FIRST® Robotics

What is competitive robotics?

CRyptonite is part of FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international non-profit organization to transform culture and inspire young people to be technology leaders.

FIRST was founded in 1989 by prolific inventor Dean Kamen as he became frustrated with popular culture’s obsession over sports and entertainment with little interest in science and technology. He believed that it was necessary to present science and technology in a fun and exciting way. Teaming up with MIT mechanical engineer professor Woodie Flowers, Mr. Kamen launched a program called FIRST.

FRC

The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) began in 1992 with only 28 teams competing in a New Hampshire high school gym. It paired high school students with professional engineers as mentors to teach them engineering, science, and technology in a fun and engaging way. This idea quickly caught on and spread throughout the country. As it grew, FRC stayed true to its core values of “Gracious Professionalism®” – even though teams fiercely compete, they respect their competitors and support them when it is needed.

Today, there are more than 5,784 FRC teams, and FIRST has grown to encompass numerous programs. The FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) and FIRST LEGO® League Jr. programs give elementary and middle school students the chance to use engineering principles with Lego robots, and the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teaches science and technology to middle school and high school students.

This year's challenge

FIRST® INFINITE RECHARGE

The seasons

Pre season

During the Pre-season, CRyptonite heavily focuses on recruiting and training new members in skills needed for Build Season, along with carrying out Outreach activities across Houston and beyond. Students join sub-teams they are interested in, whether it be Video and Photography, Programming, or Fabrication. Student-leaders develop custom trainings and take new members through, leaving them prepared to actively contribute during the Build Season.

At Kickoff, the parent organization FIRST releases the challenge for teams across the world to view at the same time. On this day, CRyptonite will go through the games scoring details and rules, developing an overarching strategy for the season. In some years, CRyptonite will host a regional-kickoff at the Robert R. Shaw Center for nearby teams to pick up their Kit of Parts, a box containing basic robot parts. All members attend, and the year’s success heavily depends on a quality kickoff session.

Kickoff

Build Season

Build Season is the most intense aspect of the CRyptonite’s season. During this almost eight week period, CRyptonite meets nearly every day to prototype, design, CAD, fabricate, program, and drive a one-hundred twenty pound robot. CRyptonite follows a project-planning path inspired by a process used at our sponsors, BP, to keep the team on track and on path to produce a quality robot. Late nights are supported by 624’s parents, who come together to provide a Saturday night potluck, a time-honored tradition of the team.

The next few months following the completion of the robot make up the competition season. CRyptonite attends two district events, normally one in Houston and another elsewhere in Texas, along with a regional out of state. If the team collects enough District Points at its two events, CRyptonite then competes at the Texas State Champs for a slot at the FIRST World Championship. Being a highly competitive organization, CRyptonite has seen sustained success since 2009, missing the World Championships once twice since then. Within Katy ISD, CRyptonite has continued to lead the district since 2001, while still taking the time to assist and develop the FIRST infrastructure in the city.

competition season

off season

Following the completion of FIRST Championships, and going through till the end of Summer, CRyptonite takes a bit of time off. In between though, the team attends a few Off-Season competitions, including the TRI at Strake Jesuit, the Indiana Robotics Invitational, and the Houston Robot Remix in the Woodlands. During this time, CRyptonite usually completes off-season projects, testing new approaches and technology that can then be added to our toolbox for use in the next season. CRyptonite also remains active at Freshman Summer events to recruit the future of the team.

The competitions

Matches: Each FRC match is two and half minutes long. Alliances of three teams each compete on a 54 x 26 foot field completing game objectives. In the past, robots have been required to shoot exercise balls into goals 15 feet off the ground, shoot frisbees into relatively small goals above, and climb free-standing bars with another robot in tow.
Competition Structure: At any FRC competition, teams compete in a set of preliminary matches, where for completing certain game objectives and winning the match, teams collect Ranking Points. At the end of prelims, the team with the most Ranking Points is considered the first seed, and so on. Teams then partake in an “Alliance Selection” process, where based on seeding, teams can invite other teams to create an alliance for the Playoffs, a regular seeded single-elimination bracket.
Involvement: CRyptonite utilizes nearly fifty kids at each competition. Before the team even competes, students go through a rigorous tryout process to get a spot on the Drive Team and Pit Crew. Following the selection of these roles, further tryouts are held to decide who holds key Scouting roles and other key needs. All students attending a competition have already met a high bar for attendance, and each student plays a distinct and crucial role to ensure success.

