“CHARGED UP(SM) presented by Haas” Is Unveiled as the 2023 FIRST® Robotics Competition Challenge during the FIRST Long Island Regional Kick-Off

Larry Toonkel, FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) Regional Director, FIRST Long Island, speaks during the FRC Kickoff at LIU Post’s Krasnoff Theater on January 7.

Larry Toonkel, FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) Regional Director, FIRST Long Island, speaks during the FRC Kickoff at LIU Post’s Krasnoff Theater on January 7.

[Brookville, New York] — The Krasnoff Theater at LIU Post was abuzz with anticipation on January 7 as students, educators and families from across Long Island joined together to participate in the unveiling of the 2023 FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (FRC) challenge, “CHARGED UPSM presented by Haas.” 

This annual event served as the official Kick-Off of the 2023 FIRST Long Island season and included a live broadcast announcing the game directly to the Krasnoff Theater. Two hundred eager FIRST Long Island students, parents and coaches listened with rapt attention to FIRST Founder Dean Kamen and FIRST CEO Chris Moore. 

CHARGED UP presented by Haas is part of the 2023 FIRST season, FIRST ENERGIZESM, presented by Qualcomm. During this season, teams will reimagine the future of sustainable energy and power their ideas forward. 

In CHARGED UP presented by Haas, two competing alliances are invited to process game pieces to bring energy to their community. This is done by retrieving their game pieces from substations and scoring it into the grid. Human players provide the game pieces to the robots from the substations. In the final moments of each match, alliance robots race to dock or engage with their charge station.

Each match begins with a 15-second autonomous period, during which time alliance robots operate only on pre-programmed instructions to score points by leaving the community, retrieving and scoring game pieces onto the grid and docking on or engaging with their charge station. In the final two minutes and 15 seconds of the match, drivers take control of the robots and score points by continuing to retrieve and score their game pieces onto the grid and docking on or engaging with their charge station. The alliance with the highest score at the end of the match wins. 

“I am thrilled to be sharing this kickoff day with all of you around the world,” Mr. Moore said. “I hope the game we’re about to share charges you up to build some extraordinary machines. I can’t wait to see what you come up with this season.” 

Before the broadcast, members of FIRST Long Island, sponsors and others addressed the crowd, including FRC Regional Director Larry Toonkel, FIRST Long Island Executive Director Bertram Dittmar, Board Member Jeffrey Stern, and Frank Langro, who serves as a Board Member and represents longtime sponsor Festo Corporation. The presentation also featured LIU Post Spokesperson Reda Nacif El Alai, Smithtown Robotics Team #810 President John Galletta, and Tom Boehm, Software Engineer, Zebra Technologies (a sponsor of the Long Island Regionals and teams). 

Immediately following the game reveal broadcast, the visiting teams received pertinent competition details, a first-hand look at the game field, and were handed their kits of parts. 

“Leading up to the main competition, FIRST Long Island students will work with coaches and mentors to apply concepts of math, science and engineering to build their robots to meet the game’s objectives,” Mr. Toonkel said. “The FIRST Robotics Competition is not just about the design and build of sophisticated robots, our students will also learn important concepts such as teamwork, problem solving and healthy competition. Over the years, FIRST students from Long Island received more than $8 million in scholarships for higher education, in areas of science, technology, engineering, business or math in college. These students also develop maturity, professionalism and teamwork skills that enrich their lives. Our graduates often pursue careers with sponsoring companies, meeting the businesses’ needs for well-rounded, technically skilled employees.” 

FIRST isn’t limited to Long Island; nearly 3,900 teams from all over the world came together as a community to share in the excitement of seeing the new game unveiled and will draw on this enthusiasm during the build period. During this time, all FIRST students will be asked to design, build, test and update their robots before the start of the 2023 competition, which includes more than 170 Regional and District events beginning in late February. These events measure the effectiveness of each robot’s design and control, the power of teamwork and the determination of participating students not only to win, but to learn and have fun. 

Bertram Dittmar, Executive Director, FIRST Long Island, addresses the audience at the FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff at LIU Post’s Krasnoff Theater on January 7.


Members of the Syosset High School Team #9016 “Syosset Braves Robotics” share their excitement after learning more about this year’s challenge, “CHARGED UP℠ presented by Haas,” during the FIRST Robotics Competition at LIU Post’s Krasnoff Theater on January 7.