The Drop Bears compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition – the highest level of the FIRST program. The competition now boasts over 2 700 teams with over 68 000 students from around the world. Australia has been involved in FRC since 2006, and now has over 30 teams competing around the country. The inaugural Australia Regional competition in 2015 hosted teams from Hawaii, Singapore, Taiwan, China and Australia. Teams are supported by mentors – professional engineers, teachers, parents, university students, and members of sponsor organisations.
The Drop Bears are given six weeks of active building within the summer holidays to design and create a 60 kg robot that will compete in a tournament against other teams. The game isn’t revealed until the beginning of build season and is unique every year. After the six week build season the robot is boxed up and cannot be altered until the first competition. It is a true engineering project with hard deadlines.
The competition is not just about robots – it includes a focus on business and marketing. The Drop Bears is run like a business to give the students real world experience on how to manage projects, deadlines, accounting and marketing. The ability of the team to build a robot each year depends the sponsorship we gain each year during our off-season.