More than Robots

As any CRyptonite student can attest, FIRST is a truly incredible organization. Find out more about FIRST at www.firstinspires.org

The Chairman’s Award is the most prestigious award at FIRST, it honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the mission of FIRST. It was created to keep the central focus of FIRST Robotics Competition on the ultimate goal of transforming the culture in ways that will inspire greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology, as well as encouraging more of today’s youth to become science and technology leaders.

This award celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and recognizes a team which has developed a comprehensive business plan in order to define, manage, and achieve the team’s ongoing objectives. This team displays entrepreneurial enthusiasm as well as demonstrates the vital planning and business skills to ensure a self-sustaining program.

The 2020 Safety Animation Award theme is ‘Sustainability on the RISE’.  This season presents a unique opportunity for us to RISE together to transform world sustainability.  Your animation should focus on the theme of sustainability giving consideration to the concepts:

  • sustainable cities and communities
  • responsible consumption and production. 

Animations must:

  • Be no more than 40 seconds long, including opening and credits
  • Be animated. Any kind of animation, including stop-motion, is allowed. Live video is allowed provided it is accompanied by virtual/augmented animated elements. Live video of people is not allowed.  

Celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s school or organization and community.

  • Extent and inventiveness of the team’s efforts to recruit students to engineering with particular emphasis on the most recent year’s efforts. Measurable success of those efforts.
  • Extent and effectiveness of the team’s community outreach efforts with particular emphasis on the most recent year’s efforts. Measurable success of those efforts.
  • A commitment to science and technology education among the team, school, and community.
  • Achievement of the FIRST mission and ability to communicate that at the competition and aw
  • A team spokesperson must be able to identify and describe the controls innovation and can trace its conception, design, manufacturing/assembly, or deployment.
  • The control system is innovative and unique. It is integrated with the machine, human players, strategy, etc. in concept and execution.
  • The innovation is practical; it addresses the game’s challenge. It is not just a cute idea and is reliable under the stress of competition. 

Celebrates the team that has demonstrated consistent, reliable, high-performance robot operation during autonomously managed actions. Evaluation is based on the robot’s ability to sense its surroundings, position itself or onboard mechanisms appropriately, and execute tasks.

The award is based on the performance of the robot’s autonomous (non-operator guided) operations during matches

  • Consistent and reliable operation is weighted more heavily than the ability to score maximum points during any specific autonomously managed actions
  • A team spokesperson must be able to explain:
    • How the robot understands its surroundings, navigates on the field or positions onboard mechanisms and then executes tasks.
    • The factors the teams considered that could interfere with success during autonomously managed actions.
    • The design, development, and testing that was done for the robot’s autonomously managed actions.

Celebrates an innovative control system or application of control components – electrical, mechanical or software – to provide unique machine functions.

  • A team spokesperson must be able to identify and describe the controls innovation and can trace its conception, design, manufacturing/assembly, or deployment.
  • The control system is innovative and unique. It is integrated with the machine, human players, strategy, etc. in concept and execution.
  • The innovation is practical; it addresses the game’s challenge. It is not just a cute idea and is reliable under the stress of competition. 

Celebrates extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit through exceptional partnership and teamwork furthering the objectives of FIRST.

  • Spirit is consistent both throughout the team and also throughout the contest in attitude, appearance, originality, and depth.
  • The team displays obvious enthusiasm – in supporting teams, appearance, interactions with teams/Judges, etc. – at the competition.
  • Spirit is part of the team and is apparent in all they do, including at their school, in their community, with sponsors and other teams, etc.
  • They demonstrate spirit as a unified team.

Celebrates the team that progresses beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or protect against hazards for themselves and others.

