on a platform below the center goal. The alliance with the most points wins. Scoring will be as follows: 3 points for any ball scored in the center goal, 1 point for any ball scored in the corner goals; 10 bonus points for scoring the highest in the autonomous round; and 25 points for placing all 3 robots on the platform at the end (10 for 2 and 5 for 1).

Major Rules included:

* Intentionally damaging another robot or the playing field is not allowed.
* No balls may exit the robot at a velocity greater than 12 m/s (39 ft/s).
* The shooter mechanism must remain within the original starting dimensions.
* No part of the robot may ever extend more than 60 inches above the floor.
* If a robot is more then 60 inches high, and it blocks a ball from being shot, a 5 point penalty per ball will be assesed.
* Power supplies are limited to compressed air, a 12-volt motorcycle battery, a 7.2-volt RC battery, deformation of parts (such as springs), and potential energy due to gravity.

It is expected that many robots will launch the foam ball with a baseball pitcher mechanism or other shooting mechanism. These will consist of one or two spinning disks that will propel the ball through a barrel and into the goal. Other mechanisms to fire the projectiles might include pneumatic devices or catapults.


This game was the first game in which there were three robots to an alliance. It featured pyramidal objects made of PVC pipe as the game object, called "tetras." The game was played on a field set up like a tic-tac-toe board, with nine larger goal tetras in three rows. The object of the game was to place the scoring tetras on the larger goal tetras, creating rows of three by having a tetra of your alliance's color at the highest point on the goal. Tetras scored on the top of a goal tetra (a larger aluminum version) were worth 3 points, while tetras scored inside the goals were worth 1 point. Rows of three tetras on top of the goals were worth ten points, so long as the row was there at the end of the two minute and fifteen second match. Ten points could also be scored if all three alliance robots were behind the starting line at their end of the field at the end of the game.


The field for the 2004 game was 48 feet by 24 feet in area and consisted of a carpet bounded by walls, 7 feet in height, on the two sides where the drivers and human player stood at their alliance stations, and a guardrail system on the other sides. The guardrail was a horizontal pipe 20 inches high with vertical supports. The walls consisted of a 3-foot diamond-plate base and a 4-foot transparent top.

In the center of the deck, at dead center and 12 inches off the ground, holds the bar - made of steel pipe, it extends 10 feet upwards from the carpet. The lower decks, one in front and one behind the upper deck (as seen by the driver), were hexagons that each contained a stationary octagonal goal 28 inches in diameter made of PVC pipe which was 8 feet tall in the back and 6 feet tall in the front.

Two mobile goals, four feet in height, were also on the field, originally found on either side of the center.

On the sides of the field midway between each alliance station, there were two ball tee stations, each containing two tees with Bonus Balls on them. On the top of each tee's frame was an infrared beacon that robots with infrared sensors could detect. A line of white tape led from the robots' starting position to the ball tees.

On top of each alliance station was a container with eighteen Small Balls in it at the beginning of the match that would release the Small Balls onto the field at the appropriate time.

In each corner of the playing field there was a two-foot-wide gap in the wall separating the field from the alliance stations (known as the Ball Chute) so that robots could pass Small Balls to the human players.

Each alliance stations contained areas for two teams. Each team area contained a Ball Corral in front of their Ball Chute with two crossbars on the front and sides. At the beginning of each match, three Small Balls were placed on the front crossbar for each team.


Stack Attack was the name of the 2003 season FIRST game. Stack Attack was the first game in a long time not to have any balls as scoring objects. This was also the first game to feature autonomous mode, where the robots move on their own, and even the first game where human players get on the field to place scoring objects.

Teams started in a gray-boxed area on either side of the giant ramp. When the game begins, one human player from each team competing (4 total) go on the field and place bins (4 bins per team, with 8 per alliance, and 16 total) in their colored area. The bins have reflective tape on them so opposing robots can knock over bins in autonomous mode, but more on that later. The human players have 15 seconds to place the bins, and then step onto a pressure sensitive mat to tell the software they are off the field. If done in 10 seconds, that team will enter into autonomous mode when all teams are on the mats. If done in 15 seconds, the teams won't enter autonomous mode, but will work afterwards. If the human player doesn’t return in 15 seconds, the robot is disabled for the match.

After all the human players are on the mats, the robots will then enter autonomous mode for 15 seconds, in which the robots move and operate on their own through programming and sensors. There were many types of autonomous modes, with more on that in a latter section.

After autonomous mode, the robots then enter into 1:45 seconds of human controlled time. During this time, human controllers could push bins outside of their opposing alliance scoring zone, stack bins in their own, which multiplies the whole score of bins by how tall the stack is (but the bins in the stack are NOT counted as part of the total), and even park themselves on top of the ramp to block oncoming traffic. At the end of the game, robots would hurry up to the platform, since for each robot entirely on the ramp, the alliance gets 25 points.


In Zone Zeal the field was split up in to 5 Zones. Closest to the drivers station was the Home Zone. Next was the opponents scoring zone. Then a neutral zone where the 3 rolling goals started. Next was your scoring zone, followed by the opponents home zone. The rolling goals were hexagonal about 36" across and about 5' tall. The sides of the goal were PVC pipe from about 18" on up and in the center was a larger PVC pipe. The goals could be filled with 8" soccer balls that were located along the wall (20 per side) in the center of the field.

Ten points were awarded for placing the a goal in your scoring zone. 1 point for each ball in a goal that was in your scoring zone or in the opponents home zone. And 10 points for each robot touching your home zone. A popular design this year was the use of measuring tapes to slide back and touch your home zone.