Robots to the Rescue

Submission Guidelines and Rules


  • Teams must utilize Onshape for their designs.  At least 1 new assembly and 1 new part must be created in Onshape.  Previously designed and commercial off-the-shelf components may be imported from other CAD platforms.
  • All robot designs must meet the criteria outlined in the robot requirements section below for FIRST® Tech Challenge or FIRST Robotics Competition, depending on which type of robot you are submitting.
  • In addition to the robot design, the team must identify, define and document a problem that the world is currently facing as well as provide evidence on why it is an important problem to solve.  See submission requirements for more information on documentation.
  • We recognize many teams were unable to form alliances during the season this year. If you choose to approach this challenge in an alliance, you will be awarded bonus points.
    • Alliances can be any number of teams that are working together on the same world problem.
    • Alliances can be composed of both FTC and FRC teams.
    • Each team in the alliance must submit their own robot.
    • Teams will be scored individually on their own robot design and all teams in the alliance will receive the bonus points for being a part of it.
    • Please see the Judges' Scoring Rubric for more information on scoring and bonus points.



  • We recommend using this as an opportunity to practice designing mechanisms that would be seen on a typical FIRST robot such as drivetrains, lifts and collectors.  You’ll be able to take your knowledge into the next season!
  • In order to effectively collaborate with your team, we recommend reviewing the Onshape Features for Collaboration.


How to Submit

  • Have the owner of your team's Onshape document make the document public and turn on link sharing to allow anyone with the link to view the document.
  • We will be making a copy of your document, any changes you make after this is done will not be reflected in your submission.
  • Don't forget to import a PDF into your Onshape document detailing the problem solved by your robot, a description of the solution and information on how the robot addresses the problem.
  • You can review our example submission to see what should be included in your final Onshape document.

Submission Form

Once your submission is ready, please have a mentor or coach on your team fill out this form with a link to your Onshape document. All submissions must be received by 11:59pm EDT on May 15.  As a reminder, your submission will be graded using this rubric.

Submission Requirements

All submissions are due by May 15th, 2020. Every submission must include:

  • Part studio(s) with the unique new parts designed by your team.
  • Clearly labeled top-level assembly with all components of the robot.
  • A PDF document detailing the problem solved by your robot, a description of the solution and information on how the robot addresses the problem.  This PDF should be included in your Onshape Document.
    • A detailed overview of submission requirements and example formatting can be found here.
    • Submissions should be no more than 3 pages (excluding cover page).
  • Rule Clarification:  In regards to the 5 points feasibility section of the rubric, for custom parts that you design we would like to see drawings that illustrate the manufacturing intent: laser cut, milled, turned, etc. You could also include documentation such as a Bill of Materials with prices and estimated machining time.  Any materials illustrating your thought process behind the manufacturing of these custom parts would contribute to achieving a score of 5.


Robot Requirements

FIRST Tech Challenge

The robot must be able to fit within a cube measuring 18 inches (45.72 cm) wide by 18 inches (45.72 cm) long by 18 inches high (45.72 cm). All parts of the model that extend outside of this perimeter must be movable to fit within these constraints.

Teams should refer to the SKYSTONE Game Manual – Section 7 for the allowed materials (7.3.2 RM01) and commercial off-the shelf parts (7.3.2 RM02). The 2019-2020 Legal and Illegal Parts List can be used as a guide to these components.

While the robots might not be fabricated, we suggest including the required components and following the guidelines included in the Robot Electrical Parts and Materials Rules (7.3.3). It is good practice to include these components to ensure proper layout on your design.

FIRST Robotics Competition

The robot must not have a frame perimeter greater than 120 inches (~304 cm) and may not be more than 45 inches (~114 cm) tall. Robots must not extend more than 20 inches beyond their frame perimeter.

Teams must adhere to the INFINITE RECHARGE Game and Season Manual for motor and actuator standards (Section 9.6).

We suggest including the standard Power Distribution (Section 9.7) and Control, Command & Signals System (Section 9.8) components. This would include the PDP, radio, and roboRIO. It is good practice to include these components on your models to ensure proper layout on your design.

Similarly, we suggest including the pneumatic systems components listed in R78 (Section 9.9) if your robot utilizes pneumatics.


Scoring Rubric

All submissions will be scored based on the Judges' Scoring Rubric

Winners will be chosen based on the team who scored the most total points across the problem definition and robot design categories (regular points). In the event of a tie in regular points, bonus points will be used to break that tie. In the event of a tie in regular points and bonus points, the judges will use their own discretion to determine which team had the most impactful solution and represented the ideals of the FIRST organization most clearly.


Important Dates

April 3 - Competition Starts

May 1 - Submissions Start

May 15 - Submission Deadline Closes

May 29 - Winners Announced



April 9 - [Recording] Introduction to Onshape for FIRST Teams

April 14 - [Recording] Working with the FRC Kit of Parts

April 16 - [Recording] Migrating FIRST Robotics Teams from Another CAD System to Onshape

April 21 - [Recording] Working with the FTC Library of Parts

April 23 - [Recording] Collaborating and Versioning for FIRST Teams

April 28 - [Recording] FIRST Team Panel and Q&A Session

May 7 - [Recording] Preparing your Submission for Robots to the Rescue

May 12 - [Recording] Robots to the Rescue Office Hour



In order to be eligible for grants and awards you must:

  • Be a registered FIRST team (FIRST Tech Challenge or FIRST Robotics Competition).
  • Have a complete submission with all the requirements outlined above.



The winners of the competition will be given grant money that can be used towards funding their team for next year's FIRST season.  Team eligibility will be confirmed prior to the distribution of the awards. 


Grant Amount

First, Second and Third Place


Finalists (5 runners up)


Most Unique Design


Additional Awards (10 prizes)



If you have any questions or would like clarification on the rules please email