  • Judges and/or Safety Advisors will focus on team safety behaviors and safe physical conditions included in their safety plans (See Safety Manual) along with their safety outreach to other teams
  • The team exemplifies safety in everything they do and has a plan for operating safely before, during, and after the season.
  • A team spokesperson must be able to explain:
    • How their safety culture within their team environment exists so that safety is a top priority. 
    • How they train team members on basic safety practices as well as tool & machine safety
    • How they integrate safety into their everyday activities including:
      • Personal protective equipment (PPE) – wearing required and providing for others at outreach opportunities (e.g. Safety glasses, closed toed shoes, etc.)
      • Safe physical conditions – workspace, condition of hand tools and power tools, power cords, safe handling of batteries and charging equipment
      • Help establish a culture of safety throughout the FIRST community

Criteria for selection of the FIRST Dean’s List Award shall include, but not be limited to a student’s:

  • Demonstrated leadership and commitment to the FIRST Core Values
  • Effectiveness at increasing awareness of FIRST in the school and community
  • Interest in and passion for a long-term commitment to FIRST
  • Overall individual contribution to their team
  • Technical expertise and passion
  • Entrepreneurship and creativity
  • Ability to motivate and lead fellow team members

Although a single mentor must submit the nomination, the team as a whole must verify the accuracy of the submission. FIRST is relying upon the team for the veracity and accuracy of the submission data.

This award recognizes an individual who has done an outstanding job of motivation through communication while also challenging the students to be clear and succinct in their communications. As such, it is very important that this be a student-led effort and a student decision. One student will act as the nominator. Lead Mentors/Coaches should direct 1 or 2 students to the online entry site and let the high school students decide whom to nominate. Adults can help edit and should check the essay and the submission information for accuracy, but this must be a student-led effort. The author(s) of the 3,000-character (max.) essay must be clearly identified as high school students in the online submission.

The Robots

The history

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Blue Banners
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Regional, State, and National Awards
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Years Competing

2001: CRyptonite, formerly known as C.R.E.W, Cinco Ranch Engineering Wizards, is founded by BP Parents and their students. They go on to win the Highest Rookie Seed Award at their first event.

2003: Team is renamed “CRyptonite”, and begins the ongoing tradition of spiking team member’s hair.

2009: CRyptonite achieves Powerhouse status, winning its first Regional in New Orleans, LA, while winning its first of many to come Innovation in Control Awards.

2014: CRyptonite wins its first Chairman’s Award, the most prestigious award in FRC, at the Alamo Regional, along with winning the competition itself.

2015: CRyptonite wins three regionals in one year, finishing 9th in the World, its highest ever ranking in team history. In the same year, CRyptonite successfully lobbies the Katy ISD school board to construct a 5.4 million dollar STEM Center, specifically to host the FRC teams across the district.

2019: CRyptonite partakes in the first year of Texas Districts, winning both its District Events and finishing 4th in District Points across the state, one of only a few teams to do so thus far.

2020

FIRST Championship

FRC Dean's List Winner: Kyna McGill

FiT Dripping Springs Event

Event Finalist, Alliance Captain
Innovation in Control Award

FiT Houston Event

FRC Dean's List Semifinalist: Daniel Yang, Kyna McGill
Woodie Flower's Nominee: David Edelson

FiT District Championship

FRC Dean's List Finalist: Kyna McGill

2019

FIRST Championship

Quaterfinalists, Newton Division
8th Seed First Pick

FiT Austin District Event

Event Winner, Entrepreneurship Award, Safety Award

FiT Channelview District Event

Event Winner
Autonomous Award

Colorado Regional
Regional Semifinalist
Innovation in Control Award

FiT District Championship

Event Quarterfinalist
Innovation in Control Award

Offseason events

Quaterfinalist, Texas Robot Invitational, The Remix

2018

FIRST Championship

Semifinalists, Newton Division 6th Seed Alliance Captain

San Diego Regional

Regional Semifinalist Imagery Award

El Paso Regional

Regional Winner Excellence in Engineering Award

Lone Star South Regional

Regional Winner Innovation in Control Award

Offseason events

Semifinalist, Texas UIL State Championship Finalist, Texas Robot Invitational Indiana Robotics Invitational

