Team Organization

Sample Organization Chart


  • “The Robot Team”
  • The engineering leader is the overall authority when it comes to all robot related decisions
  • Co-ordinates between the three engineering subteams, and ensures areas of overlap are taken care of (crucial)


  • Responsible for the mechanical design and build of the robot
  • “Makes the robot do what it’s supposed to do”
  • Usually broken down into two areas
    • Mobility – the drive base
    • Function – the mechanisms
  • Takes design directives from the strategy team
  • At competition, responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the robot


  • Responsible for the strategic design
  • “What should the robot do”
  • Analyzes the game and determines the game strategy
  • At competition, they are responsible for match planning and execution
    • The drivers & coach should be a part of this team
  • Scouting
    • Gathering information about opponents to help decide on match plans and alliance selection


  • Responsible for making a mechanically sound robot work
  • Electronics
    • Wiring the robot and installation and design of all sensors
  • Programming
    • Writing the code that allows the drivers to interface with the robot.
      • (or in the case of autonomous mode, the code that allows the driver not to interface..)

Marketing and Finance

  • “The Business Side”
  • Often overlooked and neglected
  • This section of the team, allows the engineering side to function
  • Brings funding, recognition and distinctions to the team
  • A great opportunity to expose students to science and technology
  • Manages the teams books


  • Responsible for getting the team publicity in the community and at competitions
  • Designs team logos, literature, and anything else to help the team establish a brand
  • Fundraising
    • Raise money to finances the operation of the team
    • Much more on this later
  • Website
    • Essential for publishing team information, for both members and the public
      • FIRST awards the best website at each regional


  • Responsible for the preparations of submissions and accompanying documentation for awards
  • Most FIRST awards do not require a submission
    • Having a handout or display for the judges never hurts!
  • The Chairman’s Award
    • The highest honour in FIRST
    • Requires a written submission and a presentation
      • Rookie teams are not eligible, but a written submission directed towards the CA will be considered for the Rookie All-Star award
  • The Woodie Flowers Award
    • Awarded to a mentor for distinguished service in communication and inspiration of his/her students
    • Teams select one mentor to nominate
    • Requires a 600 word essay
    • One winner at each regional event, and an overall winner at the Championships in Atlanta
  • The Autodesk Award
    • Best animation
    • Best 3D robot design
    • Software is proved in the kit of parts
    • A huge amount of work, very rewarding

Team Organization Tips

  • You don’t need to have subteams for each area
    • There’s lots of duplication. Choose based on the amount of students and mentors you have available
  • The same goes for the award submissions
    • Don’t bite off more than you can chew
  • Try to have a mentor for each subteam
    • Recruit parents, industry professionals, anyone who might be interested.
  • Don’t restrict your team to “techies”
    • Lots of different skill sets are required for a successful team