The FIRST Technical Advisor (FTA) is responsible for keeping the FIRST Robotics Competition field running smoothly and in accordance with FIRST requirements. The FTA works in collaboration with event staff, the FIRST Technical Advisor Assistant (FTAA), other key volunteers at the event, and FIRST staff. This is a highly visible role with significant responsibility. The FIRST Technical Advisor reports to FIRST Headquarters.
FIRST Technical Advisors are nominated by current FTAs, Regional Directors, District Management, or FIRST Headquarters staff. FIRST Headquarters approves nominations. Experience as a FIRST Technical Advisor Assistant is strongly recommended for all FTA candidates.
*Must sign a Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Statement prior to start of service.
- Strict adherence to the FIRST safety practices
- Ensure safe practices and matches
- Participate in training required by FIRST
- Coordinate and communicate regularly with Event Manager/Coordinator and key volunteers on all relevant aspects of the event
- Coordinate with the AV crew, Field Supervisor, Facility Manager and field assembly crew
- Along with Field Supervisor, monitor field (including practice field) set up and break down and ensure road cases are unpacked and re-packed properly
- Participate in volunteer meeting, referee meeting, robot inspector meeting, and driver meeting where needed
- Monitor progress, consistency and success of key event volunteers including Head Referee, Field Supervisor, Lead Queuer, Lead Robot Inspector and Pit Announcer to ensure matches deliver a positive experience to teams and remain on schedule
- Work with volunteers to monitor wireless communications and other aspects of the event using available diagnostic tools
- Be aware of problems that arise and be ready to take steps to quickly diagnose and correct
- Assist teams with technical issues on-field
- Provide required event reports, such as information on missing or damaged equipment, to FIRST Headquarters
- Only individuals who have been issued the FIRST role specific apparel may wear it for non-official FIRST events
Experience and Skills Needed
- Must be post-high school or equivalent. Post-college or equivalent preferred (minimum age of 19 at time of service. 21 years old or older preferred)
- Exceptions may be granted by FIRST Headquarters
- Experience as a FIRST Technical Advisor Assistant preferred. Will consider those who have experience as a Lead Robot Inspector, Control System Advisor, Field Supervisor, or other role requiring interaction with teams.
- Demonstrated some experience with the following: robot control system (as CSA or LRI), field management system (as Scorekeeper), field electronics and diagnostic tools (as an FTAA).
- Familiarity or willingness to become familiar with the robot control system, field management system, field electronics and diagnostic tools
- Solid knowledge of the competition game rules and FIRST procedures and documentation
- Strong diplomatic interpersonal/communication skills
- Demonstrate diplomacy and authority; be assertive, but tactful
- Self-directed individual
- Ability to multitask and work under pressure
- Ability to stand for long periods of time and move about playing field
Volunteer Time Commitment
Note: Event schedules vary. Please check the event schedule and talk to event management for detailed information about the schedule
Provided by FIRST headquarters prior to start of competition season. Includes: Live and/or recorded training at FIRST headquarters, live and/or recorded web conferences, teleconference(s), manual and other support materials, email communications and one-on-one support.
Reporting Relationships and Supervision
FTAs report to FIRST Headquarters. FTAs collaborate closely with event staff, the FIRST Technical Advisor Assistant (FTAA), other key volunteers, and FIRST staff to ensure a successful event.