2017

FIRST Championship

Quarterfinalists, Roebling Division

Hub City Regional

Regional Chairman's Award Regional Semifinalist Industrial Safety Award

Greater Kansas City Regional

Regional Winner

Lone Star North Regional

Regional Semifinalist Innovation in Control Award

Offseason events

Quarterfinalist, Texas UIL State Championship Quarterfinalist, Texas Robot Invitational Semifinalist, Texas Robot Roundup Finalist, The Remix

2016

Alamo Regional

Regional Finalist 4th Seed

Rocket City Regional

Regional Semifinalist 7th Seed

Lone Star Regional

Regional Semifinalist Innovation in Control Award Industrial Safety Award

Offseason events

Semifinalist, Texas Robot Invitational Indiana Robotics Invitational Semifinalist, TRR UIL State Championship

2015

FIRST Championship

Quarterfinalists, Tesla Division 4th Seed

Dallas Regional

Regional Winner Imagery Award in Honor of Jack Kamen

Lone Star Regional

Regional Winner Innovation and Control Award by Rockwell Automation Industrial Design Award by General Motors FIRST Dean’s List Finalist

Utah Regional

Regional Winner Quality Award by Motorola

Offseason events

Winners, Texas Robot Invitational Winner, Houston Robot Remix Winners, Texas Robot Roundup

2014

FIRST Championship

Quarterfinalist, Curie Division 8th Seed Alliance Captain Industrial Safety Award

Alamo Regional

Chairman's Award 1st Seed Regional Winner

Orlando Regional

Regional Quarterfinalist Innovation in Control Award

Lone Star regional

Regional Finalist Innovation in Control Award Industrial Safety Award FIRST Dean's List Finalist - David Gros

Offseason events

Quarterfinalist, IRI Winner, Texas Robot Invitational Winner, Texas Robot Roundup Winner, Houston Robot Remix

2013

Alamo Regional

Innovation in Control Award Regional Semifinalist

Peachtree Regional

1st Seed Innovation in Control Award Regional Semifinalist

Lone Star Regional

Regional Quarterfinalist

Offseason events

Quarterfinalist, IRI Winner, Texas Robot Roundup Finalist, Houston Robot Remix

2012

FIRST Championship

Semifinalist, Curie Division

Lone Star Regional

Industrial Design Award FIRST Dean's List Finalist: Elizabeth Waters Regional Finalist

Bayou Regional

Regional Winner Industrial Safety Award Innovation in Control Award Quality Awardner
Excellence in Engineering Award

Offseason events

Semifinalist, IRI Winner, Texas Robot Roundup Winner, Houston Robot Remix

2011

FIRST Championship

15th Seed, Newton Division

Colorado Regional

Regional Winner Industrial Design Award Industrial Safety Award

Lone Star Regional

Engineering Excellence Award Regional Semifinalist

2010

FIRST Championship

Quarterfinalist, Newton Division

Lone Star Regional

Engineering Inspiration Award Industrial Safety Award Regional Finalist

St. Louis Regional

Excellence in Animation Design Award Gracious Professionalism Award Industrial Safety Award

2009

FIRST Championship

Quarterfinalist, Archimedes Division

Bayou Regional

Regional Winner Imagery Award

Lone Star Regional

Innovation in Control Award Industrial Safety Award Regional Finalist

2008

Arizona Regional

Imagery Award

Lone Star Regional

Imagery Award Regional Semifinalist

2007

Lone Star Regional

Imagery Award

Silicon Valley Regional

Regional Quarterfinalist

2006

Chesapeake Regional

Regional Quarterfinalist

Lone Star Regional

Imagery Award Regional Quarterfinalist

2005

FIRST Championship

24th Seed, Archimedes Division

Phoenix Regional

Judge's Award Safety Award Regional Quarterfinalist

Lone Star Regional

Regional Semifinalist

2004

Lone Star Regional

Regional Quarterfinalist

2003

FIRST Championship

17th Seed, Galileo Division

Phoenix Regional

Delphi Technology Award Regional Quarterfinalist

Lone Star Regional

Delphi Technology Award Regional Quarterfinalist

2002

Lone Star Regional

Spirit Award Regional Quarterfinalist

2001

Lone Star Regional

Rookie Award