Robotics community that prepares young people for the future
Robotics Community That Prepares Young People For The Future


Teams of students and adult mentors gathered at more than 100 international Kickoff events to get a first glimpse of this season’s game, which focuses on building cities of the future: SKYSTONE presented by Qualcomm. An estimated 78,000 students in more than 20 countries around the world will participate this season. FIRST Strategic Partner Qualcomm Incorporated returns as the Season Presenting Sponsor for the 2019-2020 FIRST Tech Challenge season.

During the SKYSTONE season, Qualcomm® technology will enable more than 7,800 FIRST Tech Challenge teams to create Android smartphone-controlled robots powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ mobile platform. This control system technology enables students to build innovative and advanced robot designs with autonomous and vision processing features. In addition to technology, Qualcomm directly supports FIRST events, programs, and thousands of teams globally, with its commitment to teams via direct funding and time donated by hundreds of employees. Qualcomm is doing its part to bring innovation, collaboration, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education to students all over the world.
Qualcomm hosted a livestreamed kickoff event at their Headquarters in San Diego, Calif., with more than 50 teams of students who were excited to learn the game details for SKYSTONE.

“We’re thrilled to return as this year’s presenting sponsor for a fourth year in a row, and to host the 2019-2020 FIRST Tech Challenge Kickoff,” said Angela Baker, director, corporate responsibility, at Qualcomm Incorporated. “It’s exciting to see what’s possible when the power of Qualcomm’s technology platforms is combined with hands-on, experiential and mentor-based programs of FIRST to inspire students across the globe.” FIRST Tech Challenge is a widely accessible robotics program for grades 7 through 12 in which teams design, build, code, and operate sophisticated robots to play a themed floor game in an alliance format. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, student develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and working as a team.

In the 2019-2020 game, SKYSTONE, teams work in an alliance to build a superstructure within a burgeoning future city. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by repositioning their foundation in their building site; delivering stones from the loading zone to the building zone; placing stones on their foundation; and navigating their robots under their segment of the bridge. Teams must program their robots to play in three sections: autonomous, driver-controlled, and the end game. The game is completed as teams move their structures into their optimal space, topping it off with a crown achievement – a final capstone of their own design to symbolize their reach into the sky. Points are added throughout game play, and penalties are assigned at the end of the match.